Below are several of the most frequently asked questions about PAZ Veterinary Collective. Need to jump ahead? Use the links below to get there faster.
New Patients | Puppy / Kitten Visits | Travel & Certificates | Payments & Veterinarian-Client Relationship | Dentals & Surgeries | Behavior | Holistic Medicine | Vaccines & Prevention | Fear Free | Contact
It’s our first visit to PAZ, what should my pet and I bring?
Before we get into the specifics, yay! We’re excited for you and your fur baby to join the PAZ family!
The following is a sure thing list of what to bring :
Health records, for the record. Aside from bringing your pet, the most important thing for us to have is your pets complete medical history from your previous vet. If you’re transferring from another veterinarian, let us know and we can always call them up to 24 hours before your appointment.
Poo sample, oh my! This stinky sample allows us to run a test without upsetting your pet – we like to think they will ultimately like us better without probing them and we want them to love us! The sample should be fresh, collected right before the appointment, or refrigerated for up to 12 hours prior to the appointment. You can bring it in a bag and / or container.
Leash or carriers, always makes visits better! At PAZ, we strive to make you and your pets feel like VIPs. We are offering curbside at this time, so for your pet’s safety, please make sure your VIP is secured.
How do I get my pets previous health records transferred to PAZ?
Excellent question! Seeing those records ahead of time means that we can be well prepared, save you time and can dedicate your entire appointment to any health concerns.
If you happen to have copies of previous records, fantastic! Before y’alls appointment, you can email the digital copies to email@example.com.
If you prefer a more “old school” approach you can always hand deliver! To ensure enough time for us to process the paperwork and upload to our fancy system, it would be awesome if you could arrive 15 min ahead of your appointment, so that we can come to your car and collect that paperwork before we see your fur kid.
Should I bring any of my pets medication to the appointment?
Sure thing! In fact, bringing those medications is encouraged — there’s a lot of information on those labels that we would love to see. As a back-up, you could always make a list of the medications and we’ll follow up after your appointment if more details are needed.
What can we expect to happen during our appointment?
At PAZ Veterinary, we recognize that every patient is their own unique little star, and we often adapt the experience to each individual for rock solid outcomes.
That being said, there’s a general vibe and flow that you can expect with most visits:
- Say howdy, y’all! When you arrive at our hospital, you and your fur baby will be greeted by our rad reception team- Just call the number on the parking sign, and we’ll get you checked in. A technician will be out to get your pet- please have your pet ready for the handoff (leash/carrier)
- History class! And not like the one in high school (whew!). During this step, one of our totally awesome technicians will review your client form, ask any clarifying questions before we take a look at your pet to ensure we’re all on the same page with the visit.
- The moment you’ve been waiting for! The whole reason y’all are here: the exam! The vet will then give a physical exam – to your pal, not you, ha! The doctor will give you a call- This is also a great time to ask any questions you have. Once the exam is complete, if necessary, we will discuss any diagnostic and treatment options.
- Wrap up! After any diagnostic and/or treatment options have been discussed or performed, we’ll call you to collect payment, and the technician will escort your VIP (very important pet) back to your car for the big handoff! If any follow-up visits or procedures are required, we’ll get you hooked up before you go!
But how do I actually “break-up” with my current Vet?
Well that’s a great one! It’s not as hard as you think. We actually make the transition of caring for your fur baby super easy and take all the worry out of your hands and their paws! Whether you are transferring because you moved here to this awesome city, or you just aren’t happy with your current vet. Here is what you can expect from us and what to do in this instance…
First things first! Definitely talk to your current vet. Keeping open communication is very important for not only you, but your fur baby’s health as well. Tell your Vet your plans. If it’s a move, let them know or if you just want to bring yourself to the awesomeness of PAZ, they should know that too!
If they were a long time veterinarian for you, saying goodbye to them can be tough. Take this opportunity to explain your reasoning. If it’s because you truly are unhappy let them know how they can improve themselves and make their practices even better! Or if you just want to keep it quiet, like your mom said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Just don’t bash them. No one needs that kind of negativity since it won’t be helpful to anyone in the end.
As we mentioned above, records are super important! Feel free to bring those in or email them to us! You can also ask your vet before ya go and they can get those for ya! BUT, we know how break-ups can go. 🙁 We can reach out to them as well and collect those records, just tell us who to contact and give us at least a 24hr notice and it’s that easy!
Puppy and Kitten Visits – They are so smushin cute!
Do I have to bring a poop sample for my puppy or kitten’s appointment?
While it does require an extra stinky step from you, we promise that bringing a fecal sample is for a good reason!
Allow us to explain:
Just like human babies, puppies and kittens have underdeveloped immune systems. And, like we all know and love, puppies and kittens have immense curiosity for the world around them, and they often explore this new world by eating dirt, grass, and sometimes feces – blehh! With a shiny new immune system and crazy things being ingested, GI parasites can sometimes make their way into those cute kiddos! No baby wants a worm baby, except for maybe a baby bird.
We want your kiddos to have a stellar start to life. Because of this, we find that fecal testing at every examination, starting with their first, is a good way for us to monitor for pesky parasites.
Can you please tell me when you guys recommend spaying or neutering our fur babies?
This is definitely a great question with some evolving perspectives in the veterinary world! As of today, there is no universal consensus in the veterinary community about the most optimal time to do the procedure.
We see every patient as the unique individual that they are, and your veterinarian will help determine the best timing for your baby! All that we ask is that we have seen your little fur babies within the past 6 months, so that we can ensure we are pursuing this procedure with the most current snapshot of your pets health.
Certificates, Travel, and ESP… Oh my!
So you’re looking to travel with your pet? Let’s be sure you get the most current, accurate information out there to ensure a smooth trip. We recommend Pet Relocation to assist you in this process. If you prefer to tackle this process on your own, below are the websites that you will need to visit to get the correct and most current information on pet travel.
- Interstate travel: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/interstate-pet-travel
- International travel: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel
Do you do Emotional Support Animal certificates?
Yes and it’s easy – some of us at PAZ have ESA kiddos as part of our own family! As part of the process to register these kiddos as an emotional support animal, a veterinarian simply has to fill in a portion of the certification form. PAZ is happy to say that all of our doctors are able to help with this part of the certificate!
Payments and Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship
What are my payment options at your animal hospital?
We are so grateful that you have chosen PAZ and will make things as easy as possible regarding payment. For this reason, we accept cash, all major credit cards, and Scratch Pay.
What is a veterinarian-client-patient relationship?
It’s all about the relationship – think of us like your aspiring best friend, of the human kind! Well, and aside from a lot of hyphens, a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) ensures that your pet is getting the best medical care possible.
For all prescriptions and refills we require a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR), as mandated by Texas law. A VCPR means that your pet and our veterinarian have stayed in appropriate acquaintance; simply put, by way of an examination within the past 12 months. Not only is it required by the Texas Veterinary Licensing Act and a prominent principle of veterinary medical ethics, it’s also the best medicine and PAZ believes your canine and cat kiddos deserve the best.
If you have any questions about VCPR, the American Veterinary Medical Association has a great explanation. And of course, we’re here to help as well!
Dentals and Surgeries
I have so many questions about this topic! Tell me, is blood work before an anesthetic procedure really necessary?
Surgery and anesthesia can be an emotional topic. In the case of anything related to anesthesia, blood work is especially important.
It’s important for us to fully assess your baby’s overall health before performing any type of surgery requiring anesthesia. The information we get from a physical exam and blood testing will help us make the best decisions possible, including the type of drugs, amount of fluids, and predicted response to anesthesia!
In short, we want to be as prepared as possible on behalf of your family member, just like we would want for our own family.
Just like when we do any surgery, we ask that we have seen your pet within the past 6 months. This ensures we can proceed with the most current picture of your buddy’s health!
Okay, that sounds great but why does my pet have to go under anesthesia for a dental cleaning?
Just like with us humans, brushing our teeth is great, but thorough cleanings are critical for true dental health. While we encourage you to brush your teeth and your pet’s pearly whites at home, most pets will still need regular dental cleanings to reduce tartar and plaque. It’s also a great opportunity for us to check for infected or broken teeth that your kiddos can’t speak to, if you know what we are saying? (cheesy pun intended)
Unlike most humans, even the best well-trained pets won’t know how to stay still and (gently) bite an x-ray plate or keep their mouth open on command. This is why we require anesthesia—for that thorough evaluation that’s as comfortable and quick as possible for your baby!
However, not every pet is a candidate for this type of procedure. Some pets might have health challenges that increase the risk of anesthesia, which is exactly why we do check blood work with a full exam before the procedure. You’re welcome, we really care for you guys and want things to go well!
In all seriousness, here is something very important to know about us : We practice the highest standard of medicine for our patients before, during, and after the procedure. We honestly treat and care for your kiddos as if it were our own, period.
Okay, so when we get the bloodwork done, how soon is it needed before the procedure?
It’s actually pretty low key. Blood work basically should be within a month before the anesthetic procedure. This is so we can tackle any concerns that might come up beforehand.
My pet just had an anesthetic procedure and seems a little anxious. Is this normal?
Generally, yes! Your pet went through a stressful event today, and sedating medications can sometimes be a little disorienting. The best thing you can do is keep your kiddos calm and relaxed. We tend to go over the top too so if you want to create a spa-like atmosphere at home, with limited sounds and light, along with easy access to water, that should help!
What Exactly is Holistic Medicine?
To be frank, this is our jam. PAZ Veterinary is all about finding the right combination of solutions for your kiddos. Every kid is unique, which is why we custom tailor a medical treatment plan to get them as healthy and happy as possible. It’s all about vitality!
To us, holistic medicine means finding solutions that nurture the well being of your buddy by supporting you, and most importantly your buddy! We study their medical history, consider relevant relationships within the entire body and environment and recommend appropriate testing—all for a thorough comprehension of your buddy’s health.
I’m interested in a more natural approach to my pet’s healthcare, after all, it is Austin! Do you offer any alternatives to conventional medicine?
You bet! We happily offer a natural approach to your pet’s healthcare. PAZ Veterinary believes in practicing a holistic approach to medicine. We also offer vaccine antibody titer testing for some core vaccines, nutraceuticals and supplements for optimal health, and we always aim to favor preventative care instead of over-vaccination.
Our veterinarians are open-minded, passionate, and love to discuss the variety of healthcare opportunities for your pet. To set up an appointment, call our hospital and specify your desired natural focus—we’ll get you matched with one of our veterinarians who can tell you more during your appointment.
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) FAQs
What is Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is a medical system that was developed in China and has been used to treat animals for thousands of years. TCVM is an adaptation and extension of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is used to treat humans. It encompasses acupuncture, herbal medicine, and food therapy. TCVM can be traced back to 2,000 years ago, yet it continues to evolve today.
In ancient China, it was discovered that the health of the body relied on the Vital Life Force, or Qi (pronounced “chee”), flowing smoothly within the body. If the flow of Qi is disturbed or obstructed, one can develop pain or disease due to an imbalance of Qi. Qi flows through the body on meridians, which are like pathways, connecting the entire body. The goal of acupuncture is to balance the flow of Qi through stimulating certain acupuncture points, or areas where the Qi gathers in the body, along these meridians.
Acupuncture uses very fine needles to stimulate the body’s own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory response. It relaxes muscles, helping to relieve both local and generalized pain. Research has demonstrated that acupuncture causes the release of endorphins, serotonin, and endogenous opioids, which can alleviate pain and anxiety without the use of pharmaceuticals. It also improves blood flow and oxygenation, and even helps remove metabolic toxins. Unlike medications, acupuncture doesn’t put your pet’s internal organs at risk of adverse side effects. If your pet needs medications and/or supplements, feel at ease knowing acupuncture won’t interfere with them or create adverse effects.
Herbal medicine is another branch of TCVM that may be suitable for your pet. Most pharmaceuticals were developed based on “natural” treatments already in place. If an herbal approach is likely to be effective and reduce the risk of potential side effects, we will work to help you identify the best time to initiate this form of therapy. As with any medication, you must always understand the risks and side effects, although they are generally minimal with herbs. The herbal medications may change over the course of your pet’s treatment as their condition may change. The herbal formulas we prescribe come from reputable sources that follow strict quality control standards.
Many owners look to TCVM as an alternative treatment option when they’ve tried conventional medicine without much success or as an adjunct to Western medicine. TCVM is not a quick fix for your pet, instead, it attempts to treat the root of your pet’s condition and there may be many layers that need to be peeled before the root is exposed. A mixture of conventional Western medicine and TCVM may be necessary to treat and/or manage your pet’s health.
What conditions can TCVM be used for?
TCVM can be used to treat and manage nearly any medical condition in pets. Some examples include mobility disorders related to arthritis, muscle soreness, and/or ligament injuries, many types of cancers, behavior and/or anxiety disorders, neurological conditions, skin conditions, and internal medicine disease.
What medical conditions should TCVM not be used in?
Acute emergencies and traumatic injuries are best handled with Western medicine first. Follow up treatment plans can include TCVM to provide pain relief and promote healing.
What should I do prior to my pet’s appointment?
All medical conditions are connected in TCVM, so please provide us with as much detail as possible regarding your pet’s medical condition(s). Please have all medical history sent to us ahead of time so the doctor has time to review it. Please complete the specific TCVM medical form we send you and sign the consent forms as well.
What should I expect at my pet’s first appointment?
Your pet’s first appointment is usually scheduled for 1 hour. It will include a complete TCVM physical exam, with a focus directed on the specific concern(s). We look very closely at our patient’s tongues to help formulate a diagnosis, yet sometimes our patients are not too amicable to this request. It can be helpful for you to attempt to take pictures of your pet’s tongue at home when they are relaxed.
We will review your pet’s medical history, discuss the TCVM patient form, and formulate a plan together. Sometimes it may be necessary to perform additional diagnostics to help guide your pet’s treatment.
We have you present for the duration of your pet’s visit to provide treats, pets, and encouragement if needed. We have blankets, floor cushions and treats, but feel free to bring your pet’s favorite bed, blanket, toy, and/or treat to help them relax during their visit.
You may see your pet respond to the acupuncture needles and that is a good thing. The goal is to induce the Dei-Qi response at the acupuncture points, which means their Qi is being stimulated. We use very fine needles and their insertion is virtually painless. Sometimes the acupuncture point is more sensitive due to a severe condition or the pet being very nervous. Your pet may turn to look at the doctor after they place a needle, they may move their leg or paw, and sometimes they try to remove the needle themselves. All of these responses are normal.
A lot of pets enjoy their acupuncture and relax during their visit and some fall asleep. Even pets that seem nervous and/or anxious during the visit still receive the benefits after they leave the clinic.
Your pet’s doctor will also discuss any herbal formulas that could help your pet. Keep in mind that herbal therapies may take up to two weeks or more before a significant response is seen. Herbs come in capsules, powders, tea pills, and tinctures. Any potential side effects will be discussed before herbal medications are dispensed.
What can I expect after my pet’s TCVM appointment?
We recommend your pet rest on the day of and the day after their acupuncture treatment. Specific instructions regarding activity will be discussed by your pet’s doctor.
It’s rare for a condition to worsen after an acupuncture treatment, but it is possible. Your pet may also seem lethargic. These changes are a sign that a physiological change is taking place and they typically pass quickly, with your pet improving as their Qi flow becomes more balanced.
We encourage you to keep a log of any changes seen in your pet’s mobility, sleep, appetite, etc. Even a subtle change can be important and this helps the doctor gauge your pet’s improvement.
How many follow up appointments are needed for my pet?
This varies depending on your pet’s condition as TCVM provides individualized care for each patient. Pets with chronic ailments and/or multiple conditions may need intensive treatment plans that involve acupuncture, herbs, and possibly diet changes. These pets will most likely need regular visits for three to six months. We may also recommend some home care instructions, such as Tui-na, which is TCVM massage. Some patients with a more acute condition may only need a few treatments and a short course of herbs and/or an integrative approach. Some pets may only need herbal treatments and some may only receive acupuncture. Please keep in mind that healing takes time and dedication from the healthcare team and the pet’s caretakers. Patience and positive energy are key to your pet’s healing.
Do healthy pets and/or young pets need TCVM?
What is a Veterinary Behaviorist?
A veterinary behaviorist is the equivalent of a psychiatrist, but for animals. A board-certified veterinary behaviorist has completed veterinary school, then an internship or equivalent, followed by a 3-year residency in behavior under a board-certified mentor. After finishing all requirements and passing a 2 day exam, they become a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Dr. Sirois has completed her residency and is currently studying to take her board exam.
What does the behavior service treat?
Dr. Sirois and her team treat a wide range of emotional concerns. The list includes anxieties including separation anxiety, fears and phobias including noise phobia, aggression, problems between pets within a household, compulsive disorders, and more.
What species does the behavior service treat?
Dr. Sirois provides comprehensive and tailored treatment to all species. Veterinary behaviorists receive training in the treatment of dogs and cats, as well as horses, farm animals, reptiles, birds, small mammals, and exotic species.
What should I expect at the initial appointment?
Prior to the appointment, the doctor will review a questionnaire form that you have completed, as well as all medical records related to your pet. During the appointment she will ask follow up questions while observing your pet’s body language and interactions with you and her team. She will also evaluate with you any videos that you bring of your pet’s behavior. Then she will explain any diagnoses and discuss options for your pet’s treatment.
A physical exam will be performed, typically with you present, if it will not cause your pet too much stress and is safe for everyone involved. Your pet’s doctor may recommend certain diagnostic tests like bloodwork if appropriate for your pet.
You and the doctor will then work together as a team to determine the best treatment plan for your pet. Since behavior therapies are not one-size-fits-all, each treatment plan is tailored to the individual. In some cases your doctor may recommend a medication or supplement in addition to behavior modification if appropriate to help you and your pet reach your goals.
How long is the appointment?
The initial consultation takes 1-1.5 hours and is conducted in-person. Follow up appointments range from 15 to 45 minutes and may be done in person or virtually, depending on your pet’s needs.
My pet takes something (medication or supplement) beforehand to make vet visits less scary. Should my pet take these meds before the consultation?
If they help, then yes! We want your pet’s visit to be as low stress as possible. That’s what we’re all about! The doctor will observe your pet and also use your reports of their behavior to diagnose and treat your pet. This means that the doctor does not need to see your pet at their most stressed in order to treat them appropriately.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Glad you asked! If you will email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, the behavior team can start the process and get you scheduled.
Vaccines and Prevention
My pet is overdue for vaccines, but he/she isn’t feeling well. Will my doctor vaccinate?
This is a good question, and the answer varies.
This decision is ultimately up to each veterinarian’s discretion. Your doctor will use their vast knowledge to gauge the situation and decide the safest course of action for your pet. We want to provide the best care possible and, sometimes, that means waiting for vaccines.
Should I purchase veterinary-specific drugs from PAZ Veterinary?
If you want to keep Austin local, then totally.
PAZ is a locally owned and operated business, which is a rarity for veterinary practices in Austin. In general, local buying supports local businesses, which supports your local community. We adore your pets and offer individualized recommendations on medications, which national online pharmacies can’t do.
Veterinary-specific medications, like heartworm and flea preventives (like Trifexis, Interceptor, Credelio, and Bravecto), are meant to be distributed solely through a veterinarian. The manufacturers of these medications understand that a proper veterinarian-client-patient relationship is important for the safe use of medications.
For your pet’s safety, we highly recommend purchasing these types of medications from an animal hospital. It’s the surest way to guarantee proper handling of the products.
We also have an online store for each PAZ location that you can check out which supports us just the same!
Why does my pet need to come in for an annual exam?
You might say we have separation anxiety. (Just kidding.)
We like to see all of our patients at least once a year. Pets age much faster than humans, so the more we see a pet, the better we can detect problems quickly.
Our approach to medical care is with a focus on preventative medicine. This includes regular physical exams, including heart and joint checks, early detection screening tests, home dental care and in-clinic dentistry.
Plus, we love seeing your pets!
How often should my pet be tested for heartworms?
If you’ve ever seen a photo of heartworms, you’ll understand why we recommend testing annually. If your pet has been off of a preventative for longer than three months, we might want to retest for heartworms at that time too. Your veterinarian will come up with the best course of action for your pet.
Should my pet always be on heartworm prevention?
A hard yes. It’s very important for your pet to be on heartworm prevention. Your veterinarian will advise on the proper frequency, so make sure to have a constant open dialog with our practice.
I just moved to Texas from another state. Is there anything important I should know about?
We love Austin, but the Texas summer can be brutal.
Be conscious of your pup’s exposure to extreme heat and possible stroke, particularly for any brachycephalic (AKA smushed-face breeds) because they can’t pant as well to cool themselves. Ways to avoid heat exposure include early morning and late evening walks, avoiding walks on hot surfaces, misting before and during, and providing lots of H20.
If you’re ever concerned about your pet’s heat tolerance, find the nearest water source and soak them down rapidly. Once they’re cool, give us a call!
In addition to heat, Texas is one of the top five states for heartworm disease in the nation. For this reason, it’s highly recommended to use heartworm prevention year round. We’re happy to counsel everyone to develop an appropriate individualized plan for each pup.
Also, exercise caution with plants. The sago palm is beautiful but deadly, so ensure that your pet is kept away at all times. Oleander is a beautiful flowering desert shrub, but ingestion can cause severe cardiac toxicity and death. If your dog likes to eat plants in the yard, don’t plant these two!
Austin is a swimming dog’s paradise! For our swimmers, we recommend rinsing off immediately after leaving the water plus a quick ear clean once you get home to reduce bacterial pathogens and potential infection. Avoid swimming after heavy rains, and try to bring fresh water to limit your pup from drinking excessive amounts while swimming.
Fear Free Care
My pet is terrified at the vet. What can I do to prepare for the appointment?
At PAZ Veterinary, all of our veterinarians are fear-free certified, and we’re in the process of certifying our entire staff as well.
The certification means that we follow fear-free guidelines every step of the way. No stone goes unturned, and we do whatever we can to limit stress for your pet. If your pet is particularly anxious, we may recommend a supplement or medication to help reduce that fear for the upcoming appointments.
Since each case is different, we also make behavior notes in your pet’s file so we can improve their experience in the future.
In addition to changes on our end, we also provide open-minded owners with techniques to help reduce anxiety at home. In extreme cases, we’ll offer referrals to trainers that also employ fear-free techniques.
(Can you tell how much we adore pets?)
If your cat or dog is aggressive, prefers male or females, or has specific triggers, we want to know. Please call us ahead of time and our fear-free certified team will be prepared to ensure the best experience ever.
How will you guys contact me?
Our lovely veterinarians and staff strive to provide open and convenient lines of communication. Sometimes we may reach out via email OR by phone to check in or to give results. Please be sure to check both your voicemail and your email for correspondence. We will always make sure that we have your contact info up to date, but if anything changes, please let us know!
Uh oh… I can’t make my appointment…
We get it… things happen. To accommodate all of our pets and pet owners we ask that you please try and give us a call to cancel or reschedule at least 24hrs in advance. Missing scheduled appointments multiple times will require an Exam Deposit before booking future visits. The entire Exam Deposit will be applied as a credit to your visit, but will be forfeited in the event of another missed appointment. Please understand we have created this policy out of respect for all clients that may be waiting to have their pets seen.