Educational Info/FAQ

058f908a-ce4a-4f1d-9b96-c9267dfb118820% OFF Dental Prophylaxis during the months of February and August!

Schedule your pet’s dental cleaning anytime between now and the end of February to receive 20% off the price of the complete dental package including scaling and polishing, anesthesia, antibiotic, flouride treatment, and dental x-rays.

Emergency FAQ’s

What do I do in the case of an emergency and your clinic isn’t open?
Come immediately during business hours and if this an after-hour emergency contact:

d96d3678-42aa-4a6f-abd1-c715ec2ae23fSAGE Centers for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care
Address: 1410 Monument Blvd, Concord, CA
Phone: 925.627.7243

If your pet has experienced some kind of trauma, such as being hit by a car or a blunt object or falling more than a few feet you need to come in immediately for our team to access your pet’s condition.

If you notice any of the following problems, bring your pet in immediately for emergency care.

  • 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 your pet is vomiting blood.
  • You suspect any broken bones.
  • Your pet is having trouble breathing or has something stuck in the 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 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, 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 suddenly seems to become blind.
  • Your pet’s abdomen is swollen and hard to the touch, and/or 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.

I think my pet ate something that’s making him/her sick, and he/she has lost consciousness/is having seizures/trouble breathing. What should I do?
During normal business hours, bring your pet in immediately. Call us right before you leave or while you’re on your way to help us prepare for the situation.

If your pet gets sick outside our normal hours, take your pet immediately to an emergency veterinary clinic.

I think my pet ate something that could be poisonous, but he/she seems fine. What should I do?
Don’t panic, but call us right away. If it’s outside our normal business hours, leave a message, and one of our veterinarians will return your call quickly. If your pet is not showing any adverse symptoms, you can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. You may be charged a consultation fee.

fd735fb3-a465-4bdf-95fe-c5b40f27ba47 Surgical and Pain Management FAQ’s

What precautions do you take to prevent pain during surgery?
Your pet’s comfort is a priority for us. Using our knowledge of pain medication and pain relief strategies, we do everything we can to prevent and manage your pet’s pain under all circumstances. We will tailor a pain management plan to your pet’s medical condition and individual needs.

How do you ensure your patients’ safety during surgery?
Our veterinary team takes every precaution so that your pet receives the highest-quality care. We perform a physical exam and preanesthetic testing before surgery and monitor your pet during surgery. During the procedure, a veterinary technician will continually assess your pet’s heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs to help prevent any anesthetic risk. We also provide appropriate pain medication to keep your pet comfortable during recovery.

My pet needs to have surgery. Should I be worried about the anesthesia?
Modern anesthesia is generally quite safe. Most veterinary hospitals perform a physical examination and run blood tests before all procedures requiring general anesthesia to make sure your pet doesn’t have any hidden health issues. In addition, a skilled veterinary technician should be monitoring your pet’s vital signs during the procedure, to ensure your pet’s safety or to catch and treat any potential concerns as quickly as possible. Anesthesia and patient monitoring vary greatly from clinic to clinic. Ask your hospital what they do to protect your pet before, during, and after the use of anesthesia.

a600cef4-ee01-4abc-a0c0-75364d8209d1Vaccination FAQ’s

Can you send Proof of Vaccinations to my kennel?

We’d be happy to send proof of vaccination to your pet’s kennel. Just let us know the fax number. You can also print your own vaccination records at any time using your personal Petly portal.

What are your vaccination requirements for boarding?

  • Dogs: We require that dogs be vaccinated against rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and Bordetella (kennel cough).
  • Cats: We require that cats be vaccinated against rabies, panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

What type of vaccinations does my pet need, and how often?

Puppy Vaccines:

  • Puppies can be started on vaccines as early as 7-8 weeks of age.
  • They should receive vaccines once every 3 weeks for the DHPP until the age of 16 weeks.
  • At 16 weeks of age they will receive the last DHPP/DHLPP and Rabies.
  • Bordetella vaccine should be advised for any pet that will be going to dog parks, boarding, and groomers or will be around other dogs frequently.

Adult or unvaccinated dogs:

  • If over 16 weeks: 2 DHPP/DHLPP given 3 weeks apart.
  • Rabies vaccine can be given at anytime once the pet is 16 weeks or older.

Feline adult or kitten:

  • Kittens can be started on vaccines as early as 7-8 weeks of age.
  • They should receive 3 FVRCP vaccines given 3 weeks apart.

afad65f7-a871-4bb8-a64f-e317afe8b4afHeartworm, Flea/Tick FAQ’s

How can my puppy/kitten have worms? How was he/she exposed?
Almost all puppies are born with intestinal parasites, which are passed from mother to pup during pregnancy. Although kittens are not infected when they’re born, they can become infected through their mother’s milk. Puppies can also become infected while they’re nursing.

Puppies and kittens should both be dewormed every 2 weeks, starting at about 2 weeks of age for puppies and 3 weeks of age for kittens. After the biweekly series of dewormings is finished, monthly deworming should begin (at about 8 to 9 weeks of age for kittens and 12 weeks of age for puppies).

I’ve been late several times when giving my pet a heartworm preventive. Should I be concerned?
Unfortunately, if you were late or missed a dose even once, your pet could have become infected if he or she was exposed during that time. Call your veterinarian, and explain the situation. Depending on how many doses have been late, they may recommend that you have your pet tested for heartworm infection, then put your pet on a regular preventive schedule. You should also have your pet retested in seven months, as recommended by the American Heartworm Society. (For heartworms to be detected, they need to be five to seven months old.)

Why does my dog/cat need to have a blood test before starting heartworm medication?
Your pet should be tested for heartworm infection before he or she is placed on a preventive to avoid any harmful or possibly fatal complications. For instance, if a heartworm-infected dog is started on a monthly preventive, immature heartworms (called microfilariae) can die suddenly, causing a serious, shock-type reaction. In addition, preventives won’t kill adult heartworms, so an infected dog needs to be started on a treatment plan.

My cat doesn’t go outside. Why should I put him/her on a heartworm/flea/tick preventive?
Just because your cat doesn’t venture outdoors doesn’t mean outdoor parasites can’t get inside. Mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease, and as you probably know, mosquitoes always seem to find a way to get inside your home. Plus, fleas and ticks can both hitch a ride on clothing, so every time you come back into the house, you could potentially be bringing these parasites in with you.

Although you can’t always protect your pet from coming in contact with these bloodsucking insects, you can help protect him or her from the diseases they can transmit. Ask your veterinary hospital to discuss the benefits of preventives with you.

57006aea-32e6-49a5-8633-64e88aa48687General FAQ’s

I am new to your practice, what can I expect on my first visit?
As a new client of our practice, you can expect our full attention to your pets’ needs. Our service will be provided with courtesy and respect.

When you arrive for your appointment, you will be greeted warmly, and ushered into an examination room by an experienced assistant. Our goal is to see all of our clients and patients on time, and although we have contingencies for emergencies, there will be times where the unexpected will create delays. We will ensure these are minimized as much as possible.

The veterinary assistant will take a history, and gather some data for the doctor. A veterinarian will see you next, examine your pet, answer your questions and plan further diagnostics or treatment as necessary. The assistant will attend to necessary details and will provide you with further educational information and answer routine wellness and care questions for you. Upon exiting the exam room, our client care specialists at the front desk will handle financial details and schedule any needed follow up.

We are excited to meet you and your and animal family members!

Can my pet see the same veterinarian/ technician each visit?
We make every effort to accommodate our clients’ requests. However, there may be circumstances that prevent a certain veterinary team member from being available during your pet’s visit. Scheduling conflicts, emergency situations, and vacation schedules all play a role in their availability. Please feel free to ask for a specific veterinarian or veterinary technician when you schedule your appointment, and we will do what we can facilitate your request. However, please be understanding if we can’t. All of our team members are highly skilled professionals who look forward to your pet’s visit.

Why is my veterinarian referring my pet to a specialist?
Our top priority is to make sure that our patients receive the highest standard of care and best possible outcome. This is why we sometimes make the decision to refer patients to veterinary specialists or specialty clinics when advanced training or equipment will be beneficial.

Our veterinarians make every effort to stay current and skilled in many aspects of animal health, providing comprehensive care for your pet. However, board-certified specialists have extensive experience and training in a particular area of veterinary medicine or surgery. And specialty clinics and university-affiliated referral centers have specialized equipment to perform procedures that are not routinely undertaken by general practitioners.

I brought my pet to see the veterinarian for a problem, and my pet isn’t getting any better. What can I do?
Call us. Just like doctors, veterinarians sometimes need to try more than one treatment/medication to find the correct solution to cure or manage a pet’s condition. Please let us know if something we recommended or prescribed isn’t helping. We want to work with you to find the right answers for your pet.

I think something’s wrong with my pet. Can I call you and have a veterinarian give me a diagnosis over the phone?
Veterinarians can’t diagnose over the phone. Besides being unethical and illegal, diagnosing by phone doesn’t allow veterinarians to physically examine a pet. A physical exam is necessary so your veterinarian can provide an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Treating a pet for the wrong disease or condition will cost more in the end and could be harmful or even deadly to your pet.

Is it OK to call with questions about my pet’s health?
Although we can’t provide lengthy consultations or a diagnosis over the phone, we welcome questions from our clients. Please feel free to call or stop by anytime.

Why do you check my dog’s weight every time he/she comes in for a visit?
We keep track of your pet’s weight just like your doctor’s office keeps track of your height and weight each time you visit. Having an accurate and current measurement of your pet’s weight will help us ensure that we prescribe the right dose of preventives, medications, and any needed anesthetics. It can also help us notice any early clues to health concerns. In addition, a regular weigh-in can help you track and manage your pet’s weight.

I have a hard time controlling my pet in the lobby. Can I make arrangements so I can take him/her into the exam room right away when I arrive?
We are happy to make arrangements to help make your visit as smooth and convenient as possible. When you call to schedule your appointment, please let us know that you would prefer to wait in an exam room.

My pet is really well trained. Does he/she need to be on a leash/in a carrier when we visit the hospital?
For the safety and protection of all clients, patients, and veterinary team members, we require all pets to be on a leash or in a carrier when they arrive at our hospital. They must continue to be restrained while they are in the reception area and while traveling to and from the exam rooms. Your veterinarian or veterinary technician will let you know when it’s OK to let your pet off leash or out of his or her carrier.

There is often a lot going on at our hospital. Combine that with the unfamiliar surroundings and new animals, and any pet (even one that is well trained) might become uneasy or overly excited. We want you and your pet to have as pleasant an experience as possible every time you visit our hospital, so we ask all our clients to respect our policy.

My pet needs to come in for a regular exam/minor procedure, but I don’t have time to wait at the hospital the whole time. Can I drop my pet off and pick him/her back up later in the day?
For our clients’ convenience, we do offer drop-off appointments. Please call to arrange this service. We usually ask that you drop off your pet in the morning. We will call you once your pet is ready to be picked up.

I’ve decided it’s time to let my pet go, but he/she is uncomfortable and can’t move very well, and I would really prefer to not drag him/her to the hospital. Can you come to my house?
If you would like to have a veterinarian come to your home, we can certainly accommodate your request. Please call to schedule an appointment. We also offer counseling if you want to discuss your decision or have any questions about the process.

What’s the best way to schedule an appointment?
Please call (925) 687-7346 to book a convenient appointment time, or use our online appointment scheduler to request a date and time using,, or

dddf3327-0f47-4d16-94d8-f541397737ddPayment/Refund FAQ’s

What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept any of the following payment methods:

  • Cash
  • Personal checks
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • CareCredit

We also accept most pet insurance plans.

If my pet’s problem doesn’t get better, can I get a refund?
Unfortunately, we can’t offer refunds for veterinary care. Our fees cover the cost of examining, testing, diagnosing, and treating your pet.

Not all health problems have a straightforward solution. Some may be chronic, requiring a long-term management plan; others may be more difficult to diagnose or may involve several causes. A cure may not always be possible, and treatment may be ongoing. Your veterinary team will do everything they can to find answers and continue to help your pet.

My pet is a handful. Can I pay my bill ahead of time or in the exam room so I don’t have to wait in the lobby after the exam is over?
We are happy to make arrangements to help make your visit as smooth and convenient as possible. When you call to schedule your appointment, please let us know that you would like to be billed in advance.

We typically ask for a credit card and will send you a receipt at your request. Depending on what services or procedures we have provided your pet, we may need to add additional fees to your bill. We will contact you to let you know if this is the case.

Do you offer any payment plans?
Unfortunately, we do not offer any payment plans at this time. We request that you pay for services provided at the time of your pet’s visit. If you have any questions about our payment policy, please feel free to ask.

We recommend that you include the cost of veterinary care in your annual expenses. However, we understand that this sometimes isn’t possible. If you contact us ahead of time, we can help you determine ways to keep costs down and stay within your budget. For instance, some preventive veterinary care can be spread out over several visits. Your veterinarian will work with you to come up with a cost-effective plan to keep your pet current on vaccinations and other necessary services.

We do accept major credit cards, as well as veterinary insurance plans, which can help cover many routine and emergency services.

Why does it cost so much to provide veterinary care for my pet?
The fees you pay for veterinary services take into consideration a number of factors, including the costs to compensate your veterinarian and veterinary team for their professional services and the expenses involved in maintaining the hospital and equipment. When someone decides to adopt a pet, he or she needs to be prepared to include annual veterinary care in the overall cost of owning the pet.

Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer, which means you may be spending more over the lifetime of your pet. However, in general, the annual cost of caring for a pet hasn’t increased much over the past several decades. (Consider how much the costs of many professional services, such as human healthcare, have risen over that same period!) Certain advanced procedures may come at a higher cost, but as the owner, you decide what care you want to provide your pet. Overall, veterinary care is a terrific value for pet owners.

Can I get health insurance for my pet? If so, what’s covered?
Several companies offer health insurance for dogs and cats (and other pets). These plans have premiums and deductibles, just like human health insurance plans. The premiums and deductibles vary based on the level of coverage you select.

Many routine services, such as office visits and diagnostic testing, are covered, as well as prescriptions, procedures, and surgeries for a wide variety of diseases and conditions. However, there are restrictions and limits, as well as certain guidelines to follow, including making sure your pet receives regular preventive care.

Ask us for more information about pet health insurance.

a1e2f03c-8f57-465e-b78f-e9fadae2a4bbCommunity & Educational Services

East Bay Animal Rescue and Refuge
We are proud to serve as the veterinary consultants of this fine organization. The East Bay Animal Rescue and Refuge is a non-profit group dedicated to providing homes for animals in need. For more information please visit their web site by clicking here, or call them at 925-429-2785

Mentorship & Internship Programs
We provide educational training and experience to a variety of individuals and programs within the East Bay area including:

  • Mt Diablo High School: Mentorship for the “Bio Tech” program.
  • Animal Behavior College: Internship program for veterinary assisting
  • Carrington College San Leandro: Internship program for veterinary technician
  • Carrington College Concord: Internship program for veterinary technician

cd67dadf-25b4-4560-a02f-1c0c2f339d09Useful Websites

Purchasing Veterinary Drugs Online/Internet Pharmacies

Financing options

Veterinary Pet Insurance

Dog Training and Behavior Solutions

Microchipping Information

For pets moving to Hawaii:

American Kennel Club

3cdf6b5d-3cca-48a7-a6b4-3094aa9b821aSpecial Promotions

**Buy 12 months of heartworm prevention and receive a FREE heartworm test! We supply Trifexis or Heartgard for dogs and Revolution or Heartgard for cats. ____________________________________________________________________
** Buy 12 doses of Interceptor, get $12 cash rebate as well as a free heartworm test.
**Buy 6 doses of Revolution, get 2 doses free.
**Buy 6 doses of Trifexis, get 1 dose free.
** When our client’s refer a friend to us, not only does that friend receive a free examination for their beloved pet, but so do you!!

Location Hours
Monday8:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday8:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday8:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday8:00am – 6:00pm
Friday8:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday8:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday9:00am – 6:00pm