Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an appointment?

Appointments are preferred, however we always try our best to accommodate walk-ins.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, personal checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and CareCredit. For more information about CareCredit, please click here.

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 might be hurting, or if they are just not acting like themselves, 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, panting, and having less energy. Of course, these symptoms can be associated with many causes, so early observation and action is important.

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

Please do not feed your pet after Midnight the evening before a scheduled procedure. There is no restriction on drinking water. Plan to arrive at Shiloh Animal Hospital between 7:30 – 8:00, allowing 30 minutes for check-in procedures. If you’d like to complete the drop-off paperwork in advance, visit our drop off consent form page.

Do you recommend vaccinations?

Vaccines are an important part of your dog or cat’s health care. Vaccines keep your pet healthy and prevent serious diseases. However, we tailor the vaccine recommendations to your pet’s lifestyle. Visit our Preventative & Wellness Care page for more information.

Does my pet need heartworm prevention?

Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, and if left untreated, it can be fatal. We recommend keeping your dog and cat on year-round heartworm prevention starting at your pet’s first visit. Dogs should tested with a simple blood test for heartworm disease on an annual basis.

When does my pet need blood work?

In patients under the age of 7, yearly blood work should be performed in order to detect disease early. In patients over the age of 7, we recommend bi-annual blood work. 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. Annual blood tests are convenient to do at the time of your pet’s annual heartworm test but can be done at any time of year.

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

We recommended keeping your dog or cat on heartworm prevention for the entire year. It is administered once a month either by pill or by topical application. Depending on the specific product you and your veterinarian choose for your pet, heartworm preventative medication can prevent other parasitic infestations, including intestinal parasites (hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms) and external parasites (fleas and ticks). A simple blood test will get your pet started.

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

Dogs can get very sick (vomiting, diarrhea, and/or death) if placed on heartworm prevention when they have existing heartworm disease. Even if they have been on heartworm prevention year round, there is always the possibility that the product might have failed for various reasons (your pet spit out the pill, the pill was not absorbed appropriately, topical medicine was not applied properly, medication was not given on time, etc.), and the earlier we can treat your pet for heartworm disease, the better the prognosis. All companies that we work with will guarantee their products, provided that they are used consistently year round and that yearly heartworm tests are performed. When starting heartworm prevention, or if your pet has not been on heartworm prevention year round, it is important that you perform a heartworm test six months after starting the prevention to rule out the pre-patent period. The pre-patent period refers to the time in which a dog has early developmental larvae which cannot be detected on a heartworm test, even though your dog is already harboring heartworm infection. If you do not do this, it is possible that the manufacturer of the products might not cover your pet’s treatment should they test positive for heartworm disease in the future.

My pet never goes outside, so does it really need heartworm prevention?

Yes. Heartworm disease is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito, and unfortunately, they are frequently able to enter your home.

How can I prevent fleas?

It is important to prevent fleas year-round in North Carolina. Not only are they uncomfortable for your pet, but fleas are also carriers of disease. There are many medications for the treatment and prevention of fleas, both oral and topical. We would be happy to discuss the best option for your pet at your next visit to Shiloh.

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

We believe that an regular professional dental exam as well as regular tooth scaling and polishing are necessary to treat and maintain your dog and cat’s healthy teeth and gums. As your pet ages, or as his or her health needs change, advanced dental care might be required. Each patient will have different dental needs dependent on breed, home care, and other health factors.

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 companion animals should start early, even before the adult teeth erupt. It is best if owners brush their pet’s teeth once daily. Although tooth brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up, there are many options for dental home care. Other oral home care options such as dental formulated foods, water additives, and dental treats should be considered.

What is kennel cough?

Canine Bordetella is a respiratory disease called Infectious Tracheobronchitis (kennel cough). It is easily transmitted through the air. It is a viral infection complicated by bacteria. Both intraoral and injectable vaccines are available.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease. It is spread by wildlife (raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, rats) and domestic animals. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transferred from animals to humans. Canine Lepto has risen dramatically in recent years. Infected animals shed Lepto bacteria in the urine. To prevent Lepto in your dog, discourage your pet from drinking standing water and vaccinate yearly.

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 examination.
  • Pre-anesthetic bloodwork (if not already performed within 30 days prior to the procedure).
  • Premedication to ease 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 acclimate to the hospital environment to make the situation less stressful.

Is anesthesia safe for my pet?

At Shiloh 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 injectables 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, plus the latest anesthetic monitoring equipment means that anesthesia is generally considered to be a very low risk for your pet.

When we place your dog or cat safely 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 and any necessary medications during the procedure. Once the procedure is completed and the anesthetic is turned off, oxygen is continuously delivered to your pet until your pet wakes up and the tube is removed.

We closely monitor your pet during the procedure and during the recovery process using advanced monitoring equipment. Parameters often monitored include oxygen concentration in the blood stream (pulse oximetry), electrocardiogram (EKG), core body temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and carbon dioxide level. The monitoring findings allow us to perform safe anesthetic procedures.

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 or her procedure. Comfort control improves your dog or cat’s recovery and speeds the healing process. We administer pain medication before beginning the procedure, during, and post-operatively as needed. We also use a cold light laser on incisions post-surgically in order to decrease pain and inflammation and to speed healing.

My pet has kidney and heart disease; is anesthesia safe?

Prior to anesthesia, patients with kidney disease should be fully evaluated with blood tests, urinalysis, and possible ultrasound. Cardiology patients should also be evaluated including blood tests and echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).

My pet is older; is anesthesia safe?

Anesthesia in otherwise healthy, older pets is considered safe. It is important to perform the recommended pre-operative testing prior to anesthesia to check major organ function and allow us to tailor the anesthesia to any pre-existing medical conditions. We require pre-anesthetic blood work on all of our patients within one month of their scheduled procedure.

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

You will receive a call when your pet is in recovery from the procedure. If there are any abnormalities on pre-anesthetic exam or blood work, you will receive a call prior to the procedure in case 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?

Pets undergoing outpatient procedures will be ready to go by close of business the same day unless noted otherwise during the post-operative phone update.