Frequently Asked Questions

pets

We are committed to providing you with the latest in pet health information. This information is here to help you learn about our practice and what is best for the health of your pet. Please contact us directly for specific concerns about your pet.

Also be sure to check out our expanded Pet Health section for more helpful information.

WHY IS MY VETERINARIAN REFERRING MY PET TO A SPECIALIST?
Our top priority is to make sure that our patients receive the highest standard of care and best possible outcome. This is why we sometimes make the decision to refer patients to veterinary specialists or specialty clinics when advanced training or equipment will be beneficial.

Dr Carol Good makes every effort to stay current and skilled in many aspects of animal health, providing comprehensive care for your pet. However, board-certified specialists have extensive experience and training in a particular area of veterinary medicine or surgery. And specialty clinics and university-affiliated referral centers have specialized equipment to perform procedures that are not routinely undertaken by general practitioners.

Be assured that when Dr Good refers a patient to another hospital, she will continue to stay involved with his or her care, consulting with the treating specialist and often providing any needed follow-up care and rehabilitation.

CAN I CALL AND HAVE YOU EMAIL A COPY OF MY PET’S RABIES CERTIFICATE AND PROOF OF VACCINATIONS TO THE KENNEL WHERE MY PET WILL BE STAYING?
We’d be happy to send proof of vaccination to your pet’s kennel. Just let us know the email address.
If my pet’s problem doesn’t get better, can I get a refund for his/her veterinary care?
Unfortunately, we can’t offer refunds for veterinary care. Our fees cover the cost of examining, testing, diagnosing, and treating your pet.

Not all health problems have a straightforward solution. Some may be chronic, requiring a long-term management plan; others may be more difficult to diagnose or may involve several causes. A cure may not always be possible, and treatment may be ongoing. Your veterinary team will do everything they can to find answers and continue to help your pet.

I think my pet ate something that’s making him/her sick, and he/she has lost consciousness/is having seizures/trouble breathing. What should I do?
During normal business hours, call us right away.

If your pet gets sick outside our normal hours, take your pet immediately to an emergency veterinary clinic.

The Animal Emergency Clinic’s phone number is 616-361-9911

BluePearl Veterinary Partners (Formerly known as Michigan Veterinary Services) is 616-284-5300

I think something’s wrong with my pet. Can I call you and have Dr Good give me a diagnosis over the phone?
Veterinarians can’t diagnose over the phone. Besides being unethical and illegal, diagnosing by phone doesn’t allow veterinarians to physically examine a pet. A physical exam is necessary so your veterinarian can provide an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Treating a pet for the wrong disease or condition will cost more in the end and could be harmful or even deadly to your pet.
I have a hard time controlling my pet in the lobby. Can I make arrangements so I can take him/her into the exam room right away when I arrive?
We are happy to make arrangements to help make your visit as smooth and convenient as possible. When you call to schedule your appointment, please let us know that you would prefer to wait in an exam room.
My pet is really well trained. Does he/she need to be on a leash/in a carrier when we visit the hospital?
For the safety and protection of all clients, patients, and veterinary team members, we require all pets to be on a leash or in a carrier when they arrive at our hospital. They must continue to be restrained while they are in the reception area and while traveling to and from the exam rooms. Dr Good or one of our team members will let you know when it’s OK to let your pet off leash or out of his or her carrier.

There is often a lot going on at our hospital. Combine that with the unfamiliar surroundings and new animals, and any pet—even one that is well trained—might become uneasy or overly excited. We want you and your pet to have as pleasant an experience as possible every time you visit our hospital, so we ask all our clients to respect our policy.

Is it OK to call with questions about my pet’s health?
Although we can’t provide lengthy consultations or a diagnosis over the phone, we welcome questions from our clients. Please feel free to call or stop by anytime.
Do you offer any payment plans?
Unfortunately, we do not offer any payment plans with the hospital itself at this time. We request that you pay for services provided at the time of your pet’s visit. If you have any questions about our payment policy, please feel free to ask. We do accept CareCredit. Through CareCredit you can get 6 months free of finance charges, if the balance is paid off within that time period. Check out our Links page for the link to CareCredit. You can fill out an application online for instant approval.

We recommend that you include the cost of veterinary care in your annual expenses. However, we understand that this sometimes isn’t possible. If you contact us ahead of time, we can help you determine ways to keep costs down and stay within your budget. For instance, some preventive veterinary care can be spread out over several visits. We will work with you to come up with a cost-effective plan to keep your pet current on vaccinations and other necessary services.

We do accept major credit cards, as well as veterinary insurance plans, which can help cover many routine and emergency services.

What’s the best way to schedule an appointment?
To make an appointment with our animal hospital please call 616-866-9589 to book a convenient appointment time, or use our online appointment scheduler to request a date and time.
What do I do in the case of an emergency and your clinic isn’t open?
In an emergency after hours, call either the Animal Emergency Hospital on Plainfield, off of I-96 at 616-361-9911 or BluePearl Veterinary Partners (formerly known as Michigna Veterinary Specialists) in Grand Rapids at 616-284-5300. They are both open 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.
What are your hours of operation?
Our current business hours:

Monday – Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

Saturday & Sunday – CLOSED

Why do you have password-protected areas on your website?
In some cases, our professional governing body requires that we have a veterinary–client relationship with pet owners before communicating certain information to them. Also, some educational and informational sections of our site are reserved for our clients so we can communicate effectively between visits. If you are a client, please contact us for your password.
What is a veterinary technician?
A veterinary technician is trained to assist veterinarians in caring for pets. These professionals perform many of the same tasks that a nurse would for a doctor. Veterinary technicians have received extensive training, either in accredited programs or on the job. Responsibilities vary among clinics, but the basic duties remain the same. For instance, technicians collect patient samples, perform lab tests, assist during patient exams and dental cleanings, and take x-rays. Senior techs also train and mentor other staff members. Some technicians work in research facilities or for manufacturers.
I’ve seen a lot of information about supplements and nutraceuticals. How do I know what my pet needs?
Supplements, and nutraceuticals in particular, are becoming very popular with pet owners. Dr Good and our team can help you weed out confusing and conflicting information and advise you on any supplements your pet might benefit from.
Which pet food should I feed my dog/cat?
The answer is different for each pet, although many commercially available foods are fine to feed healthy dogs and cats. You can look for a nutritional adequacy statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), as well as the words “complete and balanced.” Pets’ nutritional needs do change, depending on their life stage and health. Dr Good can recommend a pet food, as well as give you advice on deciphering ingredient lists and determining how much to feed your pet.
I recently lost my pet, and I’m having trouble dealing with the loss. Where can I find help?
Losing a pet can be extremely upsetting and hard to move beyond. We have such a close bond with our pets, so letting go is never easy. Many veterinary hospitals offer grief counseling, as do some veterinary colleges and professional organizations. Please contact us to help you through this sad transition.
What toys/accessories are appropriate for my pet?
With all the options out there, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s safe. We can help recommend toys based on your pet’s age, breed, needs, and interests. We carry a variety of PetSafe products and toys that our pets love!
My pet needs to have surgery. Should I be worried about the anesthesia?
Modern anesthesia is generally quite safe. Dr Good will perform a physical examination and highly recommends we run blood tests before all procedures requiring general anesthesia to make sure your pet doesn’t have any hidden health issues. It is required for all senior pets. In addition, a skilled veterinary technician will be monitoring your pet’s vital signs during the procedure, to ensure your pet’s safety or to catch and treat any potential concerns as quickly as possible.
Will microchipping hurt my pet?
Not any more than a regular vaccine injection. The chip is inserted at the back of the pet’s neck, where the skin is loose. Microchipping is a safe and effective way to identify your pet in case he or she becomes lost.
After I have my pet microchipped, is there anything else I need to do?
You pet’s microchip should continue to function over your pet’s lifetime without any maintenance; however, the system won’t work unless you keep your contact information current. Whenever you move or change your phone number, make sure you update that information with your pet’s microchip manufacturer. Remember to also get your pet new ID tags at the same time.
Why should I buy flea/tick/heartworm preventives from a veterinary hospital when there are other, cheaper places to get it?
If you purchase preventives from sources other than a veterinary hospital or a website affiliated with a veterinary hospital, you don’t have any guarantee that the product is authentic or that it has been stored and shipped properly. When you order from your veterinarian, you’ll have the added benefit of being able to rely on his or her expertise and knowledge of your pet’s medical history.
I’ve never seen a flea or tick on my pet. Why should I bother putting my pet on preventives? Isn’t this an extra expense that’s just not worth paying for?
Fleas and ticks are not just minor nuisances; they can transmit serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases, some of which can be passed to people. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because fleas and ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing, shoes, or other pets. Keeping your pet on a preventative every 30 days, year round is your best bet for protecting your pet—and your family—against these parasites. With so many options out there, please don’t hesitate to ask us the differences and why the cheapest one may not be the best for your pet.
Why does my pet need dental care?
Dental health is just as important for dogs and cats as it is for people. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and expensive oral surgery. Bacteria can also cause serious, potentially fatal infections in your pet’s kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart.

Unless your pet just ate something fishy, stinky breath isn’t normal. Having Dr Good evaluate your pet’s teeth regularly and clean them as needed, will help prevent dental disease and any related problems.

How can my puppy/kitten have worms? How was he/she exposed?
Almost all puppies are born with intestinal parasites, which are passed from mother to pup during pregnancy. Although kittens are not infected when they’re born, they can become infected through their mother’s milk. Puppies can also become infected while they’re nursing.

We recommend bringing in a stool sample which will be sent out to a lab to be tested for intestinal parasites such as Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm, coccidia and also Giardia. For puppies, we recommend having 2 negative stool samples, then testing every 6 months. It is best to test, so that you are sure of what you are treating and not giving medicine that isn’t working on the problem.

Can’t I just give my dog/cat a Tylenol or Advil to help with pain, rather than paying for more costly veterinary pain medication?
Never give your pet medication intended for people unless your veterinarian has prescribed it. Most over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), can have serious, potentially fatal consequences if a pet ingests them.

A variety of pain medications are available for dogs and cats. Dr Good can help you determine which one will fit your budget and help alleviate your pet’s pain.

Does my pet have to get a rabies vaccination?
Many areas have laws that require dogs and cats (and sometime ferrets) to be vaccinated against rabies. These laws help protect both pets and people from this deadly disease. A veterinarian needs to examine a pet before the vaccine is given. Your dog must have a rabies vaccine in order to be licensed in your county.

Because of rabies laws, control and prevention programs, and pet owners’ cooperation, domesticated pets in North America rarely become infected with this disease. By keeping your pet up-to-date on his or her rabies vaccination, not only are you protecting your pet, but you’re also helping to eradicate rabies from the pet population in your community.

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