FAQs North Windham Veterinary Hospital

There is no question too big or too small for our veterinary team. Below are some answers to our most common questions.

We proudly serve the pets of Windham, ME and beyond.

At North Windham Veterinary Hospital, we get a ton of interesting questions from pet parents. Below are some FAQs that might help answer any questions or concerns. Please feel free to call us at 207-892-8553 for any other concerns you might have about your pet.

Appointment Policies

Our goal is to provide quality individualized veterinary care in a timely manner. No-shows, late shows and cancellations inconvenience those individuals who need access to veterinary care. We would like to remind you of our policies regarding appointments. These policies enable us to better utilize available appointments for our patients in need of medical care.

New Client Appointment Policy

All new clients are required to prepay for the pet’s exam, currently $90, in order to schedule an appointment. This deposit will go towards the final balance at the time of the appointment.

If you need to cancel your appointment, your deposit will be refunded to your credit card as long as a minimum of 24 hours notice is given. If 24 hours notice is not provided or you no-show for the appointment, the deposit is non-refundable.

If you are more than 10 minutes late for your scheduled appointment, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment. Your deposit will not be refunded and a second deposit will need to be paid to schedule a new appointment.

If you need to reschedule, we ask that you provide 24 hours’ notice, and your deposit will carry over to the newly scheduled appointment. If you provide less than 24 hours’ notice and want to reschedule, your deposit will not be refunded and a second deposit will need to be paid to schedule a new appointment.

Existing Client Appointment Policy

Established clients are asked to reschedule or cancel an appointment with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice. If proper notice is NOT provided, the appointment will be considered a “FAILED APPOINTMENT”.

Appointments that are missed without notification from the client will be considered a “FAILED APPOINTMENT”.

If you arrive more than 10 minutes late for your scheduled appointment, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment and will be considered a “FAILED APPOINTMENT”.

3 FAILED APPOINTMENTS will result in requiring an exam deposit to be paid at the time of scheduling future appointments. This deposit will go towards the final balance at the time of the appointment. The exam deposit is nonrefundable for failed appointments.

Emergency/Walk-in Appointments
To allow ample time for all patients and scheduled surgical procedures, we see our clients and patients by appointment. Walk-ins of all kinds will incur an emergency fee. We encourage calling ahead as we are not always able to accept walkins.
Payment Policy and Options

We require full payment at the time services are rendered.

For your convenience, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Care Credit, checks, and cash.

Deposits are required for most hospital admissions and some surgical procedures. We will provide an itemized estimate for proposed procedures and surgeries.

Pet Insurance
We are happy to work with you regarding pet insurance. We do not, however, file insurance claims. We can provide a copy of your pet’s medical records, but it is the client’s responsibility to submit forms and records.
Prescription Policy
Please allow a minimum of 24 hours (48 hours for controlled substances) for all refill requests. This allows the doctor time to review your pet’s medical record, make sure no changes are needed to the prescription, and approve the refill. In addition, it also gives our staff time to fill the prescription.

It is best to call 7 days in advance of your pet’s medication running out for a prescription refill. Some prescriptions are special order medications that require additional time for delivery.

For the safety of your pet, certain medications require blood testing and exams at specific intervals in order for your pet to continue the medication.

To comply with federal law and best practice ethics, dispensing or prescribing a prescription product requires a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship. This means that veterinarians are required to examine your pet and understand your pet’s health care needs at least once a year, as well as have a relationship with you before medication can be prescribed.

Any prescription medication that has left the building, regardless of whether or not it has been opened, CAN NOT BE RETURNED. As all of our medications are regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), we are subject to the same dispensing laws as human pharmacies.

Do I need to have an appointment?
Yes, patients are seen by appointment.
At what age can I have my pet spayed or neutered?
For small to medium-breed dogs, we recommend waiting until they’re 6 months old. We won’t do it sooner. For large breeds, 9 to 12 months of age is appropriate, and for giant breeds, 12 to 16 months. Cats should be spayed or neutered at six months, regardless of size or breed. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery. Also, a pre-anesthetic blood screen is required prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery. Pain medications will be given before, during, and after surgery to ensure your pet’s post-operative comfort.
What is the pre-anesthetic blood screening?
This is a blood test that is performed here in the hospital prior to surgery. We test for organ functions, blood count and clotting function of your pet’s circulatory system. Pre-anesthetic blood screening is done to assure safety during surgery and the ability to heal following surgery.
How long do the sutures stay in after my pet’s surgery?
Procedures involving sutures or skin staples require them to be removed within 14 days following the surgery.
Is it a good idea to let my pet have at least one litter?
No, there is no advantage to letting your pet have one litter. However, there are plenty of advantages to having your pet spayed or neutered. These advantages include decreasing the chances of breast tumors later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life, decreasing the desire to roam the neighborhood, decreasing the incidence of prostate cancer later in life, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreases the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens.
Do you board pets?
We do not board pets. However, we can provide you with the facilities recommended by our clients.
Is the anesthesia safe?
Today’s modern pre-anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at North Windham Veterinary Hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics to ensure that a fever or other illness won’t be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. Pre-anesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.

We require in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. Our doctors need the blood screen because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.

It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.

Will my pet have stitches?
For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet’s activity level for a time and no swimming or baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.
Will my pet be in pain?
Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don’t whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.

For all patients, we will dispense oral pain medications after surgery and for several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats and dogs than ever before. We administer a pain injection 10 minutes prior to surgery that blocks pain receptors before any painful stimulus is performed. After Anesthesia has been induced, pain medication will be infused at the surgical site and/or given intravenously to further reduce discomfort. This not only eliminates pain, but also allows us to reduce the amount of general anesthesia needed and provides a smoother recovery. Any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication.

What other decisions do I need to make?

While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as ear cleaning or implanting an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision-maker for the pet’s care.

When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on other options available. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes going over your pet’s home care needs.

We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet’s health or surgery.