Why is my veterinarian referring my pet to a specialist?
We want our patients to have the best possible outcome. This is why we sometimes make the decision to refer patients to veterinary specialists or specialty clinics when advanced training or equipment will be beneficial.
Our veterinarians make every effort to stay current and skilled in many aspects of animal health. However, board-certified specialists have extensive experience and training in a particular area of veterinary medicine or surgery. And specialty clinics and university-affiliated referral centres have specialized equipment to perform procedures that are not routinely undertaken by general practitioners.
Be assured that when we refer a patient to another hospital, we continue to stay involved with his or her care, consulting with the treating specialist and often providing any needed follow-up care and rehabilitation.
What precautions/measures do you take so my pet doesn’t feel pain related to surgery/injury/infection/chronic disease?
At Baldwin Animal Hospital your pet’s comfort is a priority for us. Using our knowledge of pain medication and pain relief strategies, we do everything we can to prevent and manage your pet’s pain under all circumstances. We will tailor a pain management plan to your pet’s medical condition and individual needs
I think something’s wrong with my pet. Can I call you and have a veterinarian give me a diagnosis over the phone?
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. Treating a pet for the wrong disease or condition will cost more in the end and could be harmful or even deadly to your pet.
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 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.
Do you offer any payment plans?
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. If you have any questions about our payment policy, please feel free to ask.
We recommend that you include the cost of veterinary care in your annual expenses. However, we understand that this sometimes isn’t possible. If you contact us ahead of time, we can help you determine ways to keep costs down and stay within your budget. For instance, some preventive veterinary care can be spread out over several visits. Your veterinarian will work with you to come up with a cost-effective plan to keep your pet current on vaccinations and other necessary services.
We do accept major credit cards, as well as veterinary insurance plans, which can help cover many routine and emergency services.
What forms of payment do you accept?
In order to serve you most efficiently, we prefer visa, debit, and credit as well as most pet insurance plans and etransfers. We remit that you do not pay with cash.
Which pet food should I feed my dog/cat?
The answer is different for each pet, although many commercially available foods are fine to feed healthy dogs and cats. You can look for a nutritional adequacy statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), as well as the words “complete and balanced.” Pets’ nutritional needs do change, depending on their life stage and health. Your veterinarian can recommend a pet food, as well as give you advice on deciphering ingredient lists and determining how much to feed your pet.
Are natural remedies for flea/tick/heartworm prevention safe to use on my pet?
Although natural remedies may offer some protection or repellency against parasites, they are not nearly as effective as prescription products. In addition, natural remedies often need to be applied more frequently than once a month, making them less convenient as well. Some, such as garlic, may actually be harmful to your pet.
Just because a product has “natural” on its label doesn’t mean it’s safe. Consult with your veterinarian before using any over-the-counter preventives on your pet.
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 helps prevent dental disease and related problems.