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Frequently Asked Questions

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General FAQ's

RegionalVet offers a wide range of services for your pet, including preventive, illness, specialty and emergency care. Below you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

PREVENTIVE CARE
1. What is preventive care and why is it important?
Preventive care for your pet includes grooming, vaccinations, blood work and more. A twice yearly check- up is the best way to keep your pet as healthy as possible, because it's much easier to prevent disease than it is to treat it. With regular check-ups, your vet can spot problems at their earliest stages, when issues can often be addressed simply and cost effectively.

RegionalVet offers custom tailored preventive care for your pet through all life stages from pediatric through geriatric. Our preventive care objectives are illness prevention and disease detection. Click here to find out more about RegionalVet's preventive care services:

2. How can I make sure that I'm staying on top of my pet's preventive care?
RegionalVet has an affordable new preventive care plan that provides proactive care and diagnostics that your pet needs . With low monthly payments, discounts ranging from 30-50% and three different options to fit your budget, it's easy to see why so many RegionalVet clients have taken advantage of this opportunity! Your low monthly fee covers core vaccines, intestinal parasite treatment, canine heartworm prevention, and preventive care diagnostics, discounted emergency and specialty exams, free nail trims and more! Click here to find out more about TruePet.

3. Why should I vaccinate my indoor cat or give him preventatives?
Even if your cat is an indoor cat, she is still at risk for heartworm disease and cats face just as much risk as dogs. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes (which carry infectious diseases) can be brought indoors by people, as well as by your outdoor pets. Since there is no effective treatment for feline heartworm disease, monthly heartworm prevention is critical.

Also, while indoor cats have a lower risk of viral and bacterial infections, their immune systems are not well- prepared to easily fend off these infections if they do get them, which puts them at a greater risk of developing more severe diseases.

4. If the rabies vaccine is good for three years, why do you recommend it every two years?
Even though the rabies vaccine is good for three years, to ensure that there is no lapse in immunity, it is important to revaccinate ten months in advance. Most New Jersey Townships will not allow you to get a dog license if you have less than 10 months left on the three year rabies vaccine. We remind clients to booster their pets on a two year cycle so they are able to comply with annual licensing requirements without exposing their pets to any health risks..

5. Why do you recommend blood work at preventive appointments?
Blood work allows us to look beyond the physical exam and into your pet's internal organ functions. It is important to establish a normal baseline for your pet so that we can detect subtle changes early.

Please remember that dogs and cats age more rapidly than people do, (5-7 years for every year that people age) and their diseases progress more rapidly as well. This, combined with the fact that they cannot tell us when they don't feel well, can result in delayed diagnoses and advanced disease. Preventive care and laboratory diagnostics help your pets live healthier, longer lives and can potentially save you money as more advanced disease are often more costly to treat. Click here for more information. 

6. Why is a fecal test recommended twice a year?
Fecal testing provides information about possible exposure to gastrointestinal (GI) parasites. Many GI parasites that infect dogs or cats can also infect people. Young children are especially susceptible and can develop severe complications from some of these parasites. The CDC recommends fecal testing and broad spectrum deworming in at risk dogs and cats four times per year. Our twice yearly fecal testing and broad spectrum deworming is a MINIMUM recommendation.

Frequent stool checks are recommended for kittens and puppies because they are more likely to be infected with intestinal parasites and are prone to re-infection.

7. Do I still need to do the recommended fecal test if my pet has been dewormed?
Yes. Your pet is always being exposed to parasites and infectious disease. Broad spectrum gastrointestinal deworming medication (administered preventatively during the year) will kill many (but not all) GI parasites and infectious diseases. It is a very important step in minimizing your pet's risk of contracting many of the common parasites and should be used in conjunction with fecal testing. The fecal test lets us know which parasites your pet has been exposed to so we can treat accordingly. Together, preventative deworming medication and fecal testing provide the best care for your pet.

8. How much feces and/or urine are needed for testing?
Feces: One rounded tablespoon of fresh stool is sufficient. Please double bag it or use a plastic stool container.

Urine: The more urine collected the better, but one half cup is ideal. Be sure to keep the sample in a clean, dry, plastic container. The sample should be no more than four hours old and kept in the refrigerator until you come in. If a fresh and sterile urine sample is required, we will ask you to bring your pet in for a sterile urine collection.

9. What do I need to know before bringing my pet in for lab work?
Our Healthcare Team will give you specific instructions for your pet's blood work. There are some tests that must be scheduled at a specific time of day, or that may require fasting. Below is a list of the most common diagnostic tests and their requirements. Please call to speak with a member of our Healthcare Team if you have questions about your pet's specific diagnostic lab work.

Thyroid (4-6 hours post medication for dogs; no time restriction for cats)
Digoxin (6-8 hours post medication)
Comprehensive/full blood work panel (overnight fast)
Phenobarbital (no time restriction)

10. What is the advantage of buying my preventatives from RegionalVet over a third party pharmacy?
When you purchase your preventatives from a veterinarian, the manufacturer will guarantee their product in the event of side-effects, complications or product failure. In most cases, they will also pay for your pet's medical care associated with these issues. For example, if your pet develops a heartworm infection and you purchased your heartworm preventative from your vet, the manufacturing drug company would pay for the treatment of the heartworm infection which can be quite costly. But, if these products were not purchased through a licensed veterinarian, most companies will not stand behind these products since their quality cannot be ensured.

11. What is the RegionalVet online pharmacy?
The RegionalVet Online Pharmacy gives you direct access to your pet's chronic medication and prescription diets. You have the ability to refill medication at the touch of a button! Product quality is guaranteed and are the same products that you would purchase though the hospital pharmacy, and the items are competitively priced and shipped directly to your door. Click here to find out more about our online pharmacy.

12. Why should my pet be on heartworm and/or flea preventatives all year round?
Heartworm medications eliminate heartworm larva before they develop into worms that live in your pet's heart. Many heartworm preventatives also lower your pet's risk of intestinal parasite infection. For this reason, we recommend year-round usage of heartworm preventatives. Please ask a Healthcare Team member which heartworm preventative is best for your pet.

Did you know that fleas continue their life-cycle indoors regardless of outside weather? They transmit tapeworms as well as other serious diseases and can cause anemia in small or senior pets. Ticks are the source of Lyme disease and many other serious infectious diseases that can affect dogs, cats and people. Even in winter ticks are still a problem. A few days of temperatures above freezing and ticks will emerge. Tick exposure is a year-round risk. Therefore, it is important to continue the application of flea and tick medication throughout the year. Please ask a Healthcare Team member which flea and tick preventative we recommend for your pet.

13. How much food should I feed my pet and how often?
It all depends! There are many factors to take into consideration when feeding your pet including your pet's age, level of activity, breed, health and the type of food. The number of calories in a cup of food can vary significantly. In general, one cup of maintenance dog food per 30 pounds of adult dog body weight divided over two feedings (1/2 cup per 30 lbs fed twice daily) will get you close. Your pet's weight loss or gain will then dictate whether you need to adjust this basic rule of thumb. Your veterinarian can provide you with a more detailed and accurate nutritional recommendation based on your pet's recent medical exam, diagnostics and history.

14. How often should my dog be bathed and what products do you recommend?
Again, it all depends. If your dog sleeps in bed with you, you should bathe him/her on a weekly basis. If you're frequently bathing your dog be sure to use a very gentle shampoo or you may dry out your pet's skin. Depending on your pet's activity and environment, your dog may be able to go as much as a month between baths. Oatmeal shampoos or coconut oil based shampoos and conditioners work well for general bathing. Medical bathing for skin infection or allergic/breed related skin disease requires the direction of a veterinarian.

15. Why is brushing my pet's teeth important?
Regular brushing of your pet's teeth reduces tartar and plaque build-up and helps prevent tooth loss. Dental disease in dogs and cats is very painful and can also affect other organs, becoming the source of heart, lung and kidney infections. You need to care for your pet's teeth just like you do for your own teeth.

16. What dentistry services do you offer?
RegionalVet offers a variety of dentistry services for your pet:

  • Dental Hygiene: an outpatient preventive care service for qualified cats and dogs with low grade tartar (who do not have periodontal disease). It is performed under mild sedation for a low fixed fee. Click here to find out more about our dental hygiene service.
  • Dental Cleaning: an outpatient service for qualified cats and dogs with more significant tartar, gingivitis and periodontal disease. It is performed under general anesthesia to allow for advanced root scaling and polishing.
  • Oral Surgery: an outpatient service for qualified cats and dogs with advanced tartar, gingivitis, and periodontal disease that require surgical extractions. It is performed under general anesthesia to allow for a veterinarian to surgically extract diseased and/or fractured teeth.
  • Dental digital radiology: an outpatient service for qualified cats and dogs performed under general anesthesia to allow for a complete evaluation of your pet's dental health. It is performed at the time of dental cleanings and oral surgery.

ILLNESS
1. What illness services does your hospital offer?
RegionalVet offers you peace of mind with a variety of comprehensive diagnostic services available. The Hospital Laboratory offers complete blood work and urinalysis, including toxicology screening, infectious disease diagnostics and blood typing for rapid results in an emergency or critical care setting. Our onsite Blood Bank enables us to provide blood product transfusions, if needed. The Imaging Department has digital radiology and ultrasound as well as endoscopy. The Hospital Pharmacy provides a large selection of general medications and prescription diets for your pet, as well as emergency and critical care drugs. We also offer an On-line Pharmacy which provides the convenience of home delivery with competitive on-line prices and high-quality products that you can trust.

2. Can my pet catch my cold?
In general, colds are species specific viruses and cannot be passed from human to animals. A recent exception to this rule is the H1N1 influenza virus which is not species specific and has been found in cats and birds. However, this is a very uncommon .

3. My pet is acting normal but he has loose stool or diarrhea, what should I do?
One or two isolated episodes of loose stool or diarrhea is usually not medically concerning, however if the diarrhea is severe or prolonged, you should call your veterinarian for further instructions.

4. Why is my dog dragging his hind end across our floor?
Usually when pets do this it means that their anal glands are full. However, your veterinarian may suggest you bring your pet in for a fecal test to rule out an intestinal parasite.

5. Can I give my pet aspirin or Ibuprofen for pain?
You should never administer any medications to your pet without a direct prescription from a veterinarian. Aspirin is given to pets, but ONLY under a doctor's direction. Aspirin is only effective for mild pain and has a high risk of causing gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Tylenol and Ibuprofen should NEVER be given to cats, and only to dogs when prescribed by a veterinarian. Please ask a Healthcare Team member for more information.

6. What should I do if my pet is having bloody urine?
Bloody urine can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from a urinary tract infection, to bladder stones, to a mass or trauma--just to name a few. Because of this range of possibilities, we recommend that you call your veterinarian for a thorough exam and urinalysis.