10310 Central Valley Rd. NW
Poulsbo, WA 98370

Open Mon-Fri 8-6, Sat 8-12
360-930-5142

FAQs

Appointments

To make an appointment please call us at 360-930-5142 to set up a time that is convenient for your schedule. If you need to change or cancel your appointment, we request that you contact our office as soon as possible. Central Valley Animal Hospital offers same-day appointments for sick patients and emergencies during office hours. We also offer drop-off appointments; you may drop your pet off before work, and pick him or her up after work, ready to go!

Our hours of operation are as follows:

Monday – Friday, 8 am – 6 pm
Saturday, 8 am – 12 pm

Emergency Services

If your pet has an emergency during business hours, bring them to our hospital and they will be assessed and treated quickly and efficiently. If your pet's emergency is after hours, please contact the Animal Emergency and Trauma Center in Poulsbo at 360-697-7771.

Prescription Policy

Our pharmacy is fully stocked with a wide variety of prescription medications and diets for your pet. We are here to answer your questions about selecting the best medication, choosing the proper dosage, and information on side effects or other drug interactions. If you have any concerns or your pet experiences adverse reactions, we urge you to contact us immediately so one of our trained staff can assist you.

Fees

The fees we charge for services are based upon what is needed to maintain the high quality of care we are proud to provide. Payment is required at the time the services are performed. For your convenience, we accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, and CareCredit.

How do I know if my pet is in pain?

It can sometimes be difficult to tell. If you are not sure but suspect your dog or cat may be hurting, or is just not acting right, call us to have us examine your pet. Some signs of pain are more obvious, such as limping, but some signs are more subtle and can include: not eating, a change in behavior or normal habits, being more tired and having less energy. Of course, these symptoms can also be caused by many problems, so early observation and action is important.

When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?

The best time to spay or neuter your dog or cat is approximately 5-6 months of age. However, the procedure can be done at most ages.

Vaccinations — Are they really necessary?

Vaccines are an important part of your dog or cat’s health care. Vaccines keep your pet healthy and prevent serious diseases. We will make sure that your pet avoids these problems with annual wellness exams, vaccinations and parasite protection. It is our policy that all pets receiving a vaccination be fully examined by one of our veterinarians prior to the vaccine being given.

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough is also called Infectious Tracheobronchitis, and is easily transmitted through the air. It is caused by viruses and/or bacteria that affect the respiratory system of dogs. The best way to reduce the severity of respiratory disease is with vaccination (see Bordetella vaccine, below).

What vaccines should my dog receive?

Rabies Vaccine: Rabies is transmitted via bites from wild animals, particularly bats, skunks, raccoons, possums, and foxes. This disease can be transmitted to humans through the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Puppies and kittens will first receive this vaccination at 16 weeks of age, and then they will be revaccinated every 1-3 years as required by law.

DAPP Vaccine: This is a “4-way” canine vaccine that protects against canine distemper, adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Distemper and parvovirus are oftentimes fatal, especially in puppies. Puppies can be vaccinated as early as 8 weeks of age and receive a booster vaccine every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Once your dog is an adult, it receives vaccines on an annual basis.

Leptospirosis Vaccine: Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial disease and can be fatal. It is spread by wildlife (raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, rats) and domestic animals. It can be transmitted to people, and the incidence of canine leptospirosis has risen dramatically in recent years. Infected animals shed the bacteria in the urine. To prevent Leptospirosis in your dog, discourage your pet from drinking standing water and vaccinate yearly. We include the Leptospirosis vaccine with your dog’s annual DAPP vaccine at no additional charge to you.

Bordetella Vaccine: Also known as kennel cough and is highly contagious from dog to dog. We recommend this vaccine in almost all instances, because any time your dog comes into contact with other dogs (during walks, at the grooming salon, while boarding, during doggie daycare or obedience training, at the park, etc.), it is at risk for contracting kennel cough.

What vaccines should my cat receive?

Rabies Vaccine: (See Above)

FVRCP Vaccine: This is a “4-way” feline vaccine that protects against feline distemper (aka panleukopenia), rhinotrachetitis, and calicivirus. Kittens can be vaccinated as early as 8 weeks and receive a booster vaccine every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Adult cats are then revaccinated annually.

Feline Leukemia Vaccine: Feline Leukemia Vaccine is recommended for kittens and cats that are of high risk of contracting this virus, such as outdoor cats. The vaccine is administered annually.

When does my pet need blood work?

We recommend that yearly blood work be performed, especially after the age of 7. This helps to detect disease early. In many situations, early detection is essential for more effective treatment. The type of blood work will be determined specifically for each pet depending on his or her individual needs. We also perform blood work on your pet whenever he/she undergoes anesthesia.

How many months should my pet be on heartworm prevention medication?

12 months! Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and can be fatal if left untreated. We recommend all dogs be given year round heartworm prevention, regardless of lifestyle.

A simple blood test is needed to check your dog for heartworm disease and should be performed on an annual basis. Heartworm prevention is administered once a month. Heartworm prevention medication also helps prevent other parasite infestations, including internal parasites (intestinal parasites) and external parasites (fleas and ticks).

Why does my dog need a blood test before purchasing heartworm prevention?

Dogs can get sick (vomiting, diarrhea, and/or death) if placed on heartworm prevention when they have heartworm disease. Even if they have been on heartworm prevention year round there is always the possibility that the product may have failed for various reasons (your pet spit out the pill, did not absorb the pill appropriately, topical medicine was not applied properly, forgot to administer medication on time, etc.) and the earlier we can treat your pet for heartworm disease, the better the prognosis. Some companies will guarantee their product providing that you use the heartworm prevention year round and are performing yearly heartworm testing. The test itself is very sophisticated yet simple: we just need a few drops of blood to run the test.

Doesn’t the fecal sample test for heartworms?

No. Heartworm disease is a blood-borne disease that is transmitted through mosquitoes. A fecal sample only tests for intestinal parasites, not blood parasites.

Why does my pet need a dental cleaning and how often should this be done?

Most pets over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease. We believe an annual professional dental exam, tooth scaling and polishing are necessary to treat and maintain your dog’s and cat’s healthy teeth and gums. As your pet ages or his or her health needs change, advanced dental care may be required. Your pet's teeth and mouth should be examined by us on a regular basis.

Do I need to brush my pet’s teeth at home?

Yes, but it must be performed daily (just like for us!). If you get your pet used to this at an early age, it can be a daily “treat”. Proper dental care at home is highly recommended to help maintain the oral health of your dog and cat. Although tooth brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up, some of us don’t have the time in our busy schedules for daily brushing. Thankfully there are now many options for dental home care. Oral home care options include dental formulated foods, water additives, and dental treats.

Are there any special at-home care instructions for my dog or cat before undergoing surgery?

Please do not feed your pet after 12AM Midnight the evening before a scheduled procedure. There is no restriction on drinking water. We suggest that you plan to arrive at the office between 8-8:30 AM, and allow up to 30 minutes for check-in procedures.

Why does my pet need to be admitted several hours before a surgical procedure?

In preparation for the procedure, your pet will receive:

  • A pre-anesthetic exam
  • Pre-anesthetic blood work
  • Medication to easy anxiety and to smooth induction of anesthesia
  • Placement of an intravenous catheter to deliver medications and fluids that support blood pressure and organ function during anesthesia
  • In addition to the above, it gives your pet a chance to adjust to the hospital’s environment which makes the situation less stressful

Is anesthesia safe for my pet?

At Central Valley Animal Hospital, we take all anesthetic cases very seriously. We utilize the safest, multi-modal approach that is individually created for each dog or cat. It includes injectable medications for sedation and pain management as well as gas anesthetic agents. The combination of pre-anesthetic assessment of your pet (including blood work), use of modern anesthetic agents, and the latest anesthetic monitoring equipment means that anesthesia is generally considered to be a very low risk for your pet.

Our highly trained staff will closely monitor your pet during the entire procedure (including recovery) using advanced monitoring equipment. Parameters monitored include oxygen concentration in the blood stream (pulse oximetry), electrocardiogram (EKG), core body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate.

When we place your pet under general anesthesia, a breathing tube is inserted into the trachea (windpipe) to administer oxygen mixed with the anesthetic gas. As with people, an intravenous catheter is placed into your pet’s arm or leg to infuse with fluids during the procedure. Once the procedure is completed and the anesthetic is turned off, oxygen is continued to be delivered to your pet until they wake up and the tube is removed.

What is a multi-modal approach to anesthesia?

A multi-modal approach refers to the layered administration of small amounts of different medications to achieve the desired levels of anesthesia and pain management. We administer lower doses of each individual anesthetic, which generally equates to fewer side effects, complete pain relief, and faster post-operative recovery.

How will you manage my pet’s pain during surgery?

We believe in performing surgery with advanced pain management techniques because we want to maximize the comfort of your pet during and after his/her procedure. Comfort control improves your dog or cat’s recovery and speeds the healing process. We administer pain medication before the start of the procedure, during the procedure, and post-operatively as needed by your pet.

My pet is older, is anesthesia safe?

Anesthesia in otherwise healthy, older pets is considered safe. It is important to have recommended pre-operative testing performed prior to anesthesia to check the status of major organ function and allow us to tailor the anesthesia to any pre-existing medical conditions.

When my pet is having surgery, when should I expect an update on my pet?

At your request, you will receive a phone call once your pet has entered recovery. If there are any abnormalities during the pre-anesthetic exam or blood work, you will receive a call prior to the procedure in the event that we need to change plans. Remember that no news is good news, and you will be contacted immediately should the need arise.

After surgery, when will my pet be able to go home?

Please schedule additional time to meet with the doctor or technician when picking up your animal after surgery. This will allow us to go over discharge instructions tailored specifically to your pet and the procedure. Our doctors are more than happy to answer any questions you may have to ensure proper recovery for your pet. Your doctor will provide you with a written set of discharge instructions for you to follow at home.

Answers to common questions after your pet returns home following surgery:

What if my pet won’t eat?

Decreased appetite can occur after surgery and is not uncommon. Do not be alarmed if your pet does not want to eat the night it comes home.

What if my pet’s bandage, cast or splint is wet, soiled or removed?

If the bandage becomes soiled, damp, chewed, or chewed off, please do not re-bandage at home. Duct tape and other items can trap moisture within the cast/bandage causing inflammation of the skin and tissues. In some cases, bandages that are applied incorrectly at home can cut off the circulation to the foot.

Call us immediately if you have concerns about your pet's bandage. Confine your pet to a single room or similar small area until you can call us and we can advise you as to whether the bandage needs to be replaced. After a cast or splint is first removed, it may take 1-2 weeks for your pet to become accustomed to using the leg without the splint.

My pet seems constipated; should I be concerned?

Difficulty having bowel movements can be expected after illness, anesthesia, or surgery. It may take a few days for the gastrointestinal system to return to normal function. Also, remember that prior to surgery, your pet was fasted! Fortunately, it is not vital for your pet to pass a stool on a regular daily basis. Please contact us if your pet has not passed a stool within 72 hours of discharge from the hospital or appears to be straining to defecate.

What if my pet is crying or whining?

Although vocalizing can indicate discomfort, it is usually not a sign of pain (instinctively most pets will not vocalize because in the wild, this would attract predators). Often, pets vocalize due to the excitement or agitation that they feel on leaving the hospital and returning to their familiar home environment. If crying or whining is mild and intermittent, you may simply monitor the situation. If vocalization persists, please call us for advice. In some cases, a mild sedative may be prescribed or pain medication may be adjusted.

What if my pet has diarrhea?

Your pet may experience diarrhea after hospitalization. This can be caused by a change in diet but is more commonly caused by the stress of being away from home. Certain medications prescribed to your pet may also cause diarrhea. We do NOT recommend using any over-the-counter medication to treat diarrhea in your pet. Please call us if there are any questions or problems.

Uh oh, here come the Elizabethan Collar (E-Collar or “Cone”)!

If an E-collar is sent home, we rely on you to keep it on your pet. While they may not enjoy it initially, they will enjoy even less having to come back to our office for another visit to repair an incision that has been chewed open. If this occurs, they will need to wear the collar for an extended period of time. Most pets become accustomed to the collar within one or two days, and they will be able to eat, sleep, and drink with it on. We are counting on you - please keep the e-collar on your pet.

What if it appears there is an injury to the surgical site?

If for any reason you suspect that your pet has reinjured the surgical site, confine your pet to a safe location and call us immediately for advice.

My pet still seems to be in pain; can I get medication refills?

If you have given your pet all of the pain medication prescribed and you feel your pet still has discomfort, please give us a call, and we will be happy to discuss refilling the pain medication.

My pet still seems to be in pain; what do I do?

Despite the medications we have prescribed, some pets will still show signs of pain at home, such as restlessness, inability to sleep, poor appetite, lameness or tenderness at the site of surgery. Please confine your pet to limit their activity, then call us immediately so we can prescribe additional medication or therapies as necessary to keep your pet comfortable.

What if my pet is panting?

This is commonly seen after surgery. It may indicate soreness but is often due to anxiety. Please call us so we can help determine whether additional pain medication is required. We will be happy to recheck your pet for your peace of mind.

What is a seroma (fluid pocket) and what does it indicate?

In any healing surgical area, fluid produced during the healing process may accumulate and form a seroma (fluid pocket). Fortunately, this is not painful and does not delay the healing process. Eventually, the body will reabsorb the fluid so if the seroma is small, we typically will leave it alone. If it is large, we may remove the fluid with a needle and syringe, or even place a drain if necessary. If you notice a seroma developing, please call our office. We will likely recheck the area to ensure there is no infection.

What if my pet is shaking or trembling?

This is a very common response to physiologic stress after surgery, injury, or any other health procedure. The amount of shaking or trembling may be dramatic, but it does not imply severe pain, cold, or distress. It may involve the entire body, or just the area of surgery. It is most noticeable in the first 5-7 days post-operatively, and typically subsides in 1-2 weeks. Please call us if your pet shows signs of pain such as restlessness, lack of appetite, or crying out.

What about urination?

Some pets may urinate less after surgery or may seem to be unable to control urination. This is usually temporary and may be a side effect of medication, anesthesic drugs, or difficulty assuming "the position" to urinate. Many pets initially drink less after returning home, but if your pet has not produced urine for more than 12-24 hours, please call our office.

My pet just vomited. What do I do?

Occasionally, there may be an episode or two of vomiting after surgery or anesthesia. This is not unusual due to the excitement of coming home. If the vomiting continues, blood is noted in the vomitus, or if your pet is not holding down any food or water, call us to schedule a follow-up examination of your pet.

Bottom line: if you are concerned about your pet at all, please don’t hesitate to call us. That is what we’re here for!

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