Have a question that’s not found below? Call us: (201)-825-4545.
Q: What is Care Credit, and how does it work?
A: Care credit is a credit card issued for medical purposes that offers unique rates and repayment plans. Many of our clients use Care Credit in situations where finances are a concern, to proceed with necessary diagnostics and treatments. Our receptionists can discuss and assist with the process to apply for Care Credit, which is often accomplished in minutes. Please call our office if you have any questions regarding Care Credit.
Q: Why won’t we work directly with on-line pharmacies?
A: We understand the costs associated with taking the best possible care of our pets, including those of prescription and nonprescription medications and supplements. Many times those medications and supplements can be purchased through online pharmacies at reduced costs. The concern with this method of obtaining medication is that most companies do not distribute their products to online pharmacies and will not stand behind them. This means that the products you purchase for your pets are of unknown origin and if there is any side effect as a result of taking the medication there will be no recourse with the manufacturer. In addition, we cannot guarantee that your pet is receiving the correct medication in the correct dosage and as a result cannot confirm prescriptions over the phone. If a client chooses not to purchase medications at our practice or we do not carry the specific product, we are happy to provide our clients with written prescriptions so that they may determine the best supplier for their pet’s needs.
Q: Do you take pet insurance? How does pet insurance work? Do you recommend a specific insurance carrier?
A: Veterinary insurance has been beneficial to many of our clients. When an owner has insurance, services are paid for at the time they are rendered and the insurance companies reimburse for claims afterwards. There are many different companies that provide insurance and while we do not specifically recommend one over another, we do recommend comparing multiple policies before deciding. Important things to consider are deductibles, percentage of claim paid, whether or not the claim is based on the actual treatment or a predetermined value, and what happens with pre-existing conditions or breed specific issues.
Q: When do I spay/neuter my puppy?
A: We recommend spaying and neutering puppies and kittens at six months of age. Currently in the veterinary literature, there are proven medical benefits to spaying and neutering at this age including reduced incidence of some types of cancer and infection. While there has been some discussion about waiting until pets are more mature for a variety of reasons, at this time there are no definitive scientific studies demonstrating a medical benefit to waiting longer for these procedures.
Q: What is the vaccine protocol for puppies/kittens?
A: At Ramsey Vet we believe that vaccination schedules should be tailored to a pet’s individual needs. In general, puppies and kittens receive a series of vaccinations (DHPP for puppies and FVRCP for kittens) every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. They also receive one rabies vaccine at 12 weeks of age. Other, noncore vaccines will be discussed during your visit and may be recommended based on your pet’s lifestyle. After the first year of vaccines, boosters of core vaccines are generally given on a three-year cycle.
Q: My pet has had vomiting and/or diarrhea for several days–why should I bring him in for an exam?
A: Vomiting and diarrhea are two of the most common reasons we see our patients for sick visits. Unfortunately, they are symptoms of many different conditions and can cause a range of side effects. It is important to have your pet examined, because a medication that may benefit one pet may make a second one ill, even with the same symptoms. In addition, some pets can suffer other consequences, such as dehydration, that can make recovery much slower and can be remedied in the hospital.
Q: Why can’t you prescribe medications over the phone for an ongoing condition? Why does my pet need a follow-up or recheck when he is fine?
A: Many times pets present with recurrent symptoms, such as ear infections or skin allergies. While often the same medications may be used repeatedly to treat these conditions, it is important to have your veterinarian reassess your pet’s condition with a recheck exam rather than just refill medications. Subtle changes, such as a different type of infection or an infection that is becoming resistant to antibiotics will look the same, but actually require very different treatment. In addition, treating repeatedly with the same antibiotics can cause a loss of effectiveness of the antibiotic and a much worse infection in the pet. Similarly, rechecking a pet is important to ensure condition is resolved.
Q: Why does my pet need an annual physical exam–especially if no vaccines are due?
A: Annual or Wellness exams are much more important than just receiving vaccines. During an annual exam your pet will have all of its body systems thoroughly checked for any potential current or arising issues. There may be subtle changes to your pet’s health that your veterinarian will be able to discover during an exam well before your pet is symptomatic. The wellness exam is also a good time to discuss any questions you have about your pet’s age or nutritional status with your veterinarian.
Q: Why do I need bloodwork to get medication refills?
A: Medications can benefit our pets in a multitude of ways. Many of them, however, need monitoring in order to be safe and effective for your pet. Monitoring ensures that your pet is receiving an effective dosage of medication, as these requirements may change. Other medications may have side effects related to previously undetected issues with organ systems, such as the kidneys or liver. Monitoring bloodwork for these changes and adjusting types or doses of medication are important to keep your pet healthy for as long as possible.
Q: What are your views on raw diets?
A: Diet and nutrition are very important aspects of your pet’s health. We know that recently newer thoughts on how we feed our pets such as grain free and raw diets have become popular. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence supporting use of these diets in the veterinary literature and in some cases these diets can cause harm. Please review the information at the following links and call the office with any questions.
Q: Why can’t I hold my pet during the physical exam?
A: Our team of veterinary professionals is well trained to provide your pet with a safe and calm experience during the veterinary visit. Even so, a pet may become anxious and even aggressive toward its care giver, because of the unfamiliar stresses that it experiences in the veterinary hospital. In an effort to make the experience safe for everyone, including the pet owner, we require that only our staff handle your pet during examination.
Q: Why do I need to check for heartworm if my pet is on preventative medication?
A: Heartworm disease is becoming more prevalent in our area and can be a devastating illness when contracted. While heartworm preventative is nearly 100% effective, there is a very small risk that your pet could be exposed to heartworm disease while on preventative. It can also be dangerous for a pet that has heartworm disease to receive a monthly preventative. It is important to administer these medications safely and effectively, which necessitates a yearly heartworm test.
Q: What is the reason for using flea/tick control year round? Why would I choose oral over topical flea control?
A: In our area we have very variable winters. We often see fleas and ticks during the winter months and in the early spring even when there is still frost on the ground. It is important to provide your pet with flea and tick control year round to prevent unwanted infestations and diseases that can be contracted from these parasites. We are currently offering once monthly topical and every three month oral preventative. They are both very effective. Choosing one over the other is a matter of convenience for the pet owner and what they feel will be easiest to administer to their pet.
Q: When can my puppy go out in public?
A: It is very important that puppies be kept restricted from public areas and other dogs until they are fully vaccinated. Puppies do not have a fully functioning immune system and their vaccines are not completely effective until around four-five months old. There are numerous serious infectious diseases that your puppy can be exposed to at dog parks and in other public areas. Consult with your veterinarian regarding specific situations.
Q: When can my puppy eat adult food?
A: Puppies usually eat puppy food until 1 year of age. Puppy foods should be labeled for puppies only and not multiple life stages. If you have any questions about which type of food is appropriate for your puppy, please consult your veterinarian.