Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to have an appointment?
- We do schedule appointments ahead of time to limit wait times and ensure we have the resources to care for your pets. We have routine appointments as well as drop-off appointments available.
What forms of payment do you accept?
- We accept Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express), Cash, and Care Credit
- We do not offer payment plans, and all payment is due at the time of service. Check out our Payment Options page for more information.
- We will go over an itemized treatment plan and are happy to review prices prior to service. However, we cannot offer treatment plans without having seen your pet.
Do you accept pet insurance?
- We think pet insurance is a great idea, and give recommendations if you don’t have it already. The great thing about pet insurance is that there is not a “network”. You can take your pet to any hospital (even the overnight ER if needed) and then submit the paperwork directly to your insurance for reimbursement. Each insurance company & plan is different regarding the method of submission and amount reimbursed. We are happy to provide your medical records or additional copies of invoices as needed.
How often should I bring my pet in for a wellness examination?
- As your puppy or kitten grows, visits will be frequent (once a month until 4 months of age). During adulthood, annual exams help us monitor your pet’s health. If any medical conditions are present, or as your pet enters the senior years, examinations every 6 months are recommended.
- To refill prescription medications, an exam within one year is required by law in California.
At what age should my pet be spayed or neutered?
- This is a hot topic under research. Our veterinarians are up to date and will discuss the proper time for your pet at your visit. The general guidelines are 5 months for male or female cats, 6-18 months for male dogs, and 6-8 months for female dogs. We also perform spay/neuter on adult/older dogs. For most breeds, we recommend spaying before a female’s first heat cycle to avoid the risk of mammary cancer, but there are some exceptions.
What is the LOVE spay?
- A LOVE spay is short for a Laparoscopic OVE (ovariectomy). With this technique, 2-3 small incisions are made into the abdomen, and laparoscopic equipment is used to perform the procedure. Laparoscopic spays have been shown to cause 65% less pain than traditional spays. This means a faster recovery and less trauma to the patient. There is less risk of infection with smaller surgical incisions. Activity restriction is only recommended for the first 2-3 days after a LOVE spay versus 7-14 days for a traditional spay. Improved visualization and magnification increase operative precision and reduce blood loss
Is anesthesia safe for my pet?
- While no procedure is without risk, we are fully equipped to greatly minimize those risks. The doctor will examine your pet on the morning of the procedure. Pre-anesthetic testing will ensure your pet’s health prior to anesthesia. We place an IV catheter for venous access and provide IV fluids during gas anesthesia. At Rancho San Carlos Pet Clinic, your pet will have a staff member dedicated to monitoring your pet’s vital signs, including blood pressure, CO2, O2, respiratory rate, ECG/heart rate, mucus membranes, and temperature. We have individualized anesthetic protocols for higher-risk pets.
What is recommended prior to anesthesia?
- Pre-anesthetic blood testing allows us to evaluate your pet’s basic organ function, helping to ensure your pet can properly metabolize the anesthetic medications. This is required prior to procedures.
- Optional ECG testing evaluates the heart’s electrical activity, further ensuring the safety of anesthesia.
- We also offer anti-nausea medication to counteract the effects of opioids and anesthesia.
- Please do not feed your pet after midnight before anesthesia. If your pet is diabetic or has another chronic medication condition, please review your special fasting instructions prior to your appointment.
How often should I get my pet’s teeth cleaned?
- In addition to home dental care, most pets will need a complete oral health assessment and treatment (COHAT) at some point. This includes dental probing, scaling, polishing, and x-rays. The age that this starts, and the frequency of them, depends on what you do at home and your pet’s genetics. For most pets, annual cleanings are recommended.
- We have an annual dental health promotional discount if it has been <14 months since we last performed a COHAT on your pet.
What should I bring to my appointment?
- Please bring any previous medical records with you.
- If your pet is having intestinal upset or is due for the annual fecal exam, then please bring a stool sample. This sample should be collected within the last 24 hours & be in an air-tight container or bag.
- If your pet is on any medications, please bring a list of what you are giving and how often.
Do I have to come in or can you treat my pet over the phone?
- We do have telemedicine options available for existing clients to discuss your pet’s problem or refill ongoing medications.
- In California, veterinarians are not allowed to prescribe medications for a new problem without a new exam.
Can I fill a prescription from another veterinarian at your office?
- Veterinarians are only allowed to dispense prescriptions that we have directly prescribed.
- We can assist in getting supplements, shampoo, ear cleaner, or some pet food if we have authorization from your current veterinarian.
Do you provide boarding?
- We are not a primary boarding facility. We do have some patients who board for medical purposes if needed.
Are you accepting new clients?
- We do have a limited number of new client appointments available each day. This limit is to ensure we have appointments available for existing clients.
What happens at a euthanasia appointment?
Euthanasia is done out of love when the time is right or the situation requires it. Typically an IV catheter is placed, and a series of injections are provided to allow your pet to pass peacefully. The injections do not hurt. You can be with your pet if you choose, and you can select from routine cremation where the ashes are spread at sea or private cremation with the ashes returned to our hospital in approximately two weeks. To learn more about euthanasia, please check our service page.