1319 Archdale Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217

704-552-2333

Veterinary Health Care Frequently Asked Questions

Why is veterinary care for my pet(s) so expensive?

Relatively speaking, veterinary care is a great value! The cost of veterinary care has risen very little over the last 20 to 30 years, especially when compared to the cost of human health care or almost any other services. Veterinary service fees are 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, the original cost of the animal has no bearing on the cost of veterinary services delivered. Annual veterinary care is a cost that should be factored in to the decision to own a pet.

My veterinarian says my pet’s office visit is going to cost several hundred dollars. I can’t afford to pay that much money at one time! Isn’t there some sort of veterinary payment plan?

Just like your doctor, dentist, and most other professional offices, our veterinary hospital requires payment in full at the time of service. You can call before routine visits and ask about the hospital’s payment policy, as well as our payment plan through Care Credit. We also accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, cash, and checks.

If you would like help in preparing for pet care expenses, contact our animal hospital. We can advise you on how much you can expect to spend on routine care for your pet, as well as how to prepare for emergency care. In addition, we allow you to spread out preventive health care services over several visits with no additional wellness exam fees.

I recently found an injured stray dog/cat. I paid for the initial veterinary care, and the animal is living at my house, but I can’t afford any additional treatment or medication. What can I do?

Legally, once you decide to adopt or “take in” an animal, you become the owner. As the owner, you are responsible for the pet’s care. When you take in a stray, he or she may be injured and require veterinary care. Because the amount you pay for his or her care isn’t related to how you’ve acquired the pet, you need to carefully consider whether adopting a stray pet is a financially advisable decision. If you can’t afford the pet’s care, you have the option to relinquish the animal to a local humane society or shelter (although some shelters cannot guarantee that the pet will not be euthanized).

If you find a stray, you should also ask the veterinarian to check for a microchip to determine whether the animal has an owner.

I’ve heard that some clinics offer anesthesia-free dentistry. Is this safe for my pet?

Anesthesia-free dentistry, or non-professional dental scaling, can be extremely dangerous for pets, for a number of reasons.

Most pets won’t lie still during a dental cleaning, so there is a strong risk of injuring the pet’s gums and other soft tissue in the mouth. A frightened pet could also bite the clinician

Even if your pet could be trained to remain completely still for all the scraping and noise of the procedure, his or her teeth need to be cleaned under the gums, where tartar and dental disease can hide. This process is uncomfortable, which is why pets should be anesthetized. Dental, or periodontal, disease begins in the spaces under the gums where the teeth and gums meet. Cleaning just the visible surfaces of the teeth only makes owners feel like their pets’ teeth are clean, when in reality, dental disease is still trapped under the gumline.

Your pet also needs to be ventilated during the procedure. Ventilation keeps your pet’s airway open and keeps tartar from potentially ending up in his or her lungs, where it can actually kill your pet.

The cosmetic cleaning that a pet would get from a non-professional scaling just isn’t worth your money or your pet’s health.

I’ve never seen a flea or tick on my pet. Why should I bother putting my pet on preventives? Isn’t this an extra expense that’s just not worth paying for?

Fleas and ticks are not just minor nuisances; they can transmit serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases, some of which can be passed to people. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because fleas and ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing, shoes, or other pets. Keeping your pet on a monthly preventive is your best bet for protecting your pet—and your family—against these parasites.

Why should I buy flea/tick/heartworm preventives from a veterinary hospital when there are other, cheaper places to get it?

If you purchase preventives from sources other than a veterinary hospital or a website affiliated with an animal hospital, you don’t have any guarantee that the product is authentic or that it has been stored and shipped properly. When you order from your veterinarian, you’ll have the added benefit of being able to rely on his or her expertise and knowledge of your pet’s medical history.

Typically, our prices are lower than the online pharmacies and we sell only the most effective products. Some of the less expensive options for flea control that is sold online or over the counter do not work as well. When you purchase products in the animal hospital we usually have manufacturer incentives we can pass along to you such as 2 free doses of Revolution with the purchase of a 6 pack or a rebate on Trifexis.

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 far 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.

After I have my pet microchipped, is there anything else I need to do?

Your pet’s microchip should continue to function over your pet’s lifetime without any maintenance; however, the system won’t work unless you keep your contact information current. Whenever you move or change your phone number, make sure you update that information with your pet’s microchip manufacturer. Remember to also get your pet new ID tags at the same time.

Will microchipping hurt my pet?

Not any more than a regular vaccine injection. The chip is inserted at the back of the pet’s neck, where the skin is loose. Microchipping is a safe and effective way to identify your pet in case he or she becomes lost.

My pet’s just been diagnosed with a medical condition/disease I’m not familiar with, and I want to find out more about it. Where can I find information I can trust?

You can turn to the Pet Health Section of our website, which offers current, trustworthy information on a wide variety of topics. In addition, many veterinary colleges and professional organizations offer excellent resources online. Your veterinarian will also be happy to discuss your pet’s health in more detail.