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Hospital Policies

General Policies

- All pets must be in a carrier or on a leash. If an accident occurs due to failure to properly restrain your pet, liability will fall solely on the pet owner.

- Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your appointment. This allows us the time to check your pet in, prepare your record, and get you into an exam room on time

- In order to be respectful of the medical needs of other patients, please be courteous and call our office promptly if you are unable to show up for an appointment. This time will be reallocated to a pet who is in need of treatment. Appointments are in high demand, and your early cancellation will allow another patient access to timely veterinary care. Please be honest in your appointment needs so that we can allocate the correct amount of time for your pet to be seen.

- All new clients are required to pay a deposit equal to the amount of an Office Visit ($65) to reserve the appointment

- Appointments greater than 10 minutes late will incur a $37 late fee, and depending on DVM availability at the time, may need to be rescheduled.

- Urgent care appointment fees are $80. Failure to show up to an urgent care appointment will result in an $80 fee.

- Failure to show for your appointment with failure to call and cancel, will result in a $65 no-show fee. Appointments 15 minutes late will be considered no-shows.

- Failure to show for your surgery appointment and failure to call and cancel will result in loss of the $100 appointment deposit.

- All no-show fees must be paid prior to scheduling any future services. In extenuating circumstances, the fee may be waived at the discretion of hospital management. After a third no-show with failure to call and cancel, the patient may be dismissed from Northside Animal Hospital.

- As a courtesy, when time allows, we make reminder calls, emails and text messages for appointments. Please be sure your contact information is up to date. If you do not receive a reminder, the above policy will remain in effect.

- We are appointment only. A non-emergency walk-in fee of $68 in addition to the office visit fee will be incurred for any walk-ins that are not critical emergencies that have to be worked into the schedule. There may be extended wait times for walk-ins depending on doctor staffing and availability.

Identification Policy

In order for us to be in compliance with a multitude of state and federal laws that apply to veterinary medicine and businesses, we require all clients to have a driver's license or government-issued ID on file, which matches the information provided to us on the patient's records. There are a number of reasons that a photo ID is required:

● Credit and billing purposes, in accordance with FTC policies

● Prescribing and legal reporting requirements of controlled medications

● Preventing fraud and identity theft by ensuring that only an authorized person is using an account

● Confirm animal ownership and identify the parties who are authorized to claim a pet and make decisions in its care

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We take identity protection seriously, rest assured that there are numerous safeguards in place to protect your private information. To date, we find this is the best way for us to protect your account from fraud, to collect and confirm the required information to meet the legal requirements of the State of Georgia, as well as Federal regulations, and most importantly, to ensure that a pet is being cared for by an authorized individual.

Zero Tolerance Policy

In response to the increasing problem of mistreatment by clients toward veterinary staff, we have implemented a zero tolerance policy for rude, demanding, abusive, or any other form of disrespectful behavior of clients towards staff members. If a staff member encounters a client displaying any such type of behavior, the client will be given their pet’s records and asked to seek medical services elsewhere and there will be no appeals process. It saddens me to say that while we have worked tirelessly through the pandemic in helping owners and their pets, the public continues to display unacceptable behavior towards our staff and the members of this profession worldwide. We recognize that the public is stressed - everyone is - however it is not an excuse to treat others poorly; this is particularly relevant in an industry currently experiencing 2.7 times the suicide risk of the general public. This is a matter we take very seriously, and we feel strongly that not only does every person deserve to work in a place where they feel safe and respected, but that we simply cannot care for our patients effectively when exposed to such mistreatment.

Prescriptions

- In order to prescribe medications, a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR) must exist. This means that your veterinarian knows your pet well enough to be able to diagnose and treat any medical conditions your animal develops. In order to establish and maintain a VCPR, one of our veterinarians has to have examined your pet within the last 12 months. A valid VCPR cannot be established online, via email, or over the phone. Without a VCPR, it would be illegal and unethical for a veterinarian to dispense or prescribe medications or recommend treatment without recently examining your pet. This applies to all medications, including flea/tick prevention, dewormer, etc. For a deeper understanding of the VCPR, please visit https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/veterinarian-client-patient-relationship-vcpr-faq

- In order to refill heartworm prevention, a heartworm test must be performed every year. Annual testing is necessary, even when dogs are on heartworm prevention year-round, to ensure that the prevention program is working, especially in a highly endemic area like the Southeast. Heartworm medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. If you miss just one dose of a monthly medication—or give it late—it can leave your dog unprotected. Even if you give the medication as recommended, your dog may spit out or vomit a heartworm pill—or rub off a topical medication. Heartworm preventives are highly effective, but not 100 percent effective. If you don’t get your dog tested, you won’t know your dog needs treatment. For more information on heartworm disease, please visit https://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/heartworm-basics

- Regular blood work is required for patients who are on certain medications long-term to treat chronic or life-long conditions. This includes, but is not limited to, chronic NSAID use, thyroid medications, heart medications, insulin, seizure medication, and steroids. Blood work is necessary while on these medications to ensure the pet is on the correct dose, and to pick up on any adverse effects or organ damage that can occur. Failure to bring your pet in for their lab work will prevent you from being able to have their medication refilled, and may compromise the health and safety of your pet.

- When calling for refills, please allow 24-48 hours for your request to be processed before picking up medication.

Online Pharmacy Requests

As of October 3, 2022, we no longer approve prescription requests from outside pharmacies by phone, email, or by fax. This DOES NOT mean that you cannot get your pet's medication from an outside pharmacy.

We will happily provide you a written prescription, which you can pick up from our office and it can be taken to or mailed to a pharmacy of your choosing, including online pharmacies. There is no fee for a written prescription.

While we understand the convenience and competitive pricing that outside pharmacies can provide, there are a number of reasons for this decision which we think you as a pet owner and consumer should be aware of:

- Some online pharmacies do not purchase their medications directly from the manufacturer. They are often purchased from third parties, with no guarantee of how they have been stored or where they come from. Northside Animal Hospital cannot verify if a pharmacy is FDA compliant or if their products are backed by the manufacturer in the event of an adverse effect

- We have experienced additional issues with 3rd party pharmacies including:

● Medications not being dispensed correctly or as directed.

● Prescriptions approved or denied without our consent.

● Products arriving in secondary containers, not in the original packaging.

● Products arriving labeled for use in other countries.

● Fraudulent products being sold.

- Most importantly, the sheer volume of requests and the staff time required to deal with these issues is taking our staff away from providing the best care for our patients and clients.

If you would like the convenience of ordering online and getting your pet's medications delivered directly to you, we partner with an online pharmacy called Vet’s First Choice, which works directly with veterinarians and the manufacturers of the medications. They offer competitive pricing with the peace of mind that the products are coming from a reputable source, and are backed by the manufacturer. They frequently offer discounts for first-time and repeat customers. You can order prescription medications, flea/tick prevention, heartworm prevention, prescription diets, dental care items, and more! Visit: https://northsideah.vetsfirstchoice.com/

Rabies Vaccination

- Per Georgia law, all cats and dogs over the age of 12 weeks must be up to date on their rabies vaccine. If the vaccine was administered at another facility, proof in the form of veterinary records and/or rabies certificate is required. If proof of vaccination cannot be provided, your pet will be required to have a booster while in our care. Please note that a rabies tag is not sufficient to provide proof of vaccination.

Payment Policies

- A deposit equal to the cost of the office visit is required to reserve your appointment, due at the time of booking. If you have made your reservation using our online booking tool, a staff member will contact you to confirm the appointment and collect the deposit. The deposit is non-refundable if the appointment is missed without providing advanced notice.

- All emergency visits require a $250 deposit. While the medical staff is triaging and stabilizing your pet, a receptionist will collect your information and deposit.

- If your pet is ill and requires hospitalization or emergency surgery, an estimate for the cost of treatment will be provided to you, and 50% of the high end of the estimate must be paid as a deposit prior to admitting the pet for treatment.

- For surgeries including dental work, a $100 deposit is required at the time of booking your pet's surgery to reserve the appointment, which will be applied toward the cost of surgery. The deposit is non-refundable if the appointment is missed without providing at least 24 hours notice. The remainder of the bill is due at the time of discharge. An estimate for the cost of surgery will be provided to you prior to

surgery, either during your consultation appointment or prior to booking via email. You will be presented with a copy of the estimate during intake on the day of surgery and will be asked to sign it, acknowledging that you have been provided an estimate and agree to take financial responsibility for charges incurred.

- Please note that estimates are not a final total, and are subject to change if the patient's condition warrants a change in the final treatment plan. No additional services will be provided without your consent.

- We accept cash, check (with appropriate ID), credit/debit (all major cards), CareCredit, and ScratchPay.

- We do not accept payment plans. We encourage you to apply for CareCredit and/or ScratchPay prior to your pet’s appointment or surgery by visiting their respective websites. If you have questions or need help with the application process, our receptionists will be happy to assist.

- Please be aware that in accordance with Georgia State Law (Ga. Code Ann., § 44-14-490 to 494), a veterinarian has the right to retain a pet until charges are paid. After 10 days, the animal is deemed abandoned and becomes property of the veterinary facility.

Boarding Policies

Reservations & Fees

- Reservations are required prior to boarding. During holidays, we ask that reservations be made at least two weeks in advance.

- Boarding charges begin on the day of drop off regardless of time. Rates apply at a flat fee per dog/cat per night. Pets picked up prior to 9am are not charged for that day.

- If your travel plans change and you cannot pick up on the originally scheduled date, please call to let us know. Failure to notify the clinic about late pick-up will incur additional fees.

Feeding & Medication We recommend that all pets remain on their current diet while boarding to decrease stress and prevent digestive issues. Please bring enough food for the stay in pre-packaged ziploc bags per meal, or in an airtight container labeled with your pet’s name and feeding instructions.

- If food is not provided, Science Diet Adult will be fed.

- All prescription medications and supplements should be provided in their original containers. Do not mix medications or supplements in with prepackaged food. We will gladly administer any medication for a fee of $2.00 per administration.

- Pets that require special monitoring or treatments while boarding will be charged as Medical Boarding. This includes but is not limited to post-op care, wound or fracture care, glucose checks, etc.

Health Requirements

- All pets must be in good general health to board. No pets exhibiting signs of serious illness, pets with contagious viruses, or pets with any other potentially transferable diseases/sicknesses will be accepted for general boarding.

- We require veterinary proof of vaccinations current within one year on all dogs and cats. Vaccines must have been administered no later than 2 weeks prior to boarding to allow for adequate immunity.

- Dogs: Rabies, DHLP, Bordetella, and Canine Influenza vaccines are required

- Cats: FVRCP, Rabies, and Leukemia vaccines are required

- If your pet is coming due for vaccines while they will be boarding with us, clients must schedule an appointment prior to, or the day of drop-off, so they can see the doctor. This prevents any miscommunication about your pet’s care, and ensures you have a trusting relationship with our veterinarians.

- A negative fecal exam is required for all pets within the last 6 months

- Any pet entering the kennels with fleas and/or ticks will be given a flea bath and administered flea control upon entry, at the owner’s expense

- Extremely dirty or matted dogs will be bathed/shaved before entering the kennel and the charge will be added to the boarding bill.

- Pets that bite, are difficult to handle, etc., will incur an additional charge to be determined by the extra time to properly care for the pet. We reserve the right to refuse boarding to pets that pose an increased danger to the staff or other animals.

- Should a pet become ill while boarding, we will notify the owner or emergency contact to gain permission to treat as our veterinarians deem appropriate. The owner is responsible for any medical costs incurred while in our care.

We highly recommend a bath before your pet’s departure for our kennel. Please inquire about bathing services at the time of drop-off. All boarded pets qualify for a bath at the end of their stay at a 50% discount!