Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question? Check here first! We've compiled a list of all of our most frequent inquiries and our best response to each question. If you have a question on anything here or wish for further clarification, please send us a message!
1. Why does veterinary care seem to be so expensive?
The cost of veterinary care has actually risen very little during the last 20-30 years. Bear in mind that your veterinarian is not only your pet’s general physician, but its surgeon, radiologist, dentist, dermatologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, ear/nose/throat doctor, and pharmacist. Sometimes it may feel as if you are paying more for your pet’s health care than your own, but chances are you have insurance and never see the total bottom-line of your own doctor bills. When human health care costs are added up including insurance, deductibles, and pharmaceutical costs there is no comparison. Every pet owner has different ideas about what is acceptable pet care. Veterinarians can only make their clients aware of the services and products that are available and then provide guidance in their choices and decisions. The owner makes the call. Most veterinarians go the extra mile for their clients; however, when subsidizing clients’ bills, they are endangering their practices. Relatively speaking, veterinary care is a great deal. We are willing to give estimates in advance and treatment options to fit your budget.
2. Why is there such a wide range of prices for the same procedure between different veterinary clinics?
Prices are set by each individual veterinary practice and each has different expenses that are covered by the fees charged. Often, the charges do not reflect the same set of services, although some of the components may be the same. The fees for a service are based on varying criteria, such as different drugs, products, anesthetics, antibiotics and pain relievers which have a bearing on the cost of the services.Also, veterinarians use different techniques, lab tests, patient monitoring equipment and, in general, different overhead costs. As with all things, you tend to get what you pay for. We believe in doing the best we can whenever we can unless you, the client, decides otherwise. Our primary goal is to give each patient the quality care we ourselves would demand.While we have certainly been asked why other veterinarian’s prices are different than ours, be it higher or lower for a certain procedure, we are not able to tell you why their prices are different because we are not familiar with anyone else’s procedures or protocols.
3. Why are the billed fees sometimes higher than the quoted fees?
We can’t always predict how any given surgery or treatment will go.Unexpected events or changes in a patient’s condition can occur with little warning. The original problem may turn out to be more severe than anticipated. The time spent in examination and consultation, or discussion of questions may take more time than allotted. We are happy to give you and your pet all the time you need. We realize the importance you place on having a healthy and happy pet.Our fees are based on time and the details needed for the resolution of your pet’s problem. Therefore, on occasion, the charges to you may be more than expected. We try to control and prevent this as best we can. If any questions arise concerning the fees charged, please feel free to ask us. We will ALWAYS keep you updated if there is a change in the amount you were quoted before we do anything!
4. Is there anyone at the clinic overnight to look after my pets?
We do not have 24 hour staffing. We will provide, to the best of our abilities, the best level of care to the patient that their condition warrants.
5. Why do I have to have my pet tested for heartworms every year?
Even if you keep your pet on heartworm prevention year round, it is recommended by the manufacturer to test every year. While their product is guaranteed, nothing is foolproof. Dispensing medication to a heartworm positive dog could possibly cause an allergic reaction and be harmful to your pet. While this is rare, this chance should not be taken.Accidents can happen: you accidentally skipped a month, the dog vomited it up afterwards, or your dog swallows the pill whole without chewing, etc. We would be negligent in our level of care if we did not make sure that your pet was free of heartworms before dispensing any further medication.Our tests actually test for heartworms as well as Lyme’s Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. These other diseases are spread by ticks. They both can be treated if detected early by testing.
6. Do animals need yearly vaccinations?
We recommend that dogs and cats receive yearly vaccinations to stimulate the immune system so the most effective response will occur if they do come in contact with any of the vaccinated diseases. Also, vaccinations are given in consideration to the area we live in and if a disease is more or less prevalent here. We see a great deal of Parvo and Distemper in this area. Distemper can be caused by raccoons! You may have heard or read that yearly vaccines are not necessary or even harmful to your pet. Unfortunately, the information we have at this time is not adequately conclusive one way or the other. A summary, posted on www.avma.org, stated that: “Optimal revaccination intervals are not known… Information collected thus far [by veterinary professionals] indicates that immunity induced by some vaccines lasts longer than one year, while immunity triggered by other vaccines lasts less than one year. The Council of Biological and Therapeutic Agents concludes that there currently exists inadequate data to scientifically determine a single best protocol for vaccination or revaccination. Advances in antigen science, adjuvant function, impacts of different vaccine carrier solutions, and the immune system’s acute and chronic reactions to stimulation, are impressive, but there remain gaps in our understanding. The body of knowledge about the variability of genetics within a breed or species, and the resulting impacts on an individual patient’s response to vaccine or associated adverse reactions, is increasing but it remains insufficient to make general recommendations. COBTA believes that variation in our patients and their lifestyle, and between the individual vaccine products available, requires a customized approach to vaccination recommendations to best match the variation in the patients presented for immunization. Our veterinarians will be glad to discuss vaccination protocols with you if you have any questions or concerns about what is best for your pet.
7. Why do I have to wait so long to see the doctor when other people who came after me go in before me?
The doctor wants to give you and your pet all the time and attention you deserve. We always strive to get you in for your appointment at your appointment time, but occasionally there are circumstances that arise beyond our control. Sometimes, an emergency occurs or a patient needs additional work-up that takes additional time from the doctor. When you see other people going in before you, keep in mind that at any given time in our clinic, there are one to two technicians giving vaccinations as well as the doctor. These appointments are all separate. The patients going back may simply be here for vaccinations and not actually seeing the doctor - the time this takes is considerably shorter and several people may go in before you for this reason.
8. What do I do with a wild baby animal that I find in my yard?
Nothing. Baby birds on the ground are not abandoned they are simply learning to fly and their mother knows where they are. Other animals like baby rabbits left in a nest are left alone for a reason. The mother doesn’t visit the nest often during the day to avoid calling attention to it from predators. Never approach an injured adult, as they may be extremely dangerous. The best thing you can do for any wild animal is leave it where you find it.
9. Can I give my pet over-the-counter pain medications?
NEVER GIVE ANY OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICINE TO YOUR PET WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING YOUR VETERINARIAN! CALL your vet BEFORE you give any medication. Under some circumstances, your veterinarian may advise/prescribe the use of over-the-counter medicine. Your veterinarian knows the proper dosage to give your animal and what to look for should complications arise from using the medication. You should never medicate your animal yourself without first calling your veterinarian for advice and proper dose. If your veterinarian is closed or it is after hours, the emergency vet can help you with any questions you have.
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and Nuprin) NEVER give under any circumstances. It can cause ulcers in as little as one dose. Tylenol: DO NOT give Tylenol. NEVER give to cats. It causes anemia and liver problems. It can kill your cat. In dogs it is more toxic than aspirin. It has been implicated in liver damage. Aspirin: Do not give to cats. Only give to dogs under veterinary supervision. Can cause gastric ulcers. If your vet prescribes aspirin for your dog, use buffered only. Pepto Bismol: Has aspirin in it. Do not use in cats. In dogs, it is OK to use in mild diarrhea and vomiting but you need to get the correct dose from your vet. Be aware that if you use it, it will turn your dog’s stool black.
There are pain medications that are specifically for dogs and cats. They are safer to use and preferable to any over-the-counter medication. If you have questions or your pet is in pain, please call for an appointment.
10. What is the normal gestation period and temperature for my pet?
Dogs: 58-68 days. Average is 63 days. Cats: 63-68 days. What is a dogs/cats normal temperature? Dogs: 99.5-102.5. Cats: 100-102.5. Anything over 103 is considered a fever.
11. Why is my dog scooting?
Possibilities include diarrhea and inflammation, tapeworms, anal glands needing expressed, and flea allergies.
12. Can I call to get a prescription filled for my pet?
If we have seen your pet recently for a certain condition you may call to inquire if you may get a refill for its medication. If the doctor approves it, we will be glad to refill it and you can pick it up at any time.
If we have never seen your pet, or if we have not seen your pet recently (typically if it has been over a month, depending on the illness) we will NOT refill or prescribe any medication without seeing your pet. Please call our office and we can go over your pet’s prescription refill requests on an individual basis.
You can easily purchase and refill prescriptions in our online pharmacy.
13. If I bring my pet in to be looked at is there a fee for that? Even if I decline treatment?
YES. If the veterinarian examines your pet for any condition there is an exam fee. Even if you decide not to pursue any treatment after the exam.
14. Do you have a payment plan?
No. Payment is required at the time of the visit. For animals that are left for hospitalization, a minimum deposit is required upfront and the balance must be paid at the completion of the treatment. We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express and CareCredit. View Payment Options page.
15. Why do baby animals need a series of shots and how many do they need?
When a kitten or puppy is born, its immune system is not yet mature; the baby is wide open for infection. Fortunately, nature has a system of protection. The mother produces special milk in the first few days. This milk is called colostrum and is rich in all the antibodies that the mother has to offer. As the babies drink this milk, they will be taking in their mother’s immunity. After the first couple of days, regular milk is produced and the baby’s intestines undergo what is called closure, which means they are no longer able to take antibodies into their systems.
These first two days are critical to determining what kind of immunity the baby will receive until its own system can take over. How long this maternal antibody lasts in a given puppy is totally individual. Maternal antibodies against different diseases wear off after different times. We DO know that by 16 to 20 weeks of age, maternal antibodies are gone and the baby must be able to continue on its own immune system.
While maternal immunity is present in the puppy’s system, any vaccines given will be inactive. Vaccines will not be able to take effect until maternal antibody has sufficiently dropped. Puppies and kittens receive a series of vaccines ending at a time when we know the baby’s own immune system should be able to respond. We could simply wait until the baby is old enough to definitely respond as we do with the rabies vaccination but this could leave a large window of vulnerability if the maternal antibody wanes early.
To give babies the best chance of responding to vaccination, we vaccinate intermittently (usually every 2-4 weeks) during this period in hope of gaining some early protection. If a mother was not vaccinated, she may not have immunity and pass on to her pups.When a vaccine against a specific disease is started for the first time, even in an adult animal, it is best to give at least two vaccinations. This is because the second vaccination will produce a much greater (significantly greater) response if it is following a vaccine given 2 to 4 weeks prior.
16. If some vaccines last a person for life, why do I have to vaccinate my pet annually?
In this country, vaccines are licensed based on the minimum duration they can be expected to last. It is expensive to test vaccines across an expanse of years and it is not generally done. We know our vaccines last at least one year and have not been willing to take a chance on whether they might last longer without knowing for sure.
It is also important to realize that some diseases lend themselves to prevention through vaccination while others do not. For a vaccine to generate solid long-lasting immunity, the infection must be fairly generalized to the entire body (like distemper or parvovirus) rather than localized to one organ system (like kennel cough or feline upper respiratory viruses). Vaccination for localized infections tend to require more frequent boosting whereas there is potential for vaccination for systemic disease to last for more time.
For more information on what vaccine protocol is right for your pet, consult your veterinarian.
17. What is CareCredit?
CareCredit is like a credit card that we offer to help you be able to financially provide for your pet. The card can come in very handy when emergencies arise and your pet needs immediate medical treatment to save its life. We will be glad to help you fill out an application here in the office or if you prefer, you may do so at www.carecredit.com.
After the application is submitted you will receive an answer immediately as well as your account number if you are accepted. They do offer some interest free options; if you qualify, we can package expenses for your pet if you would like. They also offer promotional specials.
18. Is someone at the clinic to take care of my pet during the weekend?
We are open Saturday for business from 8:00am - Noon. After that, a kennel technician comes in several times over the weekend to let the pets out, feed, water, and play with them. If your pet is sick and hospitalized the doctor comes in to check on them and gives the necessary treatments. However, no one stays here 24 hours.
19. What pet foods do you recommend?
We recommend Science Diet, Iams, and Eukanuba in that order. Dr. Flanary chooses to feed all of her pets Science Diet. She likes Science Diet because it is the most nutritionally balanced for each life stage of a pet’s life. It is also made in the USA, has the most research done on it and comes with a money back guarantee. You can shop for pet food on our online pharmacy.
*Please ask your veterinarian (not a pet store employee) what food is best for your pet in order to receive an educated non-biased answer.
20. How long do I withhold food and water from my pet before a surgical procedure?
Do not give your pet anything by mouth (no food or water) after 10pm the night prior to surgery. Please have your pet at the clinic between 8:00-8:30am on surgery day so we can get your pet ready for its surgery.
21. How often do I bathe my pet? With what?
We recommend not to bathe pets more than once every 2 weeks. If you do more often, you will strip the oils and cause the skin to get dry and flaky. We recommend Allergroom by Virbac shampoo, a moisturizing shampoo for pets.
Do not use anything with flea and tick medicine in it or human shampoo. Both of these dry the skin and cause allergic reactions. Pets have different skin than humans.
22. What are anal glands?
Anal glands are 2 scent sacs located at 4 and 8 o’clock inside the anus. They hold a very stinky brown looking fluid. Most dogs express them when they have a bowel movement in order to give each dog their “own” scent and mark their territory. If they do not express them on their own they can get impacted and get infected. Most small breed dogs and overweight dogs have trouble with expressing them so we check them whenever your pet comes to see us. If you see your pet is “scooting” he may need his glands expressed.
23. Why does the clinic recommend a senior program for pets over 7 years of age?
Just like when people age, senior pets need extra attention as well. Once a pet reaches 7 years there are 6 tests we recommend. They are a CBC (complete blood count), GHP (general health panel), Thyroid profile, Urinalysis, Radiograph and EKG (electrocardiogram). These tests are like windows into the body and allow Dr. Flanary to see what is going on inside. The earlier a problem can be diagnosed the better the prognosis or cure. If you complete all 6 of these tests at the same time you will receive $50 off!
Twice a year visits? The answer is rather shocking to most… 6 months in animal years is equal to 3-4 years in human years. You would not wait 3 years before visiting your doctor, and neither would you want to wait that long for your pet. Also, splitting up the tests and vaccinations means splitting up the cost.
Dental cleaning and home dental care? Over 80% of pets past 2 years of age have periodontal/dental disease. Plaque and tartar on teeth along with bad breath is actually bacteria in the mouth that is causing the periodontal disease. This can lead to heart, kidney and liver disease if the teeth are not taken care of. No one has time to brush their pet’s teeth daily! So Dr. Flanary recommends periodic dental cleanings, just like you would have, and at home dental products to use daily such as a C.E.T. chew and C.E.T. AquaDent.
Microchipping? A microchip is a permanent way to identify your pet. We implant the microchip under the skin just like a vaccination. If your pet is ever lost or stolen you can contact the company and they can put an amber alert out for your pet. 90% of pets that are microchipped and get lost are returned to their homes.
Spaying and Neutering? There are several reasons why you need to spay or neuter your pet. The first reason is that spaying or neutering contributes to a longer, healthier life. It reduces the urge to roam. Also, it reduces the risk of testicular, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer. Testicular cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in male dogs. 24% of unspayed female dogs will develop breast cancer. Spaying and neutering your pet reduces the number of unwanted puppies and kittens and overpopulation of animals that do not have a home.
24. What is the Heartgard/Frontline Tritak and Trifexis guarantee?
The Heartgard guarantee states that, if you purchase your preventative from a licensed veterinarian and then your pet gets heartworms or intestinal worms then Merial, the manufacturer, will pay for the treatment of your pet. You are required to get your pet tested for heartworms every year and purchase the preventive on time.
The Frontline Tritak guarantee states that if you are unsatisfied with the product or you pet gets fleas within 30 days of applying Frontline Tritak, your veterinarian can apply a free dose as long as the product was purchased from your pet’s veterinarian.
Trifexis comes with 3 guarantees:
- A 100% money back customer satisfaction.
- Elanco will cover the cost of treating intestinal parasites.
- Elanco will cover costs of treating heartworms if a pet tests positive.
25. What vaccines will my new puppy need?
As a general rule, puppies receive vaccines at 6, 9, 12 and 16 weeks. Sometimes this schedule is adjusted on a case to case basis. At the 6 week checkup your puppy will receive a comprehensive exam, a 5-in-1 vaccine, and a deworming, nail trim, ear cleaning, nutritional counseling, and puppyhood counseling.
At the 9 week visit your puppy will have a physical exam, fecal check for parasites, 5-in-1 vaccine, nail trim, ear cleaning and behavior/potty discussion.
At the 12 week visit your puppy will receive a physical exam, 7-1 vaccine, kennel cough vaccine, additional puppy counseling, nail trim, ear cleaning and be started on heartworm and flea prevention.
At the 16 week visit your puppy will receive a physical exam, 7-1 vaccine, rabies vaccine, nail trim, ear cleaning and pre-adult counseling.
26. What vaccines will my new kitten need?
Kittens are generally vaccinated at 8, 11 and 15 weeks. Often times the vaccine schedule is adjusted on a case by case basis. At their first visit we strongly recommend an in-house test for FIV and Leukemia. They will also receive a comprehensive physical exam, FVRCP + Leukemia vaccine, an optional FIV vaccine, nail trim, ear cleaning, zoonotic counseling, de-worming, nutritional counseling as well as kittenhood counseling.
At the 11 week visit your kitten will receive a physical exam, fecal check for intestinal parasites, FVRCP +Leukemia vaccine, kennel cough vaccine, an optional FIV vaccine, nail trim, ear cleaning, behavior counseling and we will get started on heartworm and flea/tick prevention.
At the 15 week visit your kitten will receive a physical exam, rabies vaccine, optional FIV vaccine, nail trim, ear cleaning and pre-adult counseling.
27. Do you recommend an equine veterinarian?
We recommend Dr. Kim Abernathy-Young, DVM. Kim is a native of Southeast Missouri. She graduated from Murray State University with a B.S. in Agriculture. She graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia in 2002. She interned at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital from 2002-2003. She started Kentucky Lake Equine Hospital in 2004 in Benton, KY. She can be reached at (270) 527-6655 or at www.kentuckylakeequine.com.
28. What do I do if my pet has emergency after normal business hours?
If you have an emergency with your pet after normal business hours, please call the clinic at 270-898-9PET(9738) and you will be connected to the emergency veterinarian on call. Flanary Veterinary Clinic, Paducah Veterinary Clinic, and the West Kentucky Emergency Veterinary Services Clinic share their emergency call schedule in order to better serve you and your pets.
29. Does Flanary Veterinary Clinic treat exotic and farm pets?
Yes, Dr. Flanary has personally owned many exotic and farm pets. She knows no matter how big or small or “odd” someone may love them! She sees pets such as iguanas, ferrets, rabbits, birds, goats, potbelly pigs, and many more.
#30 What is the Therapeutic laser used for?
Therapeutic laser therapy is a great tool to use to help promote healing by decreasing pain and inflammation. We use it on a wide variety of problems such as, wounds, arthritis, post surgical healing/pain relief, skin conditions, and much, much more! It is our goal to get your pet feeling their best as quickly as possible. www.litecure.com/companion