Welcome to Prairie Animal Health Centre’s Frequently Asked Questions page! We’ve put this page on here to better assist our clients in a fast efficient way, at a click of a button. If we have missed anything, let us know! Email us at pahcweyburn@pahc.ca

If my pet is healthy, why are Annual Health Exams so important?

Annual health exams are an important part of providing optimal health care and the best longevity for your beloved companion. Pets age quickly and they are unable to tell us if they are feeling a little off. Remember, it may be one year in your life but that can be about 5-10 comparative years in your pet’s life. A lot can change in that much time. Regular physical examinations can detect problems before they become important and cause irreversible changes or disease. Just like humans preventative health care is today’s name of the game.

How can I tell if my pet is feeling ill?

  • lethargy, weakness, weight loss
  • lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, unproductive retching, straining to urinate
  • difficulty or inability to walk, difficulty breathing, nasal and ocular eye discharge

You know your pet best and can often notice subtle early warning signs that someone else may not detect.

Why should I Spay/Neuter my pets?

There are long term health benefits to your pet when it is spayed or neutered. Ask your Vet to explain these. Obviously, the primary benefit is controlling the pet population and reducing the numbers of unplanned, unwanted pets.

Spay and neuter procedures are major surgery for your pet. The procedure requires the time of a veterinarian, newly-sterilized surgical instruments, general anesthesia, drapes, suture material, and hospitalization.

What is included in the procedure when my pet is Spayed or Neutered?

(I) Intubation and in-surgery assistance by a Registered Veterinary Technician, (ii) monitoring by both a Technician and electronic heart/respiration monitor, (iii) additional procedures and medications to minimize and/or relieve pain. (iv) warm heating pads to maintain body core temperature, and (v) IV catheterization with fluids to reduce drop in blood pressure and provide means for administration of medications during an emergency.

Your pet is in great hands during it’s stay here at PAHC, and is offered food and water, as well as a walk when awake and alert after surgery.

Why can’t veterinarians advise, diagnose and/or prescribe over the phone and save me a whole lot of time and money?

Not only is it unethical and illegal to prescribe for an animal that hasn’t been physically examined by a veterinarian, it is also impossible to come up with an accurate diagnosis and rational plan of treatment.

A veterinarian can’t make a diagnoses based on symptoms only as observed by an owner. The outward signs may be an indication of any number of internal causes with a wide variety of clinical treatments. A complete physical examination and other diagnostic tests are required to determine the cause of the symptoms and best course of treatment.

When is it an emergency?

If you’re concerned about your pet, you should never feel embarrassed about calling a veterinarian. Veterinarians are used to emergencies and they prepare for them.

Here is a list of DEFINITE Emergencies. If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms they should have medical attention immediately.

Your pet has been experienced some kind of trauma, such as being hit by a car or a blunt object or falling more than a few feet.

  • Your pet isn’t breathing or you can’t feel a heartbeat.
  • Your pet is unconscious and won’t wake up.
  • Your pet has been vomiting or has had diarrhea for more than 24 hours, or they are vomiting blood.
  • You suspect any broken bones.
  • Your pet is having trouble breathing or has something stuck in her throat.
  • Your pet has had or is having a seizure.
  • Your pet is bleeding from the eyes, nose, or mouth, or there is blood in her urine or feces.
  • You think your pet might have ingested something toxic, such as antifreeze, rat poison, any kind of medication that wasn’t prescribed to her, or household cleansers.
  • Your pet, particularly your male cat, is straining to urinate, or is unable to.
  • Your pet shows signs of extreme pain, such as whining, shaking, and refusing to socialize.
  • Your pet collapses or suddenly can’t stand up.
  • Your pet begins bumping into things or suddenly becomes disoriented.
  • You can see irritation or injury to your pet’s eyes, or they suddenly seems to become blind.
  • Your pet’s abdomen is swollen and hard to the touch, and/or they are gagging and trying to vomit.
  • You see symptoms of heatstroke.
  • Your pregnant dog or cat has gone more than three to four hours between delivering puppies or kittens.

What to do when it is an emergency?

If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms, call us right away. Prairie Animal Health Centre, at 3068427677, has a 24hr help line available to service your pet’s needs at all times. Once speaking with a vet, they will determine if the animal needs immediate attention, or whether it would be okay to wait until regular business hours.

Why are veterinary visits so expensive? Why can I not charge and pay later?

Like other professional offices you visit (your dentist, chiropractor, lawyer, ect.) fees are payable at the time service is rendered. Your best course of action is to call ahead of time and inquire about alternative payment methods, and costs of services in order to budget for veterinary expenses in the future.

**Also ask about Pet Insurance!

Does my pet have to get a full set of vaccinations to get a rabies certificate? What shot(s) are absolutely necessary for my dog/cat and how much do they cost?

To get a rabies certificate, only a rabies vaccination is needed. This law is in place to protect humans and animals from the spread of rabies. However, the vaccine cannot be administered without the animal first having recieved a physical examination. It is in the best interest of your pet to get a routine check-up plus all the necessary vaccines as determined by your veterinarian to maintain your pet’s good health. There are many infectious diseases of animals, many of them fatal to your pet. The additional cost of the vaccines which prevent these diseases is often quite minimal. At Praire Animal Health Centre, costs of an exam start at $75.00+tx, and additional charges per vaccine are $15.00+tx.
Administering vaccines is a safe, easy and cost effective way to prevent disease. At Prairie Animal Health Centre, you may get a dispenced vaccine, at the Veterinarian’s descression. The rabies vaccine can never be bought to be administered.

Should I be wary of ‘bargain basement’ veterinary care? If so, why?

There are minimum standards for veterinary care that are overseen by the veterinary regulatory bodies. Generally, the level of fees does not relate to the “quality of care” provided. However, when you notice significant differences in fees, it is logical to ask detailed questions about the course of treatment proposed. If fees seem too low compared to other estimates you have recieved, your expectations for care may not be met.

What if my veterinarian doesn’t clear up my pet?

Fees cover what is done for the animal including an examination, administration of tests, diagnosis, treatment, and medications. Some problems can be long term or involve multiple and/or changing causes. Treatment may be ongoing.

To effect a cure is not always possible. You are paying for an honest attempt to diagnose and treat a problem. There is no implied gaurantee.