FAQ (Frequently asked Questions)
Why do I have to bring in a stool sample?
Stool tests give us information on the presence of intestinal parasites in your pet. There are several parasites that can be transmitted from pets to humans – including roundworms & hookworms. So, for the health of you & your pet, we recommend doing stool test routinely.
Why does my pet need to repeat blood work testing for certain medications?
Pets that are on certain medications need to have their blood tested on a routine basis. Some medications cause changes in internal organs and the blood work will alert us to these changes. Sometimes the tests are done to measure the pet’s response to the medication. In addition, blood tests are done to watch the pet’s overall health. As a pet ages, this may change how medications are used.
Routine blood tests are valuable to determine if the pet is responding to the treatment or if life – threatening changes are occurring to the pet’s organs. We compare the new blood values to previous bloodwork. This gives us an excellent way to monitor your pet’s health and ensure that we can accurately make changes to treatments.
If you ever have questions regarding your pet’s health or the frequency of blood work, please contact us. We would be happy to go over your pet’s health needs and explain why we are requesting the tests.
Why do I have to pay for an exam when I do not want the exam? I just want the vaccines given.
A complete exam is very important to assess your pet’s health status. Vaccines given to a sick pet will not be effective. Our goal is to vaccinate only healthy pets. If there is a vaccine reaction, we need to know if it was related to the vaccine or from a previous or underlying infection or disease. Exams are very important because early detection of any infection or disease results in better response to treatment.
I live in town; my dog doesn’t need tick & flea prevention.
Even living in town, pets are exposed to fleas and ticks. Squirrels, rabbits and birds bring these pests into your backyard and your pet is exposed to them when they go outside to play or go to the bathroom. It’s important to apply flea and tick preventative year-round, since fleas enjoy living indoors and can be a problem even in the middle of a cold winter, and ticks can be found in all months except January in Minnesota.
Why do we have to pay at time of service?
Businesses that provide a service or a consumable product require payment because there is no contract or physical asset involved. Grocery stores, gas stations, hair salons and restaurants are just a few examples of a service or retail business providing consumable products.
I only give 6 months of heartworm prevention. Why do I have to give it all year long?
The American Heartworm Society’s recommendations are for year-round treatment with a heartworm preventative. Heartworm prevention works by killing the small heartworm larvae that may have been introduced into your pet’s system while an infected mosquito was feeding. The medication will kill any larva that has been developing in the bloodstream, within 30 days prior to giving the medication. In Minnesota, mosquitos can arrive early in the spring and stay late into the fall. They can be around for up to 9 months of the year, so the preventative should be given longer than 6 months. The heartworm preventative also kills intestinal parasites. Year-round protection against these worms is very beneficial to the health of your pet as well as reduces the risk of children becoming infected with these worms.
Why do I have to have a heartworm test if my dog has been on heartworm prevention for 12 months?
There are several reasons that we need to perform a blood test on a yearly basis. If you ever miss a dose, your dog is at risk of becoming infected with heartworm disease. In addition, if your dog vomits up the medication without you seeing it, your pet is at risk. If either of these two things happen, an annual blood test will detect the disease at an early stage, which makes it easier to treat. There are no early clinical signs for heartworm disease. Usually by the time your pet is showing symptoms, the disease is advanced and treatment becomes more complicated. Some states are seeing resistance to the current heartworm prevention, this needs to be detected early. Heartworm test also detects 3 other diseases – so it is not just a heartworm test anymore – it is more an annual disease screen.
Why do I have to pay for follow-up examinations?
In order to determine if the infection or condition that is being treated has been successfully resolved, we do need to recheck your pet. It takes supplies and time to do the follow-up check and so this is what you are paying for. Many conditions appear to improve while your pet is on medication, but then several weeks later the illness returns and can be worse than the initial problem. This is because the illness was never fully eliminated and it took a while for the infection to resurface. When that occurs it can be more difficult to treat and your pet has to suffer through the recurrence. By doing a follow-up examination, if we determine that the condition has not improved, we can adjust the treatment and keep your pet feeling good.
What other decisions do I need to make?
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet’s care.
Why do you have to bring my animal to the back to do work on them?
In order to have adequate work space and the necessary equipment and supplies, we use the back treatment room to carry out the required procedures. It usually requires 2 or 3 technicians and doctors to do routine procedures, so we need more space than the exam room offers. If you ever have questions about what we are going to do with your pet, please do not hesitate to ask us. We would be happy to explain what procedure we are going to do and how we will be doing it.
Is the anesthetic safe for my pet?
Today’s modern anesthetic monitoring equipment and medications have made surgery much safer than in the past. At our hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure your pet is healthy and safe to put under anesthesia.
Pre-anesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Blood testing before surgery is recommended to ensure that the liver and kidneys can process the anesthesia. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that can’t be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. We administer IV fluids to your pet during most of our anesthetic procedures, to ensure proper hydration and help maintain blood pressure throughout the surgical procedure.
If serious problems are detected in the exam or blood work, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, or x-rays may be required before surgery is performed. It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery.
Will my pet be in pain?
Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don’t whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medication needed will depend on the surgery performed. We include pain management with every surgical procedure for both the comfort of the patient, and to speed the recovery process. This may involve a postoperative injection, which will ensure the patient is comfortable upon waking as well as a restful night’s sleep.
When deemed necessary by the doctor, medication for the next few days is also included. For your pet, we may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling.
Will my pet have stitches?
For most surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries do require skin stiches. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision. If this does occur an e-collar needs to be used until sutures are removed in 10 – 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet’s activity. No baths or swimming is allowed for the first 10 - 14 days after surgery.
Why can’t you give advice over the phone? Why do I always have to bring my pet in?
In order to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, we must see your animal. It is difficult to know exactly what is going on with your pet without examining them and doing the proper lab work. Underlying issues may not be easily observed, so it is important that we see your pet in order to give it the best possible care and treatment.
Why do I have to recheck urine?
Rechecking the urine is necessary in order to ensure that the infection has been eliminated; or if crystals were present, the recheck will assess if treatment has dissolved the crystals or not. If the infection or crystals have not been resolved, they will recur in days to weeks. The findings from urine recheck direct us to change the medications, continuing the present medication for a longer duration of time, or know that the infection is cleared up.
Why do I have to recheck ears?
Rechecking the ears is necessary in order to ensure the infection has been eliminated. Resistance to the treatment can occur and we want to be sure that the infection has cleared up. Signs of infection may be gone (scratching, head shaking, etc.), but the infection may not be completely gone. If left untreated the infection seems to “reoccur” in the following days to weeks. Ear infections and smelly ears are not normal in our pets. Continual infections can cause serious damage to the ear canal and eardrum. The findings from an ear recheck direct us to change the medications, continuing the present medication for a longer duration of time, or know that the ear infection is cleared up.
Do I need to put flea and tick repellant on my cats if they aren’t outside much?
Yes - If your cats go outside at all – they are exposed and at risk for picking up fleas & ticks. Even if they don’t go outside, fleas & ticks can be brought into your home by humans & other pets.
I really don't know anything about fleas. Do they just live in the grass and weeds like ticks do?
Fleas can live in the grass & soil – they are dropped there by stray cats, dogs & wildlife that cross your yard. The fleas can enter your house on shoes, pant legs or on other pets that enter your home.
Does the Avon products SSS or Bug Guard products work?
We do NOT recommend SSS or Bug Guard for cats. Cats are animals that clean themselves a lot, but are also poisoned by many ‘routine’ bug repellents. So for this reason I only recommend cat products be used on cats. We would be happy to discuss what products would be appropriate for your cats based on their lifestyle.
I have seen horror pictures on Facebook about some Flea and Tick products that have literally burnt the fur off of animals.
Over the counter products are the main culprits of adverse skin reactions. In addition, when owners use dog products on cats, there can be fatal reactions that occur. Only use products approved for cats on your feline friends.
Monday: 7:30am- 5pm
Tuesday: 7:30am - 5pm
Wednesday: 7:30am - 5pm
Thursday: 7:30am- 12pm; 1:15pm- 5pm
Friday: 7:30am - 5pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 12pm