Renton Veterinary Hospital Faqs
Frequently Asked Questions about Veterinary Care
Answers to your top FAQs on veterinary care, including spay/neuter costs, pet tattoos, vaccinations, examinations, grooming, medications, and more.
WHAT DOES A SPAY/ NEUTER COST FOR CATS/DOGS/RABBITS/RATS/ETC.?
- Spays and neuters are priced according to species, size/weight, and special circumstances such as age, “in heat,” cryptorchid (undescended testicle or testicles), pregnancy, pyometra (infected uterus), or puppy/kitten package or rescue/shelter discounts. Our prices include anesthesia, in-hospital pain medications, and overnight hospitalization (except for cat neuters). Please ask to speak to one of our staff members for an estimated cost for your pet.
- We will spay cats that are “in heat” because they continue to cycle (unlike dogs), often get outside, and come home pregnant, and it is relatively safe to do so. With dogs, pregnancy is easier to control, and the risk of significant bleeding is much higher. Therefore, we ask dog owners to schedule the female dogs for spay surgery when they are not cycling in heat.
WHY DOES MY PET HAS A GREEN LINE TATTOO ON THE STOMACH? WHAT IS A GREEN LINE TATTOO?
- Green line tattoo is to identify the pet as “fixed” (spayed or neutered) so that anyone can tell immediately that a surgery has been performed and does not need to be repeated. Surgical glue has been put over the tattoo and the incision site. The glue will wear off, but the tattoo is permanent. There is no aftercare needed for the tattoo. It is usually very common to have a green line tattoo if the pet comes from an adoption center/rescue organization and/or was “fixed” (spayed or neutered) in a spay-neuter society.
MY FEMALE PET HAS A SCAR ON HER STOMACH, I CAN’T SEE A GREEN LINE TATTOO, AND I DON’T HAVE ANY RECORDS FROM THE PREVIOUS OWNER. IS SHE ALREADY SPAYED?
- We aren’t sure. Scars on a pet’s abdomen can result from a cesarean section operation (the pet is still able to reproduce) or an operation due to a stomach or intestine issue, etc. Therefore, the scar does not tell us if this pet is truly fixed or not. Only a green line tattoo is a definite indicator to us that the pet is no longer able to reproduce and is fixed. If we see a tattoo, we will not proceed with surgery.
- If your pet is presented for spaying and we see a scar but no tattoo, our veterinarians will decide, per their professional opinion, to proceed or not. If you are unable to be reached on the day of surgery and you have already signed for that service, we will likely proceed with the surgery. Our vets are unable to know if a pet is truly intact without going inside the abdomen to explore and/or seeing the green line indicator. Please be sure to discuss the scar you’ve seen with our vet before checking in your pet with us.
I CAN’T SEE ANY TESTICLES ON MY MALE PET, OR A GREEN LINE TATTOO AND I DON’T HAVE ANY RECORDS FROM THE PREVIOUS OWNER. IS HE ALREADY NEUTERED?
- Not necessarily. Without examining your pet, we can’t inform you of this. Even though you aren’t seeing testicles in the scrotum, your pet could still be intact and able to reproduce. There is a condition called cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testes fail to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. Therefore, the testicles could still be present in the body, and your pet is still able to reproduce. Additionally, your pet is still likely to want to roam due to the active testosterone in his system.
- It could be that this pet was neutered at a location where they do not perform the green line tattoo as part of the process. The green line tattoo indicates that the pet has had a spay/neuter and is not intact anymore. However, our vets have a lot of experience in this field and are good at determining, by visual exam, if a male dog or cat has been neutered.
WHAT IS AN E-COLLAR AND WHY DOES MY PET NEED IT?
- This is a short-term for Elizabethan collar. It is typically a cone-shaped veterinary device made of stiff material (such as plastic) placed around the neck of a cat or dog to prevent it from obsessive licking, biting, or scratching at the incision site. We have plastic cones available at Renton Veterinary Hospital. However, there are other types of e-collars, such as inflatable neck collars, that some pets prefer over the standard cone collar. We highly recommend that all pets have an e-collar applied on the day of surgery to prevent post-care complications. This collar should be worn by your pet for a full healing period of 10-14 days.
I HAVE SCHEDULED MY PET TO RECEIVE VACCINES, ADVANTAGE MULTI, MICROCHIPPING AND OTHER SERVICES AT THE TIME OF THEIR SPAY/NEUTER. IS THIS TOO MUCH FOR MY PET AT ONE TIME?
- This depends on the specific pet and your preferences as a pet owner. If your pet is sensitive or currently very small and/or young, you may want to do these things at different times. You can get all of these services at different times with us. However, we have special packages at the time of surgery that can be very cost-effective for you. Furthermore, many pets in rescues, shelters, and other low-cost facilities receive these services simultaneously, with optimal results.
WHEN SHOULD MY PET BE BROUGHT IN FOR AN EXAMINATION BY A VETERINARIAN?
- If your pet develops signs (or symptoms) that are new or have changed, it should be checked out by one of our doctors. While some signs are more frightening than serious (such as “reverse sneezing”), others may indicate a more serious problem. It is usually not possible to properly diagnose a pet’s condition over the phone.
WHAT DOES A DENTAL PROCEDURE COST?
- Dental costs vary depending on the pet’s age, care, the condition of the teeth and gums, possible extractions and need for pain control, and how long the procedure takes. Our doctors evaluate the pet’s dental and overall health at the pre-dental examination, and our staff prepares a detailed estimate based on these findings.
I JUST GOT MY PET FROM A SHELTER, WHAT DOES MY PET STILL NEED?
- Actually, that depends on the age, previous vaccinations, and parasite control.
- Cats in a shelter usually get a FELV test, a Feline Distemper/Upper Respiratory Disease (FVRCP) vaccination, one de-worming, and a flea treatment. For these cats, we have a Shelter Package that completes the missing services (FIV test, Rabies, FeLV shots, and parasite control). We highly recommend that the cat get vaccinated against Feline Leukemia (FELV), especially if the cat is going to be outdoors, because this disease cycles in our neighborhood and can be transmitted by sharing water bowls with an infected cat. We also see cats that have contracted FIV (cat AIDS) in our area. A vaccine against FIV (“feline AIDS”) is available for at-risk cats (e.g., those who are spending time outside and especially those who get into cat fights). Since the major source of Rabies in the Pacific Northwest is bats, and since bats can get into houses, all cats need to be vaccinated against Rabies. By far, the most commonly contracted infectious disease in our area is Bartonella (“Cat Scratch Fever”) (prevalence in Renton is 60%). So, we look for signs of this disease and will frequently recommend this test for cats that have been abandoned and re-homed as they have often picked up the disease from intermittent or inconsistent flea control. See our link for more information on this bacterial disease that is quite capable of being transmitted to children under 12 and elderly pet owners.
- Dogs from a shelter usually get a DA2PP (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parainfluenza/Parvovirus vaccine, Bordatella vaccine (Kennel Cough), and flea treatment, but they still need to be vaccinated against Rabies and often need a global de-worming. We have a Shelter Package for puppies that will provide missing services for dogs 14 weeks and older.
WHAT IS A PUPPY/KITTEN PACK?
DO WE SEE EXOTICS/AVIANS/POCKET PETS?
- We are working on it, but if you need it now, we can provide this service. For details, see the About Us section of this website. Call and ask one of our receptionists if your particular critter is not on this list.
DO WE DO MEDICAL GROOMING?
- Yes, on a very limited basis. We do not have a groomer, so our “grooming” services are limited to baths, nail trims, and lion cuts (for cats, especially those requiring sedation). We can also de-matt animals.
I NEED A REFILL OF MY PET’S MEDICATION FROM A DIFFERENT VET, DO I NEED AN EXAM?
- By state law, we can fill an original prescription faxed to us by the prescribing veterinarian. State law limits how often we can fill a prescription without examining the patient.
CAN YOU REFILL MY PRESCRIPTION FROM TWO YEARS AGO? IT’S THE SAME PROBLEM.
- In order to prescribe medication for a patient, there must be a valid doctor-patient-client relationship. For most medications, this requires an examination within the past year. For certain medications, the examination must have been performed within the past six months. There is the potential that it is NOT the same problem or that the patient’s overall condition has changed. Laboratory work may be needed to ensure that the patient won’t be harmed by the medication. In addition, newer and potentially more effective treatments may have been developed since the last occurrence of the problem.
I’VE FOUND/HAVE A STRAY, DO YOU GUYS TAKE THEM? DO WE TAKE KITTENS, DOGS, OR OTHER ANIMALS?
- We can only take in strays or surrendered/abandoned animals on a very limited, case-by-case basis. We do have a foster home program for nursing orphaned animals; once these are weaned, these kittens are available for adoption with the purchase of the kitten care package that provides the preventative health care services that all kittens need. There is no specific adoption fee for the kitten. Some “mom” cats (queens) come in with their kittens and will need homes. We sometimes have clients who die and leave specific directions and funds for their pets through their attorneys with our hospital to re-home their pets. However, for most adult cats, dogs, and puppies, we direct them to the nearest shelter, rescue group, or non-profit haven. There are no-kill shelters in the area as well.
I HAVE MONEY PROBLEMS, DO YOU GUYS DO BILLING/PAYMENT PLANS?
- We do not do billing or regularly schedule payment plans because we are not a bank and have no investors who want to loan money to our clients. We provide estimates for our services and work hard to develop treatment plans that will be successful and fit into the family budget. However, payment is due when services are rendered. We accept all major credit cards and debit cards. Additionally, we offer a medical credit card that allows for defined no-interest periods through Henry Schein for those clients who qualify.
DO WE EUTHANIZE PETS?
- Yes, if one our doctors has determined that euthanasia is the most humane alternative for a patient.
DO WE DO DISPOSALS/CREMATIONS FOR AFTER EUTHANASIA?
- We have disposal and cremation services available. Costs vary by the weight of the animal. Please ask one of our receptionists for the price of these services.
- General disposal means the hospital disposes of the pet according to hospital policy (Tallow Works).
- Communal Cremation means the animals are created in a group, and you don’t get the ashes back.
- Private Cremation means the pet is cremated by itself, and the ashes are returned to you.
MY PET HAD THEIR SHOTS LAST YEAR, WHY DOES HE NEED BOOSTERS?
- Each vaccination needs to be boostered depending on the animal’s risk of exposure to that disease. The exception is the Rabies vaccination: the first vaccination is valid for 1 year; subsequent Rabies vaccinations are valid for three years unless you plan to relocate to an area that requires more frequent vaccinations (e.g., Texas or other states with higher rabies prevalence).
DO WE TAKE WALK-INS?
- While we prefer to see patients by appointment, we realize that illnesses and injuries don’t always occur at convenient times. We welcome walk-ins and will try to work you in as soon as we are able.
CAN I DROP MY PET OFF FOR HIS EXAM AND PICK THEM UP LATER?
- We do offer this service; however, there is a cage care fee (for use and cleaning of the kennel or cage), and we must be able to reach you if we have any questions.
DO WE SELL FRONTLINE/REVOLUTION/ADVANTAGE/SENTINEL?
- We sell a variety of flea and tick control products. If you ask for one we do not sell, we can usually order it from our online pharmacy, Vet Centric. Please ask one of our receptionists about the specific product you are interested in.
MY PET HAS FLEAS, DO I NEED AN EXAM FOR MEDICATION?
- Some flea control products are available without an examination; others are by prescription and require an examination (and sometimes a blood test) before we can dispense them. We recommend parasite control throughout the year, as flea eggs in the house can hatch at any time. We also have a premise spray, “Knockout,” available for use on carpets and upholstery in your house. When all else fails, we recommend a visit from Flea Busters, who will guarantee a flea-free environment when they are done. Fleas transmit parasites and bacterial diseases; they need to be eradicated from your pet.