Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page. Click a question to see the answer. If you have any additional questions about our practice or your pet, please contact us.

Do you see walk–in patients?

To best serve you we encourage you to make an appointment. We see walk-ins based on doctor/staff availability and the service requested, as soon as possible. Based on the needs of the patient, we may recommend scheduling an appointment for a later date or dropping your pet off with us.

Why do I need to schedule an appointment to have my pet examined by a Veterinarian?

Scheduled appointments allow us to more efficiently plan our day so that each patient receives appropriate attention and effective care. They also allow us to build-in time slots to handle emergencies. It is the best method for reducing wait time.

How do I schedule an appointment?

To schedule an appointment you can call us: Chenault Veterinary Hospital at 804-537-5434; Bell Creek Veterinary Hospital at 804-730-8545; or Ladysmith Veterinary Hospital at 804-448-5151. You can also request an appointment through our web site and we will contact you to confirm.

Can I drop my pet off in the morning to see the Veterinarian or for other services and pick him up later in the day?

Yes, for your convenience we are happy to accommodate drop-offs. We do not charge a “Drop Off fee”.

Do I need to schedule an appointment with a Veterinarian if all my pet needs is a nail trim, blood test, or vaccination?

Certain services/procedures are not performed by a Veterinarian. For example, Heartworm tests, Nail trims, and Baths are typically performed by a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) or qualified assistant rather than by a Veterinarian.   However, even if an appointment with a Veterinarian is not required, we do need to schedule the service, so an advance call is appreciated.

If during an examination the Veterinarian determines my pet requires additional tests, how long will it take to do them?

It depends on the recommended or necessary tests as well as the number of patients scheduled for service that day. You may be asked to leave your pet with us or to schedule the test to be performed at a later date.

Can I receive an estimate of the cost of providing services to my pet?

We are happy to provide “estimates” for the cost of services such as surgery, lab work, and medications for example. Keep in mind that the final cost may be higher or lower than the “estimate” based on the actual condition of the patient and what specific services are required.

My pet is normally seen at the Bell Creek Hospital. If I need services on a weekend or in the evening after 6:00 pm and we come to the Ashland Hospital, will the Veterinarian have access to my pet’s medical records?

Yes. Our practice management system is integrated. All of our hospitals have access to all of our patient records.

How do I transfer my pet’s medical records to your Practice?

Simply request the Veterinarian who has the records fax or email them to us or you can personally deliver them.  If you need assistance we will be happy to request them. We will need to know the name of the practice and contact information.

Can I call in a refill for my pet’s prescriptions?

Yes. We encourage you to call in refills before you run out. Doing so allows us time to fill them, ensure quality control, and reduce the wait time when picked up.

Do I need to provide my pet’s medical record for him to stay in your Boarding Kennel?

Yes. Our Boarding Policy requires proof that your pet is up to date on their Rabies, Bordatella, and Distemper vaccines. Stringent adherence to this policy protects all of the pets in our care and our staff.

Can I Board more than one dog in a run?

The Commonwealth of Virginia has specific rules and regulations that govern the boarding of animals. In most cases, we do not allow more than one animal in a run. However, in some cases, small animals may be housed together. Our facility is designed so that family pets can be housed side by side or so that they can constantly see each other. We reserve the right to make the decision.

How long will my pet have to stay in the Hospital after his surgery?

How long a patient is hospitalized depends on the type of surgery and patient’s post-operative condition. Your Veterinarian will advise you on their recommendation prior to and after the surgery. Our goal is to ensure patients go home as soon as is appropriate. Some procedures such as mass removals, spays & neuters go home the evening of the surgery.

If my pet is seriously ill and needs to be hospitalized overnight, will your staff stay with him?

Our Hospitals are not staffed 24 hours. When you check in you will be given a “STAFFING HOURS” form that lists our staffing hours. If it is appropriate for a patient to be hospitalized unattended we will inform you and ensure you understand. In some cases, if it is appropriate, your Veterinarian may recommend that you take the patient home with instructions or check into a 24 hour emergency center and return them to us in the morning.

There is a lot of information available on the internet. Can the Veterinarian prescribe treatment or drugs for my pet based on what I read?

No.

Do I need to make an appointment to use the pool?

Yes, we will make every effort to schedule your swim at the requested time.

Do I need an appointment to use the Self Serve Dog Wash?

No, the Dog Wash is open to the public during normal business hours. If someone is using it when you arrive or someone is in line ahead of you, common courtesy rules are appreciated.

Why does my pet need a heartworm test before they can get a prescription for preventive medications?

Giving preventive medications to a dog that is already infected with heartworms can cause a dangerous inflammatory reaction that may even be fatal. Testing prior to prescribing preventive medications allows us to properly treat the infection.

Why should I spay or neuter my pets?

Spaying or neutering your pet eliminates their ability to reproduce. Sterilized pets are also less likely to roam and to develop future health problems such as mammary infections and certain types of cancer.

Why should I microchip my pets?

Pets do get lost. A microchip is more reliable than a collar and a tag. It will not fall off. The microchip is a permanent ID that connects your pet to you. Installing a microchip does not hurt your pet and does not require surgery.

Do I have to vaccinate my indoor pets?

Even though your pet may have limited exposure to other animals, the possibility of infection still exists. Viruses, some of which are airborne, can remain in the environment for extended periods of time. Even though your pet may only go outdoors in your presence, they are at risk. Consult with your Veterinarian for guidance on the best way to protect them.

Can cats get Heartworms?

Yes. Although Heartworm disease in cats is less common than in dogs, it is on the rise. The disease is spread by infected mosquitoes. Prevention is an important concern. Talk to your Veterinarian about ways to best protect your in-door and outside cats.

Is it really important to have my pet’s teeth & gums checked on a regular basis?

Yes. It is difficult to keep your pet’s teeth clean, so oral health problems are very common. Gingivitis and Periodontal disease are especially common. Pets may lose teeth and be prone to infections that can affect other organs in the body. Regular dental checkups help ensure your pet is happy and healthy.