Questions About Our Services

Q: Do you provide grooming or nail trimming?  

A: We do not provide grooming services but can provide recommendations for groomers in the immediate area. We routinely trim nails on pets with up to date rabies vaccines. Visit our pet portal to make a nurse appointment.

Q: Do you bathe pets?  

A: Yes! Your pet will need an appointment for a bath and will need to be dropped off earlier in the day. An up-to-date rabies vaccine is required for bathing.

Q: Do I need to be present for my pet’s appointment?  

A: No. Your pet can be seen as a drop-off appointment. Please fill out the Appointment Request Form so that one of our Client Care team members can schedule a drop off appointment for you. The veterinarian that evaluates your pet will call you to obtain additional history, make recommendations, and discuss relevant physical exam findings and lab results. Drop off appointments should arrive at the hospital between 7am and 9am.

Q: Do you provide emergency services?  

A: We do provide emergency care. Please call us at 919-226-0043 if you have a pet emergency. During operating hours, if we have a doctor available to see your pet for an emergency, we will work you in as quickly as possible. However, if there isn’t a SPAH doctor available or the hospital is closed, we recommend that you contact Veterinary Specialty Hospital at 919-600-6600. VSH has hospitals in Durham, Cary and North Raleigh. Again, call Southpoint Animal Hospital first at 919-226-0043 if your pet has an emergency.

Q: What types of animals do you see?  

A: Our practice is exclusively for dogs and cats. We recommend that you contact Avian and Exotic Animal Care in Raleigh at 919-844-9166 for any other types of pets, excluding large mammals.

Q: Can I schedule my pet’s appointment online?

A: Yes! Please sign up for a Pet Portal account to book an appointment online.  Alternatively, you may call our Client Care team directly at 919-226-0043.

Q: Do you have someone monitoring hospitalized pets overnight?  

A: No. If 24-hour monitoring is necessary, you will be referred to Veterinary Specialty Hospital by one of our veterinarians.

Q: Do you provide dog training?  

A: Yes. We are in the process of developing a menu of available classes.  Please see the Behavioral and Training Services tab of the website for more information and local recommendations.

Q: Do you do anesthesia-free dental cleanings?

A: Unfortunately, it is not possible to perform a thorough, professional dental prophylaxis on any awake or sedated patient. “Anesthesia Free Dental” is a misleading term and actually only temporarily improves the superficial cosmetic appearance of the teeth. General anesthesia is required for an in-depth oral exam, comprehensive radiographs (x-rays) for the detection of disease below the gum line, and during a thorough cleaning and polishing of all tooth surfaces.

Q: How do I prepare my pet for a procedure requiring general anesthesia?  

A: Please read this document on how to prepare your pet for a procedure requiring general anesthesia. The document is also available under our Additional Resources tab.

Q: Do Southpoint Animal Hospital doctors do house calls?

A: We only do house calls for established patients with feline behavioral problems. Please call the hospital at 919-226-0043 to inquire about this unique service.

Q: Can I get my dog’s or cat’s vaccines done without an exam?

A: A current (within one year) wellness exam with one of our veterinarians is required for vaccinations. If your pet’s wellness exam has been done at Southpoint Animal Hospital anytime within the previous 364 days, any necessary vaccines can be administered with a nurse appointment.

Q: Do you offer at-home euthanasia services?  

A: No. We recommend that you contact Peaceful Passing, Lap of Love, or Dr. Azure Holland for comprehensive, compassionate at-home euthanasia services.

Questions About Medications

(sourced from AVMA)

Q: Where can I get my pet's prescriptions filled?

A: You have several options when your pet needs a prescription medication:

  • You can get it from your veterinarian if they keep it in stock.

  • Your veterinarian can write (or call in) a prescription to a local pharmacy that stocks the medication.

  • Your veterinarian can provide a prescription so you can get the medication from an online pharmacy.

At SPAH, any prescription that is not being filled in-house at the hospital, on SPAH’s online store, or at a brick and mortar pharmacy (Costco, CVS, Walgreens, etc) a paper written prescription MUST be picked up from our hospital by the client and sent into the online pharmacy by the client.

Q: Why do some medications cost more from my veterinarian than from an online store?

A: Online pharmacies may buy larger volumes of the medications at a time, so they may get bulk pricing that might be lower (or much lower) than your veterinarian pays - so, even with a markup, some medications from an online source are being sold to you for less than your veterinarian pays to get the medication. Anybody who keeps medications in stock has to mark up the prices above what they paid because of the overhead costs involved in keeping those medications on the shelf and the losses if the medication expires and has to be discarded.

Q: My veterinarian is telling me that I have to bring my pet in for an examination before they'll write a prescription or authorize a refill. Why?

A: It is unethical, and in most states, unlawful, for a veterinarian to write a prescription or dispense a prescription drug outside a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).

In order to maintain a VCPR, your veterinarian must see your pet regularly – how regularly depends on your pet's health. If your pet is on a prescription medicine, your veterinarian may need to reexamine your pet, check blood work, or perform other tests to monitor your pet's response to treatment and determine if the medication needs to be changed. For example, a dog being treated for hypothyroidism needs to be reevaluated regularly to make sure the dosage is having the effect it needs to have.

Q: Why should I consider getting my pet's medications from my veterinarian?

A: There are several reasons you should consider getting your pet's medications from your veterinarian:

  • If your veterinarian has the medication in stock, you immediately have it and you don't have to wait to get it from a pharmacy;

  • Your veterinarian or a veterinary technician can answer your questions, provide you with instructions for use, and maybe even demonstrate how to give your pet the medication;

  • If you order from a pharmacy and the medication isn't properly shipped (for example, it is allowed to get too hot or too cold) or isn't properly packaged, it could be ineffective or damaged and unusable; whereas if you get it from your veterinarian, you know it has been properly handled until it reaches you and they can inform you how to make sure you handle the medication properly.

Q: What are the risks of ordering from an online pharmacy?

A: The amount of risk depends on the quality of the pharmacy. Human error is a risk with any source, but the risk is minimal if the proper procedures are in place.

  • When you order from an online pharmacy, the product must be shipped to you. If the medication isn't properly shipped (for example, it is allowed to get too hot or too cold) or isn't properly packaged, it could be ineffective or damaged and unusable.

  • If there is a problem with the medication received from an online pharmacy, there might be a period of time when your pet isn't getting its medication while you wait for the replacement medication to arrive. 

Q: Why do I need a prescription?

A: When you are given a prescription for a medication for your pet, it means that your veterinarian has made a decision that the medication is recommended or necessary to treat your pet's health problem. Many prescription drugs are only effective for specific problems, and may actually be harmful to your pet if used without that critical veterinary examination and diagnosis. Having these drugs available as prescription-only medications ensures that they are used appropriately.

Let's take heartworm preventives as an example. Heartworm preventives are labeled as "prescription-only" because it's critical that your veterinarian makes sure the medication is the right one based on your pet's health status (ex. Heartworm Testing and Health Exams are up to date) The preventives target the infective larvae as they are migrating through the tissue prior to reaching the bloodstream and developing to adult heartworms. If your dog (or cat) has heartworms, giving a preventive medication will not effectively treat the disease because the preventives don't readily kill adult heartworms. In some cases, administering preventives to heartworm positive dogs can cause a rapid kill of circulating microfilariae, leading to a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.

There are drugs, called "over the counter" (OTC) drugs, that don't require prescriptions. Drugs can be bought OTC when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines that the directions for the drug's use aren't overly complicated and are adequate for the public to follow. In some cases, such as the common headache medications for people, the OTC version is just a weaker strength than the prescription form. However, in many cases, a medication is only available with a prescription for the reasons we mention above.

Q: Is there a difference between the brand name version and the generic version of a medication?

A: For the most part, no. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) sets the standards for the quality, purity, strength and consistency of all prescription and OTC medications in the U.S. – the goal is to make sure that the product you purchase meets these standards. If you look closely at the drug labels, you'll see "USP" printed after the drug name in the ingredients list – and sometimes it's printed clearly on the front label of the bottle/box. Based on USP standards, for example, generic ibuprofen is the same drug as the brand name-versions of ibuprofen (of the same strength) as far as the quality, purity, and consistency are concerned.

However, we have heard some anecdotal and unconfirmed reports of pets that had been receiving a brand name medication, but did not do as well when given a generic version of the same medication. Although all USP versions of a drug meet the purity standards for that drug, all of the ingredients and the processes involved in making the trade name versions are often protected by patent or other intellectual property laws, and there may be differences in the minor ingredients that could produce slightly different results between the versions, while still providing the main drug that meets USP standards. Think of it as following a recipe – even if you have the same ingredients and follow the instructions, the end result might vary a little bit. This is not a common problem with medications, and is often resolved by switching back to the effective version of the medication.

Q: Why are some flea and tick preventive medications only available through my veterinarian?

A: Some manufacturers have decided to sell their products only through veterinarians so that the veterinarian and pet owner can discuss the situation and work together to determine the best flea and tick treatment for that pet. It's not that the product is "prescription-only" – it's that the manufacturer believes the product should only be sold through veterinarians. In addition, it seems more likely that the product will be used properly (for example, a cat won't be treated with a product labeled only for use in dogs) if the veterinarian is supplying the medication and is counseling the pet owner on the proper use of the medication.

If the flea and tick product is also labeled for heartworm prevention, it is only available through your veterinarian for the reason we previously described – it is critical that your veterinarian checks for a heartworm infection before your pet is given a heartworm preventive medication.

Q: My veterinarian gave me a prescription for a pain reliever for my pet. Why can't I just buy one of the over-the-counter pain relievers at my local drug store?

A: Don't do it! Although these products are approved for use in people, many of them are not safe for pets. For example, acetaminophen (Tylenol® is the most common example) can cause severe illness, and even death, in pets. Talk to your veterinarian before you give ANY medication to your pet.

Miscellaneous Questions

Q: Do you have any recommendations for adoption rescue groups?

A: There are a large number of groups that undertake the hard work of rescuing unwanted pets and screening them for adoption. Please see the Animal Adoption/Animal Rescue Organization section of our Additional Resources tab for a partial list of local rescue groups.

Q: What vaccines does my puppy or kitten need?  

A: The answer depends on how old your pet is and what, if any, vaccines were previously given and at what age. Your veterinarian can give you a schedule once they have performed a physical exam on your pet and reviewed your past medical records.

Q: Do you give discounts?  

A: We do not provide discounts for select customer groups with the exception of a minor discount for approved rescue groups. Our pricing is very competitive, offering high quality patient care and customer service to all clients.

Q: Do you accept pet health insurance?  

A: Yes. We will ensure that you are provided with the proper documentation to assist you in this process. Please note that pet owners are responsible for filing the claims and submitting the paperwork.

Q: Do you offer payment plans?

A: Unfortunately, we are unable to provide payment plans. If finances are a concern, we recommend that you visit as this service will pay for your veterinary bills at the time the service is rendered. If you pay back the balance within a certain time frame (dependent, in part, on the amount of your charges), you will not be charged interest.