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!

Do you have a referral program?

Tell your friends about your experiences at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital. Tell your friends to select ‘Client Referral’ on the ‘New Client Registration’ page and fill in your first and last name. When they come for their pet’s first physical exam, both you and your friend will receive a ‘Share the Care’ card. When they become clients, you and your friend will receive a $20.00 professional service credit! Learn more here.

What is your 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.