Frequently Asked Questions

We will try to answer your important questions as a pet owner. If you can’t find your answer on this page, please submit your question here. Once the question is reviewed, we will publish it below with the best answer.

General Questions

PetLife Animal Hospital recommends patients having procedures (surgery, biopsies, and radiographs) to be dropped off the day of the procedure between 8am and 9am. You will need to withhold food and water from 12am the night before and the day of the procedure. Your pet will undergo sedation and/or anesthesia and will need to be fasted. However, patients that may require feeding include very young animals or diabetic patients. If your pet falls into one of these categories, please check with the doctor for specific feeding and water instructions as they may allow you to offer food and water that day, depending on the procedure.

The procedure schedule is set the day of the procedure. We can give you an estimated procedure order for your pet. The doctor will call you after the procedure is done to go over findings and post-operative care. We do not encourage visitation the day of surgery or an extensive procedure. We would like the patient to recover from anesthesia on his or her own terms. Sometimes they may be vocal or appear anxious from the sedation. This can be heightened if the patient is anxious when separating from their owner. For this reason, unless your pet is critically ill, we ask that visitation be held off until the following day.

Your pet will spend the night following any surgical procedure. This is to allow appropriate recovery from anesthesia, to assess their ability to ambulate, to make sure they are eating and drinking well, and that the patient can overall be managed at home by the owner. In some instances, the post-operative care may be extensive. In these cases, we encourage the owners to visit prior to discharge to ensure they are comfortable taking their pet home and understand the at-home instructions.

PetLife Animal Hospital is staffed 24 hours a day with both trained nurses and veterinarians when there is a critical care patient in the hospital. You need not fear that your pet will be left alone in a cage unattended. They receive intensive nursing care during the acute stage of their recovery. On the day of discharge from PetLife, you will receive written discharge instructions detailing the required care of your pet once you get him home. This may include administration of medications, specific food to be fed or physical therapy to promote healing. All of these items will be explained to you prior to discharge.

We know that surgery can be a scary and painful process. Your Veterinarian at PetLife will work to ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible following any procedure. Our multi-medicine approach to surgery ensures that your pet has pain medicines in place before the procedure begins. In most orthopedic and abdominal procedures, a pain medication is administered prior to the first incision to allow for pain management before the first incision is made. This medication generally lasts for 24 hours during which time your pet may receive injectable medications for pain if needed. Most patients go home on a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medicine that you will administer at home. For the more sensitive patient or trauma patients, constant flow of pain medication may be given via an IV to ensure patient comfort. The goal is to promote a calm, comfortable recovery while your pet is in the hospital.
The goal of any anesthetic procedure is to repair the injury as quickly and efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, some of the surgeries that take place may be more complicated and require an extended anesthetic event. All PetLife patients are given IV antibiotics prior to any surgical procedure. This ensures antibiotic coverage before the procedure actually begins. Depending upon the type of surgery, severity of injury and method of repair, your pet may go home on a short course of oral antibiotics. The type and duration will vary based on your doctor’s recommendation. Please follow the instructions for administering any medications dispensed by our veterinarians. If your pet is already on medications please also tell the doctor to avoid any interactions.
Each test submitted is done so with the optimum report in mind. For this reason, PetLife uses a variety of reference labs to evaluate diagnostic samples. In some cases, results may be available as early as the next business day (Superchem, CBC, urinalysis). However, more advanced testing may be run at the lab on specific days (ACTH stimulation tests) or require special processing prior to evaluating the sample (histopathology samples of bone). For this reason, we ask that you allow one week for test results to be returned. Once the results are received, your veterinarian will contact you to review the results and treatment options.
We understand the need to visit your pet while it is hospitalized at PetLife. We encourage owners to visit if their pet is stable to do so. We ask that owners call prior to visiting to ensure your pet is physically stable to visit and that a doctor can be available to meet with you during your visit. Because your pet is undergoing medical treatment, we ask that visits be limited to once a day with as many family members wishing to visit as possible at that time. It is detrimental to patient care to have a patient moved multiple times a day to visit for extended periods of time. While visiting, you may be encouraged to offer food or water if your pet is not eating. You may also be showed physical therapy treatments that you may do at home. In some instances, the illness that your pet has may preclude visitation or require special accommodations for visiting. These patients include PARVO puppies, FIP cats, distemper patients and LEPTO suspects. We ask that family members visit once a day and are prepared to dress appropriately for visitation. Protective apparel will be supplied to you for your visit. We ask that visits be brief and that you not make contact with other client’s pets.
When you come in to PetLife Animal Hospital, we will try to help your pet in any way that we can. If you are here on an emergency basis, an emergency exam will be performed to see what your pet is sick from and the care needed. A detailed estimate will be prepared and discussed with you, outlining the intended treatments and procedures. PetLife accepts all major credit cards, cash, checks and will design a patient specific payment plan, if need be. You must speak directly to the Manager on duty to apply to PetLife for in-house payment plans.
In order to fill prescription medications, there must be a current (within 1 year) working client-patient-doctor relationship. If we have not seen the pet, an office visit will be necessary to establish this working relationship and then the mediation can be filled. PetLife cannot legally fill a prescription without seeing your particular pet. Please call your veterinarian several days prior to having a medication run out, so that a refill can be filled in a timely manner. If you come to PetLife to refill your heartworm medication, you must show us a negative heartworm test that has been performed locally, within one years time. If this is not available, PetLife can arrange for a Veterinarian to exam your pet, and perform a heartworm test here in our office.
PetLife would be happy to scan the pet for a chip at no charge. But unfortunately, PetLife cannot take in or treat a pet that is found, unless it is for the purpose of immediate, lifesaving treatment only. Once stabilized, the owner would have to be found or give permission for continued treatment. When most owners lose an animal, the first place they turn to locate their pet is the local animal shelter. These facilities include Animal Care and Control (Belvedere Road) and Peggy Adams Humane Society (Military Trail and Community Blvd). The found pet would need to be brought to one of the named facilities to have a “Lost and Found Report” started.
Check to see if there is any heartbeat or breathing. Look at the chest to see if it rises and falls (like breathing). You can place a mirror under its nose to see if it fogs the mirror to indicate he is breathing. Call your veterinarian immediately.
First, stay calm and remove any remaining chocolate so you can assess the situation. You will need to determine the amount of chocolate ingested. Once you determine the amount and type (Milk, dark, semi sweet, bakers, white), please contact a veterinarian for assistance. If it is a significant amount, you may be instructed to induce vomiting. If you are successful with this, you may be instructed to have the patient monitored at a hospital overnight for chocolate toxicity. If you cannot induce vomiting, please seek medical attention immediately. Steps will be taken to ensure your pet is cared for appropriately (induced vomiting, activated charcoal, fluid therapy, etc).