Frequently Asked Questions

Helping find Answers!

Question: Can I call and have you fax a copy of my pet’s rabies certificate and proof of vaccinations to the kennel where my pet will be staying?
Answer: We’d be happy to send proof of vaccination to your pet’s kennel. Just let us know the fax number.

Question: Do you offer any payment plans?
Answer: Unfortunately, we do not offer any payment plans at this time. We request that you pay for services provided at the time of your pet’s visit. However, we do accept CareCredit. You can apply for CareCredit online at www.carecredit.com/vetmed.

Question: I brought my pet to see the veterinarian for a problem, and my pet isn’t getting any better. What can I do?
Answer: 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.

Question: I think my pet ate something that could be poisonous, but he/she seems fine. What should I do?
Answer: Don’t panic, but call us right away. If it’s outside our normal business, please call an emergency animal hospital. If your pet is not showing any adverse symptoms, you can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. They do charge a consultation fee.

Question: I think something’s wrong with my pet. Can I call you and have a veterinarian give me a diagnosis over the phone?
Answer: Veterinarians can’t diagnose over the phone. Besides being unethical and illegal, diagnosing by phone doesn’t allow veterinarians to physically examine a pet. A physical exam is necessary so your veterinarian can provide an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Question: If my pet’s problem doesn’t get better, can I get a refund for his/her veterinary care?
Answer: Unfortunately, we can’t offer refunds for veterinary care. Our fees cover the cost of examining, testing, diagnosing, and treating your pet. Not all health problems have a straightforward solution. Some may be chronic, requiring a long-term management plan; others may be more difficult to diagnose or may involve several causes.

Question: Is it OK to call with questions about my pet’s health?
Answer: 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.

Question: I’m worried about my pet’s upcoming surgical procedure. What do you do to help ensure your patients’ safety during surgery?
Answer: Our veterinary team takes every precaution so that your pet receives the highest-quality care. We perform a physical exam and pre-anesthetic testing before surgery and carefully monitor your pet during surgery. During the procedure, a veterinary technician will continually assess your pet’s heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs.

Question: My pet is really well trained. Does he/she need to be on a leash/in a carrier when we visit the hospital?
Answer: 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.

Question: What are your vaccination requirements for boarding?
Answer: We require that dogs be vaccinated against Rabies, Distemper, Parvovirus, and Bordetella (kennel cough). They must also have a negative stool sample within the last year. Cats must be vaccinated against Rabies and Feline Distemper and have a negative stool sample within the last year.

Question: What do I do in the case of an emergency and your clinic isn’t open?
Answer: If you have an emergency please contact an emergency animal hospital. We refer to Prince William Emergency Center at (703) 361-8287, Regional Veterinary Referral Service at (703) 451-8900 and Animal Emergency Clinic of Fredericksburg at (540) 371-0554

Question: What’s the best way to schedule an appointment?
Answer: Please call (703) 221-1880 to book a convenient appointment time, or use our online appointment scheduler to request a date and time.

Question: Why can’t my pet see the same veterinarian each time we visit?
Answer: If you would like to see the same veterinarian each time, you can request to make your appointment with that doctor. However, there may be circumstances that prevent a certain veterinarian from being available during your pet’s visit.

Question: Why do you check my dog’s weight every time he/she comes in for a visit?
Answer: We keep track of your pet’s weight just like your doctor’s office keeps track of your height and weight each time you visit. Having an accurate and current measurement of your pet’s weight will help us ensure that we prescribe the right dose of preventives, medications, and any needed anesthetics.

Question: After I have my pet microchipped, is there anything else I need to do?
Answer:  You pet’s microchip should continue to function over your pet’s lifetime without any maintenance; however, there is a yearly registration fee. The registration entitles you to added features such as free contact to Animal Poison Control, however the chip will always work even if the yearly registration is not paid. Please remember that you need to keep your contact information current. Whenever you move or change your phone number remember to update that information with HomeAgain.

Question: Can I just give my dog/cat over the counter pain medication to help with pain, rather than paying for more costly veterinary pain medication?
Answer: Never give your pet medication intended for people unless your veterinarian has prescribed it. Most over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), can have serious, potentially fatal consequences if a pet ingests them. A variety of pain medications are available for dogs and cats. Your veterinarian can help you determine which medication will work best for your pet and his situation.

Question: Does my pet have to get a rabies vaccination?
Answer: Yes. The state of Virginia requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. This helps protect both pets and people from this deadly disease.

Question: How can my puppy/kitten have worms? How was he/she exposed?
Answer: Almost all puppies are born with intestinal parasites. These parasites can be passed from the mother to the puppy during pregnancy or while the puppy is nursing. Although kittens are not infected when they are born, they can become infected through their mother’s milk. Your pet will receive a general dewormer at each of its puppy or kitten visits. We will also look at a stool sample under the microscope to make sure your pet is negative. If we do find parasite eggs, we can get your pet a deworming medication to take at home.

Question: I just got a new puppy/kitten. How much will veterinary care cost during the first year? And how much should I expect to spend annually after that?
Answer: Puppies and kittens generally have the same health requirements: an initial veterinary visit that includes a physical exam, vaccinations, and tests for parasites. Follow-up visits include the rest of the puppy/kitten series of vaccinations, as well as treatment and preventives for parasites. After the completion of vaccinations we recommend your pet be spayed or neutered. An estimate of costs can always be provided if requested.

Question: I’ve never seen a flea or tick on my pet. Why should I bother putting my pet on preventives?
Answer: 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 the best way to prevent against these diseases.

Question: I’ve seen a lot of information about supplements and nutraceuticals. How do I know what my pet needs?
Answer: Supplements, and nutraceuticals in particular, are becoming very popular with pet owners. We can help you weed out confusing and conflicting information and advise you on any supplements your pet might benefit from.

Question: My cat doesn’t go outside. Why should I put him/her on a heartworm/flea/tick preventive?
Answer: 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 may be bringing in these parasites.

Question: 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?
Answer: 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. You can always give us a call if you have any additional questions.

Question: What should I expect during my pet’s wellness exam?
Answer: During your pet’s wellness exam, your veterinarian will take your pet’s history and perform a thorough physical examination. He or she will also give your pet appropriate vaccinations and perform a diagnostic workup, which may include blood, fecal, and urine tests to check for parasites and underlying diseases.

Question: Why should I bring my pet in for regular veterinary visits when he/she is healthy?
Answer: 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.

Question: Why should I buy flea/tick/heartworm preventives from a veterinary hospital when there are other, cheaper places to get it?
Answer: If you purchase preventives from sources other than a veterinary hospital or a website affiliated with a veterinary hospital, you don’t have any guarantee that the product is authentic or that it has been stored and shipped properly.

Question: Why should I have my pet spayed or neutered? Why are these procedures so expensive?
Answer: 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. In addition, spaying and neutering help control the pet population by reducing the number of unwanted pets.