Animal Owner's Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of answers to the questions most frequently asked by members of the public.

Who is the best veterinarian in my area?
Where can I get the least expensive spay/neuter?
Where can I get the least expensive vaccinations?
The prescription medication for my pet is cheaper online. Shouldn't I just use the Internet pharmacy?
How do I find out if my veterinarian is currently licensed and in good standing?

My dog/cat has behavior problems.  Where should I go?
How can I get more information about pet insurance?

Who is the best veterinarian in my area?
Finding the right veterinarian is a matter of personal choice and preference.  The vicinity of the clinic is only one consideration.  In selecting a veterinarian your goals should be to find the doctor that best meets your needs and to establish a long-term relationship. The veterinarian will maintain a history of your pet, including health records that detail immunizations, reactions to medications, behavior traits, etc. So, it is important to see your veterinarian for all your pet's health care needs. You may wish to search for GVMA member veterinarians.
 
Tips to Help You in Selecting a Veterinarian:
Office Hours
  • Are they compatible with your schedule?
  • Who covers the practice when the doctor is unavailable?
Professional Staff
  • How are routine telephone calls handled?
  • Can you request an appointment with a specific veterinarian?
  • Do you feel comfortable talking with the doctor?
Fees and Payment
  • What methods of payment are accepted?
  • Is payment expected on the day of the visit or are payment plans accepted?
Services
  • What is the range of services that the veterinary clinic provides?
Emergency Care
  • How are emergency calls handled during and after regular office hours?
    Facility
  • Is the practice clean and orderly?
Professional Affiliations
  • Are the doctors members of any professional veterinary associations?

Where can I get the least expensive spay/neuter?
You are entitled to ask your doctor for charges in advance. Comparing price alone, however, does not reflect the level of service veterinary practitioners provide. In veterinary care, the development of a close doctor/client/pet relationship is of utmost importance. The knowledge your veterinarian has of your pet from past physicals, along with his or her recognition of your concerns – financial, personal, and pet oriented – enables your veterinarian to guide you in selecting the best health care choices for your pet. 
The GVMA endorses the best possible care for each animal, taking into consideration the owner’s financial constraints. Remember, as with most products and services, you usually get what you pay for, and a low cost treatment choice may even cost you more in the long run.


Where can I get the least expensive vaccinations?
As with the answer to the previous question, price is only one consideration when considering health care procedures for your animal.  In addition, a veterinarian will not be able to quote you an accurate price for procedures such as vaccinations without performing a physical examination of your pet, and having a thorough discussion of the animal’s characteristics and lifestyle.  For example, a small dog in an urban environment may have different vaccination requirements than a large dog in a rural setting.  Visit with your veterinarian for the most appropriate vaccination protocol for your animal.

 
The prescription medication for my pet is cheaper online. Shouldn't I just use the Internet pharmacy?
For several years the subject of online pharmacies has been a concern of the veterinary industry. The reason for this concern is the safety and efficacy of the product and its affect on the health of your animal. Many online pharmacies are not regulated. Some may use products or ingredients from foreign countries that have not been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In short, the old adage "you get what you pay for" may apply.
 
Veterinarians who offer prescription medications within their practice provide a service of convenience for which you may pay a bit more, but they also offer clients the satisfaction that the product they are receiving from the veterinary clinic is a safe and quality product that has been approved for use in animals by the stringent standards of the Food and Drug Administration. Prescribing veterinarians will also provide information regarding the proper use of the prescribed drug and the risks associated with its use. These assurances could end up saving you money in the long run.
 
If you continue to use Internet pharmacies it would be beneficial to find a website that is a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site (VIPPS). VIPPS is a voluntary certification program created by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. The VIPPS seal of approval identifies those online pharmacies that are, according to the NABP, appropriately licensed,  legitimately operating via the Internet, and that have successfully completed a rigorous criteria review and inspection. If you do experience problems, you should report the pharmacy to the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy.


How do I find out if my veterinarian is currently licensed and in good standing?
Automated verification of licensure is available via telephone from the Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine at (478) 207-1686.  For more information visit the State Board Web site at http://www.sos.state.ga.us/plb/veterinary.


My dog/cat has behavior problems.  Where should I go?
Behavior problems are the number one reason owners are dissatisfied with their pet(s), so they are important to address.  Your first step when considering pet behavior is to visit your veterinarian.  Behavior problems in animals can often be the result of an underlying medical condition.  It is important to rule out physical problems before addressing the behavior issue.  Once illness or other physical ailments have been ruled out, your veterinarian will be able to recommend a behavior specialist.


How can I get more information about pet insurance?
Check with your veterinarian to determine whether or not the veterinary practice accepts pet insurance.  Several providers of pet insurance have programs that may be of interest:
• The PetCare Pet Insurance Programs
• Pet Plan Insurance
• Pets Best Insurance
• Veterinary Pet Insurance

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • 2014 LEAP CE Calendar

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    November 7-9, 2014
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