Frequently Asked Questions
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 West River, MD and beyond.
At Muddy Creek Animal Hospital, we get a ton of interesting questions from pet parents. Below are some common FAQs that might help answer any questions or concerns. Please feel free to call us at 410-867-0770 for any other concerns you might have about your pet.
What are your hours?
Mon-Wed: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thur: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Fri: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
What type of animals do you treat?
We are a small animal practice specializing in dog and cat care with over 30 years of experience.
How can I schedule an appointment for my pet?
To schedule an appointment, call our office at 410-867-0770.
How do I check in for an appointment?
When you arrive for your appointment, call our office at 410-867-0770 to check-in. When a room is ready for you a technician will be out to bring you and your pet into the room. If you need to pick up food or medication for your pet, call our office. We will gather the items you requested and meet you at the Pick-Up window to the right of the front door.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Care Credit, Cash, and Checks with a valid driver’s license.
Do you offer payment plans?
We do not offer payment plans; we require that payment be made at the time services are rendered. Other resources that may help with the cost of services are pet insurance and Care Credit. There are many companies that offer pet insurance. To find the best fit for you and your pet, we recommend talking to those companies directly. Care Credit is a card that can be used to pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by medical insurance. Learn more about Care Credit here.
Do you accept pet insurance?
We do not work directly with pet insurance but can provide you with any records and invoices necessary for you to submit the claim now to your pet insurance company. Many companies offer pet insurance. We recommend reaching out to those companies directly to find the best fit for you and your pet’s needs.
How often should my pet have an exam? And what vaccinations do they really need?
Your pet should have a preventative wellness examination on an annual basis. During this exam, the doctor will do a thorough “nose tip to tail tip” exam, discuss any health concerns you have for your pet, administer any necessary vaccinations, and any other diagnostic or medical treatments. On average, pets over six years of age are considered “seniors,” We recommend exams twice a year. As animals age, their health can change rapidly in a short period. By having exams six months apart, your veterinarian can treat any medical concerns more quickly and effectively.
The earlier a potential health concern is caught and addressed, the more likely it is to be treated and resolved with less expense or difficulty and a higher success rate. These annual or biannual exams are also the best time for our doctors to check in with you about any changes in your pet’s lifestyle and health status and adjust your pet’s healthcare plan accordingly. The more your vet knows about your pet, the more successful it can be in keeping it on track to have a healthy life.
Vaccinations are essential to preventative care and can significantly reduce or prevent serious illness and disease in pets. Many different vaccinations are available for dogs and cats, and a vaccine schedule that works well for one pet may not work for another. Each pet and the life they lead are different from one another. This is where our veterinarians come in-they will determine what vaccinations are appropriate for your pet based on their breed, age, lifestyle, and overall health status. Before receiving any vaccinations for the year, your pet must have an annual preventative wellness exam, even if you think your pet is healthy. We always want to ensure your pet is in good health before receiving any vaccinations to prevent adverse reactions.
Additionally, there are guidelines in place through State Veterinary Boards and Federal Laws that we have to follow that dictate when a pet must have an exam before vaccination or medical treatment. We know your top priority is caring for your pet; ours is too! We treat every patient as if they were our own.
What services to do you provide?
Muddy Creek Animal Hospital offers a range of services to offer your pet’s best care, including annual wellness exams and vaccinations, parasite prevention, in-house pharmacy, diagnostic laboratory, radiology, ultrasound, acupuncture, cold laser therapy, surgery, and more. To learn more about the services we offer, visit the Services page. We are glad you have chosen us to care for your pet and offer the most advanced veterinary services to help ensure your pet has a long and healthy life with you.
Am I able to see the same medical staff each time we visit?
We make every effort to accommodate requests to see the same veterinary staff at your pet’s visit, however, we are not always able to guarantee that the doctor or technician you want to see is working that day. Circumstances such as scheduling conflicts, emergency situations, and vacation schedules may change who is available each day. When your pet has a medical concern that is urgent, our staff would prefer to see your pet and treat the issue as soon as possible and this may necessitate an appointment with different members of our veterinary staff. We always encourage our clients to get to know multiple doctors so they are more comfortable knowing their pet is in good hands no matter who is caring for them. Rest assured that our doctors and medical staff are highly skilled professionals whose top priority is helping your pet live their best life.
Why is my pet weighed every time they come in for a visit?
Your pet is weighed at each visit, even if they come in just for a nail trim, because keeping track of your pet’s weight tells our doctors important information about their health over time. Often weight gain or weight loss (either suddenly or as a gradual trend over time) is one of the first indicators of a change in an animal’s health status that veterinarians use as part of their diagnostic tool kit.
Why does my pet need to be on a leash or in a carrier when visiting the hospital? They are well trained and don’t require one.
We ask that every pet that comes into the hospital be either on a leash or in a carrier, no matter their level of training. Coming to the vet’s office is very different from your pet’s regular daily routine, with many new and unfamiliar smells, sights, and sounds that can cause even the best-trained animals to behave unpredictably. In addition, many other pets are coming in and out of the hospital, which can be quite a distraction! Every animal must be on a leash or in a carrier for your pet’s safety and to protect other pets and humans in the building. If you arrive at the hospital and do not have a leash or a carrier for your pet, let our staff know, we are happy to provide one during your visit.
Why should my pet be spayed or neutered and why are these procedures so expensive?
We recommend every pet be spayed or neutered not only for their health but to also reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens. Spaying and neutering are beneficial for your pet’s health as the procedure can lower or entirely prevent the risk of several diseases and types of cancer. Problematic behaviors are often reduced or eliminated after a pet is spayed or neutered such as aggression, spraying, roaming, or crying. If you are unsure what age it is appropriate for your pet to be spayed or neutered, talk with one of our doctors. They can give you a recommendation based on your pet’s breed, age, and current health status.
Although puppies and kittens are adorable and hard to resist, there is already a nationwide pet overpopulation problem. Nearly all animal rescues and shelters are bursting at the seams and unable to take in every pet in need, including unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. By choosing to spay or neuter your pet you are helping to reduce dog and cat overpopulation.
These procedures are surgical and do require an animal to undergo anesthesia. The cost includes complete surgical care, including anesthesia, the medical team’s time and expertise, monitoring before, during, and after the procedure, surgical supplies, pain management, and hospitalization. Although the cost to spay or neuter may seem high, it is less expensive than caring for unwanted litters, pregnancy complications, or future health concerns from not having your pet spayed or neutered. Some pet insurance may help cover the cost of these procedures or there are other payment options such as Care Credit.
Can you send a copy of my pet’s vaccination and rabies records to the kennel where my pet will be staying and/or groomed?
We are always happy and able to send a copy of your pet’s vaccination and rabies records to a kennel or grooming facility. To request this just call or e-mail our office and let us know where you would like them sent, and either a good e-mail address or fax number for the facility.
I brought my pet to see a veterinarian for a problem and my pet isn’t getting better. What can I do?
Reach out to us. Although our veterinarians make every effort to diagnose and treat your pet during their visit, sometimes a successful treatment can be a multi-step process. Just like with humans, animal health is complex with many factors affecting your pet’s overall health and the likelihood of successful treatment. Muddy Creek Animal Hospital is here when your pet needs us the most, and we want to know if a medication or treatment is not working so we can find the right solution for them. If your pet’s medical concerns are not resolving, please call us so we can determine the best course of action; whether that entails further diagnostics and treatment, or having a conversation with our medical staff to put your mind at ease. You are your pet’s best friend and most important advocate.
I know what’s wrong with my pet; why can’t you just give me the medication?
By Federal law, veterinarians must establish a valid client-patient-doctor relationship before treating any animal or providing medication. Licensed veterinarians are the only people who can diagnose and treat animal illnesses. In order to make sure your pet is receiving the appropriate care and medication for whatever ails them, our veterinarians need to have examined your pet and determined the proper course of treatment and/or medication. Just like a physician is unable to prescribe medication to you without an established relationship and health examination, veterinarians also need to have an established relationship with their patients. If your pet has never been seen at our office, is overdue for an annual health exam, or experiencing a medical concern, call our office to schedule an appointment today.