Saturday, February 11, 2017

2017 Jarrettsville Veterinary Center Price Guide

Welcome to the Jarrettsville Veterinary Center 
2017 Price Guide 

What sets us at Jarrettsville Vet apart? We have the best doctors and staff!
We all share a deep commitment to providing a kind, compassionate, hospital centered around caring for pets. We will work with you to help you find an affordable, beneficial treatment plan. We are honest, accessible, transparent and provide exceptional care to both our patients and clients.
We provide excellent internal medicine, surgery, dentistry, ultrasound, orthopedics, behavior consultations, acupuncture, and even Reiki.
We are open 7 days a week, until 8 pm on Monday through Thursday, 6 pm Friday, 8-2 Sat, 1-3 pm Sundays (walk-in fee applies). Every client can reach us via email, Facebook, or IM.
We never deny care to a pet in need. We provide CareCredit, third party billing options, and a Pet Savings Plan to help you budget for your pets year around and emergency care.
We have been a part of our community for over 70 years.

Physical exam $50
Comprehensive or extended exam  $63
Annual or Senior Exam $45
Sunday walk-in examination $60
Consultation exam, 2nd opinion  $65
Consultation exam, behavior   $100
Re-check exam  $30
Hospitalized patient exam   $30
In patient care    $40
Health certificate (includes certificate)    $45
Urgent care (emergency fee during regular hrs, including exam)    $75
Telephone consult   $30
Consultation with Specialist  $40

Distemper Combo 3 yr $30
FVRCP 1 or 3 yr duration $25
Feline Leukemia $25
FVRCP + Leukemia $30
Kennel Cough $20
Lyme $30
Leptospirosis (4 way) $20
Rabies vaccine and certificate $16

Puppy vaccination protocols include;
  • Initial exam at 8 weeks old $50, and first round of vaccines (usu about $50), fecal examination, microchip, dewormer, first doses of preventatives. This appointment is about $225. We discuss diet, puppy training, any health concerns, and your puppies vet care plan. This plan is tailored to you, your puppy and the specific history, breed and environmental concerns.
  • Next appointment (avg sized dog) is 3 weeks later. Recheck appointment, $30, next vaccines $55, next doses of preventatives. Cost is about $130. We spend time talking about training, raising a happy, healthy puppy, and providing assistance for any questions or concerns you might have.
  • Last puppy appointment at 16 weeks, $45. Last round of puppy vaccines, $75, 6 month supply of preventatives, pre-op (spay or neuter bloodwork) $50. Discuss the scheduling of surgery, long term preventative plan, and the tips for your growing pup to becoming the beloved family member we all want them to be.
    Canine Neuter $175
    Cryptorchid neuter ranges from $200 to $800 
    Canine Spay less than 50 pounds $225
    Canine Spay 51-100 pounds  $250
    Canine Spay 101 pounds or greater,  $300
    Canine Spay overweight or pregnant $400
    (There is a $50 additional charge for pets over 12 months old, and a 60 day grace period for newly adopted pets from a rescue or shelter).

Kitten vaccination protocol;
  • We usually see kittens at 8-12 weeks. First visit includes FVRCP + Leuk vaccine, part 1 of 2 done 3 weeks apart. Fecal exam for intestinal parasites, $30, deworming about $15, microchip $25, Feline leukemia & FIV test $45, first dose of flea preventative $10. Cost of first cat visit is about $175.
  • Last kitten visit at 16 weeks, finish FVRCP + Leuk vaccine, 1 yr rabies vaccine, pre-op spay/neuter bloodwork ($50), about $150.
Feline Neuter $60
Feline Spay $100

Routine vaccination protocols;

  • Rabies vaccine; First vaccine lasts 1 year, all subsequent are 3 year duration
  • Distemper combo; First is a series of two 3 weeks apart, then every 3 years
  • Leptosporosis; given yearly after initial series
  • Lyme ; given yearly after initial series.
  • Kennel cough (Bordetella); yearly if needed.
  • Fecal examination and heartworm testing are recommended yearly
  • Flea & tick and heartworm prevention are recommended year around
  • Rabies and FVRCP are given every 3 years after kitten series is complete
  • Feline Leukemia is recommended yearly for those at risk 
  • Flea & tick prevention is recommended

Average Costs for the Most Common Emergency Surgeries

Blocked Cat $800-1200 (Price can vary based on hospitalization stay).
Pyometra Cat $300 (Severity of illness at presentation can influence cost).
Exploratory Surgery $800 -1200 (Price can vary based on severity of underlying disease).
GDV (bloat) $500 -1500 (Price can vary on other organ involvement).
Pyometra Canine $800-1200 (Price can vary based on severity of associated illness).
Splenectomy $800-1200 (May require additional care at emergency facility post-operatively).

While we recognize that the prices of these are not inexpensive, these are often complicated, life threatening conditions that require intensive immediate intervention and after care. We will do our best to work within everyone's budget, we offer multiple payment options, and we will support your pets care as our own. We do not believe in economic euthanasia, nor do we deny life saving care due to cost. Ask us for help, be proactive, and be prepared. We can help!

While we do our very best to provide the best products at the best prices we cannot always compete with large corporate buying power. We do, however, only offer genuine products with a full product guarantee, full refund for any reason you are not happy with the product, and our revenues help us provide care to other pets in our community for our projects like our Pet Food Pantry, free housing in inclement weather, cat shelter workshops, and financial assistance to pets in need. We also provide care for the pets of many local rescues at significant savings. Please support local businesses.

 Feline Preventative
Our Price
Dr. Foster& Smith
Revolution 5-15 lbs
topical, fleas, ear mites, intestinal parasites
$18/month (dose)
$140 if purchase 12 (buy 9 get 3)
$209.50 if purchased sep, $15 single
Revolution for cats over 15 lbs
 $20/mo (dose)
$150 if purchase 12 (buy 9 get 3)
$215.04 if purch sep, $20 single
Easy Spot (generic Frontline) topical
$120/ year
$5 off 3 doses, $10 off 6 doses, $20 off 12 doses, $9 single dose
Frontline Bottle 250 ml
$34 (dose @ 1 pump per pound body wt)

Canine Preventatives
Prices Listed are for 1 year of prevention, under 100 pounds
Preventatives bought in single doses are more expensive
Economical Plan
Our Price
Drs Foster & Smith
Interceptor tablet, heartworm & intestinal worms
$47 - $95
$9 single
$61.18 - $93.48*
$59.88 - $91.96*
Parastar (generic Frontline) topical
$104 - 116
$9 single
$112.16 - $122.36*
$151 - $211
$173.34 - $215.84
Rebates in clinic; Interceptor: $5 back on 6 doses; $15 back on 12 doses
Parastar: $5 back on 3 doses; $10 back on 6 doses; $20 back on 12 doses

Preferred Plan
Our Price
Drs Foster & Smith
Interceptor Plus (up to 100 #) hw & intestinal worms, chew, monthly
$49 - $97
$67.13 - 102.83
$63.96 - 99.96
Nexgard chewable flea & tick, monthly
$205 - $214
$218.42 - 232.02*
$219.98 - 239.98*
$269 - $326
$285.55 - 334.85
$283.94 - 339.94
Rebates in clinic; Interceptor: $5 back on 6 doses; $15 back on 12 doses
In-clinic combo offer: $30 back when you by 12 doses of Interceptor or Interceptor Plus 
and 6 or 12 doses of Parastar

Easy to Use
Our Price
Drs Foster & Smith
Proheart up to 10 lbs
$35 dose / $70 yr
Proheart 10- 22 lbs
$50 dose / $100 yr
Proheart 22- 44 lbs
$60 dose / $120 yr
Proheart 44-88lbs
$86 dose / $172 yr
Proheart 88-123 lbs
$90 dose / $180 yr
Bravecto 3 mo chew 
flea & tick
$50/dose,$85 for 2,$165/yr
$235 - $345
Easy to Use prices are valid on these until June 2017, a slight increase is expected after July 1, 2017
Bravecto: $15 back on 2 doses; $35 back on 4 doses

* denotes a veterinary exclusive product. These products are not sold by the manufacturer to these retailers and you will not get the manufacturers guarantee that this is a valid or safe product.
What is a "diverter"?

Integrative Therapy
Acupuncture, initial consult $95
Acupuncture treatment $75
Laser therapy (single dose <2 areas) $40

Other Services
Anal gland expression (w/technician) $20
Anal gland expression (w/doctor)   $25
Microchip $25
Nail trim (canine/feline)  $15

Ear flushing/cleaning $25
IV catheter placement $40
Intravenous fluids, first bag $40, $20 each additional bag

Diagnostic Services
Blood pressure evaluation  $25
Corneal flourescein stain  $25
Ear swab & stain  $25
Schirmer tear test  $30
Tonometry  $40

Feline Dental Clean & Polish (no extractions needed/healthy pet) starts at $200
Canine Dental Cleaning and Polish (no extractions needed/healthy pet) starts at $250

Dentistry: Surgery
Surgical extraction, minor (surgeon's time)  $25
Surgical extraction, major $100
Average cat dental with extractions needed, ranges from $300 to $650
Average dog dental with extractions needed, ranges from  $380-$800

Diagnostic Imaging
Radiograph, digital (1 view)  $100
Radiograph, digital, additional (2- 3 views)  $150
Radiograph, digital, additional (4 plus views) $200
Dental radiograph, digital (1 view)   $40
Dental radiograph, digital (2-4 view)  $60
Dental radiograph, digital (4 plus views)  $80

Abdominal $200

Lab Fees (includes collection, lab fee, & interpretation)
Bile Acids (pre & post) $140
Biopsy $180
Bladder stone analysis  $215
Blood glucose (single)   $20 in clinic, $50 to lab
Bromide $200
Chemistry panel $140
Chemistry panel and CBC $140
Chemistry, CBC, T4 $150
Chemistry, CBC, UA $160
Chemistry, CBC, T4, UA $180
Chemistry, CBC, T4, UA, Fecal  $160
Complete blood count  $50
Digoxin $120
Fecal $ 40
Fecal Giardia ELISA  $40
Fecal Giardia w HW, Lyme, Ehrlichia, Anaplasmosis screen $70
Feline leukemia, FIV, test  $35
Fructosamine $90
Canine heartworm $20
Canine heartworm, Lyme, Ehrlichia Canis, Anaplasmosis  $45
Cortisol 1 sample $120
Cytology $200
Histopathology (single specimen)  $180
Lyme test in house $20
Parvovirus test in-house  $40
Pre-Op Screen w/ CBC $50
T4  $65
Urinalysis  in-house $50
Urinalysis reference lab $65
Urine MIC Culture $200
Urine P:C $140
Please note that emergency blood work may have a slight increase in price

(This does not include pre-op examination, diagnostics, hospitalization care, or
Mass removal small $200-$400
Mass removal large $400-$600
Anterior cruciate repair, ACL, lateral fabella suture technique $400
Aural hematoma repair  $50 to $100
Amputation, toe, $350
Amputation, tail, $350
C-section canine  $400
Cherry eye, $350
Cystotomy  $500
Enucleation,   $400
Entropion, $250
Exploratory surgery  $600 -$800
Femoral head osteotomy (removal)  $500 -$900
Gastrotomy  $300 - $600
GDV, Bloat, $700
Intestinal resection/anastomosis   $300 - $700
Lateral ear resection,    $300
Mastectomy, unilateral   $200 - $650
Splenectomy   $500 - $1000
Laser, additional fee  $100-$200
Perineal Urethrostomy (PU) $300-$450
Preanesthetic exam fee  $30
Preanesthetic sedation  $30
Local dental nerve block  $25
Wound repairs range from $50-$200

Cruciate Repair Note;
Dr Magnifico uses a lateral fabellar technique to stabilize the knee with a cranial cruciate rupture. All patients must be examined before surgery can be scheduled. The pre-op exam includes examination $50, includes pre-op bloodwork of a chemistry, CBC, and urinalysis $150, and radiographs of both knees and the pelvis $150. All dogs with cruciate ruptures are recommended to seek services and surgery at a boarded surgeons office.

Prices will remain as "fixed" as we are able to keep them. Offers like rebates are transient and seasonal. Preventatives may also change in price and availability.

If you have a pet you would like to visit with us you can find out all about us on our Jarrettsville Vet Facebook page. You can also find me on Twitter @FreePetAdvice, or you can ask, or answer a pet question at Pawbly is a free online pet community dedicated to helping pets and their people who love them. You can also find helpful information on our YouTube channel.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Top Seven Things To NEVER Say To Your Vet.

Beasely and family.

1. "What would you do if this was your pet?"

You are asking ME what I would do? Like, I, as in, imagine I am YOU? orI, as in, ME?

While I admit that this is most often asked from a position of;
a. trusting in your vet,
b. confusion about what to do, and
c. humility in truly not knowing what to do,
I have to openly say that this is an answer fraught with slippery problems and impossible answers.

Here's why; Everyone sees their pet differently. Some are family members, others are guardians, service pets, lifelines, companions, and even alarm systems. There are also some cases where the disease/recovery/treatment, etc. is so labor intense or costly that some people are either physically or financially unable to provide it.

Let's be honest, am not YOU.. My abilities as an able bodied trained veterinarian are not the same as yours.  Asking me to presume what you can do, are healthy enough to do, financially stable enough to manage, or mentally prepared for if the dice decide to change midway through the plan is impossible for me to gauge, guess, or presume? Life, medicine, and all of the requirements that need to align for best case scenario don't always happen. There is not a feasible answer to this question that I can provide for you. It has to be your decision. Coersion, dismissal, and whatever all of the rest of the possibilities may be are yours to pay for, live with, and decide. You know your pet best. You are their advocate and you are their whole entire world.

And as for ME? What do I DO? For my friends and clients who ask because they know and trust me I provide this personal answer; "I am crazy. I am. I am over protective, able bodied, and weathered. I will live on rice and beans so that I can take care of my pets. There was a time when I had no job, no income, no car, little food, and 12 cats. Yep 12! I am crazy. I would do anything it takes to keep my pets alive for one more day. I can let them go in the quiet privacy of my home at 1:30 am after the last seizure incapacitates them. I believe in hospice care, I believe in there being beauty in the preservation of life, and I feel deep responsibility to protect and provide beyond the point of "quality of life as based on pennies in a "good day" or "bad day" jar." And, you want me to make a decision of this magnitude for you?

Points to consider when you ask your vet our opinion on what to do with your pets care;
  • Every vet has more access to more information to permit us to make easier decisions. It is the inherent nature of our profession.
  • We have a breadth of previous experiences to permit us to make easier decisions with respect to our own pets health care decisions. We love our pets just as much as our clients do, but, we have accepted that life and death duel without established rules of conduct. 
  • I also think that there are too many vets who feel that it is easier if "you elect to euthanize." There is no liability in you electing to euthanize. We provide the options; you make a decision. The fault and blame lies squarely on your shoulders. My fear is that euthanasia is the one option we face the least litigation and backlash for. In most cases vets have to guess and prognosticate and we often have to do so with little to no data to support it. We make too many diagnoses without confirmatory data to support them. We are scientists who deny anthropomorphism and simultaneously overuse the noun "suffering" as a way to mediate our patients status.  Our task is to relieve this suffering and we too often use euthanasia as our tool to assist. In many cases lack of fiances dictates this as the only available option. 
  • You must be brave enough, love enough, and be selfless enough to make a hard decision. We cannot, nor should we ever, presume to know what kind of regret, pain, or suffering taking away your decision might cause you.
While I recognize that some ask us this question as a way to try to understand information they cannot adequately process it is not fair to you or your pet to have anyone else act as judge, jury, or executioner. Take the time you need to understand the information your vet is providing you. Seek a second opinion if it will help. But don't pass the buck.

2. "Wouldn't it be cheaper to get a new one?"

While there is no argument with the fact that some diseases and some conditions are expensive to treat, (and that some may not even be treatable), we veterinarians are here to help your pet live longer, healthier and happier lives. Pet care and your veterinarians devotion to all of the years it takes to understand, heal, and help provide these, and, replacement value is the basis for a decision? Loving anything is not an economic equation. Your vet is probably a vet because they love pets and asking us to make an economic decision on a patient that most of us see as a family member is tantamount to reminding us that the emotional tie to pets is negligible. Don't ask this! We probably already know you are heartless, don't provide us with quotes to place as a reference.


3. "I don't want to pay for stuff (vaccines/diagnostics) that I don't need?" 

Does anyone? Ever? Veterinarians are not able to foretell your pets future. We have to use our experience and training to provide you all of the best advice and pearls of our practice to help you understand what is in the best interest of your pet. There are numerous professional advisory panels to help us provide these recommendations. If you are ever skeptical, or want to make your own informed pet care decisions, utilize them. They include; AAHA, AVMA, AAFP, AHS, and each of the veterinary specialty colleges.

Weasely and Thor
4. "They are this way because they were abused." 

They are "that way" because some human failed them: True. But they are also "this way" because you didn't train them to know otherwise. Behavior problems are ubiquitous. They often do not improve with age, time, or all of the small concessions to avoid eliciting them that protective pet parents provide. The first sign of any troublesome action or reaction should be discussed with your vet. Please don't wait until someone is bitten, or you are unable to care for them in a safe and calm environment. The excuse that someone else bears responsibility for poor behavior is not a justification to not resolving it.

5. I don't believe in heartworm prevention/flea & tick prevention/vaccines, etc.

"My reply, "I don't believe in not protecting your pet from treatable or preventable diseases."

Ultimately you, the pet parent, are responsible for your pets care and health. You are also legally responsible and will be held accountable if a required vaccine is not given and a human being suffers because of it. I am specifically talking about rabies. I will, and do, advocate others, including helping clients to understand their complacency and culpability if they refuse to vaccinate, fail to protect, and dismiss the consequences of breaking the laws in place to protect us all.

People often ask me if euthanizing an elderly pet dying of natural causes is the worst part or my job? No, it isn't. It is hard, sad, and difficult, yes, but, watching a pet die from a preventable disease, that's worse.

Kitten intake crew

6. "I don't want to put them through, XXXX procedure."

Treating your pets disease, infection, trauma, etc is only accomplished through the care given by your vet and support staff. Denying that is a conscious decision to let fate have the upper hand. It is complacency, who is the nemesis to medicine and science. Utilize the tools and resources of your pets medical professionals at every opportunity you can.

Why are we willing to fix a broken bone but not remove a cancerous lesion? It is important to educate clients on how our patients are different from ourselves in both response to care and recovery. Losing a leg to whatever does not change who your dog is, nor does it change their ability to get up the next day and seize the joy they find. There are so many important lessons our pets have to teach us; one of the most important ones is that they can recover, thrive, and often prove to be far more resilient than anyone imagines. The point is that it takes time, attention, medical care and intervention to get them there. Too often the excuse "I don't want to put them through, whatever, " is a shirk to deny a second chance. Fight and work to protect life it is our single greatest gift to each other. And, lastly remember, our goal is to get your pet back to being happy and well. We don't want to put them through anything that isn't beneficial either. Ask us if the short term treatment plan is worth the long term gain. We will be honest with you.

7. "I got a new puppy and I don't want my old one anymore." 
What the hell? I can only dignify this question with that response,, (and a few expletives, finger gestures, and a reminder to try to not say or do any of them in public).

I am a small animal veterinarian at Jarrettsville Veterinary Center in Harford County Maryland. I can be reached at the clinic, on Facebook, on Twitter @FreePetAdvice, YouTube, and for free questions and pet advice on If you are a pet professional or advocate, please join me on We are a free online community dedicated to helping pets and their people thrive.

Friday, January 20, 2017

ISO New Vet. How To Find A Vet To Fit You, AND, Your Pets Needs.

At the advice of my friend who has been a member of my little community for decades I joined an online social network designed to act as the community message board for almost everything imaginable. It has been a lifesaver for the wayward lost pet, traveling salesman warnings,  and garage sale announcements. It is a neighborly way to share information relevant to our zip code. It also builds a sense of community as we all look out for each other.

 The other day an "ISO Vet" post appeared. I have furtively been watching the responses fly in. Most are the predictable; "I love my vet at XXX. Been going there for years!" As a practice owner for about a dozen years the recommendations overwhelmingly reflect the long standing small practices, and well established vets, in my county.

Titan and his best friend

What I am finding somewhat perplexing is the lack of important details that I think picking a new vet should include.

I sat down with the some of the clinic staff to hear their thoughts on what makes a good vet or vet clinic? I also wondered if their selling pitch points for our little practice aligned with my own? It was a discussion that reflected previous practice experiences, and the poor understanding most clients have when it comes to making consumer choices within the veterinary sphere. Certainly most of us prefer to stay within a drive-able convenient distance from our vet.

Are you simply about location? Perhaps there is only one vet in town? If so, the decision is easy and the post on community message board irrelevant.

But what else matters?

There must be more to picking a vet, and vet practice than "likability" and "proximity"?

Chubby gets a radiograph
What I found lacking in the post was any indication of what picking "your ideal vet/vet practice" should include? Like every piece of advice I give a client this is a long term relationship best built on understanding who you, and your pet are, and what is important to you both.

Think about what part of your pets care is most important to you?

Spend a few moments jotting these down and thinking about;
1. What were some of the things you loved about your previous vets?
2. What were some of the things you thought needed improvement?

These are a good place to start as you head off to find a replacement.

Jax and his family
Here are the tips I would give you when looking for a new vet practice;

  • How many days of the week are they open? 
  • Can you get a same day appointment for something you are worried about/aren't sure is an emergency? 
  • Can you see a particular veterinarian at your request? 
  • Do all same day requests/emergencies get sent to the ER? Ex. my pet is vomiting or having diarrhea now!.
  • Do they publish prices for their goods or services? 
  • Do they provide generic drug requests? Are generics only provided by request? Many clinics do not allow you any prescription options and this will almost always cost you more money.
  • Do they provide written vaccine or preventative guarantees? Do you know these exist?
  • Do they provide day care?
  • Do they provide boarding? 
  • Do they provide grooming?
  • What if you have a sick or elderly pet and you need help boarding? Ex. a diabetic dog? 
  • How much do the "routine" surgeries cost? Ex. spay/neuter/mass removal, dental.
  • What if your pet needs an emergency surgery? Ex GDV, pyometra, blocked cat, foreign body blockage? Which surgeries do they provide in the hospital and which do they refer? 
  • How much do the emergencies, or emergency surgeries cost? If you have a dog ask about exploratory surgeries or a cranial cruciate injury. If you have a cat ask about urinary obstruction?
  • What happens if you cannot afford to pay for an emergency up front? Do they have any third party billing options? You need to know this before your dog has an obstruction or needs emergency surgery (you really, really, do if you don't have access to $1,000 to $5,000 immediately).
  • Ask your veterinarian about which surgeon in the clinic does the emergency surgeries. In many clinics there may only be one vet, or even in some cases, no one, who can provide in clinic surgery care.
  • What happens if you need your vets help after hours?
  • What community based activities do they participate in?
  • Do they have any assistance for any behavioral issues? Most people need some help at some point with this and I believe that every vet clinic should provide help and direction before a little behavioral issue becomes a source for surrender or euthanasia.
  • Do they work with any local rescues or shelters? 

Mumford, One of the rescues we helped find a happily ever after

Here are some specific patient care points to ask about;
  • What vaccines are recommended for your pet? Your pets care should be tailored to their breed, age, lifestyle, environment.
  • How much do these cost? A written estimate and schedule for the vaccines should be provided upon request.
  • What parasite preventatives are recommended? Cost? Are there other options available outside the clinic? Ex. Where I live dogs should be on flea/tick prevention and heartworm preventatives year around. Prices for these can range from $4 a month to $18 a month.
  • Price to spay/neuter? There should not be a single cost for every size, age and breed. If so, ask how this is possible? Who does this surgery and how is it done? Ask for a written protocol, or interview the vet as to how they perform these surgeries. Find the AAHA Surgery Standards here.
  • Price for microchip? Every pet should be microchipped! 
  • What is the price for an average dental cleaning (only)  dog or cat?
  • What is the cost for euthanasia? I know it is a terrible thing to talk about, BUT, some clinics will not provide a protocol, price, or even see you if it is needed as an emergency.
  • What are the protocols for euthanasia? Do I need to be a client? (If they say "NO" ask why? and then run!).
  • Do they provide cosmetic surgeries? If so which ones and why? Ask about how they are done and then do your own research on what is considered best practice?
  • What are the recommended healthy pet diagnostics? Ie. heartworm test? fecal? How often,? costs? Information on everything heartworm can be found at the American Heartworm Society page here.
  • Be very careful price shopping. It is common practice for the exam fees, vaccines, and routine spay and neuter prices to be marketed and provided as "inexpensive" but hidden fees, or exorbitant extras are commonly used to supplement the advertised "bargain". 

Is it possible to find a good vet at a bad veterinary practice? Does anyone even think about the practice behind the person? I know of lots of wonderful vets working at practices that dictate what they can, and cannot do, based on liability and revenues (overwhelmingly revenues). They cannot offer options that might be more affordable, more convenient, or more personalized. Would you even know the difference? How can you tell what the often absent clinic motto, corporate conglomerate behemoth, or fine tuned patient care schematic is behind that white coat?

There is more to choosing a family care provider than location and likability. There has to be a deep level of trust, a provision of transparency, and these days a consistent level of care for how YOU SEE YOUR PETS VALUE IN YOUR HOME.


The idea that one size fits all, and, all vets are the same is not the reality. 

P.S. Just in case anyone is curious; here is what my clinic does for our patients;

1. Jarrettsville Veterinary Center is open 7 days a week. 

2. Walk-in appointments for clients are available everyday.

3. Most surgeries are done in house by our own vets. Beware clinics that offer specialty surgeries by surgeons who visit. There may not be adequate after care available if there is a problem. Also, referral surgeries (in my opinion) should be done at a referral practice.

4. All of our prices are published online. This is updated every year. 2016 Price Guide List here.

5. We do not provide cosmetic surgeries as a matter of placing patient care above client preference.

6. We do not provide declaw surgeries. See blog on declawing here.

7. We offer third party billing to our clients if credit is not available. Why? Because patient care should not be a matter of ability to pay up front. More on this here.

8. We do not provide euthanasia to anyone except our clients and patients we know, or pets with terminal untreatable disease. See The Success of Drive-Thru Euthanasia Clinics.

9. We are available on Facebook messenger at all times. We answer quickly, usually within minutes. 

10. Practice and personal emails are available to all clients for anything they need. Wouldn't everyone like to be able to reach their vet without being put on hold, taking a message, and waiting for a phone call back?

11. We provide our community with a pet food pantry, Good Sam Fund, free boarding if it is too hot or too cold for outside pets, and we do not euthanize based on lack of client finances.

12. We stand behind our motto to "always be kind" and we never deny care to a client in need. So much so that we have provided homes and second chances to any Jarrettsville Vet patient surrendered at any shelter or rescue. Once you are a part of the JVC family we are there to help you forever.

As a person who used to be a client I understand the difficulty in all of these open ended questions. As a practice owner and veterinarian it is why I built Jarrettsville Veterinary Center into the place that I would want to bring my pets to.. For those of you who aren't so happy with your vet or vet practice I would say, "keep looking. Your perfect vet, and vet practice, are out there!"

A much appreciated Thank You note from a client.

I am a small animal veterinarian in Harford County Maryland. You can find me at the clinic, Jarrettsville Veterinary Center, on YouTube, on Twitter @FreePetAdvice, and if you have a pet question, or, are a pet person please join us at