What are your Hours of Operation?
We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00am until 6:00pm, and on Saturdays from 8:00am until 12:00pm. On Saturdays our patients must be checked in by 11:00am to be seen. We are closed on Sundays and on most major holidays. In the event of inclement weather, please call our office at (910) 686-6297 or check our Facebook page for updates.
What is your payment policy; do you offer payment plans?
We require payment in full at the time of service. We also reserve the right to request a deposit, at our discretion, prior to service. Porters Neck Veterinary Hospital does not offer payment plans. We do, however, accept Care Credit which is a financing plan that allows qualified applicants to divide payments over several months. We are happy to provide you with Care Credit information, if you are interested.
We accept payment in the form of cash, check, debit/credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express) and Care Credit.
Can I call in a prescription?
Absolutely! We request that you call or email us 24 hours in advance for your refill. This time allows for us to review your chart to be sure that examinations and/or diagnostics are current for your refill. We will notify you if an appointment is needed before we can authorize a refill.
We understand that life happens and a 24 hours notice is not always possible. We will do our best to fill your prescription request in a timely manner, but please understand that filling your request may be not be done immediately. We advise that you call to check on your prescription status before coming in to pick up.
Do you see emergencies?
If your pet is an established patient of ours and is experiencing an emergency during regular office hours, they will be seen as our first priority. It is helpful, if you are able, to call prior to bringing your emergent pet in so we are able to prepare for your arrival. If you are unable to call, please do not hesitate to come right in!
If your pet has an emergency outside of our regular office hours, we recommend that you call and/or take your pet to:
The Animal Emergency and Trauma Hospital of Wilmington
50 Greenville Avenue
Wilmington, NC 28403
Do you see walk-ins?
Yes, however, we only see walk-ins for our established patients and reserve walk-ins during the week for patients that are sick. We strongly recommend scheduling an appointment, if possible, to avoid lengthy wait times, but we understand that hectic schedules can often make this difficult. You must be checked in before 4pm to be seen. There is an Urgent Care exam fee that is higher than our regular office visit fee. Please be aware that walk-ins are seen between our regularly scheduled appointments and wait times may be long. Our scheduled appointments take priority unless your pet is experiencing an emergency.
Are you open on Saturdays?
We are open Saturdays from 8AM-12PM. Saturdays are reserved specifically for walk-ins for our established patients. You must be checked before 11am on Saturday to be seen. Walk-ins on Saturday are first come first serve and are seen in the order they arrive. Wait times can be range from 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on how many patients are checked in at once.
Do you make house calls?
At this time, we are unable to schedule house calls. Please let us know if you have difficulty bringing your pet to the hospital and we will try our best to assist you.
Do you offer boarding?
Yes, we are happy to offer boarding for feline and canine companions. We encourage you to bring your pet’s regular diet and medications; towels and blankets are available at our facility, we prefer that you leave your bedding and toys at home. Please visit our Boarding tab or call the office at (910) 686-6297 for further information.
Do you offer grooming services?
Although we do not offer full grooming services, we are happy to provide bathing services (which include pedicure, anal gland expression and ear cleaning) and provide basic grooming to pets that require full medical sedation to be groomed. Please call if you have further questions about this service.
What do I need to provide to obtain a Health Certificate?
When you call to schedule your appointment, please have the information of your destination readily available to provide to our receptionist so we can prepare your documents ahead of your appointment. Please visit our Health Certificate tab for general information, airline requirements and tips.
Rabies Vaccine Information
1. According to North Carolina Health and Human Resources, “North Carolina rabies law requires that all owned dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age (NCGS 130A-185). One shot is not enough; rabies vaccinations must be kept current.” The first rabies vaccine a pet receives is only good for one year, so your pet must get another rabies vaccine one year after the first. Depending on which type of vaccine your pet receives, the second vaccine will be good for either 1 year or 3 years; we will discuss this with you at the time of vaccination.
2. New Hanover County also requires your pet to be registered by obtaining and maintaining a rabies license. It is the pet owner’s responsibility to ensure that this registration fee is maintained. The fee schedule is as follows:
Cat/Dog/Ferret Under 1 Year of Age
1 Year License:
Spayed & Neutered: $10.00
Not Spayed or Neutered: $10.00
Cat/Dog/Ferret 1 Year of Age or Older
1 Year License:
Spayed & Neutered: $10.00
Not Spayed or Neutered: $20.00
*Any owner of a handicap helper dog, which is used for seeing or hearing purposes and can show proof of spay/neuter, shall receive a license free of charge.
(Source: New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office)
Please contact the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office for payment, questions, or concerns:
Animal Services Unit
180 Division Dr.
Wilmington, NC 28401
910-798-7500 (main office)
What kind of food should I feed my pet?
Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer for this question. The type of food appropriate for your pet depends on their age, activity level, metabolism, allergies, and medical conditions. Here are some basic guidelines for selecting a diet for your healthy pet:
- Avoid “all life stage” diets and instead find a food designed for your pet’s life stage: puppy/kitten, adult, senior. If you have a large breed dog, find a diet labeled Large Breed, also.
- Find a diet that has an AAFCO label, preferably an AAFCO feeding trial label. AAFCO stands for The Association of American Feed Control Officials and exists to help regulate the manufacturing, labeling, sale, and distribution of animal feed. For additional information, visit http://www.aafco.org.
- We do not recommend feeding your pet a grain free diet. There is research linking grain-free diets to a disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
There are several prescription diets available for pets with certain medical conditions. Once we have evaluated your pet, we are happy to make recommendations on the best diet for your pet.
Can I give my pet “human medications” when they are sick?
There are several medications made for human use that can be toxic to your pet. Please contact us before you give your pet anything not prescribed to them.
Why did my cat stop using the litter box?
Cats can stop using litter boxes for a several reasons. The first step is to rule out any medical conditions, such as a urinary tract infection. If a medical condition has been ruled out, these factors should be considered:
- *Number of litter boxes: The general rule for cats is 1 litter box per cat plus 1 extra.
- *Location of litter boxes: The best location is usually in a quiet place away from heavy human traffic and away from food and water bowls. Suddenly moving a litter box to a new location can also confuse and/or upset them.
- *Type of cat litter/cleanliness: Suddenly changing the type of cat litter, even just changing scents, can upset many cats. If you must change to a different litter, do it slowly over the course of 1-2 weeks by gradually adding more of the new litter and less of the old. Many cats do not want to use litter that is already soiled; therefore regular cleaning (at least once a day) is a must. The boxes should also be emptied and scrubbed with a non scented soap once a week.
- *Type of litter box: Senior cats and overweight cats may have problems using some litter boxes. Please take this into account as your cat may not be able to comfortably get their body into the box.
- *Stress: It is very common for cats to eliminate inappropriately due to stressors in their environment. A new house, a new pet, a new baby, renovations, a stray cat outside, etc can cause stress to your cat. Any major changes in a cat’s environment should be introduced slowly and placing familiar objects (an article of your clothing, your cat’s favorite toy, etc) near the litter box may help to comfort them. There are also pheromone sprays or diffusers (such as Fel-a-Way) which can help calm your cat. These are sold at most pet stores.
My pet hates coming to the vet! What should I do?
It is not unusual for pets to become stressed at the vet’s office, just as many humans feel stressed about going to their doctor’s office. Pets often sense stress from their humans so, first and foremost, we recommend that you remain calm when bringing your pet in. It is often helpful for dogs to come in for “fun visits” every now and then. A “fun visit” is when your dog comes in to just get some love from the staff and a few treats! We don’t weigh them, get a temperature, or do anything medical during these visits. This will help your dog have a positive association with the hospital.
Cats are little trickier! Bringing your cat in a comfortable carrier rather than a box or in your arms helps a lot. Getting your cat used to this carrier prior to using it for travel will also help. Leaving the carrier out and open around the house with treats or toys in it will help them get used to it. Also, keeping the trip to hospital as calm and quiet as possible will help. When you arrive, feel free to inform the receptionists that your cat is stressed and request a quiet area for your cat to wait until we are ready for their exam.
Even after all these preparations, some pets may still be overly stressed or fractious at the hospital. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to remain calm and be assured that the staff is trained to compassionately handle your pet in a manor that will make sure they receive the care that they need.