Frequently Asked Questions

There is no question too big or too small for our veterinary team. We have answers to some of our most common questions.

What are your hours?

Mon & Fri: 8:30 am to 5 pm
Tues, Wed, Thurs: 8:30 am to 6 pm
Sat: 8:30 am to 12 pm
Closed Sundays

Are you open on the weekends?

Sat: 8:30 am to 12 pm
Closed Sundays

What type of pets do you see?

At Kennebunk Veterinary Hospital, we provide veterinary services to both cats and dogs.

What are your payment options?

Payment is expected when services are rendered. In order to focus on our patients’ needs, customer service and minimize costs to you, we do not bill. We accept cash, checks, debit cards (with Visa or Mastercard logos), Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and CareCredit.

Learn more about our payment options here.

How can I schedule an appointment for my pet?

You can easily schedule an appointment online here.

Why Microchip?

One in three pets is lost in their lifetime⎯90% never make it home. Having your pet microchipped is one of the most important things you can do for their health and safety.

At Kennebunk Veterinary Hospital, we know microchips save lives and reunite families. We encourage all our clients to chip their pets and register the chip–and we do all we can to make that as inexpensive and easy as possible! We think it is important and hope you will too. Insertion is safe, fast, and easy on your pet. It doesn’t require surgery or anesthesia, although we offer it on all our surgical estimates because it is a convenient time to get it done. Who Needs One? Any Pet You Want to be in the 10%There’s no way to predict whether your pet will get lost. The local humane society is full of pets just like yours. It’s not something that just happens to certain types of pets or less attentive owners.

In our area, we see sporadic increases in dog abductions. Thunderstorms, fireworks, and particularly exciting prey going by… can all cause good pets to run beyond their normal territory, making it hard to find their way back. Disasters and emergencies make it easy for pets to get lost in the turmoil.

In the US, 90% of lost pets won’t return home without proper identification. Collars and tags are helpful, but they can fall or be taken off. Microchips are permanent. We all want our pets to be in the 10% that make it home. A microchip can help make that a reality.

Want to Know More?

We trust HomeAgain and think you’ll appreciate their service and commitment to your pet. Their website includes facts, examples of reunited families, and details about how the service works.

We will register the chip with HomeAgain for you when it is inserted. This is a step many pet owners accidentally skip, so we do it at the visit.

Once registered, they will keep your information on file so you can be notified if your pet is found. You do not need to renew your membership each year. But you may want to when you see the added benefits of annual membership, like access to their poison control hotline and assistance with travel to have your pet returned. Details can be found on their website.

Pet Already Chipped?

Great! You’re almost done. About half the people who chip their pets have never registered with the service. This makes the chip useless because the service has no info to contact you when your pet is found. So please double-check that your pet’s chip is registered and your contact info is up to date.

Want to Take Fido on a World Tour?

With older chips, it was a little like trying to use your cell phone in Romania. The technologies just didn’t work together. Recently, they started making chips universal so that the pet you bring from the US can get its chip read in France. Some countries require pets to be chipped as part of the screening process. If you have a new chip or aren’t much of a jet setter, you’re ok. But those planning on taking Fido with them on an exotic vacation or European tour should look into whether their chip can be read abroad or should be updated.

Pet Jet Setter

The Kennebunks and surrounding areas are very mobile communities. We’re ready to meet the special needs that come with traveling, whether for a week or six months.

Summer People, Snowbirds and the Jet Set

Whether you are visiting Maine or traveling abroad with your pet, we can help. One-time visitors and summer residents are welcome. We’ll do all we can to care for your pets while you’re in Maine and coordinate care with your pet’s other providers.

Are you and your pet going south for the winter? Where your pet spends its time informs what annual tests and treatments should be done. Let us know if your pet spends any time south of the Mason Dixon Line so we can adjust our protocols to meet their specific needs.

How can you get your pet’s medication while you’re away? Once you set up your medicine cabinet in our home delivery pharmacy (link it), you can purchase the medications you need, as you need them, delivered directly to your current location.

Are you taking your pet somewhere that requires proof of vaccinations? Meet Pet Desk, your tool for accessing records, requesting appointments, and generally making things like this easier for you. Once you set it up, you’ll have ready access to them.

Many destinations require lengthy and specific paperwork for your pet to travel. This should be one of the first things you organize when planning your trip—because each location has different requirements, and you’ll need time to schedule appointments, get documents filed and meet those them. There are fees for the work involved in our portion of the forms. Let us know where and when you’re traveling, and we can help.

Need someone to care for your cat while you’re away? Give it some love and attention, deal with health issues as they arise, and give them any medications they may need? We’ve got you covered. We provide medical boarding for cats only. We recommend pet sitters and in-home care where possible. But for those cats with health issues that should be closely monitored, medical boarding can be a great option.

We all worry about our pets becoming lost–but this is especially difficult if it happens while you’re away from home. Microchipping offers an extra layer of safety for the pets you love.

What’s the Doctor Doing?
Fleas Control Program

Ok. You’ve got fleas. Now what?
How do you get rid of them? First, it is a marathon, not a sprint. Because of the life cycle of fleas and the stages different products target, the problem sometimes gets worse before it gets better. This is normal and to be expected. It can take months of diligent effort to rid your pets and environment of fleas. But you can win the battle; don’t give up!

There are various ways to treat fleas, with different levels of success. Below is the treatment strategy we believe gives you the best chance for success. We encourage you to follow it. Taking shortcuts at this point can result in the infestation lasting longer and costing more. Please let us know if you have questions. We’re here to help.

For Your Pets

  • To be successful, every cat and dog in the home needs to be treated (please talk to your exotics veterinarian for other animals). Regardless of whether or not they go outside, the fleas are in your home and they will use untreated animals as hosts–delaying the clean-up significantly and making the untreated pet miserable. Every cat and dog.
  • Use an oral (edible) or topical (on the skin) product as directed. Missing a dose can set you back and cause you extra frustration and money.
  • Once you have a flea infestation, you’ll probably want to keep your pets on effective preventatives year round. But you will need to do it for a MINIMUM of three months, probably longer, just to kill off the current infestation.
  • Only 5% of fleas in the home are adults. Many products, including those you can get from your veterinarian, kill adult fleas and interrupt the flea’s life cycle (keeping existing eggs from turning into adult fleas that will lay more eggs). This is important for getting ahead of the curve.
  • The doctor will recommend the product best for your particular situation. Right now, with an active flea infestation, efficacy and safety are top priorities. The products we offer are the safest, most effective available–but don’t assume that means they’re more expensive. Buying in larger quantities, they are often the same or lower than big box stores.

For Your Home

  • Vacuum
    • Vacuum carpets and furniture, including hard to reach areas. Pay special attention to areas your pets frequent. When you are done, bag the contents of your vacuum with plastic and remove the bag from your home. We don’t want them jumping from the bag back into your house!
  • Spray
    • To keep flea eggs from hatching, spray the floors and underneath furniture with a product that contains insect growth regulator (IGR). We recommend Siphotrol Area Treatment Spray, which we keep in stock. Although foggers (flea bombs) can be used, they are not as effective. This is because they are unable to get under beds, furniture, and piles of clutter where young fleas are hatching and feeding. Please follow all safety instructions on the product you use.
  • Repeat
    • This needs to be done an average of three times for successful flea treatment. See product label for specific directions.

You can adapt this for other locations (office, porch, barn, etc) as needed.

An Ounce of Prevention…
Having a flea infestation can be frustrating, expensive, and overwhelming. It can take more than you might imagine to rid your pets and home of these pesky parasites. That is why we recommend that you keep your pets on year-round flea prevention.

There are many products on the market, each with its own pros and cons. Our staff can assess your situation and recommend the products that are best for you and your pets.

A Word about Where You Get Your Preventative Medication
This may surprise pet lovers, but there is a significant amount of counterfeit products for sale online. There is also a large black market for diverted product that has unknown origins and is stored in unknown conditions.

We care about your pets’ safety and want them to have high-quality, effective medicine. That’s why we only sell products we trust and only purchase them from suppliers we trust.

We all know we can’t believe everything we see on TV—and that includes commercials saying you’ll pay more for pet medications at the vets. We understand that cost can be an issue and work with manufacturers to offer you deals you can’t get anywhere else. Whether you purchase from our online store (with optional auto shipping) or in the office, we keep our prices very competitive!

Finally, we never recommend using cheap, over-the-counter topical products on your cats. They can be toxic, and may actually make a cat sick enough for an expensive emergency room visit.

As always, talk with us if you have any questions.

And thank you for trusting us with your pets’ health.

Why Pet Insurance?

Quality medical care is expensive.

As pet owners, we have the opportunity to budget for the predictable care our pets need, like vaccines and annual exams. But being prepared for the major expense of an accident or illness is much harder.

As medical providers, we see the struggle people go through when the care their pet needs is beyond their reach. It is gut wrenching for everyone involved. We believe in pet insurance because a quality policy can take money out of the equation. It allows you to meet your pet’s needs and us to practice good medicine.

Unfortunately, people tend to think their healthy pets don’t need insurance. It usually hits the radar once the first health crisis occurs and the cost of care is overwhelming. At that point, whatever they have wrong becomes a pre-existing condition. So, actually, the sooner you get them insured the better.

Why Trupanion?

We’ve worked with many insurance providers, and we recommend Trupanion. Why? They are a solid company that stands behind their product, they care about pets, their plans are simple and straight forward, and they don’t have payout limits or tell us how to practice medicine. They will also pay for treatments and conditions others won’t. They reimburse clients in a timely way and, in some cases, can even pay us directly so you don’t have to worry about being reimbursed.

Take a look at the videos below. The first is from a veterinarian and the second is from pet owners.

We encourage you to take a closer look. That’s why we’ve worked with them to offer a 30 day trial of coverage with NO strings attached! Unlike many companies, they offer their product to you completely free of charge for one month just so you can experience it first hand. They don’t ask for your credit card, they don’t harass you trying to get you to sign up. They believe in their product and want you to try it because they know you’ll see the value. Ask us about the trial. You’ve literally got NOTHING to lose. The video at the bottom of the page is one family’s experience showing the power of the 30 day trial (spoiler alert: Happy Ending).

We don’t receive anything for endorsing them. Except for the knowledge that we will be able to practice quality medicine and our patients will stay happier and healthier.

Unlike the medical insurance we’re used to, Trupanion plans are simple. They don’t pay for preventative care or pre-existing conditions (so getting a plan while your pets are healthy is a good idea). They do pay 90% of the cost of accidents and illness, including many breed specific problems that others won’t cover. Their website allows you to estimate the cost of a plan for your pet, and has examples of what care costs and what they’ve covered. Here is an infographic summary.

Pet Insurance 101 graphic created by Trupanion.

Quills look smooth to the naked eye, and it can be tempting to think they’ll come out easily. Many of us have thought, “He lets me clip his nails. One good tug should be all it takes. Going to the vet means a bill. An emergency vet would mean an even bigger bill. Let’s just give this a try.” This is a bad idea.

Let us explain. Nature has designed quills with barbs, making removal both difficult and painful. Here is a close-up of what you’ll be pulling past your pet’s tissue. Imagine how much that will hurt coming out. Now imagine having 90 of them to remove. It isn’t reasonable to expect any animal to tolerate that without medication. Trying to remove them at home, only to decide you have to bring them to the vet, causes a spike in fight or flight responses that just makes things more dangerous. There can be an increased risk of bite injury, broken or migrating quills, or a need for higher than normal levels of anesthesia. In addition to the unnecessary trauma and danger, it also makes the eventual hospital visit that much more expensive.

Call us or a local emergency hospital right away. You’ll thank us later!

What’s Next?
You went to the veterinary hospital, all detectible quills were removed, and you’re back home. What’s next? Knowing what to watch for will be important for your pet’s successful recovery. The standard discharge instructions we give for quill removal are below. If we gave you instructions that differ from these, follow the specific instructions for your pet. Don’t hesitate to call us if there is any chance the difference in instructions could be a misunderstanding or if you have any questions.

Discharge Instructions: Quill Removal

Quill removal usually requires sedation and/or anesthesia. As a result, your pet may be sleepy or lethargic for the rest of the day. They may not be as coordinated as usual and should be confined to areas without stairs or other dangers.

Any pain medications and antibiotics prescribed should be given with food unless otherwise instructed. If your pet has a reaction to the medications, such as vomiting or diarrhea, call us as soon as possible.

The barbs on porcupine quills allow them to migrate under the skin and through soft tissue, often before the pet arrives at the veterinarian. We removed all detectible quills, one at a time, using forceps or needle drivers. Sometimes, small incisions are required. The irritation to the tissue may cause slight swelling for the next day or two. Please discourage your pet from rubbing or licking at the area to avoid further irritation, trauma, and infection.

Should your pet have additional quills we could not detect, their body may form scar tissue around the quill to prevent further migration. Alternatively, quills may migrate through the skin and tissue for a period of days or months, finally emerging far from their point of entry.

If you see or feel bumps, sharp points under the skin, small wounds, swelling, or signs of pain or infection, please call our office to schedule a follow-up visit. We will need to assess your pet’s condition in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Rarely, quills can migrate into body cavities and cause serious or life-threatening complications. Signs of this include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Other abnormalities that make you think your pet is not well

If you see any of these signs, please seek treatment immediately.

Thank you for trusting us with your pet’s health.