Frequently Asked Pet Care Questions

+ Hours and Location

Wellesley Animal Hospital is located in the west end of Henrico County near Short Pump Town Center Mall. We are on Lauderdale Dr. Lauderdale Dr. is the road that leads to the main entrance of the mall.  We are about 1.7 miles south of that on the left. 

3430 Lauderdale Drive

Hours are:
Monday – Friday:  7:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday:  9:00 AM – NOON
Sunday:  Closed


+ Types of animals we treat and what to do with animals that we don’t treat.

We treat pets including dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians and occasionally fish. We do not treat farm animals including pot bellied pigs nor other small pigs. We do not treat wildlife pets such as foxes or skunks.

+ Vaccine schedule for a new puppy or kitten?

Recommended vaccines and schedules are individualized to your pet’s needs, level of health and lifestyle. Puppies and kittens need a series of vaccines, spaced at 3 week intervals, until they are 16 weeks of age.  They usually receive more than one vaccine at a time.  Puppies receive two to four, depending on their age, DAPP-L (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, Parvo, Leptospirosis) vaccines, commonly referred to as “Distemper” for short.  Most puppies will also receive one kennel cough vaccine and one rabies vaccine.  Kittens receive at least two FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia) vaccines, commonly referred to as “Distemper” for short.  Most kittens will also be recommended to receive two vaccinations, 3 weeks apart, protecting against Feline Leukemia. Kittens will get one rabies vaccine. The first office visit for a new puppy or kitten will be 30-60 minutes long and cost $68 plus the cost of vaccines and any testing or medication.  Subsequent puppy and kitten visits will cost less.

Vaccinations range between $24.50 to $37.00

+ Why does my pet need vaccines and preventatives if they don’t go outside?

Kittens and Puppies have growing immune systems.  They are unable to protect themselves from deadly diseases without the help of vaccinations.  It is possible for people to even bring these viruses into our homes on our clothing and shoes.  Many of the viruses are found in the soil, so even if your dog is going outside in your own yard, they may be at risk.  Many of the cat viruses are airborne and can be transmitted even through a screen door or window.  Rabies vaccine is required by law for dogs and cats, even indoor cats. Your dog or cat could be considered exposed to rabies even if rabies vector animal, such as a bat, was found in your house with your pet.

+ When should I spay my dog?

Wellesley Animal Hospital recommends that you spay your dog before it goes into its first heat cycle. Typically, you should spay your dog when she is between 6-months and 2-years old. Most dogs will be spayed around 9-months-old. Exact time will be discussed with the veterinarian to determine what is best for your pet and family.

Dogs may be spayed as adults as well, although there’s a slightly higher risk of post-operative complications in older dogs, dogs that are overweight or dogs that have health problems.

+ When should I neuter my dog?

Wellesley Animal Hospital recommends that neuter  your dog when he is between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. Most dogs are neutered when they are 9-months-old.

Dogs may be spayed as adults as well, although there’s a slightly higher risk of post-operative complications in older dogs, dogs that are overweight or dogs that have health problems.

+ When should I spay or neuter my cat?

We recommend spaying and neutering of cats by 5 months of age, as recommended by the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

+ Why does my pet need preventatives year-round? What are the options for Heartworm and Flea and Tick Preventatives?

Heartworm is a dangerous disease for dogs and cats.  It is spread by mosquitoes, and dogs are the natural host, but cats may also fall victim.   Fleas and ticks feed on your pets’ blood and can cause anemia as well as spread dangerous diseases.  Year round protection is recommended because these parasites can be active at temperatures as low as 45F, meaning, in our area, year round.  There are monthly flavored medications that you can give to your dogs for protection from all of these parasites.  There is liquid medication for cats that is placed on the skin, between the shoulder blades, once per month. 

+ Dental cleaning - why is it a “surgery” and why do we do dental x-rays?

COHAT is a medical abbreviation for Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment. Dental disease occurs below and above the gum line.  We are able to assess the crowns (above the gum line) of the teeth without anesthesia. 

However, more than 60% of the disease in dogs and cats occurs below the gum line and simply cleaning your pet’s teeth will not relieve their pain or resolve infection from “bad” teeth. A good oral health examination requires anesthesia, which is administered with careful control and monitoring. 

Radiographs or x-rays of all teeth (crowns and roots) are taken.  Any disease is treated by the veterinarian with oral surgery on the gingiva (gums) and teeth when required. 

+ Euthanasia - what to consider (QOL)

Euthanasia is considered when the quality of life of the pet is no longer what it should be.  We will help guide you through this important decision. Things that are considered are ability to eat, to move about, to defecate and urinate normally, to interact with people, and of course pain or suffering from terminal illness.  It is important that euthanasia is as painless and peaceful as possible.  Medications are given to sedate and relax the pet and then an overdose of anesthesia is given that gently causes the pet to go into a deep sleep followed by cessation of breathing, heart beat and brain function. We encourage you to stay with your pet and comfort and hold them as much as you would like. Some of the medications are given by injection into the bloodstream and therefore, we will usually place an intravenous catheter into one of the pet’s legs.  With this catheter in place, the pet can get comfortable in almost any position, and we can still safely administer the medication.  We perform euthanasia when it is best for you and the pet by scheduling an appointment.  The receptionist will prepare a comfortable spot in an examination room for your pet and show you immediately to the room, for your privacy and comfort.  Your veterinarian will come in and speak with you, answer any questions, and discuss any concerns and perform the euthanasia.  Sometimes, a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT), will come in and ask your permission to place the intravenous catheter.  LVT’s are very skilled and gentle and this is usually done in our treatment room, and so your pet will be away from you for a few minutes. 

+ Wildlife - do we treat it and do we take bats, raccoons, etc.?

As a service to the community, we will occasionally see and treat injured wildlife.  Wildlife always has the best chance of survival in the wild!  Therefore, we discourage taking in animals that appear to be young, orphaned, or learning to fly.  However, if you find an animal that has clearly been injured, for example, hit by a vehicle or attacked by a dog or cat, please call an Animal Care Officer.  They will transport the wildlife to our facility where we will administer immediate aid or euthanize if that is best for the animal.  We will then transfer the animal to a licensed wildlife hospital or to a licensed rehabilitator.  Mammals (bats, foxes, raccoons, opossums) are rabies vectors-meaning they can carry and spread this virus-which is deadly to humans and other mammals. For this reason, we only accept these animals from an Animal Care Officer.   

For Animal Care Officers-call the locality where the animal is found: 

Henrico County: 804-501-5000
Richmond City: 804-646-5573
Goochland County: 804-556-5302

CALL US: (804)364-7030

Wellesley Animal Hospital

3430 Lauderdale Drive
Richmond, VA 23233


Hospital Hours

Monday–Friday: 7:30 AM–6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

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