Flea/Tick/Worms FAQs

Regular use of veterinary-approved flea and tick preventatives is crucial in preventing infestations. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable preventive products for your pet's specific needs. Additionally, maintaining a clean environment and regularly checking and grooming your pet can help minimize exposure to fleas and ticks.

Here are some additional information resources on parasite prevention:
Flea and Tick Prevention Webpage
Flea and Tick Prevention Video
Heartworm Video
Parasite Prevention Services Video

Deworming schedules may vary depending on several factors such as the age and lifestyle of your pet. Puppies and kittens typically require more frequent deworming than adult dogs and cats. If your pet is exposed to high-risk areas where worms thrive, it is recommended to deworm your pets every 3-6 months. If they are on a regular flea/tick preventative, several of them contain a dewormer as well. It is best to follow your veterinarian's recommendations for deworming intervals and products.

The signs of parasitic infections can vary depending on the type of parasite involved. Common signs may include itching, scratching, hair loss, visible parasites or eggs in the fur or feces, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, lethargy, and changes in appetite or behavior. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to consult with your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Yes, untreated heartworm infections can lead to serious health complications, including heart failure, lung disease, and even death. Regular heartworm preventive medications are highly recommended to protect your pet from this potentially fatal disease.

Along with regular deworming, here are some preventive measures:
Proper disposal of pet waste to limit environmental contamination.
Prompt removal and disposal of feces when walking dogs outside.
Avoidance of contact with potentially infected animals or their feces.
Regular cleaning and disinfection of living areas and bedding.

It is always recommended to consult with your veterinarian before using any OTC medications for parasite control or treatment. They can help ensure the safety and effectiveness of the product and provide guidance on the most appropriate options for your pet.

For any additional questions or concerns about dog and cat parasitology, it is best to consult your veterinarian. They have the knowledge and expertise to guide you in protecting your pets from parasites and ensuring their overall health and well-being.  

Those are likely tapeworms. They occur when your pet ingests infected fleas, flea eggs or larvae. Treatment involves deworming, treating your pet for fleas, and treating your home/environment.

Common parasites in dogs and cats include fleas, ticks, intestinal worms (such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, giardia, coccidia and tapeworms), heartworms, and ear mites. Each parasite poses unique health risks to our furry friends.

Vaccinations FAQs

It is not recommended to skip or delay vaccinations without guidance from a veterinarian. Vaccinations play a vital role in preventing diseases and protecting your pet's health.

If you have any further questions or concerns about dog and cat vaccinations, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. They have the knowledge and expertise to provide personalized vaccination recommendations based on your pet's individual needs and circumstances.

Your puppy should be receiving his/her final vaccine at 16 weeks of age. We recommend that you wait 2 weeks after the final vaccine before allowing your puppy to interact with other dogs.

Indoor cats still need the FVRCP vaccine. If your indoor cat is groomed or boarded, a rabies vaccine is required.

Here are additional information resources on vaccines:

Vaccine Webpage

Lepto vaccine video

Vaccinations are crucial in preventing many potentially life-threatening diseases in dogs and cats. They help stimulate the immune system to recognize and fight off specific viruses, bacteria, or other pathogens.

Essential vaccines for dogs generally include rabies, distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, parainfluenza (DA2PP), leptospirosis and Bordetella. For cats, core vaccines typically include rabies, feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia. Additional vaccines may be recommended based on your pet's lifestyle, geographical location, and specific risk factors.

Puppies and kittens typically begin their vaccination series at 8 weeks of age. This initial vaccination is followed by a series of boosters administered at 3 to 4-week intervals until they reach around 16 weeks of age.

Booster vaccination schedules can vary depending on factors such as the vaccine type, your pet's lifestyle, and local regulations. Boosters are generally administered annually or every three years depending on the type of vaccine.

Vaccinations are generally safe, but pets can experience mild side effects, such as localized swelling or discomfort at the injection site, lethargy, or a slight decrease in appetite. Serious adverse reactions are rare but can occur. Serious reactions include, but are not limited to: hives, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, facial swelling and potentially collapse. If you notice any concerning or severe reactions, promptly contact your veterinarian, or seek emergency veterinary care after hours.

Yes, older pets can still benefit from vaccinations. Even if they have received previous vaccines, they may require booster shots to maintain their immunity. Your veterinarian will assess your pet's individual needs and create a vaccination plan suitable for their age and health status.

In San Diego County, the rabies vaccinations for dogs are legally required. All the remaining vaccinations are highly recommended for your pets' safety. Consult with your veterinarian or local authorities to understand the specific vaccination laws and regulations in your area.

Vaccinations are generally safe, but there is a minimal risk of adverse reactions. These reactions are significantly outweighed by the benefits of protecting your pet from dangerous diseases. If your pet has had previous vaccine-related adverse reaction, it is important to discuss this with your veterinarian before proceeding with future vaccinations.

Allergies FAQ

Managing skin allergies often involves multiple approaches:

  • Avoiding known allergens or triggers.
  • Bathing your pet with special shampoos to remove allergens from the skin and/or protect the skin barrier.
  • Use of prescription medications, such as antihistamines, topical creams or sprays, immune-modulating drugs, or corticosteroids.
  • Following an appropriate flea control regimen.
  • In some cases, a special hypoallergenic diet may be recommended.

For ear allergies, management typically involves:

·         Keeping the ears clean and dry.

·         Administering ear medications or solutions prescribed by a veterinarian to address infection or inflammation.

·         Identifying and addressing the underlying allergen triggering ear allergies.

Anal gland issues are typically managed by:


·         Expressing the anal glands manually, a procedure best left to a veterinarian or veterinary technician.

·         Dietary modifications to ensure healthy and well-formed stools.

·         Addressing any secondary infections or inflammation present in the anal gland area.

·         If allergies are suspected, identifying, and addressing the underlying cause.

Unfortunately, allergies cannot be cured, but their symptoms can be managed effectively. Identifying and avoiding allergens, using medications to control itching and inflammation, maintaining good hygiene, and addressing any secondary infections or complicating factors can help improve your pet's quality of life.

It is advisable to consult a veterinarian if you notice persistent or worsening symptoms, if your pet is in considerable discomfort, or if the allergies significantly affect their quality of life. A veterinarian can help develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your pet's specific needs.

It is not recommended to use OTC medications without veterinary guidance. Some medications can be ineffective or even harmful to pets. Always consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your pet's specific needs.


Remember, each pet is unique, and consulting with a veterinarian is crucial for accurate diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management of allergies in your furry friend.


For more information, check out our Youtube video about allergies and itchiness!

Signs of allergies are widely variable, but some of the most common signs in pets include itching, redness, inflamed skin, recurrent skin infections, hair loss, ear itching or infections, malodorous ears, scooting or excessive licking of the anal area, excessive licking of feet and gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea or vomiting.

Allergies in pets can have various triggers, such as environmental factors (e.g., pollen, dust mites), food sensitivities, flea bites, contact with certain substances (e.g., cleaning products, fabrics), related to the immune system and even genetic predisposition.

Diagnosis typically involves a thorough physical examination by a veterinarian. Depending on the suspected allergen/s, they may recommend allergy testing (intradermal or blood test), elimination diet trials, skin scrapings, or other diagnostic tests to identify the specific allergens triggering the allergies. However, allergies are very complex and finding a diagnosis can be very challenging at times and may not be possible.

New puppy/kitten owner FAQ

Good dental health is important for your pet's overall health and well-being. You can promote good dental health by providing your pet with chew toys and dental treats, brushing their teeth regularly with a toothbrush and pet-friendly toothpaste, and scheduling regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian. Looking for the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Healthy Council) seal on dental products can be helpful when trying to determine what to choose.

Fleas and ticks can cause a variety of health problems in pets, including skin irritation, anemia, and disease transmission. You can prevent fleas and ticks by using a veterinary-recommended flea and tick preventative product and keeping your home and yard clean and free of pests. Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate product for your pet based on their lifestyle, age, and risk factors.

Regular grooming is important to maintain a healthy coat and skin. Start by introducing gentle brushing, nail trimming, and teeth cleaning early on. Get your puppy/kitten accustomed to being handled and groomed to make it a positive experience.

Puppies/kittens have bursts of energy and require daily exercise appropriate for their age. This can include short walks, playtime, and mental stimulation through puzzle toys or training activities.

Watch for signs of illness such as loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, discharge, or abnormal behavior. If you notice any concerning symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, new puppy/kitten owners can gain a better understanding of their pet's needs and be better equipped to provide them with a healthy and happy environment.

For more information, check out our Youtube video about puppies!

Training should begin as soon as you bring your puppy/kitten home. Starting early will help establish good behaviors and prevent bad habits from forming.

Puppies/kittens require regular meals throughout the day due to their high energy and growing requirements. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate feeding schedule for your specific puppy/kitten. It is important to avoid feeding table scraps or human food as these can cause health problems and lead to obesity.

House training requires consistency and patience. Take your puppy/kitten outside frequently, reward them for eliminating in the appropriate area, and establish a routine for potty breaks. For kittens, provide a litter box in a quiet and accessible location, and praise them when they use it.

Provide plenty of appropriate toys, exercise, enrichment, and mental stimulation to keep your puppy/kitten engaged. Puppy-proof or kitten-proof your home by removing dangerous objects or keeping them out of reach.

Socialization should begin early, ideally between 3 to 14 weeks of age. Expose your puppy/kitten to various people, animals, noises, and environments in a positive and controlled manner to help them develop into well-rounded, confident pets. If you pet is not fully vaccinated yet, make sure the animals they are interacting with are and that they are in a safe and controlled environment.

Gradually introduce your puppy/kitten to other pets in a neutral and controlled environment. Allow them to get acquainted on their terms, supervise their interactions, and provide positive reinforcement for calm and friendly behavior.

 Your puppy or kitten should see a veterinarian within their first few weeks of life. This initial visit is typically around 6-8 weeks of age and provides an opportunity for your veterinarian to check for any underlying health concerns and start your pet on their vaccination schedule.

Puppies and kittens require a series of vaccinations to protect them against various diseases. The specific vaccines and timing may vary depending on factors such as your pet's age, breed, and lifestyle. Typically, puppies and kittens receive their initial vaccines between 6 and 8 weeks of age, with boosters given every 3-4 weeks until they are about 16 weeks old. Common vaccines for puppies include distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, leptospirosis, Bordetella, and rabies. Common vaccines for kittens include rabies, leukemia, feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia. Your veterinarian can provide more information about which vaccines your pet needs and when they are due.

Spaying or neutering your pet is an important aspect of responsible pet ownership. It can prevent unwanted litter, reduce the risk of certain health problems, and improve your pet's behavior. Your veterinarian can discuss the best timing for spaying or neutering based on factors such as your pet's breed and age.

Puppies and kittens require frequent veterinary care to ensure they are growing and developing properly and staying healthy. Initially, you may need to bring your pet in for check-ups every few weeks to monitor development and update vaccinations. As they get older, annual check-ups are recommended to prevent and detect any health problems early on.

Heartworm FAQ

Heartworm disease is diagnosed through blood tests that detect the presence of heartworm antigen and/or microfilaria (baby worms) in the bloodstream. In some cases, imaging tests like X-rays or ultrasound may also be performed to evaluate the extent of the infection and assess the damage to the internal organs.

The disease requires a specific mosquito to spread.

Treatment for heartworm disease in cats is more challenging than in dogs due to the lack of specific medications for feline heartworm infection. In some cases, supportive care is provided to manage symptoms, while in other cases, surgery may be necessary to remove heartworms from affected cats. Prevention is, therefore, crucial for cats, as treatment options are limited.

Heartworm prevention should typically begin when your pet is at least 8 weeks old. However, the exact timing may vary depending on your veterinarian's recommendations, the prevalence of heartworms in your area, and the specific preventive medication being used. It's important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate time to start preventive measures for your pet.

Yes, even indoor pets are at risk of heartworm disease since mosquitoes can enter homes and transmit the infection. It's recommended to provide heartworm prevention to all pets, regardless of whether they spend most of their time indoors or outdoors.

Annual heartworm testing is generally recommended for dogs, even if they are on a preventive medication. Regular testing helps ensure early detection and appropriate treatment if necessary. For cats, the frequency of testing may vary depending on their risk factors and geographic location. Discuss with your veterinarian how often your pet should be tested for heartworm disease.

For more information, check out our Youtube video about Heartworm!

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that affects dogs and, to a lesser extent, cats. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis, which is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Once inside the body, the worms mature and live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of the infected animal, causing damage to these organs over time.

While heartworm disease is not as prevalent in San Diego County compared to some other parts of the United States, it still exists. The risk of heartworm infection depends on various factors, including the local mosquito population, climate, and the number of infected animals in the area. Therefore, it is more prevalent in areas with a high mosquito population and warmer climates, but it can occur in any geographic location. Dogs are the primary host for heartworms, but cats can also become infected.

Heartworm disease is highly preventable. Prevention involves the regular administration of preventive medications that kill the larvae of heartworms before they can mature into adult worms. These medications come in various forms, such as chewable tablets, topical treatments, or injections, and are typically administered monthly or annually, depending on the product. It's crucial to use preventives recommended by your veterinarian and follow their instructions for proper administration and dosing.

If your dog or cat becomes infected with heartworms, the worms can cause serious damage to their lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Symptoms may include coughing, difficulty breathing, fatigue, weight loss, and in severe cases, heart failure or death. Treatment for heartworm disease can be complicated, expensive, and does not come without risks. It typically involves a series of injections to kill the adult worms, along with medications to manage symptoms and support the pet's recovery over a period of 9 months. Cats are more susceptible to severe and sometimes fatal reactions during treatment.

Refilling medications FAQ

Yes, you can contact West Coast Animal Hospital over the phone, through text, and on our online pharmacy. Our staff will guide you through the process and gather any necessary information. However, as mentioned earlier, an examination may be required before the medication can be dispensed, depending on the specific circumstances and the medication in question.

Yes, you can authorize someone else to pick up your pet's medication. Please inform our staff in advance and provide the name and contact details of the designated person. They may be asked to provide identification before being given the medication to ensure the safety and security of your pet's medical supplies.


To order a medication refill to pick up at the hospital, download the PetDesk app here.

To order a medication refill delivered to your home, visit our online pharmacy.

In most cases, it is necessary for the veterinarian to have seen your pet for the condition associated with the medication being prescribed or refilled. Regular examinations are crucial for assessing your pet's health, monitoring their progress, and ensuring that the prescribed medications are appropriate and effective. It allows our veterinarians to adjust the treatment plan if needed and address any new concerns or changes in your pet's condition. Refilling medications without an exam may compromise your pet's well-being, as it limits our ability to provide optimal care based on their current health status.

Using old medications to treat your pet can be dangerous because over time, medications may lose their efficacy and potency, and can even become harmful when expired. Also, certain medications may be appropriate only for specific conditions, and may not be suitable for other conditions that might occur over time.

Using medication without an exam can be risky. The medication may not be safe or effective for your pet's health condition, which could delay proper treatment or lead to worsening of the condition. Additionally, some medications can have side effects or interactions with other medications, which can be harmful to your pet if these factors are not assessed by a veterinarian prior to administering medication.

To refill your pet's medications, you can call or text us at (619)431-1423 extension 3. If the pharmacy tech is unavailable, please leave a voicemail with your phone number, name of your pet, and medication you are refilling. You can also request medication refills through Pet Desk, our mobile app. If it has been over a year since the veterinarian has seen your pet for the condition associated with the medication refill request, you may be required to book an appointment with the doctor before the medication can be refilled.

To ensure that your pet's medication is always available, we recommend requesting a refill 2 days before the current supply is depleted. This allows us time to review the prescription, examine your pet if necessary, and ensure you have a continuous supply without interruptions. However, please note that some medications may require additional time for ordering or compounding, so it's always best to reach out as early as possible.

Dental FAQ

A complete dental cleaning is a professional teeth cleaning procedure performed under anesthesia by a veterinarian to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from a pet's teeth and gums. It includes scaling, polishing, and dental x-rays to determine if extractions are necessary. Proper dental prophylaxis is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing serious dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and even organ damage.

The frequency of dental prophylaxis depends on various factors, such as your pet's age, breed, lifestyle, and their dental health status. Generally, for dogs and cats with healthy teeth and gums, dental prophylaxis should be performed at least once a year. However, pets with dental issues or predisposing factors such as breed, poor dental care history, overcrowding of teeth, periodontal disease, or other health concerns may require more frequent cleanings.

Common signs that your pet has periodontal disease include bad breath, difficulty eating, chewing on one side of the mouth, drooling, swollen or bleeding gums, lose or missing teeth, pawing or rubbing at the face and visible tartar buildup on the teeth. In some cases, pets may show no apparent signs of dental disease, making it important to have regular dental exams with your veterinarian to check your pet’s dental health.

The dental procedure begins with general anesthesia, which enables a thorough examination of the teeth and gums, reduces anxiety, and eliminates any discomfort your pet may experience while the teeth are being explored. Our skilled team then uses specialized tools to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the teeth and gumline, and take x-rays of all the teeth to determine if extractions will be performed. Finally, the teeth will be polished to create a smooth, glossy surface, which helps reduce future plaque buildup and tooth decay.

Prevention is the best way to ensure excellent dental health for your pet. Regular dental care at home, such as brushing teeth, providing dental-friendly toys, treats, and chews, and avoiding sugary foods can go a long way in reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Additionally, having regular dental exams and cleanings as recommended by your veterinarian can keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy and prevent serious periodontal problems in the future.

Yes, our cleanings are very thorough and cannot be performed without anesthesia.

To keep dogs and cats still enough to capture good images, they must be anesthetized. Additionally, the dental Xray sensor is a delicate piece of equipment that is easily damaged.

For more information about dental cleaning, check out the following resources:

·         Dentistry Youtube video

·         Dentistry webpage

Diarrhea FAQs

Diarrhea in dogs and cats can be caused by various factors. Some of the most common causes include dietary changes, food intolerance or allergies, ingestion of spoiled or inappropriate food, parasites, viral or bacterial infections, stress, certain medications or toxins, and underlying health conditions.

If your pet's diarrhea is severe, bloody, or persistent for more than 24-48 hours, it is advisable to seek veterinary attention. Other concerning signs include dehydration, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, or if your pet is showing signs of pain or discomfort.

Ensure access to plenty of fresh water to prevent dehydration. If the diarrhea is mild or resolves quickly, you can gradually start a bland diet (e.g., boiled chicken and rice) and monitor for any changes. If the diarrhea persists or worsens, consult your veterinarian.

Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications meant for humans should not be given to pets without veterinary guidance. Some human medications, such as loperamide (Imodium), can be toxic to dogs and cats. Always consult your veterinarian before administering any medications to your pet.

Yes, stress can be a contributing factor to diarrhea in dogs and cats. Changes in routine, new environments, introduction of new pets or family members, or other stressful events can disrupt the digestive system and lead to diarrhea. Minimizing stress and providing a stable and predictable environment can help prevent stress-induced diarrhea.

Yes, certain foods can trigger diarrhea in dogs and cats, especially if they have food allergies or sensitivities. Common food culprits include table scraps, fatty foods, dairy products, bones, spicy or heavily seasoned foods, and sudden dietary changes. It's important to feed your pet a balanced and appropriate diet to avoid digestive issues.

Yes, certain parasites like Giardia, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and coccidia can cause diarrhea in dogs and cats. Regular deworming and fecal examinations are important in preventing and detecting parasite-related diarrhea. Consult with your veterinarian for appropriate deworming protocols.

During a veterinary visit, the veterinarian will evaluate your pet's medical history, perform a physical examination, and may recommend diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the diarrhea. These tests may include fecal examination, blood work, diarrhea panels and in certain cases, imaging or endoscopy. They may also prescribe medication and/or special food to aid in resolution of your pet’s diarrhea.

To help prevent diarrhea in dogs and cats:

  • Provide a balanced and appropriate diet.
  • Avoid sudden dietary changes.
  • Keep your pet's environment clean and free from potential toxins.
  • Prevent access to spoiled or inappropriate food.
  • Practice proper hygiene, including regular handwashing.
  • Try to avoid stressful situations if you know your animal may not tolerate them well.
  • Follow a regular deworming schedule as recommended by your veterinarian.

It is best to contact your veterinarian if:

  • The diarrhea is severe, bloody, or persistent for more than 24-48 hours.
  • Your pet is showing signs of dehydration, lethargy, or loss of appetite.
  • There are other concerning symptoms such as vomiting or pain.
  • Your pet has pre-existing health conditions or is on medications.

For more information about treating diarrhea, check out our blog post: Stepping Away from Antibiotics

Yes, some parasites can be transmitted from animals to humans (zoonotic transmission). For example, certain types of worms, such as roundworms and hookworms, can be transmitted through direct contact with contaminated soil or feces. Maintaining good personal hygiene, practicing regular handwashing, and following your veterinarian's parasite prevention recommendations can help mitigate zoonotic risks.

Coughing FAQ

Coughing in cats and dogs can have various causes. It can be due to respiratory infections, allergies, lung disease, heart problems, foreign objects in the airway, heartworms, or kennel cough (in dogs) to name a few. Coughing can also be a symptom of more serious conditions, so it's important to have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian if they are coughing persistently or if you notice any other concerning symptoms.

It's important to pay attention to the duration and frequency of the cough, as well as the presence of other symptoms. If your pet's cough persists for more than a few days, is worsening, or is accompanied by symptoms like difficulty breathing, decreased appetite, lethargy, or coughing up blood, it's recommended to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

It is strongly recommended to consult with your veterinarian before administering any medications to your pet. The underlying cause of the cough needs to be identified and addressed, so it's best to have your pet evaluated and treated by a professional.

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of your pet, which will include auscultation (listening to the lungs and heart), ask questions about your pet's history, and potentially order additional diagnostic tests. These tests may include bloodwork, X-rays, heartworm testing, or more specialized testing depending on the suspected cause of the cough.

While it may not be possible to prevent all causes of coughing, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. Regular vaccinations and preventive measures against heartworm disease are important. Avoid exposing your pet to sick animals, secondhand smoke, and environmental irritants.

Some causes of coughing in cats and dogs can be contagious to other animals. For example, kennel cough in dogs can spread easily in environments where dogs are in close quarters, such as boarding facilities or dog parks. It's important to monitor and isolate your pet if they display symptoms of a cough to prevent spreading the infection. If you have concerns about the transmissibility of your pet's cough, consult your veterinarian for guidance.

Yes, coughing can indicate a serious underlying health problem, particularly if it persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms. Heart disease, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, and certain cancers can all cause coughing in cats and dogs. It's important to have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian to determine the cause and appropriate treatment for their cough.

Specialty Services

Ultrasonography is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging technique that uses sound waves to create images of your pet's internal organs. It helps our veterinarians visualize the structure, size, and condition of organs such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, intestines, and bladder. Ultrasonography is essential for detecting abnormalities, diagnosing diseases, and guiding treatment plans. It allows for early detection and monitoring of conditions, leading to more targeted and effective medical care for your beloved companion.

Echocardiograms are specialized ultrasound examinations of the heart. They provide a detailed assessment of the heart's structure, function, blood flow, and valves. These tests are crucial for diagnosing various heart conditions, including congenital abnormalities, cardiomyopathies and causes for heart murmurs. Echocardiograms help our veterinarians develop appropriate treatment plans and monitor the progression of heart disease, ensuring optimal cardiac care for your pet.

Chiropractic services, specifically tailored for animals, involve gentle adjustments of the spine and joints. This non-invasive therapy aims to restore balance, alleviate pain, and improve the overall well-being of pets. Chiropractic care is particularly beneficial for animals with musculoskeletal issues, such as arthritis, back pain, and mobility problems. By promoting proper alignment and nervous system function, chiropractic services can enhance your pet's quality of life, mobility, and athletic performance.

We work with a mobile board-certified veterinary surgeon that specializes in various orthopedic surgeries, including fracture repairs, joint stabilization, ligament and tendon repairs, and corrective procedures for hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Orthopedic surgeries are essential in restoring mobility, alleviating pain, and improving the quality of life for pets with bone, joint, or ligament issues. Our experienced surgeons employ advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to provide the highest standard of care for your pet's orthopedic needs.

Specialty services require an exam with one of our veterinarians to assess the need and safety of the service. Our expert veterinarians will perform a thorough evaluation, discuss treatment options, and address any concerns you may have. Your pet's well-being is our top priority, and we are committed to delivering exceptional specialty care tailored to their unique needs. After your veterinarian recommends a specialty procedure, to schedule a procedure for ultrasonography, echocardiography, chiropractic services, or orthopedic surgeries, simply contact West Coast Animal Hospital. Our friendly staff will assist you in finding the most convenient appointment and provide any necessary information. Specialty services cannot be booked online so please call us to schedule: 619.431.1423.


For more information about specialty services, check out the following resources:

·         Chiropractor webpage

·         Ultrasound webpage

·         Specialty surgery webpage

·         Cardiology webpage

·         Internal medicine webpage

Care FAQ

A VCPR is the process of establishing a formal relationship with a veterinary healthcare facility and is legally required for the administration of vaccines, surgery, dental procedures, prescription drugs, etc. A VCPR is established through an annual examination with a WCAH veterinarian.

We are always taking new clients. You can find appointment availability using our online scheduling tool or call us at 619.431.1423.

Yes, an appointment for just vaccines is available to patients that have an established veterinarian client patient relationship (VCPR). If a VCPR has not been established, an appointment with a doctor is required before vaccines can be administered.

We are by appointment only. True emergencies should go to the nearest 24-hour ER hospital. We do our best to accommodate urgent visits. Please call the hospital prior to coming in.

Simple question but a complex answer. The vaccines recommended for your puppy are based on the AAHA Vaccine Guidelines and a lifestyle/risk assessment as offered by our veterinarians at your puppy’s first visit.

A veterinarian client patient relationship (VCPR) is legally required to access most services available at West Coast Animal Hospital. Only a doctor can diagnose medical conditions and recommend a delivery of care plan.

We do not offer international health certificates. We will see pets for health certificates traveling within the United States. We do ask owners to do some research about health certificates and the airline they are flying prior to booking the appointment.

We do not board dogs. We only board cats for medical purposes that cannot be boarded elsewhere.

Yes. Dental procedures, including teeth cleanings, are a full anesthetic procedure regardless of extractions, cleanings, or dental radiographs. A consultation with one of our veterinarians is required in order to book a dental procedure.

Pet insurance works a little differently than human medicine. Regardless of insurance company we will fill out diagnosis and provide copies of invoices as needed. Owners are required to submit the invoices/paperwork themselves. Reimbursement from your insurance company depends on individual plans.

We do not see exotics; we are only equipped to treat dogs and cats.

We do work with mobile specialists for a variety of reasons such as cardiologists who perform echocardiograms, internal medicine vets who perform ultrasounds, and board-certified surgeons. An exam with one of our doctors is required prior to booking any specialist to ensure we are providing the correct service for your pet.

We do not offer grooming but we will perform nail trims and anal gland expressions for existing clients.

Price List FAQ

Minimizing wait times is part of a broader effort of providing the best possible experience to clients. This is accomplished through our policy of not double-booking exams. When clients do not show up for their appointment, it creates a gap in the schedule. The fee partially pays the wages of the doctor and two nurses who were impacted by the no show.

Financing options are available through third party services such as Care Credit (invoice must exceed $300) and Scratch Pay.