Frequently Asked Questions
Over the years, we’ve fielded many wonderful questions pertaining to our practice and the care of your pets. Below is a list of some of the most common ones we get. Please note that every pet and breed is different and may have unique requirements that we cannot give specific advice for. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, check our patient resources page or call us at (541) 942-9132, and we’ll do our best to help.
Do you take insurance?
Yes, but be aware that pet insurance operates a little differently than most human health insurance plans. The main difference is that pet insurance companies reimburse the pet owner after their pet has been to the veterinarian. Each insurance plan has details regarding limits of coverage for certain problems and deductibles that need to be met. We recommend that you investigate and compare the policies to decide if pet insurance meets your needs, and if so, which company fits your expectations. We will aid in the paperwork wherever possible, but understand that we still request payment at the time of services.
What are the fees for your procedures/exams?
We can estimate fees for routine procedures, such as spays and neuters, much easier than for more complicated problems. The fee for your first visit is $55. This will allow our doctors to perform a thorough physical exam and discuss the findings and recommended course of treatment. At this point we can be much more accurate when we discuss fees for your specific concerns. People sometimes come to us looking for a second opinion on a recommended treatment plan. As a courtesy, we can often waive our exam fee if you can bring your pet’s medical records for us to review at your appointment. We want you to feel like your pet is in good hands and that you are getting good value for the money you spend, whether that be at our hospital or elsewhere.
How often should my pet come in for a checkup?
Every pet is unique, with different concerns and problems. An annual exam, though, is the foundation of preventative veterinary care. Our doctors and staff are trained to see and hear what may not be obvious to everyone. Do you know what your dog’s lymph nodes should feel like? Have you ever felt your cat’s thyroid glands? Do you examine your pet’s mouth for dental disease? Is that lump something to worry about? A thorough physical exam by an experienced veterinarian includes these things and many others that are important in the health of your pet.
I’m considering a new puppy/kitten. Do you have any advice for a first-time owner?
- Take lots of pictures while they’re small!
- Good nutrition and consistent training start from day one and will reward you for the rest of their life.
- Choose your breed carefully. We see dogs and cats of every breed and they are all wonderful in their own way. Finding the type of ‘wonderful’ that fits your lifestyle can be the most important decision you make.
- Vaccination really does save lives. Sadly, we still lose dogs and cats to preventable infectious diseases every year.
What brands of pet food do you recommend?
Some pets have medical conditions that involve specific dietary requirements. Most of us, however, simply want a food we can trust, and there are hundreds to choose from these days. We recommend a pet food that is easily available locally, that your pet enjoys, that your wallet can handle, but comes from a company with a good reputation in pet nutrition. Notice I did not give a specific brand? That is because there are many good brands out there and we have no objective means of comparing them. Every salesman believes they have the best food on the market.
How can I tell if my pet is sick?
This is where you, as the pet owner, have the upper hand. You know your pet better than anyone else, so when they are not acting right, that is your first clue. If their normal food or water consumption is different, either more or less, it may be significant. Also watch their ‘bathroom’ habits. Frequent urination or defecation are symptoms you should not ignore.
There’s a stray animal in my neighborhood, and I don’t know how to contact the owner. What should I do?
Please approach any unknown animal with appropriate caution, but if you can bring a lost animal in to the hospital, we are always happy to scan it for a microchip or look up a tag number at no charge. These are the easiest ways to identify them and find their rightful home. If we cannot identify them, we recommend placing posters near the location the animal was found. You should also contact our local animal shelters, Humane Society of Cottage Grove, Greenhill Humane Society and Lane County Animal Services, to report a found animal. Please understand that we do not have the ability to accept animals that are lost, but we’ll help you in any other way that we can.
Do you have any guidelines for taking care of my pet?
There are many guidelines we use when it comes to keeping our pets healthy. The important thing to remember is that no single recommendation is appropriate for all animals. Vaccination guidelines are based on scientific research, but your pet’s lifestyle is an important factor. Optimal parasite control, including fleas, heartworms, ticks, and intestinal worms, is also based on the individual pet’s exposure. That is why we ask you so many questions during your pet’s exam. At every visit, you help us determine what is best for your animal.
How do I deal with euthanizing my pet?
Our pets bring us endless joy and entertainment, but we all know the feeling of responsibility that goes along. We are entrusted to make decisions about their health and well being, and ultimately about their quality of life. This final decision is different for everyone, and we will do everything possible to make sure you are comfortable with your choice. If you think that time is approaching, we will discuss what you can expect prior to the actual day. You should consider if you would prefer to be present for the euthanasia, whether the hospital or your home is the best place, and whether cremation or home burial are right for your situation. This is a hard time for any pet owner, but we try to help you and your pet through the process with dignity and respect.