Question #1: Do you provide payment plans?
At Oyster River Veterinary Hospital we do not offer payment plans. We can help direct you toward utilizing either Care Credit or ScratchPay, but we do expect payment at the time of service. This includes at the time of surgical procedures. We do provide a treatment plan at the beginning of every visit. This will allow you to be prepared for any potential costs associated with the visit before any testing or treatment is performed.
We do accept pet insurance, and can work directly with Trupanion Pet Insurance. We do accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover credit cards. We do accept checks after the first visit, once a relationship is formed with you and your pets.
Question #2: Why does veterinary care seem so expensive compared to human care?
At Oyster River Veterinary Hospital, we dedicate our time to ensure your pets get the best possible care. Our costs reflect our patient care. During our surgical procedures we have skilled technicians closely monitoring the pets to keep them as safe as possible. During appointments we some times need to utilize diagnostic equipment to determine the cause of concern for your pet. Our veterinarians are highly trained and ensure your pet gets excellent care.
In veterinary medicine, approximately 4% of pets have pet insurance, while 92% of people have health insurance. We often forget how much it costs for medical care for ourselves, as our health insurance covers the majority of our costs. In veterinary medicine we rarely get financial assistance in the care we provide each pet. We do what we can to make prices affordable while still providing your pet the best care possible.
Question #3: Is my pet overweight?
Have you started to notice your pet may be on the heavier side? While it may look like they’re healthy despite being heavier, they’re actually at risk of other health issues. Similar to people, if your pet becomes overweight it can lead to other health issues including joint pain and diabetes. Below is a chart used by many veterinarians to properly judge a pets weight. The general rule is the pets ribs should be palpable, without excess fat covering, but shouldn’t necessarily be easily visible. The pet should have a defined waist viewed from above. The abdomen should be tucked up when viewed from the side. If your concerned about your pets weight, call us today and we can discuss it further with our veterinarians and our nutritional support staff.
Question #4: How often should I bathe my pet?
For Dogs it is recommended to bathe and trim their nails every 4-6 weeks. If your dog likes to roll in the mud, or other dirty substances, you may want to consider bathing them more frequently. Another reason you may need to consider bathing your dog more frequently is if your pet is battling a seasonal or other environmental allergen. If you suspect your dog has fleas or has an allergy, consult with one of our veterinarians on how frequent you should bathe your dog.
With cats, if they are indoor only, your cat may be capable of maintaining their own personal hygiene. If your cat goes outside, you might want to consider bathing your cat every 4-6 weeks to help maintain their cleanliness. Similar to dogs, if a cat has a seasonal or other environmental allergy, or is battling fleas, you may need to bathe your cat more frequently. If you suspect your cat has fleas or has an allergy, consult with one of our veterinarians on how frequent you should bathe your cat.
Question #5: Should I brush my pets teeth?
Similar to people, food can collect on your pets teeth and gradually causes tartar and eventually calculus to form. Eventually this can start to cause issues under the gum line, leading to gingivitis and various degrees of periodontal disease. The average dog develops some level of periodontal disease by the age of 3. In many cases this can be prevented by daily teeth brushing with a pet tooth brush and pet specific tooth paste. Even by brushing a pets teeth 2-3 times a week can significantly improve a pets dental health. If a pet doesn’t get their teeth brushed, nor do they get preventative dental cleanings at the veterinarians, it can lead to loss of teeth, and in some instances it can lead to further health issues such as dental abscesses or heart disease.
Question #6: Can I give my pet over the counter medication such as baby aspirin or Benadryl?
When a pet has an allergic reaction, Benadryl is a treatment option, but a veterinarian should be consulted to make sure the pet gets the proper dose and to make sure your pet is not dealing with a more hazardous concern.
Similar, baby aspirin can be given to a pet in pain or discomfort in some instances, but you want to make sure your pet is getting the proper dose and is not dealing with a concern that is more serious. Also when giving baby aspirin, it can limit how the veterinarian might treat your pet, as certain medications can’t be given with baby aspirin.
Basically before giving any over the counter medications, ALWAYS ask a veterinarian first.
Question #7: Why does my dog eat their own feces or my cats feces?
While this a disturbing and gross act from your dog it is often due to your pet seeking additional nutrition or to develop a stronger ability to handle intestinal parasites. In some instances it is associated with a change in the pets environment, or some level of anxiety. It is unfortunately a hard habit to break, and is mostly harmless. Vitamin supplements and Taste- aversion products are some of the better solutions.
Question #8: Why does my dog eat grass?
Commonly a pet eating grass is not a concern. It is often the pet seeking a missing nutritional component in their diet or the pet is trying to self treat when they are sick. If your pet eats grass in small amounts, it shouldn’t be an element of concern, but if they eat large amounts, you should consider consulting one of our veterinarians as this could be something is very wrong with your pet.