Frequently Asked Questions

posted: by: LVH Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Here are some questions/answers that we are frequently asked. If you have additional questions that aren't covered here, please feel free to give us a call at (303) 233-5614.

1. What are the Hospital hours?

Our hospital is open Monday’s from 7:30am-6:00pm and 6:00pm-8:00pm for appointments only, Tuesday-Friday from 7:30am-6:00pm. On Saturdays we are open from 8:00am-2:00pm and 2:00-4:00pm for appointments only. The clinic is closed on Sunday.

2. Do I need to have an appointment?

Yes, patients are seen by appointment.

3. What forms of payment do you accept?

Cash, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Visa, and Care Credit

4. Can I make payments?

Payment is required at the time of service.

5. At what age can I have my pet spayed or neutered?

Spaying or neutering can be done at and after 6 months of age. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. A Rabies Vaccination must be current or made current at the time of surgery. Other core vaccines are recommended. Also a Chemistry and Complete Blood Count is required prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery. If your dog is over six months old, we recommend a heartworm test. We also recommend Feline Leukemia or FIV testing to kittens that are stray, or adopted from a shelter that does not perform the procedure already.

6. What is a CBC (complete blood count)?

This is a blood test that is run here in the clinic prior to surgery. It tests age and quality of the cells that make up your pet's blood, you're pet's hydration level, and the clotting function of your pet. The pre-anesthetic blood screening is done to assure safety during surgery and the ability to heal following surgery.

7. What is a Chemistry?

Chemistry is a basic screen that evaluates the function of your pet's internal organs (liver, kidneys, pancreas) to ensure that he or she can process anesthesia safely. If your pet is a senior, or has had a past illness, a more thorough chemistry may be required. In this case the blood is sent to Idexx Laboratories where they can run more extensive lab Tests.

8. How long do the sutures stay in after my pet's surgery?

Procedures involving sutures require them to be removed in 14 days following the surgery.

9. Is it a good idea to let my pet have at least one litter?

No, there is no advantage to letting your pet have one litter. However there are plenty of advantages to having your pet spayed or neutered. These advantages include decreasing the chances of breast tumors later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life, decreasing the desire to roam the neighborhood, decreasing the incidence of prostate cancer later in life, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreases the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens.

10. Do you board pets?

Yes, we offer boarding services. Wellness patients receive first priority with regard to booking, then other patients, but we also offer services to first time patients or pets that do not use our medical services if space is available. Proof of current vaccinations (Rabies, Distemper, Boardatella or Feline Leukemia) must be provided by pet owners or their veterinarian if we have not given vaccinations to a prospective boarder. We have boarding space for both dogs and cats. In the winter we only board dogs that weigh under 40 pounds.

11. What are your kennels like?

Our kennels are indoors and outdoors, they are climate controlled by central heating and air. We have 4X6 foot run spaces. The dogs are let out 2 to 3 times daily while they are boarding. The cat boarders are housed in a separate area away from the dogs. Blankets and food are provided for our boarders. We allow pet owners to provide consumable treats for their pets, or special diets if they desire.

12. Why is veterinary care for my pet(s) so expensive these days?

Sometimes I believe I'm spending more on my pet's health care than on my own!

Relatively speaking, veterinary care is a great deal. The cost of veterinary care has actually risen very little during the last 20 to 30 years. When compared to the rising cost of human health care, pet care is not at all unreasonable. Bear in mind that your veterinarian is not only your pet's general physician, but also its surgeon, radiologist, dentist, dermatologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, ears/nose/throat doctor, and pharmacist.

Your veterinary bill is a reflection of the costs of maintaining suitable facilities, equipment, and support personnel to provide the level of care that is expected in animal medicine today. Remember too that the original cost of the animal has no bearing on the cost of the services rendered.

Although it may feel as if you are paying more for your pet's health care than your own, chances are that you probably have adequate health care insurance for your own needs. Consequently, you may never see the total bottom-line figure for you own doctor bills. When human health care costs are added up including insurance, deductibles, and pharmaceutical costs there is no comparison to the much lower veterinary care costs.

13. If my veterinarian doesn't clear up my pet's problem, can I get a refund?

Fees cover what is done for the animal, including an examination, administration of tests, treatment, and medications. Some problems can be long-term or may involve multiple and/or changing causes. Treatment may be ongoing.

You are paying for an honest attempt to diagnose and treat a problem. You are dealing with experts who are also human beings. There is no implied guarantee. You may ask your veterinarian for an estimate at any time during an examination or ongoing treatment. If costs start climbing, you always have the option to discontinue the examination or treatment.

14. Can pets be overweight?

According to recent studies, 30 to 40 percent of all pets in the United States are overweight; making obesity one of the most common diseases afflicting dogs and cats today. Too much weight can cause some of the same problems in pets as it does in people. Obesity can aggravate respiratory problems, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.

Because pets generally weigh much less than people, just a pound or two can make a big difference. That is why it is important to watch your pet's diet, exercise routine, and weight. An average-sized cat should weigh between eight and ten pounds. A dog's ideal weight varies with its breed size. A small dog may weigh about the same as a cat. A large-breed dog may weigh sixty pounds or more.

15. What are some routine laboratory tests that my veterinarian may suggest for my pet?

The following tests can help establish health parameters and diagnose diseases, as well as protect and maintain your pet's well-being.

*CBC (Complete Blood Count) is used to determine the number and type of cells in the blood. Results help your veterinarian identify anemia (insufficient red blood cells), leukemia (abnormal or too many white blood cells), and possible infection.

*Chemistry Profile is a select group of screening blood tests that evaluate several body functions, including liver, kidney, pancreas, and other internal organs. These tests are used to identify the location and severity of disease in the body.

*Cultures (bacterial and fungal)
reveal the presence of infectious agents that may cause disease. Isolated bacteria may be further assessed by antibiotic sensitivities to identify which treatment would most likely eradicate the infection.

*Thyroid and Adrenal Function Tests are used to assist in diagnosing thyroid, Addison's, and Cushings disease, which are very common in adult dogs and cats. These diseases can be severely debilitating or possible fatal if left untreated.

*Biopsy involves removing a piece of tissue from a damaged area or a tumor for microscopic evaluation. Healthy adjacent tissue may also be collected for comparison. The tissue sample is processed, stained and examined by a board-certified veterinary pathologist. A routine examination takes from 2-4 days to complete. (Remember that not all tumors are cancerous).

*Fecal Exam is a microscopic evaluation of a fresh stool sample from your pet. It aids in the identification of intestinal parasites such as round worms, tapeworms, whipworms, coccidia and giardia, which can cause weight loss, diarrhea or vomiting.

*Urinalysis consists of chemical testing and microscopic examination of a urine sample, and helps your veterinarian evaluate kidney function, detect a urinary tract infection, or identify other diseases such as diabetes mellitus and liver disease.

16. What immunizations should my pet receive throughout its lifetime?

Dogs can be immunized against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, coronavirus, bordetella, rabies and Lyme disease. Cats can be immunized against feline panleukopenia (distemper), rabies, feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia, feline leukemia and FIP. Some of these vaccines are neither necessary nor recommended for our area. Some of these vaccines work very well and are recommended for our area.

Health threats vary from city to city and even in various sections of cities; therefore, we tailor an immunization program for your pet based on local conditions and keep your pet protected with the latest vaccines.

17. Vaccine Guidelines and Recommendations

Recent research regarding pet immunizations have raised some questions as to which vaccinations are necessary, safe and at what intervals they should be given. Vaccinations have brought tremendous health benefits to veterinary health care and provide dogs, cats, and ferrets with protection against certain communicable diseases. Lakewood Veterinary Hospital strives to offer the safest products available and in accordance with the most effective schedules. We are members of the American Veterinary Medical Association, an association which has made recommendations and published general guidelines for pet immunizations. Dr. Sylwester is following these guidelines, but more importantly, he considers the life-style of each animal as well as life-stage, & local and regional diseases in order to make specific recommendations for our patients.

18. If I keep my dog on heartworm preventative year-round, why do I have to retest him regularly?

Because the preventative is not 100% effective. Also, some of the companies that make the preventatives will guarantee their product This means that if your pet should develop heartworm disease while on the preventative, the company will pay for the cost of treating your animal. One of their requirements though is that the animal be heartworm tested regularly.

19. How long does a dog or cat's pregnancy last?

Between 61-65 days. A litter can be felt in the third week of pregnancy. Sometimes a first time mom might be a little more variable, but you can anticipate approximate birth dates if you know when they where bred.

20. When does my pet need to see a doctor?

Anytime your pet has experienced a significant decrease in appetite or activity level, is vomiting, having diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, itching, losing hair, limping, dramatic changes have occurred with respect to drinking and urination, seems constipated, eyes look abnormal, trouble breathing, trauma, bleeding, stumbling, seizuring, having difficulty delivering a litter

You are the best judge of your pet's behavior. Anytime you have a question regarding your pet's health, it is best to call early in the day to avoid a medical emergency or costly complications that would be incurred at an emergency facility. We cannot diagnose your pet over the phone because that would be bad practice. Our staff is happy to talk with you if there is anything that can be done at home. But please realize that when we advise you to make an appointment, we have your pet's best interest at heart, and cannot legally intervene in your pet's healthcare by telephone.