All puppies and kittens will receive a series of distemper vaccines, a rabies vaccine, be dewormed, and have a fecal test run. Your veterinarian will work with you to evaluate where your pet is in the vaccination schedule and what you and your pet’s lifestyle is like in order to determine what vaccines are recommended. Depending on the pet, we may also suggest spreading out vaccines in order to help minimize risk of reactions.
Puppies and kittens should come back to visit every 3-4 weeks to receive booster vaccinations, as well as to be checked by a doctor. Similarly with human babies, a pet’s early stages should be closely monitored by a doctor in order to ensure they are growing properly. This is also a great time for your pet to form a bond with us so that any future visits will be less stressful for both of you!
Your veterinarian will also utilize these visits to discuss wellness, training, and to answer any questions you may have. We understand that this stage of life can be filled with joy and excitement, as well as confusion and anxiety — we are here to help guide you and provide you with the information you need for your pet to live a happy, healthy life.
It is important to de-worm puppies and kittens multiple times, especially after they get out of the environment they were in at the breeder where their litter mates could be passing a parasite back and forth. Since some parasites can be contracted by humans from their pets, we want to ensure that we are taking the appropriate steps to keep this from happening. The monthly heartworm preventative that your pet will be on will act as a monthly intestinal dewormer as well.
While the dewormers we have available are comprehensive, there is no dewormer that can take care of every intestinal parasite. Because of this, we want to make sure that we test a fecal sample to see if your pet may have a parasite that is not covered by the dewormer we use. More than one fecal test may be necessary to effectively treat some intestinal parasites.
Coming in for a physical exam with a doctor will provide the opportunity for us to meet you and your pet, as well as have the time to discuss where your pet currently is in the vaccine schedule so that we can plan out the rest of the visits. If we do not need to do any vaccines or treatments during this appointment, it can be a great start for the bond we will form with your pet. The visit can be completed with hugs and kisses, adoration, and maybe a few treats … this can ease or eliminate the stress your pet may have in future visits.
Many rescue groups and breeders require a physical exam within a certain number of days of obtaining the pet. This is a precaution for you, as the new pet parent, to ensure that any health issues or concerns are addressed quickly. For some, this may affect their decision to keep the pet.
Any new pet will certainly come with a myriad of questions, and this first appointment is a great time to discuss them with your veterinarian.
Parasite preventatives should be started anywhere between 6-8 weeks of age and are safe for pets as small as 1-2 pounds. The requirements of age and weight vary on the product you and your veterinarian choose is best for your pet. Prevention is the best medicine, and it is good to get your family and your pet used to giving monthly preventatives as soon as possible so that it becomes routine.
There are many flea and tick preventative medications available today. They range in price, method of application, and coverage. Click here to find out more about all of the different options and what to consider when choosing the right product for your pet.
If it is your pet’s first visit to the outside world, getting them acquainted with the collar/leash or pet carrier is important. Having a good fit on your pet’s collar is also helpful, to avoid them slipping out. For regular collars, a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit two fingers underneath. When pets come in, we want to make sure they are under close watch by their owners to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort.
If your breeder or a rescue group/animal shelter has provided you with any information regarding their health up to the day you picked them up, it is extremely important that you bring this with you. This can make the difference in where we start with vaccines, and will help avoid your pet getting vaccines he/she may not need (which means saving you money!).
For pets that have been to other animal hospitals, we will ask for this information when you schedule your appointment so that we can obtain those records before the appointment. This reduces your wait time and ensures that we have all the information we need ahead of time.
We are happy to provide estimates for all visits. This can sometimes be done before the appointment, but usually we will have a more accurate idea of what will be needed at the time of the appointment. This is especially important if your pet is sick, as we cannot always anticipate appropriate treatment without first doing a physical exam and having a discussion with the doctor. Pet Insurance is a great way to help mitigate costs of pet care.
Pet health insurance is not similar to human health insurance, where certain doctors only accept certain health insurance providers. As long as the veterinarian is licensed, the insurance company will accept the claim. Please click here to get more information about pet insurance.
When you come in for an appointment, you will pay at the time of service, and then submit a claim form to the pet insurance company for reimbursement. In order for you to receive your reimbursement as quickly as possible, we suggest that you print and bring your claim form with you to your appointment.
We are happy to help you complete insurance claim forms. It is ideal for us to do this on the day services are provided, but can be done up to 30 days after a visit. Ask any of our Client Care Specialists for more information. As each policy is individualized, we will give the forms to you for final editing and submission to your insurance company. You are welcome to use our fax machine for this purpose.
Unfortunately, since we are not able to guarantee the efficacy of vaccines that we do not order and store ourselves, we cannot administer them.
No, but each of our doctors feel comfortable with large and small breed dogs, and all breeds of cats. Each doctor, like each person, has their favorite breeds that they’ve chosen as family pets – so feel free to ask!
We need to do a comprehensive physical exam on your pet prior to the day of surgery to ensure that the surgery is recommended, that there are no anticipated complications, to review the treatment plan with you, and also to have the opportunity to do pre-anesthetic blood work and receive results in time to alter the surgical plan or anesthetics if necessary.
Absolutely! We encourage you as a pet parent to be a part of your pet’s care. We value the bond you have with your pet, and want to be there to strengthen that bond, not stand in the way of it.
Absolutely! When we say we have an open and transparent environment, we mean it! Please speak to your veterinarian if you are interested and we will make the appropriate arrangements.
Some of our locations are unable to accommodate boarding due to the size of their clinic and the space they have available. We want to make sure that having room for our hospitalized patients is priority, so space can be limited. Please check with your nearest location to see if they are able to accommodate your boarding request.
Caring Hands Animal Hospitals do not have groomers, but we are able to provide some grooming services. Check with your nearest location to find out more.
We are able to do house calls for established clients as our schedule allows. Most often, this service is offered for euthanasia, but we try to accommodate physical exam appointments in your home if it is in the best interest of your pet.
We know that you have a choice in where you take your pet, and that it can sometimes be confusing why pricing can differ from clinic to clinic. There are many different levels of veterinary care available, and you have chosen Caring Hands Animal Hospital because we provide the highest quality care possible for your family member. When you are price shopping, especially for surgical procedures, it is important to understand what factors can affect pricing so that you are able to make an educated decision about where to have your pet’s surgery. All of the services below are part of our Standards of Care and are not optional, as we feel they are necessary for your pet have as successful and comfortable of a surgery as possible.
* The IV Catheter. Placing an intravenous (IV) catheter gives us instant access to the patient’s vein in case of emergency. When seconds count, it is critical to have the ability to administer medication as quickly as possible. A catheter can be placed when needed, but some of the sedative medications that are given can lower blood pressure making it difficult to get a catheter placed effectively. Forgoing this option can mean the difference between life and death. Another added benefit of an IV catheter is this allows us to administer IV fluids throughout the surgery. Receiving these fluids helps maintain your pet’s blood pressure and hydration.
* Monitoring during the surgery. At Caring Hands Animal Hospital, a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) monitors your pet while the doctor is performing surgery. Your pet’s vitals are closely monitored by the LVT during the entire surgery, and they will notify the doctor of any changes immediately. While we use anesthesia monitoring machines that can provide the patient’s levels, we feel it is incredibly important to have someone hands-on and keeping watch. We recognize that machines are not always accurate and that no machine can match the education, experience, and intuition of a highly-trained medical professional.
* Pain medication. Pain medication is always included in our estimates. We administer pain medication post-operatively that will ease pain throughout the night, as well as sending home a pain medication that is given anywhere between 2-5 days afterward.
* Blood work. While a physical exam helps us determine if your pet is a healthy candidate for surgery, blood work is also a critical part of that equation. Blood work allows us to evaluate your pets kidney and liver values (amongst others), to ensure that their system will be able to process the anesthesia properly. Pre-operative blood work can also help us uncover underlying issues that are not visible on a physical exam. Sometimes the results of these tests alter the type of anesthetic used and, in some cases, the procedure is postponed in order to address a medical conern. The blood work should be done as closely to the scheduled surgery date as possible, at a maximum of 30 days in advance.