Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Do I need to have an appointment?

Answer: Yes, patients are seen by appointment unless your pet is having an emergency. However, "drop-offs" are acceptable if our schedule allows.

Question 2: What forms of payment do you accept?

Answer: We accept cash, checks, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover.

Question 3: Can I make payments or do you have payment plans?

Answer: Payment is expected at the time the services are performed.

Question 4: When are county dog licenses available?

Answer: County dog licenses are sold at the Irwin Avenue Animal Hospital every year from Dec. 01 to Feb. 28!

Question 5: At what age can I have my pet neutered or spayed?

Answer: Spaying or neutering can "typically" be done at approximately 4-6 months of age (note: special circumstances may arise that require the veternarian to perform the procedure at an age that is outside of the "typical" age recommendation). We also recommend a pre-anesthetic blood screen to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure.

Question 6: Why should I have my pet neutered or spayed?

Answer: Benefits of spaying or neutering range from controlling the local animal population to preventing future medical problems related to the reproductive tract. Having female pets spayed eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer and has been linked to a reduction in the occurance of breast cancer. Neutered male cats typically have less issues with spraying, while neutered male dogs have a reduced risk of both prostate enlargement and prostate cancer.

Question 7: What is the pre-anesthetic blood screening?

Answer: Pre-anesthetic blood screening is a blood test that we recommend performing at the hospital prior to surgery. The blood test helps to detect abnormalities in your pet's organ function, blood counts and clotting function that could lead to problems during surgery and/or inhibit your pet's ability to heal after surgery is completed.

Question 8: Can my pet be spayed while she is in heat?

Answer: When a pet is in the state of “heat” or estrus, blood vessels enlarge and result in increased blood flow to the ovaries and uterus. This additional blood flow results in a more difficult surgery that is prone to more complications.

Question 9: Are there any concerns with purchasing my dog's flea/tick and heartworm preventatives on the internet or over the phone instead of from a licensed veterinarian?

Answer: Acquiring these medicines on the internet or over the phone instead of thru a licensed veterinarian can carry significant risks. Most reputable corporations that manufacture flea/tick medication and heartworm preventatives will only sell their products to a veterinary office. This practice helps to maintain a doctor-patient relationship and ensures that the medications are being used properly. Some "discount" sales companies will purchase their products from anonymous foreign vendors and then resell them to unsuspecting pet owners. Additional information can be found at:

Question 10: Is it OK to give my dog bones?

Answer: We do not advise giving your dog real bones. Forceful chewing of bones can cause teeth to fracture, and tiny bone fragments can cause vomiting or serious internal damage to your pet's digestive tract. A commercially produced chew product, such as Nylabones, Gumabones, or dental bones, contain minimally digestible products and are made with safety in mind.

Question 11: What can I do if my pet is sprayed by a skunk?

Answer: We have commercial products available at the hospital that work very well at removing the "skunk smell" or you can try the following home remedy:

1 Quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

1/4 Cup Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Liquid Soap (Dawn)

DIRECTIONS: Mix ingredients together. Bathe your pet with the solution making sure to work it in down to the skin. Rinse your pet off with warm water (you may need to bathe your pet more than once to completely get rid of the smell). Bear in mind that if your pet gets wet after being sprayed the odor will tend to come out again.