Helpful Pet Tips & FAQ's in Northern Colorado
Q. What is the fastest way to get an answer for my questions?
A. If you need a fast response, please call me on my cell phone, (970) 217-2894. I check my email daily, but if I'm on the road, it may take until the next day before I have a chance to answer your questions via email. I will make every possible effort to return your phone calls the same day you call me. Also, if you call or email me and do NOT get a response by the next business day, please try again. Sometimes, I have technical difficulties with my phone, voicemail, computer, etc., or a message disappears into outer space and I never receive it!
Q. How are housecalls different than taking my pet to a veterinary clinic?
A. First of all, housecalls mean “Less Stress For You and Your Pets.” I will find a time that is convenient for you, and you will NOT spend a lot of time waiting to see me. I do my best to arrive promptly at your home at the time we have arranged, and we'll get started right away. While I may need your help ahead of time picking a good area to look at your pet(s) so that we don't stress them out chasing them around the house, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much more comfortable and relaxed your pet(s) will be in your home versus a clinic. Another difference is that you will get to see everything that goes on with your pet– I will not “whisk away” your pet into a back room somewhere. And you get plenty of “face time” with me, your veterinarian, rather than spending most of your time with support staff. There is also no need to shove your pet(s) into a carrier or a car, so that eliminates some stress for you and your pet(s). However, since I do not have an xray machine or equipment/staff to run anesthesia in your home, there are certain procedures that I will refer to trusted colleagues when and if the need arises (dental procedures, xrays, surgery).
Q. What if I have an emergency?
A. If you have an emergency, please dial your nearest emergency clinic or fully staffed clinic (during regular business hours) immediately. Since I travel over a large section of Northern Colorado, I may be out of your area and unable to call you back immediately. I would appreciate your letting me know when your pet has had an emergency so that I may add this information to your pet's record. If you have questions about what constitutes an emergency, please feel free to call me first, but I do travel to areas that are out of cell phone reception, so I may be unable to call you back for a little while.
Q. What are your fees for housecalls?
A. I try to keep my fees as reasonable as possible. For a housecall (which includes a full exam for the first pet), the fee will range from $70 to $100, depending on how far I have to travel to reach you. Additional pets' exams are just $40 each, and most vaccines are $25 each. Heartworm tests are $30, and fecal exams are $35-45. Full bloodwork panels are $100-150, depending on what needs to be done. When the sad time comes to euthanize your beloved pet, that service costs $150-200, plus transportation to Precious Memories and their fees for cremation services. CANCELLATIONS: I schedule appointments in geographical areas, so cancellations can mess up my whole day. If you need to cancel, please give me at least 24 hours' notice. If you do not or cannot, I reserve the right to charge you a cancellation fee, up to the amount of the housecall (e.g. $70), depending on the situation.
As for methods of payment, I accept cash and most major credit cards.
Q. Why do I need to vaccinate my pet(s)?
A. Rabies vaccines are required for dogs and cats by law. Also, your pet may be exposed by a wild or domestic animal with rabies if your pet goes outside, has contact with wildlife, or if a rabid animal runs/flies into your home. These laws help protect your pets and the rest of us from a deadly disease, and if your unvaccinated pet bites someone, they may be quarantined, euthanized, or put under supervision for a period of time to be sure they're not rabid. For adult dogs who had their vaccines as puppies, rabies is a 3-year vaccine. For cats, the safest rabies vaccine we can use is currently a one-year rabies vaccine designed specially for cats. When they reach a more advanced age (more than 13 years of age), cats may receive a 3-year rabies vaccine.
Distemper combination vaccines for dogs and cats may not be required by law, but adult pets who had all their booster vaccines as puppies/kittens should have these vaccines every 3 years, according to the most current recommendations. You can bring some of these diseases home to your dogs and cats by handling other pets, or you can bring them in on your shoes/clothes. Also, some wildlife such as raccoons and foxes may be able to transmit these diseases to your dogs and cats. Unvaccinated pets may also transmit these diseases to your pets, and some diseases (like parvo) can live in the soil for years. Therefore, it is very important to keep your pets' vaccines current, so they do not become victims of these potentially deadly diseases. The risk of having a reaction to one of these vaccines is a very small and uncommon risk compared to the very real risk of your pet contracting one of these debilitating or deadly diseases.
Other vaccines, such as bordetella, lepto, rattlesnake, and feline leukemia, are optional vaccines that may be required by your groomer or pet boarding facility, or which you may want to consider if your pet is at greater risk. For example, if you take your dog to doggy day care, dog parks, groomers, dog shows, etc., you may want to protect him or her from bordetella, otherwise known as “kennel cough.” If your cat goes outside and may have contact with other cats, you may want to vaccinate him or her against feline leukemia, a deadly disease which is transmitted via prolonged contact (grooming, fighting, sharing food, etc.) with other cats.
Q.Why should I do bloodwork on my pet(s)?
A. If your dog or cat is sick, or exhibits symptoms/signs of diseases such as hypo- or hyperthyroidism, he or she may need to have blood drawn and submitted to the laboratory for analysis. Also, I recommend annual heartworm testing to make sure your dog does not have heartworm disease, a potentially fatal and difficult-to-treat disease that is easily prevented by testing and using monthly heartworm prevention (a very effective and relatively inexpensive medication). For “silver” pets (those 8 years of age or older), I do recommend senior screening bloodwork every year to make sure their organs/body systems are all in good working order, and that they do not need to be on a special prescription diet or medication to treat underlying diseases. Dogs and cats are excellent at hiding symptoms of disease, so routine screening bloodwork is a valuable tool in preventative medicine. If you want your pet to be able to live a long and healthy life, bloodwork may be needed from time to time.
In case of emergency, especially if it's after hours, here's a list of recommended numbers:
(Please be aware that you're ALWAYS better off calling first, if at all possible, so that the veterinarians and staff can be fully prepared for your pet's emergency prior to your arrival…)
**Peak Veterinary Specialists, Windsor
4630 Royal Vista Circle
Windsor, CO 80528
**VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado
201 W 67th Ct
Loveland, CO 80538
(970) 278-0668 (Regular Hours)
(970) 663-5760 (After Hours)
**Animal Emergency Center, Aspen Meadows
104 S Main St
Longmont, CO 80501
(303) 678-8844 (After Hours)
Flatiron Veterinary Specialists (Regular Hours, same location) : (303) 772-9810
3550 South Jason Street
Englewood, Colorado 80110
(303) 874-PETS (7387) (24 Hours)
**Animal Poison Hotline: (888) 232-8870
**Colorado State University, James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital
300 W. Drake Rd
Fort Collins, CO 80526
(970) 221-4535 (24 Hours)
**Animal Eye Center, Loveland (eye emergencies): (970) 461-0909 (Regular Hours)
**Fort Collins Animal Emergency Clinic: (970) 484-8080 (After Hours)
**PETS Emergency, Greeley area
3629 23rd. Ave.
Evans, CO 80620
970-339-8700 (After Hours)
**VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, Denver
9770 East Alameda Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80247
(303) 366-2639 (24 Hours)
**Pet Poison Hotline: (800) 213-6680 (24 Hours)
**ASPCA Pet Poison Control Center Hotline: (888) 426-4435
*For at-home euthanasia when I cannot be reached, please call Home to Heaven, (970) 412-6212.
Colorado Division of Wildlife (303) 297-1192
Wild Bird Rehabilitation (303) 758-7575
Larimer Humane Society (970) 226-3647
***This is by no means a complete list of emergency clinics or help numbers. If you have any questions about whether you are truly in need of emergency care, please call me (970) 217-2894, or any of the listed numbers for additional help. If your pet is my patient, PLEASE call me so that I know that you've gone to an emergency clinic, and can have that clinic fax their treatment recommendations, etc., to me. This is vital to maintaining a complete health record for your pet. Good luck, and STAY CALM!