We are dedicated to the health of your pets. Because you may have questions since becoming a pet owner, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help you out.

Do you accept new clients?
We are always open to meeting new clients and their pets. Feel free to contact us so that we can schedule an appointment at a time that is convenient for you.

Do I need an appointment?
Yes, our team works by appointments to assure every pet and family gets the individualized and detailed attention they deserve. Please call our office at (206) 232-0333

What should I bring to my first appointment?
A hungry pet and lots of treats! Please also bring any records and paperwork you have from other veterinarians, breeders, shelters, or prior owners, and a fresh stool specimen if one has not been tested in the past 12 months.

Why do I need to bring a fecal sample to my pet’s appointment?
Mercer Island is a high risk area for intestinal parasites in dogs and cats. Further, some of these parasites can be shared from pets to people, putting families at risk. For these reasons, we recommend checking a stool sample at least once a year to verify your pet is free from potentially harmful and contagious parasites.

How are records transferred from my previous veterinarian?
We will contact your previous veterinarian office to have your records transferred to us. You simply need to let us know who your previous veterinarian is.

What types of payments do you accept?
Payment is expected at the time of service. To make sure that your pets receive the care they need, we accept multiple forms of payment. We accept cash and checks along with most major credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. We also accept CareCredit, which is another form of credit.

Do you offer payment plans?
No, at this time we do not.

Should I get pet insurance for my pets?
Getting pet insurance is always a great idea. There are many plans from which to choose. Some will help with routine visits while others can be very helpful in an emergency. Make sure to research the plan before signing up, as every plan is different and you’ll want to assure the plan meets your expectation in times of illness or injury.

My pet has bad breath. What do I do?
Bad breath is never normal for dogs and cats. If your pet has bad breath, it can be a sign of infection, injury to the teeth or mouth, tumor, kidney disease, stomach problems, and so much more. Please make an appointment with our doctors if you notice your pet has bad breath, and we will find the source of the problem and offer solutions to return your pet to good health.

My dog is licking the bottoms of his paws and shaking his head. Why?
Many dogs experience allergies to fleas, food, and the environment. When people get hayfever allergies, we sneeze. When dogs get these allergies, they develop itchy skin and paws, and often ear infections. Licking the paws, itching, and head shaking are not normal. If you see these signs, your pet could be experiencing discomfort and you should schedule an appointment to see our veterinarians.

When should I start getting my animal vaccinated?
We suggest puppies and kittens begin their juvenile series at age 8 weeks or older. To get the full benefits of their vaccinations, your pets will need to be vaccinated several times until they are around 16 weeks old. After that, they will need to come for an examination with the veterinarian annually, and be vaccinated only as recommended based on their lifestyle, travel history, and exposure to other animals.

When should I get my pet fixed?
For most clients, we recommend spaying and neutering puppies and kittens around 6 months of age. We like to assure the patient has lost all of his or her baby teeth, and is in good health prior to surgery. In some instances, we may suggest waiting until 1-2 years of age to spay or neuter your pet (variations in size, breed, family history, and lifestyle all come into play here). We are happy to discuss this subject during your pet’s juvenile wellness visits.

Do I really need to fix my pet?
Spaying and neutering has a number of benefits for pets, including preventing accidental litters and reducing pet overpopulation, while protecting pets from certain illnesses. Pyometra (a life-treatening infection of the uterus) and breast cancer are both risks for females. Males are at risk for roaming to find females, prostate enlargement with urinary tract disease, and certain hormone-associated cancers like Sertoli cell tumors. Of these, pyometra and prostate enlargement are the two most common and serious health problems which are prevented by spaying and neutering.

New research suggests some dogs of some breeds may experience a higher risk for other kinds of cancer if they are spayed or neutered at a young age. These studies do not demonstrate definitive findings right now, but we are watching the information stream closely.

Spaying and neutering at a young age (less than 6 months) can also impact growth. Because the research is still new, and answers may be on the horizon but are not concrete yet, we will make a customized recommendation for your family and your pet when we meet with you. Having a sexually intact dog carries additional risks and responsibilities. It is important to make sure we balance those increased responsibilities with the possible health benefits of delaying surgery until 1-2 years of age.

What are some signs of an emergency?
If you are concerned about your pet, the best thing to do is to give us a call, we can help you decide if your pet needs to be seen, and how emergent the problem is. Common signs of emergency include: ingestion of medications, toxins, or foreign materials, trouble breathing, pale or blue gums, extreme lethargy, repeated vomiting, or inability to urinate.

If we are not available, the local emergency clinic can also guide you in these situations. Please call:
Seattle Veterinary Specialists 206-624-9111 (Downtown Seattle) 425-823-9111 (Kirkland)
Blue Pearl Veterinary 206-364-1660 (Seattle/Renton)

If you have any questions not listed here, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (206) 232-0333.