Frequently Asked Questions

Because there are just some questions that need to be answered, we have provided this section in the hope of reducing the amount of time our wonderful receptionists need to spend on the phone in order for them to better serve the clients at the front desk.  Please feel free to e-mail us any questions that you feel should be added and answered here.

 

Q:  What is your fee schedule?

AWe make every effort to provide quality health care for your pet at a fair and reasonable fee, especially during this hard economic time.  You are encouraged to discuss our charges before any services are rendered.  We have provided here a brief listing of the fees for the more standard services provided at our hospital.  Continued...

Q:  What form of payment do you accept and will you finance?

A:  Payment in full is expected at the time services are rendered.  We accept Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express, most debit cards and cash.  In order to keep costs down, we can not accept personal checks.  Financing is only allowed for life-threatening emergency situations and must be approved by Dr. MacMahon.  No other staff member has the authority to approve financing and are instructed to obtain a deposit to cover hospital time and expenses of treatment while waiting for financing approval.  We recommend CareCredit Veterinary Financing.  We will be glad to assist you in your application if necessary.  We also recommend pet insurance and can provide you with brochures from several companies.  

Q:  Why is my pet scratching and chewing itself?

A:  There are several causes for your per to scratch and chew at him/herself but by far the most common cause is allergies.  Your pet can be allergic to as many different things as we humans are.  While we will often suffer from watery eyes, runny noses and sneezing, your pets will most often be itchy.  The itchiness may be generalized or localized, seasonal or year-round, all depending upon what your pet is allergic to and how allergic your pet is.  Continued...

Q:  Why has my cat stopped using the litter pan?

A:  There are multiple reasons for a cat to suddenly stop using it's litterpan, both medical and behavioral.  The tough part is determining the exact cause.  Inappropriate urination is the more common complaint versus having stool outside of the litter pan.  You need to examine the color of the urine (clear, dark yellow or orange, pink or red) and the volume of urine the cat is leaving (large amount versus only a few drops at a time) and the frequency of urination (cat can hold it for hours or is urinating every few minutes).  Is the cat straining to urinate in the litter pan as well as outside of the litter pan or has it simply chosen another spot to urinate?  Continued...  

Q:  What is crate training?

A:

Q:  Why does my cat seem fine but often vomit his/her food?

A:  While hairballs is a common reason for a cat to vomit, it is not the only reason.  The lining of a cat's stomach can have many more inflammatory cells than most other mammals, making them about the world's best vomiters.  These inflammatory cells will often trigger when the cat ingests too much food at a time, swallows it's kibble whole or eats a food it is sensitive or allergic to.  Giving a hairball medication or hairball diet is worth a try, but is not always successful.  Switching your cat's diet to a sensitive or limited ingredient diet is also worth a try.  You can also try a diet with a larger or more irregularly shaped kibble or adding a canned food to the kibble.  If a dietary change does not reduce the vomiting to an aceptable level, our veterinarians can administer medications to reduce the inflammation in the cat's stomach, therefore reducing the vomiting.  Please be aware that all treatments will not be 100% effective so you may still need a nightlight to aviod getting that wet squishy feeling between your toes at 3:00 AM.

Q:  Can I give my pet aspirin or other human pain relievers?

A:  Most pain medications for humans can be toxic to your pet, but in an emergency situation and for short term use, buffered aspirin administered at a dosage of 5-10 mb/lb of body weight every 12 hours can be given to a dog.  If your dog needs pain medications for more than a few days, please consult with our veterinarians for alternate medications that are safer for your dog.

Cats should NEVER be given ANY human pain medication unless under the specific instructions of our veterinarians as most pain medications are extremely toxic to cats.  The dosage of the rare pain medications able to be used on cats must be exact to prevent any harmful side-effects.

Q:  What are those disgusting little grains-of-rice-like worms in my pet's stool?

A:  Those are tapeworm segments.  The entire segmented worm is actually much longer.  The last segements of the worm become filled with eggs, break off the parent worm and pass with the stool or can sometimes be seen on the hair around your pet's rectum.  The fresh egg-filled segements are white and will move by stretching and contracting.  Once those segements dry, they turn light brown and hard, like uncooked brown rice, break open releasing the eggs inside and the eggs are then eaten by the intermediate host for further development.  The most common intermediate host in Florida is the flea, but other tapeworm species have different intermediate hosts such as rodents or fish.  Once the larval tapeworm has developed inside the intermediate host, that host is ingested by your pet, often during simple grooming, and the tapeworm grows up inside your pet's intestinal tract, producing those little segements again to finish the life cycle.  While very unpleasant and a nuisance, most tapeworm infestations cause minimal harm to your pet.  Diagnosis of tapeworms is most often done by the pet owner because when our hospital tests a stool sample for intestinal parasite, we are looking for the eggs of the worms,  and since tapeworm eggs are enclosed in that segment, it is quite rare that we will see them with the microscope.  Over-the-counter dewormers are unable to kill tapeworms and special prescription dewormers are required to rid your pet of this parasite.  These prescription tapeworm dewormers are available in both tablet and injectable forms.

 

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