At what age can I have my pet spayed or neutered?2022-05-25T00:06:04+00:00

A: Spaying or neutering can be done at approximately 6 months of age. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery. Also, a pre-anesthetic blood screen is required prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery.

At what age should I spay or neuter my cat?2022-03-18T21:53:58+00:00

A: The best time to spay or neuter your cat is around six months of age. Studies suggest that when a cat is sterilized at this age, many reproductive organ-related health problems such as uterine, ovarian, and mammary infections and cancers, testicular disease, prostatic disease, and cancer can be prevented. Another advantage is that by spaying and neutering your cat, you will decrease his or her tendency to roam and look for a mate or get into fights, thus reducing the risks of contracting contagious diseases, like feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, as well as catfights or other traumatic injuries.

Can I give my cat a bath?2022-03-18T21:48:40+00:00

A: Yes. Cats are very good at grooming themselves; therefore, bathing them will rarely be necessary. However, if your cat is very dirty you can give them a bath with warm water and a mild shampoo designed for use in cats.

Do I need to have an appointment?2020-10-08T20:26:45+00:00

A: Yes, patients are seen by appointment. Should you have an emergency during regular office hours, please call so that we may assist you as quickly as possible.

Do you board pets?2022-09-22T21:45:18+00:00

A: At Bostic Veterinary Hospital, we strive to partner with you for all your pet’s needs, including our convenient pet boarding and grooming services for dogs and cats from Norfolk, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and greater South Hampton Roads VA. While you are away, we like to pamper you pet, and we always treat our furry guests like members of our family.

To learn more about our boarding services, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you might have.

Do you recommend any tests for older dogs?2022-03-18T22:48:39+00:00

A: Yes, as your dog reaches the age of approximately 8-10 years old, and depending on the breed type, we will recommend collecting a blood sample once a year to run a senior blood screen. It will help determine if there are any underlying or developing health conditions that can be treated or managed before they cause any serious medical conditions in your dog. Sometimes a urinalysis is also recommended depending on your dog’s condition.

Do you take walk-ins?2022-06-22T13:42:22+00:00

A: There are times when you may not be able to schedule an appointment, and we understand that. In those cases, we welcome you and your pet to visit us on a walk-in basis.

Appointments are always preferred, and will take precedence over walk-ins, but we realize the importance of having this option with people’s busy schedules.

Does my pet need daily vitamins or supplements?2022-03-18T22:05:46+00:00

A: Healthy animals eating a balanced canine diet do not necessarily need to take a daily vitamin although it should not harm your dog by offering one each day. There are a variety of supplements available for dogs as well, usually directed at a specific need. For example, many of our patients take glucosamine and chondroitin, supplements that promote healthy joints. Other supplements include amino acids and fish oils to promote overall health. We recommend consulting with a veterinarian before starting your dog on any type of supplement.

How do I know if my dog has allergies?2022-03-18T22:04:14+00:00

A: Allergies in dogs are becoming a more common and serious problem. A dog can develop allergies to many things we are allergic to including pollens, molds, dust, and grasses. Dogs may also become allergic to the food they eat. Allergies usually manifest as skin problems in your dog. Excessive scratching and licking various parts of the body, chronic ear infections, and poor skin conditions are common clinical signs. Allergies can be tested for if necessary, however, most are managed medically with antihistamines, specialized diets, and topical therapies. A specific treatment plan is usually tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

How long do the sutures stay in after my pet’s surgery?2020-10-08T20:27:52+00:00

A: ​Procedures involving skin sutures usually require them to be removed in 10-14 days following the surgery, unless directed otherwise.

How long is a normal gestation period?2022-12-28T20:07:53+00:00

A: DOGS – Approximately 62-64 days or about 9 weeks.

A: CATS – Approximately 63-65 days or about 9 weeks.

How often can I give my dog a bath?2022-03-18T22:01:36+00:00

A: Dogs are usually bathed only when necessary. There is no specific restriction to bathing your dog. However, bathing too much may lead to dry skin causing irritation and scratching. We recommend using a gentle canine shampoo or a medicated shampoo should your dog have a specific skin condition.

How often should my dog be examined by a veterinarian?2022-03-18T22:45:28+00:00

A: For most healthy dogs, an annual health exam is recommended. If your pet should have a chronic medical condition, it may be beneficial to have an exam and any necessary tests performed more often than once a year. A specific health plan can be tailored to your pet’s needs depending on their health status and condition.

Is chocolate poisonous to dogs?2020-10-08T20:28:34+00:00

A: For dogs, a chemical in chocolate called theobromine is the source of the problem. Theobromine is similar to caffeine. Theobromine is toxic to a dog when it ingests between 100 and 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine: It would take 20 ounces of milk chocolate to kill a 20-pound dog, but only 2 ounces of baker’s chocolate or 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate. It is not that hard for a dog to get into something like an Easter basket full of chocolate eggs and bunnies and gobble up a pound or two of chocolate. If the dog is small, that could be deadly.

It turns out that chocolate poisoning is actually not as unusual as it sounds. For a human being, caffeine is toxic at levels of 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. That’s the same as for dogs! Humans generally weigh a lot more than dogs, but small children can get into trouble with caffeine or chocolate if they consume too much of it.

Is it a good idea to let my pet have at least one litter?2020-10-08T20:29:12+00:00

A: No, there is no advantage to letting your pet have one litter. However, there are plenty of advantages to having your pet spayed or neutered. These advantages include decreasing the chances of breast tumors later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life, decreasing the desire to roam the neighborhood, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreases the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens.

Is it a good idea to purchase pet insurance for my dog?2022-03-18T22:02:54+00:00

A: Pet insurance is becoming more popular as the cost of veterinary care continues to increase. There are several companies now offering insurance, therefore we recommend you investigate which company and policy are best for you and your dog. Insurance can significantly decrease the cost of your veterinary bills whether it is for annual exams, diagnostics, treatments, or emergencies.

Is it okay if my cat eats my dog’s food?2022-03-18T21:58:08+00:00

A: No, your cat should not be eating your dog’s food. Commercial foods designed for dogs do not have the level of protein and other nutrients that cats require for their growth or maintenance. Also, dog food does not produce the level of acidity in the urine that cats should have to help prevent the formation of bladder or kidney stones.

Is the anesthetic safe?2022-05-25T00:11:08+00:00

A: Today’s modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. We do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won’t be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet should have blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.

We offer two levels of in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. Our doctors prefer the more comprehensive screen because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well.

It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.

It’s impossible for me to give oral medication to my cat. What can I do?2022-03-18T19:05:52+00:00

A: If you are not able to pill or give liquid medication to your cat you can try other options. One alternative is to hide the pill in pill pockets. Another trick is to crush the pill and mix it with Nutri-Cal or hairball paste and apply it to the forelegs. Generally, your cat will lick it off as it grooms itself. If none of the above work out, you can ask if the medication can be given transdermally, which means, that the medication will be absorbed through the skin, typically it will be applied on the skin in the inner ear.

My 8 year-old cat seems active and healthy. Why does my vet recommend annual blood work?2022-03-18T21:57:38+00:00

A: Annual bloodwork will help screen for preventable and/or treatable conditions before they become problematic. As your cat ages, he or she is more likely to have heart, kidney, and thyroid problems. A quick blood sample can determine if these and other organs are working properly.

My cat does not like dry food. Is it okay if my cat just eats canned or semi-moist food?2022-03-18T22:00:30+00:00

A: Yes. The nutritional content of each of these presentations is very similar. The difference is mostly in the water content of the food.

My cat has a fever, can I give my cat baby tylenol?2022-03-18T21:56:05+00:00

A: No. Cats are extremely sensitive to acetaminophen (Tylenol®) toxicity. Very low doses of Tylenol can be lethal for your cat. Please, never give any medication to your cat without consulting your veterinarian.

Should I be brushing my dog’s teeth?2022-03-18T22:05:10+00:00

A: Brushing your dog’s teeth can significantly decrease the development of plaque and tartar on the teeth that may eventually cause gingivitis and periodontal disease. Remember to use only canine toothpaste when brushing. Poor dental hygiene is commonly seen in our clinic and can lead to more serious infections and health problems if not controlled. Without brushing, many dogs will eventually need to have their teeth professionally scaled and cleaned to avoid tooth decay, loss, and systemic illness.

The dog ate chocolate; now what?2023-01-04T19:37:18+00:00

A: Recently we fielded an emergency phone call from a dog owner. She was worried because when she arrived home from work, she found that her dog had consumed half a jar of Nutella. The 13-ounce jar was tipped on its side on the floor bearing all the signs of a canine lick-fest.

Knowing how panicked the owner must be, I wanted to figure out quickly if her dog had eaten a toxic dose. With chocolate it can be tough. Dark chocolate has more cocoa per ounce than milk, and a chocolate spread? Nutella has how much cocoa in it?

Googling Nutella did absolutely nothing to tell me how much cocoa was in the product. The ingredient that causes the bad side effects is methyl xanthine. I hopped on my Veterinary Information network and found a posting by an ER vet who knew that European Nutella has 8.5 % cocoa or 8.5 grams per 100 grams of product, and the US Nutella has 7 grams. Going with the worst-case scenario, I began the calculations. After triple-checking my math, I determined that the pup had eaten 450 mg of cocoa, or half the potential lethal dose.

A dose in this range could cause a racing heart and nervous tremors. A lethal dose could cause seizures and cardiac arrest. Her pup was showing no symptoms, but to be cautious we advised that he be examined. Since he had eaten the chocolate sometime during the day, the toxin had already been absorbed and inducing vomiting was not on the table. He did well treated with fluids and activated charcoal.

If you ever have a poisoning emergency there is a hotline you can call: the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, 888-426-4435. Their website is Here.

What are your hours?2022-09-22T21:44:37+00:00

A: Our Hours of Operation are:
Monday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

What are your instructions following dental surgery?2022-05-25T00:13:02+00:00

A: Your pet has just had his teeth cleaned to remove tartar and bacteria from the teeth and under the gums. When necessary, any loose or diseased teeth may have been extracted. Your pet’s teeth were thoroughly cleaned to provide them with a smooth surface to help in the prevention of tooth decay. Regular cleanings are necessary to ensure the health of the teeth and gums.

After Cleaning

If extractions were done, we advise feeding wet/canned food (or dry food softened with water) for 7-10 days. If sutures were placed after extractions, they will dissolve within 3-5 weeks. However, a recheck of your pet is recommended 2 weeks after the dental. Sometimes pets do not feel like eating that evening but the appetite should return by morning. If your pet vomits after eating, do not give any food until the next morning.


To maintain healthy teeth, we recommend daily brushing, oral hygiene chews, and prescription dental food. These procedures prevent problems, such as plaque and tartar buildup.

Please visit Veterinary Oral Health Council for more information about tartar control for your pets.

What are your instructions for spay/neuter surgery?2022-05-25T00:12:34+00:00

A: Please see the following pre- and post-surgery instructions for spaying/neutering, to help your pet recover.

Before Surgery
  • No food after midnight the night before surgery.
  • You may provide water to your pet.
  • Arrive before 8 am for the surgery
  • Notify the doctor if you see any symptoms of sickness or unusual behavior from your pet the day before the surgery.
After Surgery
  • Your pet will be ready to go home between 3 pm-6 pm.
  • Female dogs and cats will have a midline incision on their abdomen.
  • Male dogs will have an incision just above or on the scrotum.
  • Check the incision 2-3 times daily. Mild redness or swelling during the first few days is normal.
  • Do not allow your pet to lick or chew the incision.
  • Please call us if you see any severe swelling or if your pet seems uncomfortable.
  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity for 7-10 days.
  • If you have any questions or concerns please call us at 914-421-0020
  • If you are having an emergency, please see our Emergency Care page.
What brand of cat food should I choose?2022-03-18T22:00:08+00:00

A: You can find a variety of well-balanced cat food in the market. If you decide to change brands, please do it gradually to avoid gastrointestinal upset.

What common food items should I avoid feeding my cat?2022-03-18T21:54:29+00:00

A: Some common foods that are toxic to cats are:

  • onion
  • garlic
  • grapes
  • raisins
  • chocolate
  • macadamia nuts
  • mushrooms
  • green tomatoes
  • green raw potatoes.
What forms of payment do you accept?2021-12-29T21:16:15+00:00

A. Payment is expected at the time services are rendered. We accept major credit and debit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. We also accept cash and checks.

Pet insurance is also a viable option for many pet owners, helping them pay the cost of unexpected veterinary care. There are a variety of pet insurance companies and plans, so feel free to contact us today if you need any guidance.

Another payment option is CareCredit, a healthcare credit card that allows your pet to get veterinary care when they need it. Instead of paying the entire cost of care at once, CareCredit allows you to pay off your balance in monthly instalments.

If you have any questions or concerns about our payment policy or your options, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would be happy to speak with you and welcome your call.

What is the pre-anesthetic blood screening?2020-10-08T20:34:21+00:00

A: This is a blood test that is run here in the hospital prior to surgery. It tests the organ functions, blood counts and clotting function of your pet. The pre-anesthetic blood screening is done to assure safety during surgery and the ability to heal following surgery.

What kind of food should I be feeding my dog?2022-03-18T22:02:06+00:00

A: There are many types and varieties of food available for your dog. Most dogs do very well on commercial dog food their entire life. There is little difference between dry and canned food as long as they offer a complete and balanced canine ration. There are also specialized diets such as raw diets, organic diets, and vegetarian diets available for dogs.

It is recommended you consult with your veterinarian before starting a new diet for your dog. Our veterinary clinic also carries prescription diets formulated to benefit a dog with a specific medical condition as part of the overall therapeutic plan. Your veterinarian will determine if a prescription diet would benefit your dog.

What other decisions do I need to make?2022-05-03T18:24:07+00:00

A: While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet’s care. When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on any optional services. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes going over your pet’s home care needs. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet’s health or surgery.

What types of food can be dangerous to my dog?2022-03-18T22:04:39+00:00

A: Some of the more common foods that can cause serious health problems include but are not limited to:

  • chocolate (any type)
  • caffeine
  • chewing gum (w/ xylitol)
  • nuts
  • grapes/raisins
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • foods high in fat
  • garlic
  • alcohol
What types of tests are recommended at my dog’s annual health exam?2022-03-18T22:44:50+00:00

A: We recommend testing your dog annually for intestinal parasites, heartworm disease, and Lyme disease. Parasites can be detected through analysis of a fresh stool sample usually brought to the clinic the day of your dog’s annual exam. A simple blood test performed in the exam room can determine if your dog has been exposed to the organisms causing Heartworm and Lyme Disease.

What types of treats are healthy for my dog?2022-03-18T22:01:09+00:00

A: Regardless of the type of treat they should be given in moderation to avoid excess calories and weight gain. Some healthier treats include carrot sticks and Cheerios cereal. You may also use pieces of your dog’s dry kibble food as a treat or reward.

What vaccines should my cat get?2022-03-18T21:50:30+00:00

A: All cats should be vaccinated against rabies, Feline Rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia, and calicivirus. If your cat roams outside, your veterinarian might also recommend a vaccine to prevent Feline Leukemia.

Which plants can be poisonous for my cat?2022-12-28T20:20:48+00:00

A: There is a long list of plants that are toxic for cats. Please refer to the ASPCA poisonous plants list at (www.aspca.org) a rid identify if any of your indoor plants are on the list. Cats are especially sensitive to lily poisoning and present clinical signs of renal failure.

Why did my cat stop using the litter box?2022-03-18T19:06:17+00:00

A: There are many reasons why a cat will avoid using the litter box. First, cats will not use a dirty litter box, so make sure the box is cleaned and the litter sifted every day. Clean the box weekly with mild soap and water. Also, many cats will avoid using scented litter because these smells are generally unpleasant to a cat’s sensitive nose. Additionally, some cats might not like the feeling of litter on their paws. You can try other substrates (sands, clumping litters, etc). Generally, cats don’t like to share the box, so if you have multiple cats in your house, you should have multiple litter boxes. If you are keeping up with good litter box maintenance and your cat is still voiding in other places, please make an appointment with one of our veterinarians to have a complete evaluation. Your cat might be suffering from a urinary infection.

Why does my cat groom himself constantly?2022-03-18T21:49:27+00:00

A: Cats, by nature, love to be clean. A cat will spend almost 30% of its life grooming itself. If you see excessive grooming, especially in one spot, or development of hair loss, we recommend having your cat in for a medical consult.

Why does my dog sometimes “scoot” along the ground?2022-03-18T22:03:24+00:00

A: This behavior along with possibly licking excessively around the anal area may indicate your dog’s anal sacs are full. Anal sacs are a normal part of your dog’s anatomy, located just inside the anus. They are usually expressed naturally when a dog defecates, however some dog’s anal sacs become impacted and may need to be manually expressed by your veterinarian.

Why should I vaccinate my cat if he is indoors?2022-03-18T21:50:52+00:00

A: Many people believe that strictly indoor cats will never be exposed to infectious diseases. Although it is true that indoors cats, when compared to cats that are roaming outside, have a reduced risk of being exposed to viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites, they still can be exposed to these organisms. Some microorganisms are transmitted by direct contact with infected animals; others are transmitted through vectors, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. Also, we can bring home disease through our clothes and shoes, The best way to keep your cat protected is by annual examinations and keeping your cat up to date with vaccines and year-round ectoparasite prevention.

Will my pet be in pain?2022-05-03T18:28:02+00:00

A: Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don’t whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations. For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset and can be given even on the morning of surgery.

Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, we are limited in what we can give them. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before. We administer a pain injection 10 minutes prior to surgery. After surgery, pain medication is given on a case-by-case basis. Any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication.

We use narcotic patches for some surgeries in dogs as well. The cost will depend on the size of the dog. Injectable pain medications may also be used after surgery on both dogs and cats. Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.

Will my pet have stitches?2022-05-25T00:15:42+00:00

A: For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet’s activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.

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