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Frequently Asked Questions




Dr. Helwig:

Do I need an appointment to bring my pet in?

Will an appointment guarantee that I won't have to wait?


An appointment will assure that your pet gets treatment in a timely manner. Drop-in clients will get seen as time allows, but often that just isn't possible. We do our very best to make sure that our patients with appointments get seen as soon as possible. Due to emergencies, even clients with appointments may need to wait for a time before seeing the doctor.

Can I buy pet food and pet supplies at the Neighborhood Animal Hospital?


We sell a wide variety of specialized pet foods developed to meet particular medical needs of patients with digestive issues. We also carry a supply of hypoallergenic pet shampoos, flea treatments and other medical supplies to help your pet stay healthy.

Does the Neighborhood Animal Hospital accept personal checks? Credit Cards?


We generally expect payment at the time of service, and do accept personal checks with proper identification. We are also happy to accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express cards.

What about health insurance for my pets?


While we do not bill pet health insurance providers directly, we can make certain that our clients with pet health insurance policies get the documentation needed to file claims for reimbursement.

Pet health insurance can be expensive and we don't recommend any specific companies. On the other hand, emergency treatment can also be very expensive, and it can be cost-effective to have a high-deductible policy in place to assure you can afford to give your pets the treatment required.

Neighborhood Animal Hospital does not endorse any particular insurers, but a link is provided here so you can get an idea of how pet insurance works.

How can I tell if my pet is sick?


In most cases, if you notice a radical change in behavior, or a marked increase or decrease in appetite or water consumption, it is likely that pets, with much smaller bodies and a very limited ability to describe their feelings, need to see a doctor.

Be careful about poisoning your pet!


There are many items in your home that can be dangerous for your pet. Click here to link to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association website's extensive list.

Many plants in your yard or home may be poisonous for your dog or cat. For instance, ingesting even small amounts of rhododendron or azalea, oleander, lily or yew can be harmful or fatal to your pet. For an extended list of plant poison dangers, click here.

Symptoms of poisoning may include some of the following: drooling, diarrhea, lethargy, siezures, unconsciousness, irritation to skin and/or mouth, and vomiting.

If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, contact Neighborhood Animal Hospital or, after hours, the Salem Veterinary Emergency Clinic immediately.

In cases of poisoning, time means everything!


Can I call the Doctor for medical advice, or do I need to come in?


As time allows, Dr. Helwig is always glad to speak to her clients on the phone regarding general questions about their pet's health. After all, she considers them her friends too. On the other hand, it can be very difficult to answer some questions without actually seeing the patient.

My schedule makes daytime appointments difficult. Can I drop off my pet on the way to work?


Drop-off appointments can be a convenient way to make sure your pet gets the treatment they need when you need to be someplace else. Whenever possible it is a good idea to be there when the doctor or staff are treating your friends so you can answer any questions they have and receive instructions in helping your pet. Having owners present also reassures animals in an unfamiliar environment.

What if my pet has an accident?


Call the Neighborhood Animal Hospital at (503) 362-5233 immediately! They may advise you to bring your pet in right then. If you call after hours, you will receive a recorded message about how to contact the Salem Veterinary Emergency Clinic