Frequently Asked Questions

EMERGENCY
We have an emergency veterinarian and trained personnel on-duty 6 days a week who are equipped to handle any urgent need your pet has. An emergency team consists of at least one veterinarian and several technicians working together to save a pet’s life.
 
Common examples of emergencies include chocolate ingestion, collision with a vehicle, snail bait poisoning, and others. If you feel that your pet needs emergency treatment, call us at 205-980-0078 or come to the clinic immediately.
 

In Case We’re Closed…

If you have an emergency and our office is closed, you need to get to a hospital right away. We refer our clients to Emergency and Specialty Animal Medical Center for emergencies that occur after our normal office hours as well as the 6 holidays we are closed each year.


General FAQ

What types of pets do you see?

At Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic, we care for many types of pets:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Rabbits*
  • Pocket pets* (hamsters, gerbils, hedgehogs, ferrets, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, rats, mice)
  • Birds* (domesticated only)

*These pets need specific care from one of our select veterinarians. Please call us for more information: 205-980-0078

How do I make an appointment?

Please call us at 205-980-0078 to schedule an appointment for your pet. We will accommodate all appointment requests to the best of our ability.

If there is an emergency with your pet, please call us or come to the hospital immediately. We give emergency care anytime our clinic is open.

In Case We’re Closed…

If you have an emergency and our office is closed, you need to get to a hospital right away. We refer our clients to Emergency and Specialty Animal Medical Center for emergencies that occur after our normal office hours as well as the 6 holidays we are closed each year.

Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic - After-Hours EmergenciesCahaba Valley Animal Clinic - After-Hours Emergencies

What forms of payment do you accept?

Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic accepts payment via cash, check, debit card, or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). We also accept CareCredit for any financing needs you may have.

So that we can continue to provide you high-quality service utilizing the best medical technologies, we request that payment be made at the time services are rendered.

We provide estimates for all surgeries, hospitalizations, and other veterinary services. If you have not received an estimate, you are welcome to request one at any time for your expected charges. Please give us a call at 205-980-0078 or send us a message to request an estimate.

How do I get my dog or cat a microchip?

Dog and cat microchipping is easy – all we need to do is inject a microchip for pets. The microchip is quite small (about the size of a grain of rice), and is injected just under the surface of your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a vaccination, takes only a few seconds, and your pet should not react any more than he would to a vaccination.

That’s it! Isn’t microchipping easy? The microchip has a unique ID number that can be scanned to fully identify your pet. The chip will last a lifetime and is a great way to reunite a lost pet with their family.

Put your mind at ease and get your dog or cat a microchip today! Give us a call at 205-980-0078.

When will your office be closed?

Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic recognizes 6 holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Our clinic will be closed on these holidays.

In Case We’re Closed…

If you have an emergency and our office is closed, you need to get to a hospital right away. We refer our clients to Emergency and Specialty Animal Medical Center for emergencies that occur after our normal office hours as well as the 6 holidays we are closed each year.

Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic - After-Hours EmergenciesCahaba Valley Animal Clinic - After-Hours Emergencies

How can I join the CVAC team?

At Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic, caring for animals is our passion. We take pride in our work and we love the excitement of helping a wide variety of pets every day.

If veterinary medicine sounds like a career for you, please visit our online job board. We’d love to set up an interview with you.

Please call us at 205-980-0078 if you have any questions.

Dentistry

Why should my pet get a dental exam?

Imagine how your teeth would look and feel if you didn’t brush them daily. The same applies to your pet’s teeth. Bad breath and staining are unappealing, but many pet owners are not aware that these symptoms may be signs of serious gum disease. Periodontal disease is one of the most common health concerns of pets today.

The problem begins when plaque and tartar build up on your pet’s teeth. Plaque harbors bacteria that can infect gum tissue and the roots of teeth, which results in disease and tooth loss. In addition to the negative impact on the oral health, bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the blood vessels located near the gums and teeth. There is some evidence that when periodontal disease is present at this stage, the organs with the highest blood flow may be susceptible to infections: lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and even the brain. Damage to these organs caused by infection can shorten the lifespan of your pet.

Source: National Pet Dental Association

Does your pet need dental work? Call us at 205-980-0078 to schedule a dental check-up today.

Learn More About Our Dentistry Services

How do I know if my pet needs dental work?

The following symptoms indicate that your pet may need dental work:

  • Bad breath – one of the first signs of dental disease
  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating

If your pet displays any of these signs, serious periodontal disease may be present. Call us at 205-980-0078 to schedule a dental check-up today.

Learn More About Our Dentistry Services

Senior Pets

Is my pet old?

Cats and small dogs are generally considered geriatric at 7 years of age. Larger dog breeds tend to have shorter life spans and are considered geriatric when they are approximately 6 years of age. Although the calculations vary from pet to pet, the following information may help you find your pet’s age in terms of human years:

Age: Human Equivalents for Older Pets

Human Years Dog Years (based on size*)
7 Small-Medium: 44-47
Large-Very Large: 50-56
10 Small-Medium: 56-60
Large-Very Large: 66-78
15 Small-Medium: 76-83
Large-Very Large: 93-115
20 Small-Medium: 96-105
Large-Very Large: 120

*Small Dog: 0-20 lbs; Medium Dog: 21-50 lbs; Large Dog: 51-90 lbs; Very Large Dog: >90 lbs

Human Years Cat Years
7 45
10 58
15 75
20 98

The oldest recorded age of a cat is 34 years. The oldest recorded age of a dog is 29 years.

Source: AVMA

Give us a call at 205-980-0078 to schedule an appointment for your senior pet today!

Learn More About Our Senior Petcare Services

Why is my older pet acting strange?

Before any medical symptoms become apparent, behavioral changes can serve as important indicators that something is wrong with an older pet.

As your pet’s owner, you interact and care for your pet on a daily basis and are familiar with your pet’s behavior and routines. Thus, you serve the critical role of detecting early signs of disease or other medical conditions in your elderly pet.

Geriatric pets may need check-ups more often than our younger patients. If your pet is showing any change in behavior or other warning signs of disease, call us at 205-980-0078 and schedule an appointment for your pet today.

Source: AVMA

Learn More About Our Senior Petcare Services

Is my older pet getting sick?

Geriatric pets can develop many of the same problems seen in older people, including but not limited to:

  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • kidney/urinary tract disease
  • liver disease
  • diabetes
  • joint or bone disease
  • senility
  • weakness

Source: AVMA

If your pet needs senior care, please download our Senior Pet Questionnaire and bring it to your next visit so we can help you care for your older pet. Call us at 205-980-0078 to schedule your appointment today!

Learn More About Our Senior Petcare Services

Wellness Plans

What is a wellness plan?

Wellness plans provide pet owners with peace of mind. Your entire year of best care veterinarian-recommended services is included in each plan at a discounted monthly cost.

At Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic, we provide Love My Pet Wellness Plans that include all the services your pet needs to stay healthy and happy, at a discounted rate. Click here to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

If you have any questions, call us at 205-980-0078 or stop by the office.

Learn More about Love My Pet Wellness Plans at CVAC

Why should I participate in a wellness plan?

With a Love My Pet Wellness Plan, your pet receives best recommended care at an affordable price. Click here to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

If you have any questions, call us at 205-980-0078 or stop by the office.

Learn More about Love My Pet Wellness Plans at CVAC

Is this the same as insurance?

This plan covers anticipated wellness needs and is not an insurance plan. Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

If you have any questions, call us at 205-980-0078 or stop by the office.

Learn More about Love My Pet Wellness Plans at CVAC

What are core vaccines?

Your pet’s core vaccines may include:

For dogs:
  • Rabies
  • Canine Distemper
  • Canine Adenovirus (Hepatitis)
  • Parvovirus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
For cats:
  • Rabies
  • Feline Panleukopenia (Distemper)
  • Feline Herpesvirus
  • Feline Calicivirus
  • Feline Leukemia Virus

Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

If you have any questions, call us at 205-980-0078 or stop by the office.

Learn More about Love My Pet Wellness Plans at CVAC

Can I pay by check or in cash?

You may pay by check or with a credit or debit card. We do not accept cash payments at this time.

If you have any questions, call us at 205-980-0078 or stop by the office.

Learn More about Love My Pet Wellness Plans at CVAC

Where can I find more information about Love My Pet?

Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

To find out more about Love My Pet as a service, please visit LoveMyPet.vet.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 205-980-0078 or stop by the office.

Learn More about Love My Pet Wellness Plans at CVAC

Vaccinations

What vaccinations does my new puppy need?

We recommend the following series of vaccinations and treatments for puppies to keep them fully immunized from infectious diseases:

6-week-old puppy

  • Physical exam
  • DP – canine distemper, parvovirus
  • Deworm
  • Fecal analysis

9-week-old puppy

  • Physical exam
  • DP – canine distemper, parvovirus
  • BV – kennel cough
  • Deworm
  • Fecal analysis
  • Heartworm/flea/tick preventative vaccination

12-week-old puppy

  • Physical exam
  • Rabies vaccine – 1 year
  • DP-Lepto – canine distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis
  • BV – Kennel cough
  • Deworm
  • Fecal analysis
  • Heartworm/flea/tick preventative vaccination

Need help keeping track of all the services your puppy needs? Sign up for a Love My Pet Wellness Plan and we’ll take care of it for you. On top of that, we’ll even throw in a discount on services! Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

For further information and to make an appointment for your new puppy, give us a call at 205-980-0078.

What vaccinations does my new kitten need?

We recommend the following series of vaccinations and treatments for kittens to keep them fully immunized from infectious diseases:

6-week-old kitten

  • Physical exam
  • Feline distemper
  • Deworm
  • Fecal analysis

9-week-old kitten

  • Physical exam
  • Feline distemper
  • Leukemia test & vaccine
  • Profender (deworm)
  • Flea/tick preventative vaccination

12-week-old kitten

  • Physical exam
  • Feline Distemper
  • Rabies vaccine – 1 year
  • Leukemia vaccine
  • Profender (deworm)
  • Flea/tick preventative vaccination

Need help keeping track of all the services your kitten needs? Sign up for a Love My Pet Wellness Plan and we’ll take care of it for you. On top of that, we’ll even throw in a discount on services! Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

For further information and to make an appointment for your new kitten, give us a call at 205-980-0078.

What are core vaccines?

Your pet’s core vaccines may include:

For dogs:
  • Rabies
  • Canine Distemper
  • Canine Adenovirus (Hepatitis)
  • Parvovirus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
For cats:
  • Rabies
  • Feline Panleukopenia (Distemper)
  • Feline Herpesvirus
  • Feline Calicivirus
  • Feline Leukemia Virus

Need help keeping track of all the services your pet needs? Sign up for a Love My Pet Wellness Plan and we’ll take care of it for you. On top of that, we’ll even throw in a discount on services! Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

If you have any questions, call us at 205-980-0078 or feel free to stop by the office.

Spay & Neuter

What is spaying or neutering?

Spaying and neutering are the general terms for sterilizing your pet. Spaying is the surgical sterilization of female pets, and neutering is the surgical sterilization of male pets.

Are you thinking of spaying or neutering your pet? Sign up for a Love My Pet Wellness Plan and we’ll take care of all your pet’s needs to keep them healthy and happy. On top of that, we’ll even throw in a discount on services! Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

If you have any questions, call us at 205-980-0078 or feel free to stop by the office.

Why should I have my pet spayed?

There are homeless pets everywhere. Spaying and neutering helps curb the pet population and the risk of unwanted and unexpected litters. In the United States, there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Barely half of these animals are adopted. Tragically, the rest are euthanized.

A USA Today article cites that pets who live in the states with the highest rates of spaying & neutering also live the longest. According to the report, neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than un-spayed female dogs. The report goes on to add that in Mississippi, the lowest-ranking state for pet longevity, 44% of the dogs are not neutered or spayed.

Part of the reduced lifespan of unaltered pets can be attributed to their increased urge to roam, exposing them to fights with other animals, getting struck by cars, and other mishaps.

Another contributor to the increased longevity of altered pets involves the reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Un-spayed female cats and dogs have a far greater chance of developing pyrometra (a fatal uterine infection), uterine cancer, and other cancers of the reproductive system.

Medical evidence indicates that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. (Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age.)

Male pets who are neutered eliminate their chances of getting testicular cancer, and it is thought that they have lowered rates of prostate cancer, as well.

Source: The Humane Society of the United States

These are the common indications for spaying your dog or cat:

  • Prevention of unwanted puppies or kittens
  • Termination of pregnancy
  • Treatment of diseases associated with the uterus
  • Reducing the risk of mammary neoplasia (cancer)
  • Behavior modification (avoiding heat cycles)
  • Uterine/ovarian neoplasia (cancer)

Are you thinking of spaying or neutering your pet? Sign up for a Love My Pet Wellness Plan and we’ll take care of all your pet’s needs to keep them healthy and happy. On top of that, we’ll even throw in a discount on services! Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

For more information and to make an appointment for your pet, please call us at 205-980-0078.

When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?

We recommend that your pet be 6 months of age when they are spayed or neutered. If you have a female pet, spaying before her first heat is preferable. For males, the surgery is an outpatient procedure and they may go home the same day. For females, the surgery is an inpatient procedure and they will spend one night with us.

Are you thinking of spaying or neutering your pet? Sign up for a Love My Pet Wellness Plan and we’ll take care of all your pet’s needs to keep them healthy and happy. On top of that, we’ll even throw in a discount on services! Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

For further information and to make an appointment for your pet, please call us at 205-980-0078.

What are the complications associated with spaying a pet?

Potential complications of spaying your dog or cat:

  • Pain (managed with appropriate drugs)
  • Incision dehiscence
  • Hemorrhage (excessive bleeding)
  • Recurrent heat (incomplete removal of ovaries – an uncommon complication)
  • Stump pyometra (an infection that occurs due to incomplete removal of uterine body – an uncommon complication)

If you have any questions about post-operative complications, please call us at 205-980-0078.

In Case We’re Closed…

If you have an emergency and our office is closed, you need to get to a hospital right away. We refer our clients to Emergency and Specialty Animal Medical Center for emergencies that occur after our normal office hours as well as the 6 holidays we are closed each year.

Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic - After-Hours EmergenciesCahaba Valley Animal Clinic - After-Hours Emergencies

How do I care for my pet after she has been spayed?

Post-operative care for a spayed dog or cat:

  • No sutures to remove
  • Minimize activity for 7-10 days (avoid running, jumping, and other physically strenuous activity)
  • Pain management (1-3 days post-operation)
  • Monitor incision area
  • Prevent patient from licking or chewing incision area

If you have any questions about post-operative pet care, please call us at 205-980-0078.

Will my pet get fat or lazy after she has been spayed?

Estrogen hormones have a natural appetite-suppressing effect. The loss of these estrogen hormones may lead to an increased appetite, but the effects can usually be managed with diet and exercise.

Are you thinking of spaying or neutering your pet? Sign up for a Love My Pet Wellness Plan and we’ll take care of all your pet’s needs to keep them healthy and happy. On top of that, we’ll even throw in a discount on services! Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

For more information and to make an appointment for your pet, please call us at 205-980-0078.

What are the benefits of breeding control?

The #1 cause of pet deaths is euthanasia. In addition to this indication of the importance of breeding control, the following facts may also be considered:

  • 8-10 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year
  • 4-5 million are euthanized at shelters each year
  • Only 15-30% of dogs that enter a shelter are reclaimed by their owner
  • Only 2-5% of cats that enter a shelter are reclaimed by their owner

Are you thinking of spaying or neutering your pet? Sign up for a Love My Pet Wellness Plan and we’ll take care of all your pet’s needs to keep them healthy and happy. On top of that, we’ll even throw in a discount on services! Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

For further information and to make an appointment for your pet, please call us at 205-980-0078.

Can spaying my pet reduce her chances of getting cancer?

Please consider the following facts about hormone-dependent mammary neoplasia:

  • If spayed by the 1st cycle, the chance of your pet getting mammary neoplasia is 0.05%
  • After the 1st cycle, the chance increases to 8%
  • After the 2nd cycle, the chance increases to 26%
  • In cats, the chance of getting mammary neoplasia is only 0.6% if spayed in their first year

Are you thinking of spaying or neutering your pet? Sign up for a Love My Pet Wellness Plan and we’ll take care of all your pet’s needs to keep them healthy and happy. On top of that, we’ll even throw in a discount on services! Click here for more information about Love My Pet Wellness Plans and to find out which plan is right for you and your pet.

For more information and to make an appointment for your pet, please call us at 205-980-0078.

Still have questions? Call us today!

205.980.0078