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Frequently Asked Questions

Our veterinarian and staff have compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions at Brookhurst Animal Medical Center. Please contact us if you have another question that is not listed here and we would be happy to answer!

How much does an exam cost?

If you are looking to get a checkup, a standard exam is $55!

What age should I spay or neuter my pets?

We recommend 5-6 months of age.

At what age should I start vaccines for my puppy or kitten?

It’s always important to vaccinate your newborn loved ones! Although it’s best to wait a couple of months. Optimally, 8 weeks is ideal.

How many vaccines does my puppy need?

We start DA2PP (distemper virus, adenovirus, parvovirus, and parainfluenza virus) at 8 weeks of age.

Puppies need booster shots every 2-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks or older to make sure they are well protected against these viruses. After the last booster this will last 1 year and then after will be every 3 years for boosters.

We give rabies vaccine around 12-16 weeks of age which will last 1 year and then after will be every 3 years. We give Bordetella vaccine around 8-12 weeks of age which will last 1 year and then after will be a yearly vaccine.

Do you do end-of-life care?

Yes, we provide humane euthanasia services at our hospital and make it a very comforting process for both pet parents and their pets.

How do I refill my pet's prescriptions?

You can call, or you could do it directly through our Pet Portal!

Pet Portal

Should I spay and neuter my dog/cat?

Yes, not only to prevent pregnancy but to reduce the risk of breast cancer and uterine infection called pyometra which can develop later on in life.

How many vaccines does my kitten need?

We start FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia virus) at 8 weeks of age. Kittens need booster shots every 2-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks or older to make sure they are well protected against these viruses.

After the last booster this will last 1 year and then after will be every 3 years for boosters. We give rabies vaccine around 12-16 weeks of age which will last 1 year and then after will be every 3 years.

We give FeLV (feline leukemia virus) to those cats that will be going outside to protect them from this virus. We give the FeLV vaccine around 12 weeks of age and then again at 15 weeks of age. This will then be every 1 year vaccine.

We need to make sure they are negative for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus before giving the FeLV vaccine. We do this by taking a small amount of blood, and running an in-house snap test and get results in 10-15 minutes.

How often should I take my pet to the vet for a wellness visit?

Like humans, pets should be taken in for a pet wellness exam twice a year one they have reached adulthood. Before then, you may want to take your animal in for more frequent visits to make sure he or she is healthy and properly vaccinated. Younger animals are still developing their immune systems, so they need more careful monitoring. Likewise, older animals may need to see the vet more often because of illnesses that come naturally with age.

How can I get a copy of my pet’s medical records?

You can request a copy of your pet’s medical records at the front desk of Brookhurst Animal Medical Center. If you have visited other veterinary clinics, our office will not have access to those records. We request that new patients bring any previous medical records from other vets before a checkup. That way, we have a better understanding of your pet’s medical history.

Will the vet euthanize my pet?

Veterinarians can “put down” animals in their old age if they are in pain. Often, pet parents may need to put down their animals if their animals are diagnosed with terminal illnesses that result in decreased quality of life. Whether or not euthanasia is right for a pet is up to the owner and veterinarian.

This procedure is mainly reserved as a last resort for pets who are older, experiencing chronic pain, and have little chance of recovery. If you believe it is the best choice for your pet, our veterinarian can give you a consultation and make an appointment to put the animal down.

The vet will give your pet two shots. One is a sedative, so the pet can fall asleep, making the procedure painless. The second is a shot that will slow down the heart rate for a gentle passing. Pet owners can also request a cremation and urn.

Will the vet take a payment plan?

We try to accommodate our patients and pet owners as best as possible because our priority is the animal’s health. We are happy to announce we accept CareCredit, if you would like to learn more, please check out our payment options page!

Payment Options

Does the vet remove ticks? Can the vet treat fleas? Mites?

Yes, the vet can remove ticks. Sometimes, it can be difficult for owners to identify ticks and properly remove them, so they don’t cause more pain or damage to the pet. An experienced veterinarian can cleanly extract the tick and test if it carries any harmful viruses afterward. The vet can also help with the healing process and prescribe medicine afterward if needed.

Unlike ticks, fleas and mites cannot be removed manually. The vet can prescribe medication and give advice on how to get rid of and prevent them. Make sure to be careful when transporting the animal to the vet, so no other pets (or people) are infected.

Will my vet judge me?

Our veterinarian will not judge you! Regardless of the circumstances, our first priority is to treat animals.

What vaccinations do puppies need? Kittens?

Recommended vaccinations for puppies depend on their age. Between 6 – 8 weeks, puppies can receive their vaccinations for distemper, measles, and parainfluenza. At 10 – 12 weeks, owners can get their puppies DHPP shots and the rabies vaccine a few weeks later. Dogs should also get tested for heartworm at around 7 months and given prevention medication.

Kittens can get vaccinated for rabies, distemper, and feline leukemia starting around 8 weeks of age. There are many different vaccinations you can give your pets, but it’s they are optional. Your veterinarian will tell you what your pet needs and what your pet is at risk of.

Should I neuter/spay my pet?

For dogs, cats, rabbits, and rats, getting neutered or spayed can actually help them lead longer, healthier lives. It can also help with behavior problems and keep them from being aggressive or wandering away. The veterinarian can neuter or spay your pet and prescribe medication for pain relief.

My animal is having surgery tomorrow. Can it have food and water?

We don’t recommend feeding your pet before surgery if sedatives are to be used. Water should also be limited. Anesthesia can cause animals to vomit and when their muscles are relaxed from the drug, the vomit can go down the wrong pipe, causing major problems later on.

Since not all procedures require anesthesia, ask the vet for instructions before taking your pet in for the operation.

When can I pick my pet up following their surgery?

This depends on the surgery. Your pet could be alert and ready to go home right away for minor surgeries. For major operations, your animal may need to stay overnight. We encourage pet owners to bring toys or blankets from home that will comfort their animals if they stay overnight. It can be scary spending a night in a strange place after a procedure.

Do you board animals at your clinic?

Yes, at Brookhurst Animal Medical Center, we can keep your animals for an overnight stay after an operation. We do not board animals that aren’t patients, but there are plenty of other places nearby that take care of pets overnight that we would be happy to recommend.

How do I know when my pet needs a teeth cleaning?

Pets with teeth should have a dental checkup at least once a year, but if you notice the following symptoms, you may want to go in for an additional cleaning:

  • Unusually bad breath
  • Discolored, rotten, or broken teeth
  • Swollen gums
  • Loose gums
  • Unusual chewing or drooling
  • Abnormal eating habits
  • Tartar buildup
  • Bleeding in the mouth