Short Pump Animal Hospital

Short Pump FAQs

Have a question you'd like to ask? Read our FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are you taking new patients?

Yes, we are currently accepting new patients. We would love to welcome you and your pet into our family.

What’s the best way to book an appointment?

To book an appointment online, please visit this page or give us a call at 804-360-0100. We look forward to seeing you.

Can my pet see the same Veterinarian and/or Veterinary Technician each visit?

If you have a preferred Doctor and/or technician we will try our best to accommodate your request. Simply request a preference at your time of scheduling or ask our staff to place a note on your chart so we will know your preferences moving forward. There are a few situations (see below) where your pet may not be able to see your preferred hospital staff, but rest assured, your pet’s best interest is still our top priority:

  • Emergency situations
  • Vacations or time off
  • Availability
Why do you check my pet's weight every time he/she comes in for a visit?

Many parts of our examinations for pets are like human check-ups. Just like your doctor always checks your height and weight when you go in for a physical, we like to monitor your pet’s weight so we can see trends over time. Rapid weight gain or weight loss could be an indication of an issue that we need to address. If your pet has weight related issues, it is important to monitor weight loss so we can create an appropriate plan. Similarly, weight lets us know proper dosage of medication, anesthesia, and more.

My pet is well trained. Does he/she need to be on a leash/in a carrier when we visit the hospital?

Our hospital policies require that all animals always be on a locked leash or in a carrier while visiting the hospital. Even the best trained pets can get scared or have transmissible diseases, so it is for the safety of other patients and staff.

Once you are in the exam room, a member of our team will let you know when it is safe to take your pet off-leash or out of the carrier.

Emergency Care

What constitutes a pet emergency situation? What do I do in case I have an emergency and Short Pump is closed?

An emergency situation is one that requires immediate attention. Possible symptoms can include:

  • Inability to urinate or pass waste (could be due to a blockage)
  • Uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Any trauma, like lacerations or punctures
  • Collapse or Unconsciousness
  • Labored breathing
  • Inability to walk/stand
  • Ingestion of a poison

If you believe you are experiencing an emergency during office hours, please call us immediately and head to our clinic. If it is after hours, please visit the closest emergency animal hospital.

Please visit our Emergencies page for a list of animal hospitals we trust with our patients after business hours.

I think my pet ate something that is poisonous, but he/she seems fine. What should I do?

If you think that your pet ate something poisonous and it is during business hours, please call us immediately, even if they are acting okay right now. We can give you guidance and if needed prepare for your arrival. If it is after hours, visit the closest animal hospital or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at 888-426-4435.

New Pet Owners

I just got a new pet, what do I do next?

Congratulations! We are so excited for you and your family. We recommend scheduling an appointment as soon as possible so we can get to know you and your pet. At your first appointment, we will have you fill out some paperwork with as much information as you have. If you adopted from a shelter or breeder, please bring this paperwork with you.

We will conduct a full exam and administer any necessary vaccines, as well as discuss future treatment and answer any questions you may have about life with a new pet.

Should I get a microchip for my pet?

We strongly recommend getting a microchip for your pet. Accidents can happen to anyone, and the worst thing would be to not be able to find your pet. Even for pets that are entirely indoors, they could slip out unnoticed.

Microchipping is a safe and relatively painless procedure that helps with pet identification if they were to get lost. We insert the microchip, the size of a grain of rice, in between the shoulder blades. You then register the microchip number with the pet finding service HomeAgain and fill out your contact information. In the event your pet got lost, a veterinarian or shelter would scan the microchip and call using the contact information you provide so you can quickly be reunited with your pet.

How much exercise does my pet need?

Each animal will need a different amount of exercise. It is largely dependent on the breed, age, and health of your pet. In general, an adult dog will need anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours of playtime per day. Puppies will need less, with around five minutes of exercise per month of age twice a day. Consult with your veterinarian about exercise needs for senior dogs.

Most animals do best when playtime and exercise is spread out throughout the day rather than one long playtime. Avoid strenuous exercise, especially with puppies, as this can damage joints and bones while growing. Exercise can include fetch, walks, running around the house, obedience training, agility training, and more. Try to vary the kind of exercise throughout the day to keep your pet engaged.

Why is a series of puppy/kitten shots necessary and will my pet need to have the series every year?

Puppies and kitten’s immune systems are protected by mothers’ antibodies, but that protection decreases over time, so they need to be protected by vaccines so we can prevent unnecessary diseases. Some vaccines like the Rabies vaccine are required by law, while others are strongly recommended by veterinarians. Puppies and kittens typically get their first round of shots at 6-8 weeks of age, and then every 3-4 weeks until they are 16-18 weeks of age.

As your puppy or kitten turns into an adult, they will need boosters of vaccines, but not the entire series all over again. Some vaccines are boosted annually while others are boosted every three years.

Treatments & Medications

My pet feels better but I still have medication left. Do I really have to keep giving it?

We are so glad to hear that your pet feels better. As with humans, it is important to finish all prescribed medication. If you stop medication before you are finished, your pet can relapse in their illness or cause the disease to last longer. If you have any questions about your pet’s medication, do not hesitate to give us a call.

Why do I have to test my dog for heartworm if I give a preventative every month?

It is important to test for heartworm both before the preventative is started and once every year. Heartworm prevention only works as a prevention, so giving it to a dog that already has heartworm will not get rid of them. Giving heartworm prevention to a heartworm positive dog can also be fatal.

Even when taking the medication as directed, we test annually to make sure that the prevention is working. If we did not test regularly and there is an undiagnosed infection, this can result in lung damage or other serious issues.

Our heartworm test also tests for several common tick borne diseases: Lyme (Borrelia burgdorferi), Ehrlichia canis, Ehrlichia ewingii, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma platys. Diagnosing these diseases early improves our chances of preventing significant damage to your pet's joints and organs.

Do pets get stressed when traveling?

Pets can certainly get stressed when traveling, but there are ways to minimize the stress if a trip is necessary. For especially anxious pets, we can prescribe some calming medications to be used during travel.

Otherwise, follow these simple steps:

  • Make sure they have access to food and water throughout the travel journey
  • If in a carrier, make it comfortable with favorite blankets or toys
  • If traveling on a plane, try to have them in the cabin with you rather than in the cargo hold

There might be a time when you need to travel with your cat or dog, and we are happy to provide guidance on the best course of action. We also provide pet travel health certificates if you are leaving the state or country.

My pet had surgery. What should I watch for with the incision?

Your pet’s incision should be touching, clean, and slightly reddish pink in color. If you notice any of the following symptoms, please contact us immediately or visit your nearest emergency clinic:

  • Excessive swelling or redness
  • Foul smells or discharge
  • Excessive blood draining
  • Blood seepage that continues for more than 24 hours
  • Hot to the touch
Can you recommend medications over the phone?

We cannot recommend medications over the phone. It would be unethical and illegal to recommend medications for your pet without a proper exam and tests. Although we want to hear your description of their symptoms at home, to prescribe the most accurate medication, they need to be seen at our clinic.

What can trigger pet allergies?

Some of the most common triggers for pet allergies are:

  • Fleas
  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Grass or weeds
  • Chemicals in household products
  • Food allergies like eggs, corn, wheat, soy, or dairy

If you notice any itching, biting, rashes, sores, infection, or other skin or gastrointestinal issues, it might a sign of an allergy. We will perform a skin, blood, and/or urine test in conjunction with a physical exam to diagnose the allergy. We will then make changes in their diet or lifestyle to minimize interactions with the allergen.

Are dental issues common in pets?

Dental issues are extremely common in pets, but this can be avoided. It is said that over 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of two have some form of periodontal disease. This can be painful and result in tooth loss or expensive surgeries.

How to prevent dental disease:

  • Feed your pet a high-quality pet food
  • Bring them in for regular exams and cleanings
  • Brush their teeth daily or provide dental chews/treats
  • Give them veterinarian approved toys to chew on

Here are the most common signs of dental disease in pets:

  • Bad breath
  • Swollen, red, or bleeding gums
  • Buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Change in eating patterns

If you believe your pet is due for a dental cleaning or notice signs of dental disease, schedule an appointment with us today.

Join the Short Pump Animal Hospital Family Today!

Phone: 804-360-0100

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