FAQs

There is no question too big or too small for our veterinary team. Below are some answers to our most common questions.

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You have questions, and we have answers.

At West Ballantyne Animal Hospital, we’re committed to providing you with the very best pet care available. Part of that responsibility means making sure our clients fully understand the nature of the work we do and the treatments that we use to help your cherished pet. At our animal clinic, we encourage you to ask as many questions as you need to make informed decisions about the pet care we provide. To that end, our veterinarian Tom Linfante, DVM, has taken the time to address some of his most frequently asked questions right here on our website. The questions range from general inquiries about the programs and policies associated with our Charlotte area animal clinic to specific questions related to the health of your pet. If you don’t see an answer to your question below, contact us today. The pet care experts at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital are waiting to hear from you!

Is West Ballantyne Animal Hospital accepting new clients?

We are most definitely accepting new clients and patients and can not wait to add more members to our furry family!

What is our hospital’s COVID-19 healthy and safety protocol?

For the health and safety of our team and clients we are allowing clients into the building for doctor’s appointments only. All other appointment types or drop-offs remain curbside. We have increased sanitation efforts and cleaning standards. We are only allowing 1 family member to accompany each doctor’s appointment in an effort to reduce potential viral spread.

Please click here to learn more about our COVID-19 protocols.

Do you require a deposit for New Client appointments?
The veterinary profession has been inundated with the need for pet care since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With such a higher need for pet care than in previous years it has become difficult to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Due to this high demand for appointments and the increased frequency of missed or last-minute cancellations, we require a deposit equal to our exam fee for all New Clients. This deposit will be applied to your invoice at the time of check out. If you miss your appointment or do not cancel at least one business day prior to your scheduled appointment this deposit will be non-refundable.

What is your hospital’s pet prescription policy?

We have partnered with My Vet Store Online. This pharmacy provides you with a trusted source for prescriptions, diets, and pet supplies. Most orders ship free and offer discounts if you use the auto ship option. You get the ease of shopping online with the convenience of home delivery. Our online store offers the security of using an accredited pharmacy and the satisfaction of keeping your dollars in your local community! Our online store is also very competitively priced ensuring that we are protecting your pet as well as protecting your budget!

You can access our online pharmacy from our website by clicking the “Shop with Us” button or through the PetDesk app by clicking the “Online Pharmacy” button on the provider’s tab.

As of January 1, 2022, West Ballantyne Animal Hospital will no longer be working with any outside online pharmacies. We are no longer recommending these pharmacies due to numerous medication, communication and quality concerns. If you still wish to use an outside online pharmacy, we will be happy to write a prescription that you can pick up at the hospital and mail directly to the pharmacy of your choice.

What is your patient admission policy?

All pets admitted to the hospital for surgery, dentistry, boarding, or bathing must be up-to-date with their annual preventative care exams and vaccinations. If another hospital provided this service, proof of vaccination would be requested at the time of booking. If you do not have the vaccination certificate, we will be happy to call the clinic where the service was provided on your behalf. This policy is vital for the safety and well-being of both your own pet and others in the hospital.

What is your cancellation/late arrival policy?

Please notify us if you are unable to keep your appointment. We do accept same-day cancellations. We can not guarantee an appointment with the doctor if you are 15 minutes or later than your scheduled appointment. However, we will do our best to find you another mutually convenient appointment time.

What is your payment policy?

We accept cash, all major credit cards (including Visa and MasterCard), and debit cards as payment forms for services. We also accept CareCredit. Payment for services rendered is due after each appointment or when the pet is discharged from the hospital.

If you have any additional questions or need further assistance, please call our office to talk with one of our staff members – we are happy to help!

How do I know if my pet is in pain?

It can sometimes be difficult to tell. If you suspect your dog or cat may be hurting or is just not acting right, call us to set up an examination for 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 are essential.

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

The general time frame to spay or neuter your cat or dog is approximately 6 – 8 months old. There are varying breed recommendations or health reasons that the doctor may advise otherwise on an individual basis. However, the procedure can be done at most ages. It is important that female dogs and cats get spayed before their first heat cycle. Learn more here.

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

Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and leads to congestive heart failure and death 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 on an annual basis. Heartworm prevention is given on a monthly basis by a chewable tablet or topical application. Depending on the specific product you and your veterinarian choose, heartworm prevention medication can prevent other parasite infestations, including internal parasites (intestinal parasites) and external parasites (fleas and ticks).

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

The teeth and mouth are one of the first things our veterinarian checks during your pet’s physical exam. We may notice that your pet has some tartar buildup or lesions on the teeth or mouth. A dental cleaning includes:

  • A complete mouth examination
  • Digital X-rays of every tooth in the mouth
  • Tooth root planning
  • Tooth scaling
  • Polishing to treat and maintain your dog and cat’s healthy teeth and gums

As your pet ages, advanced dental care may be required. Your pet’s teeth must be checked regularly, and cleanings should be performed regularly to keep the mouth healthy. Learn more here.

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

Yes. Proper dental care at home is highly recommended to help maintain the oral health of your dog and cat. Home dental care for your pet should start early, even before their adult teeth come in. It is best if owners brush their dog’s and cat’s teeth frequently. In order to be effective, the teeth need to be brushed multiple times a week. Although tooth brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up, there are many dental home care options. Other oral home care options such as dental formulated foods, rinses, water additives, and dental treats should be considered.