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Veterinary Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Teletriage? 

A: Teletriage typically involves speaking with a nurse on the phone to discuss your pet's health, receive advice, and determine if an in-person visit with a veterinarian is necessary. In some cases, Teletriage can become a full Telemedicine consult where you'd speak with a veterinarian as well.


Q: Can I give my pet anxiety meds before a visit? 

A: We recommend discussing your pet's anxiety with our doctors before administering any medications. Depending on the situation, we may have specific recommendations or medication to help your pet stay calm during their visit.


Here are two great resources:
How to Make Veterinary Visits Less Stressful:

Using Medication to Lower Veterinary Visit Stress in Dogs and Cats:

Q: Do animals need flea prevention all year round or can I stop during the winter? 

A: Fleas are a year-round problem in the Philadelphia area, as they are inactive only if ground temperature is below 32F for >3-5 days. Consider ground temperature is often much higher than air temperature, especially around buildings, under organic matter (grass, mulch), or in sheltered yards or porches. We recommend using year-round effective flea products for our patients. Also, remember that ticks are active year-round and can survive even sub-zero temperatures.


Q: Are you accepting new patients? 

A: Yes, we are currently accepting new patients. We will need full medical records to better understand your pet's history. Feel free to contact our hospital to schedule an appointment for your pet's healthcare needs. Please fill out our New Client Form to get added to our system, and set up an appointment by either calling or using the Appointment Request Form

Q: Why should I spay/neuter my pet? 

A: Spaying/neutering has a number of benefits, but the most important are reduced risk for certain diseases or cancers, such as mammary cancer, prostatitis, prostatic cancer, pyometra (uterine infections), etc. There are also some behavioral benefits, as many of the social behaviors of intact mature pets can be challenging, especially in a dense, urban environment.


Q: Do you guys have payment plans? 

A: We currently do not offer payment plans. However, we do provide access to outsourced programs, such as Care Credit and Scratch Pay, which may offer financing options for our clients. <--- Maybe make that a link to the payment part of our website?


Q: Why is it important to keep your pet up to date on their annual vaccinations and to visit the vet for a wellness exam annually if everything seems to be going well? 

A:  Regular wellness exams are crucial for the early detection of health issues and ensuring your pet's long-term well-being. Even if your pet appears healthy, regular check-ups help prevent and identify potential problems before they become serious. Most healthy adult dogs and cats can be seen annually, but Senior pets, or pets with chronic disease, often benefit from evaluations every 6 months.


Vaccinations are important to keep pets protected from diseases that we can easily prevent or manage with vaccination. Some vaccines protect against diseases they may encounter and be exposed to (parvovirus, distemper, Bordetella, rabies), but some aid with managing diseases they may already have and are chronically dealing with (calicivirus, rhinotracheitis virus).

Q: What do I do if I find a tick on my dog or cat? 

A: Finding a tick can be stressful, and it's important to consider a number of factors. Emailing or calling a veterinarian can be helpful to get specific guidance. Some tick preventatives work after the tick bites but kill them quickly, so finding a tick doesn't always mean there was exposure to a disease. If pets are not on an effective tick preventative, it's important to remove the tick but also give an effective preventative. The most common life stage of a tick that bites dogs and cats is nymphs, which are about the size of a poppy seed. That means if you find a tick, it's likely there are more you haven't found.


Taking some clear photos of the tick can help determine the species and attachment time, which can help decide if disease exposure is likely. Submission to TickSpotters is a great way to figure that out:


This website has great information on tick safety and prevention in pets and people:


Q: What is a biohazard/medical waste disposal fee? 

A: The biohazard/medical waste disposal fee covers the safe and responsible disposal of medical waste generated in our hospital, ensuring environmental and public health standards are met. Pennsylvania law requires biohazard waste to be incinerated or autoclaved and then buried, which has a considerable cost.


Q: What do I do if my pet gets ahold of something I think may be toxic? 

A: Contact us ASPCA poison control (888) 426-4435 immediately for very detailed guidance. If your pet seems sick, go to an emergency hospital as soon as possible. Provide as much information as possible about the substance ingested, the type of substance, the name of the substance, the amount ingested and how long ago was it ingested. 


Q: When is it safe to start letting my puppy socialize with other dogs? 

A: Puppy socialization is extremely important and should start as early as 7-8 weeks. It's important to consider how to best protect puppies from infectious diseases like viruses and parasites.

Here is the position statement from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior:


Q: What are some signs/symptoms in cats or dogs that should be examined by a doctor ASAP if displaying? 

A: Signs such as difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, seizures, uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea, sudden collapse, trauma, or extreme pain should be addressed immediately by a veterinarian. 


Q: I am expecting to bring home a new pet in the near future, but don't have them yet. Can I talk to a doctor about how to prepare? 

A: Absolutely! We have a Telemedicine service where you can discuss with our team on vaccination and preventive care. If you have records, please provide those ahead of time for our team to review.


Q: I just brought home a new pet. When do they need to be seen by a veterinarian? 

A: We typically recommend establishing care with a veterinarian within the first few weeks. This allows us to assess their health, discuss vaccinations, and establish a wellness plan. Many pets have stress or anxiety associated with a big change like coming into a new home, which we can help with if care is established.


Q: What needs to happen for me to bring my pet with me on vacation? 

A: Domestic and international travel requirements for pets can vary. Please review our Pet Travel Page for more information. 


Q: How does my pet insurance affect my bill? 

A: Pet insurance providers typically reimburse for services and medications according to your specific policy agreement. We require full payment for any appointment at the time of service. If records and invoices are required for your claim, our team is happy to provide that documentation within a few days of your appointment. 


Q: Is it okay to wait to turn in my pet's fecal sample until later in the day? 

A: Fresh fecal samples are best, ideally submitted the same day it was defecated, as this yields the most accurate results. If you cannot bring in the sample immediately, store it in a sealed bag/container in a refrigerated environment to maintain its viability for testing. 


Q: Why can't you quote general surgical costs before I schedule an initial appointment for my pet? 

A: Each pet's surgical and anesthetic needs can vary. To provide an accurate estimate, we require an initial examination and assessment to determine the specific recommendations and risks associated with your pet's surgery. 

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