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Frequently Asked Questions

About our Veterinary Hospital & Veterinary Care for Animals

What types of animals do you see?

We see all mammals, reptiles and amphibians. We do not, however, see fish but we can recommend several local places that are better suited for that purpose.

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I have a specific question, about a problem with my pet.

On our site we provide quite a few resources and descriptions of our services. We do not provide specific recommendations on our care. For all questions on “what to do” or diagnosis, we recommend making an appointment with one of our expert Veterianarians. To do so please call: 415.721.7494

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I’m trying to find a specific answer to a problem. How do I search your site?

This is a multipart answer to this question. If you cannot find what you are looking for on the site, please e-mail us through our contact page to see if we can help you find what you are looking for.

In terms of searching the site as we have great blogs and pages on many topics, just use the “Search” box in the right hand column of every page.

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Yes. Please go to the resources page and find the topic you are interested in. Click on the link and it should take you where you want to go.

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Why is veterinary medicine so expensive?

There are many answers to this question, which in a nut-shell is difficult to fully explain. Veterinary medicine has grown and expanded over the years and what was once a minor, but not insignificant cost, is now a major factor compared with human medicine. The average veterinarian graduates after 8 years of college with loans that are as high if not higher than their human medicine counterparts and, as many of our drugs and supplies are made by and for human manufacturers; the costs have come over to the animal side of the equation.  One aspect that we have that is very apparent is that in the veterinary field, we are running our hospitals on what is, in general, discretionary spendable income. This is changing with our combined living with our pets in an urban setting and what our animals have come to mean to us. There is no denying that the costs of veterinary care to the consumer have gone up, but for a comparable pricing to human medicine, veterinary medicine is still very much a bargain.

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Are vaccines really necessary or are we over vaccinating our pets?

Vaccines are the 20th Century’s major medical finding. Though, without realizing it vaccines have been around for over 450 years with the advent of small pox inoculations by the Chinese during the Ming Dynasty. Documents show that during those times, the scabs from ill patients were ground up and applied to areas on healthy people, which gave them a form of immunity. It wasn’t until the mid-twentieth century that the causative agents were discovered and a full understanding of immunity brought forth. The advent of alternative medicine therapies here in the United States has brought forth some misconceptions and misunderstanding regarding vaccines. Although as our knowledge grows regarding our immune systems, vaccines are still considered a major beneficial treatment. For those people that are proponents of homeopathy, vaccines follow some of those same tenants; by exposing the recipient with minute amounts of the causative agents, the response of the body is to provide either life-long or very long duration of protection. In the animal world, many times the protection is only good for a short time, but as studies continue to be done on the effectiveness of vaccinating for protection we are extending the duration between vaccine cycles. This will most certainly change as we move forward.

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If I give a preventative, why do veterinary hospitals require further testing?

A preventative is just that, preventative. But, it is not a guarantee of prevention. One aspect could be that you are giving a preventative and then go to work. Your pet then immediately vomits up the preventative without you knowing it. Is your pet protected? No. Also, many of the tests we run now have multiple exposure components, thus we are no longer testing for one disease, infection or infestation and thus it is beneficial to have your animal tested annually or as recommended by your veterinarian.

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Why can I get the same drugs on-line for much less than at my veterinarian’s office?

In today’s world of the internet, most veterinary hospitals have to compete with on-line pharmacies. These products actually cost the veterinarian much more than what many of the on-line pharmacies can get them for, so they have to charge more. But one aspect that many veterinarians don’t explain fully to owners is that the on-line product can have many adverse properties to them, thus making them not as good a deal as it appears. By purchasing from your local veterinarian, you insure that you are getting the appropriate product for your pet. The storage of the product at your veterinarian’s office is up to the standards set forth by the manufacturer. The product will be “guaranteed” by the veterinarian to be what you are in fact purchasing. The product will be manufactured for the United States and not for foreign consumption. Any deals that are put forth by the manufacturer are generally passed on to you, the consumer; such that you will probably get a better deal than if you were to purchase it on-line. This, of course, excludes those hospitals that have opened their own on-line pharmacies, which will also provide those same discounts.

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What makes West End Animal Center different from every other veterinary hospital?

At West End Animal Center, we are striving to provide your pet concierge medicine available in a comfortable, easy setting. We have some great projects in the near future that will enhance our ability to offer medicine to your pet at a reasonable price.

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Do you offer discounted veterinary care for my pet?

Unfortunately, no. We at West End Animal Center believe that veterinary medicine should be provided on a case by case basis. There is no “one size fits all” box that animals fall into when it comes to health care. We believe that our pricing is fair and provides beneficial therapies to your beloved pet.

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