Frequently Asked Questions

I hit a dog that isn’t mine – what do I do?

Even if you are not the owner, the dog will need immediate medical attention. Contact your vet immediately and make arrangements to have him seen as soon as possible or take to emergency vet clinic right away. The staff may also be able to scan the dog for a microchip, as well as post info on facebook to see if they can locate the owner.

Do you take in stray/lost/found pets?

While we do not take in strays, we can refer you to local organizations in the community that may be able to help. Contact one of these rescue groups in our area: the Southern West Virginia Animal League intake.swval@gmail.com , Pet Haven (276) 326-3483, or you can contact the Mercer County Animal Shelter (304) 425-2838.

Do you board and/or groom pets?

While we do not offer grooming or boarding services unless medically necessary, we highly recommend Yolanda's Grooming and training: (304) 913-4947. As for Boarding, we suggest pet sitters. The pet is more comfortable in their own setting or with more individualized attention. Daniel Smoak of BARK! (865) 216-3290, or Sabine Saunders (304) 487-3360 offer pet sitting services.

Are you open at night?

We have extended evening hours on most weeknights and ALWAYS have a Doctor on call for emergencies.

Why is it so expensive to take my pet to the vet?

Compared to human medicine, if paid out of pocket, veterinary services are relatively inexpensive. For example, for patients not covered by health insurance, a hysterectomy typically costs from $10,000¬$20,000 or more. A comparable spay (hysterectomy) for a dog under 30 lbs. typically costs from $160¬200. The cost of medical care, weather for humans or pets, is a combination of many factors: the increasing cost of medical supplies from manufacturers, costs associated with maintaining a small business, etc. However, efforts have been made to make pet healthcare affordable through insurance plans, as well as Preventive Care Plans. At our Clinic we offer a variety of Preventive Care Plans, billed monthly, that make it possible for clients to meet their pet's routine medical needs. Visit our website for more information at http://www.allcreaturesclinic.com/prev-care-plans.pml.

Why does it take so long at the vet?

Our clinic accepts walk-ins and emergencies, which means we function as an emergency room, hospital and doctor's office combined. These emergencies are often time sensitive, involving critically ill or injured pets, which understandably take priority. Additionally, our veterinarians are thorough and meticulous: not satisfied with "band-aid" solutions, they seek for the source of the problem to improve the long-term health of the pet. This dedication to quality healthcare sometimes means there might be a wait to be seen, but the veterinarian will always give your pet the same amount of attention and care when your pet is seen.

What if my pet has an after-hours problem or emergency?

Our veterinary is on call for emergencies after hours: simply call our clinic phone number to reach the after-hours answering service. They will forward your message to the doctor and have him contact you.

What financing options do you offer or is payment expected at the time of service?

Payment is due at time of service. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Care Credit, and Spring Leaf.

How safe is my pet’s procedure?

Just as in human medicine, the overall safety of any procedure is based on the type of treatment your pet needs. For example, a spay or neuter for a young animal is generally carries less risk than a cancer treatment for a senior animal. Regardless of the type of your pet’s medical needs, All Creatures takes the greatest possible care of your furry family member! Our hospital offers the latest technology including digital x-rays, blood work diagnostics, anesthesia, and monitoring before, during and after your pet’s medical event. Contact All Creatures today to learn more on how we can take care of your pet’s surgical needs.

How often should my pet have an exam and blood work?

Did you know that often each year for the life of an animal is approximately 7 years for humans? Imagine a 7 year-old dog that doesn’t go to the vet for 3 years. This would be the same as a 49 year-old person not going to the doctor for 21 years! At All Creatures Veterinary Clinic, we recommend yearly exams and blood work as necessary. Taking proper care of your pet during their younger years can mean fewer medications as they age, and may extend the life of your pet. Call one of our veterinary professionals to set up your pet’s yearly appointment today!

Does my pet truly need a dental procedure?

Your dog or cat needs dental care just as humans do. When the teeth of your pet are not cared for, they develop bacteria-ridden tartar and plaque which can lead to cavities and painful teeth and gums. If your pet’s teeth and gums hurt, it becomes painful to eat and they can become sick. Over time, these bacteria can cause damage to organs including the liver, kidneys and heart. Proper diet and regular dentals can improve not only the quality, but the length of the life of your pet. Call All Creatures Veterinary Clinic to schedule your dog or cat’s dental procedure today.

How important is nutrition for my pet?

Proper nutrition and weight management is very important for both dogs and cats. Proper feeding without feeding treats and table scraps help to maintain a healthy weight for our pets. It is estimated that over half of dogs and cats are overweight in the United States. Long-term obesity leads to issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, many forms of cancer and decreased life expectancy. Regular visits to All Creatures Veterinary Clinic will include weighing your pet, and our doctors will determine whether or not your pet is overweight. Proper nutrition can also maintain your pet at a proper weight, and our doctors and staff can discuss what foods are best for your pet.

How long should I wait to bring my pet in if I notice a change in their behavior?

The answer to this question will vary, depending on the change of behavior you are noticing. For example, you may notice your dog or cat exercising less even though they are still relatively young. This could mean anything from arthritis to heartworm disease. For our doctors at All Creatures to properly diagnose a significant change in your pet’s behavior, it is best not to wait and schedule an appointment right away!

What should I do if I notice visible parasites on my pet?

There are a number of parasites that you may find on your pet in West Virginia. Fleas, ticks, lice, and scabies are common and should be addressed right away! All Creatures Veterinary Clinic has a complete pharmacy with the safest and most effective medications available today. A consultation is needed to determine which pests your pet may have and which product would be right for them. Call one of the caring team members at All Creatures and schedule an appointment for your pet today.

At what age should I have my pet neutered or spayed?

Drs. Streit and Hughes recommend your pet to be spayed or neutered between four and six months of age. While these are common veterinary procedures, keep in mind that an animal spay is the equivalent of an ovarian hysterectomy in a person, and a neuter is a complete removal of the testes. The doctors at All Creatures recommend diagnostic blood work prior to the surgery to insure the anesthesia is administered as safely as possible. Pain medications should be giving prior, during and after the surgery to keep your pet as comfortable as possible.

What are heartworms, and how can I prevent my pet from getting them?

Heartworms are extremely common in the West Virginia area, and can infect both our dogs AND our cats. Heartworms are transmitted from mosquitoes as a juvenile worm known as microfilaria. Unless your pet is on a heartworm preventative, these juvenile worms can mature into adults which can cause serious damage to the animal’s heart and lungs, and may even cause death. Remember that a monthly preventative not only keeps your dog or cat healthy, but is less expensive than having to treat adult heartworms. The caring doctors at All Creatures can determine which preventative is right for your pet, based on their needs and circumstances. Schedule an appointment at All Creatures Veterinary Clinic for your dog or cat and get them on a heartworm preventative today!

When is pain management recommended for my pet?

It is now understood that animals feel pain in much the same way as people do. The caring doctors at All Creatures attempt to keep pets in their care as comfortable as possible. This means medicating prior to surgery, in a similar manner to human medicine. Our doctors are also experienced in diagnosing age-related pain, including osteoarthritis, and managing the pain associated with the disease. Any time that your pet may be facing a surgical procedure or painful event, Drs. Streit and Hughes recommend pain prevention. All Creatures only carries products which have been proven safe and effective for pain. If your pet is facing a painful condition, rest assured that the compassionate doctors and staff at All Creatures will provide the most secure care for your pet.

Are there any diseases I can catch from my pet?

Yes! Several diseases can be transmitted from pets to people, including ringworm, leptospirosis, roundworms and hookworms, toxoplasmosis, and rabies. Fortunately, many of these diseases can be prevented in pets, which minimizes their occurrence in people. See your veterinarian to discuss ways to keep your pets healthy.

Why does my pet need to be seen to get a prescription?

The Food and Drug Administration and the State Veterinary Board have strict laws concerning the use of prescription medications. Among these are that veterinarians can only prescribe medications where a “valid veterinary-client-patient relationship” exists. In order for this relationship to exist, the veterinarian must examine your pet in person at regular intervals.

At what age should my puppy/kitten start vaccinations?

Most puppies and kittens should start their vaccines series between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Talk to your veterinarian to determine the right timing for your new family member.

Why should my pet be spayed or neutered?

In addition to helping control pet overpopulation by decreasing the number of unwanted litters, spaying and neutering has health advantages for your pet. In both males and females, alteration can help prevent undesired behavior like roaming, urine spraying/marking, and aggression. In female dogs, spaying eliminates the risk of life threatening uterine infections, and decreases the development of mammary tumors. In males, neutering decreases prostatic enlargement, testicular torsions, and the development of some hernias.

Why does my indoor pet need the same vaccines as other pets that are not indoor only?

Many pets that are “indoor only” actually go outdoors from time-to-time, whether it’s for a brief bathroom break, a trip to the groomers or vets, or even an accidental escape. And for some diseases, direct contact with an infected animal is not required for transmission! For example, parvovirus can be carried into the house on a person’s shoes and cause illness in an indoor only dog. And just finding a bat in your house can put your pet at risk for exposure to rabies. Talk to your veterinarian to discuss which diseases your pet is at risk for.

How can I tell if my pet is suffering or in pain?

It can sometimes be hard to tell if your pet is suffering or in pain, because animals tend to hide pain as a protective mechanism. Some signs, such as limping or vocalization (whining for example), can be obvious, while others are much more subtle. Changes in appetite, decreased energy level, decreased grooming behavior, and urinating in abnormal places can all be indications of pain. You can also occasionally see an increase in panting, restlessness, or dilated pupils in painful animals. If you have any questions about whether or not your pet is in pain or is suffering, please talk to your veterinarian.

Do you dock tails or crop ears?

We dock puppy tails between the age of 3 and 5 days. We do not perform ear crops.

Why can’t I use over-the-counter vaccines?

The active components in vaccines are very fragile and any type of improper handling can make them ineffective. When you purchase vaccines over-the-counter you have no way of knowing if the vaccines were shipped, stored, or mixed correctly. So by using these products you have no way of knowing if your pet is protected! Additionally, only your veterinarian can tell you if your pet is healthy enough to vaccinate, and advise you on the proper vaccines and vaccine schedule for your pet.

Why can’t you suggest treatment for me to try at home?

It is actually illegal for veterinarians to diagnose illnesses over the phone. And without having the right diagnosis, treatments are likely to be ineffective, or even harmful!

Why is heartworm testing/prevention necessary for my pet, even if he’s indoor only?

All it takes is an open door or open window to allow a mosquito into your home. And since heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, even indoor pets are at risk.

Why should my dog be tested for heartworms before starting a monthly preventive?

If a dog is infected with heartworms administering a preventive medication can cause large numbers of heartworm larva to die at once. This can result in an anaphylactic-like reaction, which in some cases can be fatal.

Are vaccinations really necessary? If so, which ones are needed when and how often?

Vaccines are a crucial part in preventing many illnesses, some of which can be deadly! Our clinic has many vaccines available and tailors our vaccine protocols to your pet’s specific risk factors. Please talk to our veterinarians to determine the most appropriate vaccine schedule for your pet.