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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequent Questions: FAQ

Do you offer boarding?

We do offer boarding for dogs and condos for cats in a separate area of the hospital.  Our dog boarding is in our climate controlled kennel with very large runs and access to a large exercise yard.  We make sure our boarders are monitored very closely while they are with us and if any concerns arise they are checked by one of our Veterinarians. Stop in to visit our boarding facility at Pinehurst Animal Hospital today!

Do you offer Doggy Day Care?

At Pinehurst Animal Hospital we offer some of the best Doggy daycare services the Pinehurst and Southern Pines area has to offer. From dawn until dusk, we enjoy giving your dog affection and personal attention, as he or she enjoys indoor and outdoor activities as well as play groups. 

What if my pet needs to be seen as soon as possible?

At Pinehurst Animal Hospital we do everything we can to work sick or injured pets into our schedule. This can be accomplished as a work in appointment or as a drop off appointment. We have also added extra veterinarians and recently blocked off many time slots for day of dog or cat urgent needs.  In addition we have an Urgent Care Practice under construction in Southern Pines, called Urgent Vets For Pets. This facility should be ready to see patients in late 2021.

Where are you located?

Our practice is Conveniently located just off of Midland road on Dr Neal road overlooking the LongLeaf Golf Course.  We are just south of the traffic circle and near Carolina Eye and IronWood Cafe.

How often should my pet be seen?

At Pinehurst Animal Hospital, we recommend that your pet have bi-annual preventative care exams. It’s important to remember that our pets age much faster than we do. A thorough physical exam twice a year is crucial to maintaining the health of your pet as they get older.
We also recommend that your pet have a fecal test when they come in for their preventative care exams. Our pets can become infected with intestinal parasites while they are outside, but even our indoor pets are at risk because of the dirt and bacteria we track in on our shoes and clothes. Bringing a new animal into the home can also bring unwanted intestinal parasites, making it even more important to have your animals fecal sample analyzed twice a year. Also, since some intestinal parasites are zoonotic and can be transmitted to humans (children are especially at risk).
Finally, annual preventative care bloodwork gives us another tool to more closely monitor the health of your pet. The physical exam is only a single component of a thorough preventative care visit and often provides only a small amount of information since our pets cannot tell us if they feel sick or are in pain. Annual bloodwork not only gives us a snapshot of how your animal’s internal organs are functioning, but also allows us to monitor trends over time and screen for early disease progression. Many times we are able to diagnose diseases early before owners begin to notice changes in their pet’s behavior! Our preventative care blood panels can also include a Canine 4DX test (heartworm, lyme, anaplama, and ehrlichia) or a Feline Triple test (heartworm, FIV, FeLV) to screen for some common infectious diseases. An up to date 4DX or Triple is required for your pet to be on heartworm prevention and will help ensure your pet is as healthy as possible.

What if my pet has an emergency after regular clinic hours?

In case of an after-hours emergency, Pinehurst Animal Hospital refers all clients to Small Animal Emergency Services in Vass or to emergency hospitals in Cary or Raleigh. They are open in the evenings when regular veterinarians are closed and all weekend long.

Do you spay and neuter rabbits?

At Pinehurst Animal Hospital, Dr Tony Ioppolo regularly spays and neuters bunnies.  This is becoming a very common pet for people to have in the Southern Pines/ Pinehurst area. Their are many health and behavior benefits associated with spaying and neutering pet rabbits.

Are there any payment plans available?

We accept all major credit cards, check and cash.  As an added benefit to our clients we are proud to offer Care Credit to help cover when the unexpected happens. Care Credit is a healthcare credit card that can be used as soon as you are approved. If charges exceed $200, then your account can be paid off within 6 months with no interest. Visit www.carecredit.com for more information!

Should I get my dog or cat's teeth cleaned?

The condition of your pet’s teeth and gums directly affects your pet’s health in a major way! It is incredible, but 75-80% of your pet’s heart, kidney, and liver disease begin with teeth tartar and gum disease. Signs of gum/teeth problems include: bad breath, red inflamed gums or red line under teeth, hard yellow-tan tartar on teeth, missing or loose teeth, loss of appetite, infections and sinus infections, pain in gums or teeth, mouth sores and ulcers or bleeding gums, low immune resistance, broken jaws, and stomatitis (severe mouth infection). Most of the bacteria in your pet’s mouth lives under the gums. A professional dental cleaning will properly clean and remove this bacteria, improving your pet’s overall health! Since it can sometimes be uncomfortable for your pet while we do this, he or she will be under anesthesia. Your pet is closely monitored by the attending veterinarian, a technician and monitoring equipment. Annual or semi-annual dental cleanings are very important in keeping your pet happy and healthy! Click here to read more about our dental cleanings at Pinehurst Animal Hospital in Southern Pines NC.

When should I bring my pet in if his or her behavior changes?

If you notice any change in your pet's behavior, you should call to get your pet in as soon as possible to be evaluated by one of our doctors in Southern Pines as an appointment or a drop off at Pinehurst Animal Hospital. Abnormal behavior requiring immediate attention include (but not limited to): vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, inappropriate urination/defecation, increased thirst, decreased appetite, frequent urination, limping, confusion, excessive vocalization, and grooming changes (in cats).

When Should I get my pet spayed or neutered?

As part of the battle against pet overpopulation, it used to be common practice to spay and neuter young pets as soon as it was safe to do so, and sterilization still is routinely performed on shelter puppies and kittens. When it comes to privately-owned pets in secure homes, here are AAHA’s most recent recommendations.

  • Cats: Female kittens can enter their first heat cycle as young as four months, but usually not until they are five or six months old. AAHA has endorsed the “Fix Felines by Five” initiative, which recommends sterilization of cats by five months of age. This recommendation prevents unwanted litters and greatly decreases mammary cancer risks in female cats as well as spraying/marking in male cats, but still allows kittens time to grow. Kittens sterilized at this age quickly bounce back from surgery.

  • Dogs: According to the AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines, small-breed dogs (under 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered at six months of age or spayed prior to the first heat (five to six months). Large-breed dogs (over 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered after growth stops, which usually is between 9 and 15 months of age. The decision on when to spay a large-breed female dog is based on many factors—your veterinarian can help narrow down the recommended window of 5 to 15 months depending on your dog’s disease risk and lifestyle.

Do you treat exotic animals?

We mainly concentrate on canine and feline veterinary medicine and surgery, but we do see rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and other small mammals.  Dr Tony Ioppolo performs minor surgeries including spays and neuters on guinea pigs and rabbits.

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my pet?

  • Spaying your female pet drastically slashes her risk of mammary cancer, which is fatal in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats.

  • Neutering your male pet eliminates his risk of testicular cancer.

  • Spaying and neutering limits pet overpopulation.

  • Spaying your female pet prevents heat cycles and eliminates yowling, crying, erratic behavior, and bloody vaginal discharge.

  • Neutering your male pet reduces inappropriate behaviors, such as roaming to find a mate, marking inside your home, and fighting with other males.

  • Spaying and neutering is more cost-effective than skipping the surgery. A uterine infection that requires emergency surgery to save your female pet’s life easily can cost several thousand dollars, while a simple tomcat neuter costs much less than products needed to eliminate urine odors after your home has been well-marked by your territorial male cat.

What are the most common household toxins for pets?

Many foods that are safe for people can be deadly to pets. Keep the following toxic foods away from your beloved companion: At Pinehurst Animal Hospital the sooner we treat your pet the better in these cases.

  • Chocolate

  • Xylitol (often found in sugar-free gum)

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Grapes and raisins

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Alcohol

  • Caffeinated drinks

  • Raw yeast dough

  • Raw or undercooked meat

  • Marijuana

  • prescription meds

Is my pet overweight?

Unfortunately, yes, it's likely that your pet is overweight. More than half the cats and dogs in the United States are tipping the scales as overweight or obese, with 59% of cats and 55.8% of dogs falling into these categories. At Pinehurst Animal Hospital we can help you keep your pet fit and trim.

 Know where your pet falls on the body-condition scale:

  • Too thin

    • 1 — Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones, and all bony prominences are visible from a distance; no discernible body fat; obvious loss of muscle mass

    • 2 — Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, and pelvic bones are easily visible; no palpable fat; minimal loss of muscle mass

    • 3 — Ribs are easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat; tops of the lumbar vertebrae are visible; pelvic bones are becoming prominent; obvious waist and abdominal tuck

  • Ideal

    • 4 — Ribs are easily palpable, with minimal fat; waist is easily noted when viewed from above; abdominal tuck is present

    • 5 — Ribs are palpable without excess fat; waist is observed behind the ribs when viewed from above; abdominal tuck can be seen from the side

  • Too heavy

    • 6 — Ribs are palpable with slight excess fat; waist is discernible, but not prominent; abdominal tuck is present

    • 7 — Ribs are difficult to palpate due to heavy fat cover; fat deposits are noticeable over the lumbar area and tail base; waist is absent or barely visible; abdominal tuck may be present

    • 8 — Ribs are not palpable under heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure; heavy fat deposits are seen over the lumbar area and tail base; waist is absent; no abdominal tuck; obvious abdominal distension may be present

    • 9 — Massive fat deposits are noticeable over the thorax, spine, and tail base; waist and abdominal tuck are absent; fat deposits are seen on neck and limbs; obvious abdominal distension is noted

What are some toxic plants in Southern Pines/ Pinehurst for my dog or cat?

  • Autumn crocus

  • Azalea

  • Cyclamen

  • Daffodils

  • Dieffenbachia

  • Hyacinth

  • Kalanchoe

  • Lily of the valley

  • Lilies

  • Oleander

  • Sago palm

  • Tulips

Should my pet be anesthetized for a dental cleaning?

Your pet must be anesthetized to allow thorough evaluation of his mouth, clean his teeth above and below the gumline, and treat painful dental conditions. According to the 2019 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats, anesthesia-free dentistry is neither safer nor sufficiently comparable to supra- and subgingival cleaning in an anesthetized patient, and is therefore unacceptable. Although owners’ fear of anesthesia is the most common reason pets don’t receive medically necessary dental care, most animals do very well under anesthesia and have few complications.

Why is my cat peeing outside of the litter box?

Housesoiling is one of the most common reasons cats are abandoned or surrendered to a shelter, which often leads to euthanasia. Cats don't urinate and defecate all over their home out of spite, but rather because something is lacking. If your cat’s social, physical, or medical needs aren’t being met, housesoiling commonly is how he or she will indicate that something is wrong. But don’t despair if your home has become a giant litter box—many methods are available to treat, manage, and prevent inappropriate elimination.
Your cat didn’t urinate on your new boyfriend’s sweatshirt because she’s jealous. Instead, she may be stressed that her home life has changed. Housesoiling is categorized as medical or behavioral—unfortunately, they often are closely intertwined, so differentiating between the two can be an extensive, frustrating process.

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