Are you accepting new patients?
Yes! We look forward to meeting you and your furry family member soon.
What are your hours and location?
Where do I take my pet in case of an emergency?
We can see your pet here when we’re in the office (during the hours listed above).
If at all possible, try to call ahead of time, so we can prepare for your pet and help them as quickly as possible.
After hours, please contact:
What types of pets do you see?
We see dogs and cats. If you have a bird, reptile, pocket pet, or other types of exotic pet, we recommend Harris Boulevard Animal Clinic at 980-474-2899
Do you accept walk-in appointments?
Yes, we accept walk-ins.
However, please note that we see appointments in the following order of priority: Emergencies, Scheduled Appointments, Walk-ins.
If you don’t already have an appointment, you’ll need to wait until our first available appointment time opens up. So, it’s usually better to schedule ahead of time, as your wait will be shorter.
What types of payment do you accept?
We accept credit or debit cards, cash, and checks. Note that payment is due at the time of service.
We also accept certain third-party payment plans, such as Care Credit. And, we can help you file paperwork for your pet insurance (see below for more information).
Do you offer billing or payment plans?
We are unable to offer billing or payment plans and must collect payment at the time of service.
However, we recommend Care Credit, which offers very affordable payment plans. You can use Care Credit to pay for services here.
Should I get pet insurance?
Pet insurance can be a worthwhile investment for many pets — especially young, healthy pets — that saves you money over the long-term.
When you come for your dog or cat’s appointment, be sure to ask us about it. We can let you know if it’s a good fit for your pet, and which companies may be best for them (there are lots of different plans and options out there).
Note that pet insurance works differently from human medical insurance. Most plans require you to pay for services up front, and then they reimburse you later.
So, be sure to plan for payment at the time of service, and we’ll help you get the receipts and paperwork you need for filing with your pet’s insurance company.
Do you offer a senior discount?
No, we do not currently offer a discount.
Do you offer a military discount?
No, we do not currently offer a discount.
Do you offer rabies licenses?
Yes, you can get your dog or cat’s rabies license at our office.
Note, according to the legal requirements of Gaston County, NC, a rabies license can be given only if the rabies vaccine was administered by a licensed veterinarian, along with a physical exam ensuring your pet is healthy enough for the vaccine.
If your pet has already had their vaccine updated but needs a new license (for example, if you’ve recently moved to Gaston County), just bring or fax records (with proof of rabies vaccination) from your previous veterinarian, and you can get the new license here.
Do you offer health certificates?
We offer interstate health certificates as required for traveling from state to state within the U.S.
For international health certificates (for travel abroad, and travel to Hawaii), please call ahead of time to let us know the details of your travel plans. After that, we’ll schedule you for all appointments as needed for the health certificate, medical exams, and other travel requirements.
We recommend planning early, as some locations require the process to start six months in advance.
Do you offer boarding?
Yes, we offer boarding for dogs and cats.
Give us a call at 704-824-8451 to schedule.
Note, for the safety of all pets, your pet will need to be up-to-date on vaccines and parasite prevention prior to boarding with us.
During busy times, such as holidays and summer vacation, be sure to call early to reserve your pet’s spot.
Do you offer grooming, baths, or nail trims?
Yes, we offer grooming services here, and would be happy to schedule your dog or cat!
We offer full-service grooming (a bath, blow dry, brushing, haircut, nail trim, ear cleaning, and anal gland expression for dogs), as well as a la carte services, including nail trims, de-shedding treatments, and baths.
Give us a call at 704-824-8451 to learn more, or to schedule.
Note, for the safety of all pets, your pet must be up-to-date on vaccines prior to their appointment.
Do you offer training, or puppy/kitten socialization classes?
Our veterinarians provide behavioral consults, to help with concerns such as bad manners, noise anxiety, separation anxiety, and more.
We can also offer general advice on training your dog or cat. But for more in-depth or advanced, one-on-one training, we recommend working with Commander-In-Leash Dog Obedience and Behavior Training at www.commanderinleash.com
I work during the day and can’t make it during your appointment times. What should I do?
We offer a convenient drop-off option, so you can leave your pet here with us for the day. We’ll take great care of them, and it’s no additional charge!
Be sure to leave enough time in the morning to fill out the appointment form (or fill it out ahead of time, here), and for us to ask you any questions if needed. Then, one of our doctors will give you a call after your pet’s physical exam, and explain the plan and recommendations.
Then, just stop by and pick up your buddy on your way home from work.
Note: This service is by appointment only. Please call us at 704-824-8451 to schedule.
My pet hates coming to the vet. What should I do?
We’re happy to say we can help! Dr. Hesson & Deneige (RVT) are Fear Free Certified. Our office is certified Fear Free, which means we go above and beyond to ensure your pal will be as comfortable as possible during their visit.
We take special measures for both dogs, and cats, who have different needs in order to feel safe and secure.
But remember, the process starts at home, so we’re also here to give you advice on how to travel to us without too much stress to either you or your pet!
Here are a few quick tips:
- Get your cat used to their carrier by leaving it out in the house a few days to weeks ahead of time. That way, they won’t hide when they see it.
- Get your dog used to the car ahead of time, by taking a few short rides just for fun. Then they’ll be less likely to feel stress during the journey here.
- Staying calm yourself will help your pet to feel calm. Often, pets pick up on our emotions.
For more tips, just give us a call at 704-824-8451
I just found a stray pet. What should I do?
If the pet is friendly and safe to pick up, you’re welcome to bring them here for a microchip scan. That’s where we’ll use a special scanner to check for any identification chips, which may help to identify the pet’s family more quickly.
What’s required for boarding?
In order to board with us, your dog or cat must be up-to-date on their routine care, including vaccines and parasite prevention. This is for the safety of all pets at our facility.
Please check with us ahead of time, and we’ll let you know if anything is required prior to your pet’s stay.
We also recommend you bring your pet’s food from home. We have healthy food to offer them here, but many pets are most comfortable eating the food they normally eat at home.
You are also welcome to bring a toy, blanket, or shirt from home. We have plenty of comfortable bedding for them, but they might also enjoy having a familiar object with them.
Be sure to bring all of their medications that they’ll need, and a completed pre-boarding form.
What’s required for grooming?
Your dog or cat must be up-to-date on their routine care, including vaccines. This is for the safety of all pets at our facility.
Please check with us ahead of time, and we’ll let you know if anything is required prior to your pet’s appointment.
Also, if you have a specific picture of the type of haircut you’d like your pet to receive, please bring that along, too. Plan to arrive about 10 minutes early to discuss your preferences with our groomer.
Your first appointment
How do I transfer my pet’s record from a previous clinic?
Simply call your previous vet office to request a copy of your records, and bring them with you.
Or, you can request to have them sent directly to us at:
How long will my first appointment take?
We schedule appointments for 15 minutes. During this time, your pet will receive a full physical exam and any recommended treatments (such as vaccines), and you’ll have time to ask the veterinarian any questions you may have.
We recommend you come about 10-15 minutes early to fill out paperwork (or, fill out your first visit form now, and bring it with you).
What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
In order to serve you and your pet most efficiently, we recommend bringing a copy of any medical records you have for your furry family member.
You can bring a copy with you, or call your previous veterinarian to have the records sent directly to us, at:
If your pet is taking any medications or supplements, it can also help to bring the containers with you, so we can make a note of the brand and dosage for your pet’s medical records.
I just got a new puppy/kitten. What should I do?
First of all, congratulations!
Go ahead and give us a call and tell us more about your new pet’s age, where they’re from, and any records you have of their vaccines, parasite preventions, and other medical history.
We’ll take it from there, and schedule an appointment to meet your new furry family member, and get their next vaccines when due.
If your puppy or kitten is ill, please call or seek veterinary care right away.
Is it really necessary to bring my dog or cat in for a wellness exam?
Unfortunately, dogs and cats can’t tell us when they’re not feeling well.
Sometimes you’ll notice symptoms of illness — like an upset stomach, for example — but other times, pets may hide symptoms of illness or pain, at least until a medical condition becomes more advanced and difficult (and more expensive) to treat.
For that reason, it’s best to take a proactive approach to their health. A wellness exam and certain lab tests can tell us a lot about how your pet is doing, and help to detect any early signs of medical problems before they get worse.
It’s a great investment in keeping your pal happy and healthy.
Why does my pet need a physical exam in order to get a rabies vaccine?
This is required by law. In order to get a rabies license and meet the legal requirements of Gaston County’s rabies laws, the vaccine must be administered by a veterinarian, who must perform a physical exam to be sure your pet is healthy enough to receive the vaccine.
Does my pet need heartworm and flea prevention year-round?
In Gastonia, NC, it’s a good idea to use parasite prevention for your dog or cat year-round. That includes prevention for heartworms, fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites, for most pets.
This includes indoor pets, too, since mosquitoes (which carry heartworm disease), fleas, and other pests can easily get inside of houses.
It’s much better to prevent these parasites, rather than try to treat them after they’re already there. Some infections (such as heartworm) can cause major health problems, including death. And, parasites such as fleas can be difficult and expensive to treat once they’re in the home.
Why does my dog need a heartworm test even though he/she is on prevention?
Heartworms are worms that can live inside the heart of dogs and cats. They are transmitted through mosquito bites, and once they mature to their full size they can be several inches long.
These worms cause a lot of damage to the heart, and can cause death. It’s a terrible — but fortunately preventable — disease.
If a dog receives heartworm prevention when they already have heartworms in their body, it can cause a terrible reaction that makes them ill. In some cases, it can even cause death.
Testing your dog for heartworm disease helps to prevent anything like this from happening. It also ensures your dog can receive appropriate treatment — before too much damage is done to the heart — should they ever acquire a heartworm infection.
Most preventions are very effective, but there are several reasons why a dog on prevention can develop heartworm disease, including…
- Missed doses (a very common reason — after all, it’s easy to forget when life gets busy)
- Giving doses late (even by just a day or two)
- Your dog spitting out the pill, or part of it
- Your dog not digesting the pill properly (for example, if they get an upset stomach after receiving it)
- Your dog gaining weight and needing to switch to a larger size pill
- Improper storage of the pills
- With all these possible reasons and more, it’s important to check your dog’s heartworm status at least once per year, even if they’re on prevention.
And note: Many heartworm prevention products offer a guarantee that they’ll help pay for your dog’s heartworm treatment, should your dog ever acquire the disease while taking their medication.
But, in order to receive this guarantee, your dog does need to receive routine heartworm tests as recommended by your veterinarian, based on their risk of heartworm disease in Gastonia, NC.
What vaccines does my pet need?
We’ll make a personalized recommendation for your pet, based on their individual needs.
But, you can find a general vaccine guide for dogs and cats here.
What brands of dog and cat food do you recommend?
There’s no one-size-fits-all, and we’ll make a recommendation based on your pet’s individual needs.
Read more about our nutritional consults, here.