Small Animal FAQ’s

Our General Policies


We prefer to see patients by appointment to allow ample time for all patients and scheduled surgical procedures. Emergency cases will always be seen immediately, so an occasional appointment delay is inevitable. Please call us to schedule your pet’s appointment.


If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please call us at (860) 653-7238. We request the courtesy of at least 48 hours notice for cancellations so that we may schedule another patient in your place.

Patient Arrival

For your pet’s protection and the protection of other pets, all dogs must be on a leash and properly controlled while in the waiting area or exam rooms. All cats must be presented in an appropriate cat carrier.


We require full payment at the time that services are rendered. For your convenience, we accept cash, check, debit, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Care Credit.


Products that have left our facility cannot be returned. However, according to manufacturer guarantee, opened bags of dog and cat food may be returned or exchanged.


We are more than happy to process your prescription refills. We ask that you please give us as much notice as possible when refills are needed.

We do not recommend purchasing your pet’s medications from unknown online pharmacies. Our pharmacy can provide you safe, accurate refills at competitive prices.

Common Questions

When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?

We recommend spaying or neutering every pet. Please schedule an appointment to discuss when to spay or neuter your pet with one of our veterinarians.

How often does my pet need a rabies vaccination?

The first rabies shot your pet receives is good for 1 year. Subsequent dog rabies vaccinations immunize your pet for 1-3 years depending upon the vaccine your pet receives. Dogs are required by Connecticut State Law to be vaccinated against rabies. For cats, we use cat-exclusive rabies vaccines which are good for 1 year.

What is heartworm protection and how many months should my pet be on heartworm prevention medication?

Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and, if left untreated, can be fatal. Heartworm prevention is administered once a month by a chewable tablet. In accordance with the guidelines of the American Heartworm Society, we recommend all dogs and cats be given year round heartworm prevention regardless of lifestyle.

Why does my dog need a blood test before purchasing heartworm prevention?

Your dog will need to be tested with a simple blood test for heartworm disease on an annual basis. Even if they have been on heartworm prevention year round, there is always the possibility that the product may have failed for various reasons (your pet spit out the pill, did not absorb the pill appropriately, forgot to administer medication on time, etc.) and the earlier we can treat your pet for heartworm disease, the better the prognosis. Some companies will guarantee their product providing you use the heartworm prevention year round and are performing yearly heartworm tests. When starting heartworm prevention it is important that you perform an initial heartworm test.

My pet never goes outside, so does they really need heartworm prevention?

Yes. Heartworm disease is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito and all mosquitoes can get into houses.

Doesn’t the fecal sample test for heartworms?

No. Heartworm disease is a blood-borne disease that is transmitted through mosquitoes. A simple blood test will confirm whether or not your dog has heartworm disease.

How can I prevent fleas?

It is important to prevent fleas. We recommend that all dogs and cats be given a monthly flea preventive regardless of lifestyle from April through December. Not only are they uncomfortable for your pet, but fleas are also carriers of disease such as tapeworms. There are many medications for the treatment and prevention of fleas.

Why does my pet need a dental cleaning and how often should this be done?

Many of the pets that visit us on a regular basis need professional teeth cleaning. When bacteria irritate the gum line, the gums become inflamed in the early stages of dental disease causing gingivitis. Left untreated, this leads to periodontal disease whic causes the loss of the bone and gingival support structure of the tooth an subsequent tooth loss. In addition, the bacteria are consistently released into the blood stream allowing for systemic infections, which can cause damage to internal organs, such as the kidneys, liver and heart. A dental exam is a part of any physical exam at Salmon Brook Veterinary Hospital.

Do I need to brush my pet’s teeth at home?

Yes. Proper dental care at home is highly recommended to help maintain the oral health of your dog and cat. Home dental care for companion animals should start early, even before the adult teeth erupt. It is best if owners brush their dogs and cats teeth frequently. Although tooth brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up, there are many options for dental home care. Other oral home care options such as dental formulated foods, water additives, and dental treats can be considered and discussed with one of our veterinarians.