Frequently Ask Questions
What are your business hours?
Are you open for emergencies?
Only during business hours, NOT after hours.
We are primarily an out-patient hospital and do not offer 24-hour care services. Critical cases requiring 24-hour care are referred to one of our local 24-hour emergency hospitals. If you experience an emergency with your pet during business hours, please give us a call. If it is after hours, please contact Riverview Animal Hospital directly at 506-387-4015.
Why does my cat have to be in a carrier and my dog on a leash?
It is safer for both you and your pet.
All pets (cats and dogs) need to be adequately restrained when transporting them in a vehicle and when bringing them into the veterinary hospital. Not only is our Hospital is situated on a busy main road, but we see a variety of dogs in all shapes, sizes, and with many different personalities. Seeing a large dog in the waiting room is often more than a cat can bear. Cats can become stressed and may try to escape, injuring you or themselves in the process. Being in a cage covered with a blanket or towel usually makes them feel more secure and protected. We are happy to loan cages if you want to come in and collect one before your appointment.
Similarly, not all dog we see get along with others. Sick dogs do not want to be bothered and may react defensively and/or aggressively. Therefore, it is safer for everyone if your pet is on a leash upon entering the Hospital.
What are your deworming recommendations?
Monthly for outdoor pets and 3-4 times per year for indoor pets, or as recommended by your veterinarian.
All puppies and kittens should be dewormed at 2, 4, 6, 8 weeks of age, to ensure prompt removal of roundworm eggs acquired from their mother, followed my monthly treatments until 6 months of age. If your new puppy or kitten was not dewormed before adoption, they should be dewormed every 2 weeks for a minimum of 3 treatments, then monthly until 6 months of age. After 6 months of age, their lifestyle should be evaluated in consultation with your Veterinarian. Indoor cats often only need to be dewormed 3-4 times per year, while outdoor cats and dogs should be dewormed monthly.
Vaccines: When should I vaccinate and what vaccines are needed?
Vaccines are started during puppy/kitten-hood and are continued throughout their lifetime.
All dogs and cats should be vaccinated against diseases that are widespread, cause serious illness, and/or are highly contagious (termed “core” vaccines). Other vaccines may be recommended based on risk a particular disease poses to your pet, and your pet’s lifestyle. Your dog or cat should begin their vaccine protocol as puppies and kittens, and continue to get boosters throughout their lifetime.
Core vaccines for dogs include: Canine Distemper, Parvovirus and Infectious Canine Hepatitis (CAV-1). These are given as a single injection at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks of age. A booster is given at 16 months, then every 3 years thereafter.
Non-core vaccines for dogs include: Bordetella (kennel cough), Leptospirosis and Borreliosis (lyme disease). These are given in consultation with your veterinarian regarding your pet’s exposure risk, lifestyle, and frequency of disease in the area.
Core vaccines for cats include: Feline Panleukopenia (cat flu/cat distemper), Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (herpes virus) and Calicivirus. These are given as a single injection at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks of age. A booster is given at 16 months, then every 3 years thereafter.
Non-core vaccines for cats include: Feline Leukemia Virus. This is given in consultation with your veterinarian regarding your pet’s exposure risk, lifestyle, and frequency of disease in the area.
Rabies is considered a core vaccine for dogs and cats, and important in preventing disease spread to humans. In some parts of Canada, the rabies vaccine is considered mandatory for dogs and cats, regardless of whether they are indoors only or go outside. Rabies is typically given somewhere between 12-16 weeks of age; a booster is given at 14-16 months of age, then every 3 years thereafter. **Rabies must receive a booster before it expires for it to be valid for 3 years**
In New Brunswick, the Rabies vaccine is required by law for all domesticated dogs.
For more information on vaccinating your pet and to schedule an appointment, please call our office at 506-532-8081.
Does my indoor pet need to be vaccinated?
We recommend the same core vaccines for both dogs and cats, regardless of whether they live inside or out. These include Canine Distemper, Parvovirus and Infectious Canine Hepatitis (CAV-1) and rabies for dogs, and Feline Panleukopenia (cat flu/cat distemper), Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (herpes virus) and Calicivirus for cats. These vaccines require appropriately timed boosters throughout their lives to maintain immunity.
Why can’t I have medication without an appointment?
In New Brunswick, it is unlawful for a veterinarian to write or dispense a prescription drug outside a Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR).
Many drugs have legal restrictions on their supply and a consultation may be required by law before they can be dispensed. For instances, prescription drugs require a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR). In order to maintain a VCPR, your veterinarian must see your pet regularly – how regularly depends on your pet’s health. If your pet is on a prescription medication, your veterinarian may need to re-examine your pet, check bloodwork, or perform other tests to monitor your pet’s response to treatment and determine if the medication needs to be changed. For example, a dog being treated for hypothyroidism has to be re-evaluated regularly to make sure the dosage is having the effect it needs to have.
Most importantly, our primary concern is the welfare of your pet and it is usually important to examine an animal before deciding on a course of treatment. To save yourself time and prevent misunderstandings, please phone with your request before coming to the clinic. Flea, tick and deworming products containing heartworm medications, medicated shampoos, some ear cleaning products and disinfectants require a prescription in order to purchase them.
Why do I need a prescription for a flea or tick product?
When you are given a prescription for a medication for your pet, it means that your veterinarian has made a decision that the medication is recommended or necessary to prevent/treat your pet’s health problem.
Some manufacturers have decided to sell their products only through veterinarians so that the veterinarian and pet owner can discuss the situation and work together to determine the best flea and tick treatment for that pet. In addition, it is more likely that the product will be used properly (e.g., a cat won’t be treated with a product labeled for dog use only) if the veterinarian is supplying and counseling the owner on the proper use of the medication.
Furthermore, if the product is labeled for heartworm prevention, it is critical that your veterinarian makes sure the medication is the right one based on your pet’s health status. The preventives target the infective larvae as they are migrating through the tissue prior to reaching the bloodstream and developing to adult heartworms. If your dog (or cat) has heartworms, giving a preventive medication will not effectively treat the disease because the preventives don’t readily kill adult heartworms. In some cases, administering preventives to heartworm positive dogs can cause a rapid kill of circulating microfilariae, leading to a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.
Do you offer payment plans?
We offer payments through a third-party service: PetCard (iFinance)
Veterinary service fees are discussed in full before treatment of major illness or injury is started. We endeavour to provide excellent care and service to all of our valued clients at a fair price. To maintain our reasonable fee structure, we are unable to offer account facilities/payment programs. Our practice is that fees are settled at the time of consultation or discharge of your pet.
If the unexpected occurs to your beloved pet at a time when your finances are low, we are able to help you with the paperwork to secure funds through PetCard. This company offers veterinary financing loans to enable you to provide the services required for your pet’s care and they offer an array of repayment options. For further information, please visit their website at www.petcard.ca or give them a call toll free at 1-888-689-9876.
Do I need an appointment?
We prefer that you make an appointment to ensure that you are not kept waiting when you arrive and to keep the day running smoothly for you and the veterinary team.
What species do you treat/exam in clinic?
We treat dogs, cats and small rodents/pocket pets such as; rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice and hamsters.
Should my animal be fasted before surgery?
Please take their food away by midnight, or when you go to bed, the night before surgery. You can feed them once they fully recover from anesthesia at home that evening. There is no need to limit their access to water at any time.
Should my pet be fasted for bloodwork?
Most blood tests recommend fasting beforehand. If you are unsure, please call the clinic and ask.
Does my pet need a blood test before an anesthetic?
It is highly recommended that all patients have pre-anesthetic bloodwork performed before any general anesthetic procedure.
We offer pre-anesthetic blood testing for all patients undergoing general anesthetic. All animals receive a check-up at admission but a blood test will give us a detailed and comprehensive picture of your pet’s health, as well as provide information regarding any underlying disease processes that may be present but not obvious. We are predominantly looking for normal kidney and liver function, as these are the two main organ systems that process anesthetic drugs. Should any abnormalities be detected, we will advise you immediately. Depending on the severity of the findings, we may:
- Place the patient on IV fluids before, during and after surgery to help flush the drugs through the system
- Change the anesthetic drugs
- Postpone the surgery to another day (in some rare instances)
Blood testing also provides a baseline reading so if/when future problems arise with your pet, we have information with which to compare current results. This service is recommended for all pets undergoing surgery, but is particularly encourage for those over 7 years of age, or who have recently been unwell. The test requires a very small amount of blood to be taken. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork may be performed either ahead or on the morning of the surgery.
How old does my puppy or kitten have to be to have them spayed or neutered?
Between 5-6 months of age, unless your veterinarian advises otherwise.
We recommend waiting until your animal is 5-6 months of age, with the exception of some large and giant breed dogs, in which case we may recommend waiting a little longer, around 9-12 months of age. Please consult your veterinarian regarding the appropriate age to spay/neuter your particular pet.
Spaying your pet before sexual maturity (i.e., before their first heat cycle) reduces surgical complication rates and shorten recovery and healing times. Furthermore, research has shown it significantly reduces their risk of developing mammary gland tumors and completely eliminates the risk of pyometra (uterine infection) and ovarian diseases.
How do I know when my pet needs a dental performed?
Bad breath, inflamed gums, plaque, tartar buildup, and loose teeth are all of great concern when it comes to the health of your animal’s mouth.
Did you know dental disease not only causes bad breath, loose teeth and discomfort, but it can also lead to organ damage? Bacteria in the plaque can enter the bloodstream and spread to the heart, liver and kidneys. Sign of dental disease include:
- Bad breath
- Broken teeth
- Loose teeth
- Painful and bleeding mouth
- Refusal or inability to eat or drink
If you notice any of the above signs, please bring your pet in for a dental checkup or schedule a dental cleaning/extraction. If your pet’s teeth are not in need of a cleaning at the time of checkup, we can give you recommendations to help maintain your pet’s oral health such as beneficial diets, treats, and toys. We can demonstrate how to brush your pet’s teeth. Just like us, daily brushing is always the best method to prevent problems!
What kind of food do you sell?
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet
However, we also carry a few specialty foods from Purina Veterinary Diet and Rayne Veterinary Diet. Occasionally, we will special order food depending on your pet’s specific health needs.
When do I switch from puppy/kitten food to adult food?
Somewhere between 9-24 months of age, depending on your individual pet.
In general, most puppies and kittens can be switched to an adult diet between 9-12 months of age. Some large and giant breed dogs may be maintained on a large breed puppy food until they stop growing, around 12-24 months of age. Switching a puppy or kitten to adult food too early can cause long term developmental and gastro-intestinal problems, while switching too late can predispose them to obesity. Don’t hesitate to come in and speak with our veterinary team about the appropriate time to switch your pet to adult food.