I recently got a new puppy/ kitten. What is my next step?
We highly recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our veterinarians for a new patient check up. This way we can make sure our new fur baby is on the right track with vaccines and prevention. Puppies and Kittens will go through 4 sets of vaccines by the time that they turn 15 weeks old. These vaccines, or boosters, are given at 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks, and 15 weeks of age. After our 15 week shots, vaccines will be administered yearly.
How can my puppy/kitten have worms? How was he/she exposed?
Almost all puppies are born with intestinal parasites, which are passed from mother to pup during pregnancy. Although kittens are not infected when they’re born, they can become infected through their mother’s milk. Puppies can also become infected while they’re nursing.
Puppies and kittens should both be dewormed every 2 weeks, starting at about 2 weeks of age for puppies and 3 weeks of age for kittens. After the biweekly series of dewormings is finished, monthly deworming should begin (at about 8 to 9 weeks of age for kittens and 12 weeks of age for puppies).
What is included in an “Annual”? Is it necessary?
An annual includes yearly vaccines, a physical exam by a doctor, a fecal, and a heart worm test. Whether our pets are outside or indoor pets, we highly recommend vaccinating and testing them yearly.
What do I do in the case of an emergency and your clinic isn’t open?
We are proud to partner with Emergency Vets in Hattiesburg! Their contact number is (601)-450-EVET (3838) or you can simply call our clinic after hours and you will be redirected to Emergency Vets phoneline.
Do you offer any payment plans?
Unfortunately, all payment is due at the time of service. We would be more than happy to create an estimate for you to give an idea of what treatment would cost.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards, checks, cash and Care Credit.
What’s the best way to schedule an appointment?
You are more than welcome to give us a call at 601-268-1350 and one of our receptionists would be happy to help schedule an appointment. You can also fill out a new client form on our website here and one of our receptionists will gladly call you as soon as possible.
What are your vaccination requirements for boarding?
We require that dogs be vaccinated against rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and Bordetella (kennel cough) and that cats be vaccinated against rabies, panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). We also require all pets to be up to date on flea and heartworm prevention.
I have a hard time controlling my pet in the lobby. Can I make arrangements so I can take him/her into the exam room right away when I arrive?
We are happy to make arrangements to help make your visit as smooth and convenient as possible. One of our kennel technicians would be more than happy to help get your pet into the building and one of our receptionists will do his or her best to swiftly prepare and exam room for you and your pet.
My pet is a handful. Can I pay my bill ahead of time or in the exam room so I don’t have to wait in the lobby after the exam is over?
We are happy to make arrangements to help make your visit as smooth and convenient as possible. We are more than happy to put a credit to your account but cannot guarantee the price will not change by the end of the office visit. We would be more than happy to assist you further by having a receptionist come in and check you out in the room.
My pet is really well trained. Does he/she need to be on a leash/in a carrier when we visit the hospital?
For the safety and protection of all clients, patients, and veterinary team members, we require all pets to be on a leash or in a carrier when they arrive at our hospital. They must continue to be restrained while they are in the reception area and while traveling to and from the exam rooms. Your veterinarian or veterinary technician will let you know when it’s OK to let your pet off leash or out of his or her carrier.
There is often a lot going on at our hospital. Combine that with the unfamiliar surroundings and new animals, and any pet—even one that is well trained—might become uneasy or overly excited. We want you and your pet to have as pleasant an experience as possible every time you visit our hospital, so we ask all our clients to respect our policy.
I brought my pet to see the veterinarian for a problem, and my pet isn’t getting any better. What can I do?
Call us. Just like doctors, veterinarians sometimes need to try more than one treatment/medication to find the correct solution to cure or manage a pet’s condition. Please let us know if something we recommended or prescribed isn’t helping. We want to work with you to find the right answers for your pet.
Is it OK to call with questions about my pet’s health?
Although we can’t provide lengthy consultations or a diagnosis over the phone, we welcome questions from our clients. Please feel free to call or stop by anytime.
Which pet food should I feed my dog/cat?
We sell Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet in clinic. We also recommend Purina and Iams. These companies have a nutritionist on staff creating the best food for your pet possible. If you have any questions about your pet’s diet, feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment.
My pet has the same thing wrong that he/she was just treated for. Can the veterinarian just prescribe the same medication that he/she did the last time?
Even though your pet may be showing the same symptoms as he or she did the last time, the problem may be different. Many diseases have similar symptoms, and your veterinarian needs to examine your pet to ensure that he or she correctly diagnoses the cause.
My pet’s just been diagnosed with a medical condition/disease I’m not familiar with, and I want to find out more about it. Where can I find information I can trust?
You can turn to the Pet Health Section of our website, which offers current, trustworthy information on a wide variety of topics. In addition, many veterinary colleges and professional organizations offer excellent resources online. Your veterinarian will also be happy to discuss your pet’s health in more detail.
Can you track my pet if he/she is microchipped?
A microchip is not a GPS locator. However, we highly recommend getting your pet microchipped. In the event that your pet escapes or gets lost and is brought to a shelter or a veterinary clinic, we can scan for a microchip and contact the company to get your pet safely returned to you.
Will microchipping hurt my pet?
Not any more than a regular vaccine injection. The chip is inserted at the back of the pet’s neck, where the skin is loose. We normal microchip a pet when we spay or neuter the to help ease any discomfort. Microchipping is a safe and effective way to identify your pet in case he or she becomes lost.
After I have my pet microchipped, is there anything else I need to do?
You pet’s microchip should continue to function over your pet’s lifetime without any maintenance; however, the system won’t work unless you keep your contact information current. Whenever you move or change your phone number, make sure you update that information with your pet’s microchip manufacturer. Remember to also get your pet new ID tags at the same time.
I’ve never seen a flea or tick on my pet. Why should I bother putting my pet on preventives? Isn’t this an extra expense that’s just not worth paying for?
Fleas and ticks are not just minor nuisances; they can transmit serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases, some of which can be passed to people. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because fleas and ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing, shoes, or other pets. Keeping your pet on a monthly preventive is your best bet for protecting your pet—and your family—against these parasites.
Why does my pet need dental care?
Dental health is just as important for dogs and cats as it is for people. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and expensive oral surgery. Bacteria can also cause serious, potentially fatal infections in your pet’s kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart.
Unless your pet just ate something fishy, stinky breath isn’t normal. Having a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s teeth regularly and clean them as needed will help prevent dental disease and any related problems.
Why does my dog/cat need to have a blood test before starting heartworm medication?
Your pet should be tested for heartworm infection before he or she is placed on a preventive to avoid any harmful or possibly fatal complications. For instance, if a heartworm-infected dog is started on a monthly preventive, immature heartworms (called microfilariae) can die suddenly, causing a serious, shock-type reaction. In addition, preventives won’t kill adult heartworms, so an infected dog needs to be started on a treatment plan.
My cat doesn’t go outside. Why should I put him/her on a heartworm/flea/tick preventive?
Just because your cat doesn’t venture outdoors doesn’t mean outdoor parasites can’t get inside. Mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease, and as you probably know, mosquitoes always seem to find a way to get inside your home. Plus, fleas and ticks can both hitch a ride on clothing, so every time you come back into the house, you could potentially be bringing these parasites in with you.
Although you can’t always protect your pet from coming in contact with these bloodsucking insects, you can help protect him or her from the diseases they can transmit. Ask your veterinary hospital to discuss the benefits of preventives with you.
Why should I bring my pet in for regular veterinary visits when he/she is healthy?
When you consider the cost of prevention versus the cost of treating a disease or condition, you’ll find that treatment is often far more expensive. For example, parvovirus treatment can frequently cost 10 times more than a single parvovirus vaccination. When you keep your pet up-to-date on preventive care, you’ll know that your pet won’t have to suffer from a condition that could have been prevented or treated.
What vaccinations does my dog/cat really need?
Your veterinarian will determine which vaccinations are appropriate for your dog or cat, based on individual factors, such as lifestyle and health status. Veterinarians commonly recommend that dogs be vaccinated against rabies, distemper, and parvovirus and that cats be vaccinated against rabies and panleukopenia (feline distemper). Additional vaccines, such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and Bordetella (kennel cough), are recommended based on your cat or dog’s risk.
Many of these diseases can be fatal to your pet. Preventing them is far easier and less expensive than treatment. If you would like more information on vaccines, ask your veterinarian.
Why can’t a veterinarian give my pet a diagnosis over the phone? I can’t afford to come in to the clinic every time my pet has something minor wrong.
Besides being unethical and illegal to prescribe medication over the phone, veterinarians can’t accurately diagnose or treat a pet without physically examining him or her. Veterinarians appreciate observant owners and want to hear their description of the pet’s symptoms. However, many diseases have the same symptoms but require different treatment. To determine the cause of the symptoms and ensure the best outcome, veterinarians need to examine the pet in person and sometimes perform diagnostic testing. Treating a pet for the wrong disease will cost more in the end and could be harmful or even deadly to your pet.
Why should I have my pet spayed or neutered? Why are these procedures so expensive?
Spaying and neutering can have major benefits for your pet, including lowering or preventing the risk of several diseases and types of cancer. Your veterinarian will be happy to discuss these benefits.
Spaying and neutering are surgical procedures that require your pet to be put under anesthesia. The cost of these procedures takes into account the anesthesia, your veterinary team’s time and expertise, monitoring, drapes, suture material, and hospitalization. Spaying or neutering your pet is much less expensive than feeding and caring for litters of unwanted puppies or kittens or dealing with potential pregnancy complications.
We recommend spaying or neutering your pet starting at about 6 months of age for felines and canines.