Frequently Asked Questions
how long will my appointment take?
If we do not have an emergency patient and your pet is cooperative, and the pet before your pet was cooperative, and all our patients arrived on time, and cases are generally as complicated as they were described by owners and therefore scheduled appropriately, you can expect the following visit times:
Technician appointment: for most technician services, the time is 30 minutes or less.
Exams for a well pet that needs no technician services or medications: an hour or less
Exams for an ill pet or a well pet that needs technician services and/or medications: Anywhere from an hour to three hours, or a very ill pet may need to be admitted for the day.
X-rays: 1 hour or more depending on our daily caseload.
Surgery Drop- Off and Pick- Up: Usually 15 minutes or less
Please understand there are many factors that can cause us to fall behind our preferred schedule such as those noted above. We are extremely conscious of your time, and we ask that you communicate with us if you have time constraints or are uncomfortable with your wait time.
Related question: can't you speed it up?
We understand the pressures on your time, and we appreciate that you spend some of it improving the quality of life for your pet. We practice the highest standards of care with respect and gentleness, and that is not always a fast process. But we do have a few options:
Admit your pet for part of the day:
If you prefer to leave your pet in our care while we perform treatments, let us know! We hate making you wait and we certainly don't want you to be uncomfortable when you have other things to do. Your pet will be in good hands.
Set up Auto-Pay with client services:
If we have a current credit card on file, we can charge it as soon as your services are complete and you won't have to wait for us to "check you out".
Arrive on time
If you arrive late but the client ahead of you is early, the doctor will most certainly see the patient that is available and you will be asked to wait.
Remember to leave extra time to get your pet in the car, for LA traffic, and finding a parking spot.
what is your cancellation policy?
When you book your appointment, you are holding a space on our calendar that is no longer available to our other clients. In order to be respectful of your fellow clients, please call our office as soon as you know you will not be able to make your appointment.
If cancellation is necessary, we require that you call at least 24 hours in advance. Appointments are in high demand, and your advanced notice will allow another patient access to that appointment time.
How to Cancel Your Appointment
If you need to cancel your appointment, please call us at 818-848-5007. If necessary, you may leave a detailed voicemail message. We will return your call as soon as possible. If you have booked your appointment online, you can cancel or reschedule until 24 hours prior to your appointment.
A cancellation is considered late when the appointment is cancelled less than 24 hours before the appointed time. A no-show is when a patient misses an appointment without cancelling. In either case, we will charge the patient a $50.00 missed appointment fee.
you are booked out for a week! why can't i make an appointment?
COVID has taxed the veterinary industry in a way we haven’t seen before. In a short amount of time, the pandemic created the perfect storm of too many animals needing help and not enough people to help them.
There has been an enormous influx of patients. Many people adopted new pets during the shelter-at-home order for extra companionship and because they had the time to give a new pet the care they need. It's wonderful! Many shelters were cleaned out of pets looking for homes. All those pets need veterinary care, however!
Social distancing requires business to see fewer clients. There is just no way around it- spreading out means lower density. Metering entry to the clinic to maintain space in our lobby takes extra time, as does explaining our new protocols and directing clients through new procedures (temperature scanning, one client in the clinic only, use of the intercom, etc). To limit contact between staff members and clients, we can no longer ask our clients to assist in exams by holding their pet. The veterinarian must find technical staff to assist her which slows down the process.
While other industries are laying people off, the veterinary industry is experiencing a staffing shortage. Many people in our industry, either by choice or circumstance, are not going to work. Some are self-identifying as high risk and are choosing to isolate. For others, new child or elder care responsibilities are keeping them at home because former caretakers are unavailable. Those that continue to work have seen the stress in their positions increase due to the surge in patients and cases.
Additionally, when a staff member is exposed to someone who has COVID or has any symptoms of COVID (runny nose, fever, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, fatigue) they must stay home for a prescribed amount of time to prevent exposing others in case they are ill. Keeping in mind that most people get three colds a year and can have seasonal allergies as well, we send quite a few people home with symptoms on a regular basis.
When a specialized industry gets stressed, pivoting is difficult. It takes eight years to make a veterinarian. Registered veterinary technicians go to school for two years. Even for non-degreed positions at the veterinary clinic, it takes six to 18 months to feel skilled at the job.
Many clinics, including ours, have temporarily stopped accepting new clients. We have increased our staff as much as possible, and we've attempted to streamline our processes as much as possible (online appointment booking, "card on file" payments, etc)
what should i bring to my first appointment?
Please bring a stool sample* for parasite screening, any vaccination records or medical history if you have not already submitted this to us, and a list of medications and supplements your pet is taking.
Make sure to complete the new patient/new client form before your arrival.
*please collect a thumb-sized (or three-marbles' sized) stool sample and bring it in to us in a labeled container. The sample should be no more than 3 hours old or else kept refrigerated for less than 12 hours.