What do I do in case of an emergency?

True emergencies (difficulty breathing, persistent seizures, sudden lethargy, profuse bleeding, etc.) cannot be treated via house call. Just as with human emergencies, animal emergencies require an immediate hospital visit.

Daytime Emergencies:

Rhinebeck Animal Hospital
6450 Montgomery St, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
(845) 876-6008

Emergencies after 6 pm, Weekends, or Holidays:

Kingston Animal Emergency Clinic
1112 Morton Boulevard, Kingston, NY 12401
(845) 336-0713

How soon will I be able to get an appointment?

Please note that we cannot provide same day appointments, though we do normally accommodate scheduling within 1-2 business days of your call, if needed.

What is the advantage of in-home care?

Home visits are less stressful for everyone: no loading into carriers, riding in cars, sitting in waiting rooms, and less chance of exposure to contagious illness. House calls also save time and travel expense. Most importantly, they allow significantly more time with the veterinarian, ensuring that your animal is being treated with thorough attention.

How long do appointments last?

Most are 1 to 1.5 hours long, including exam and consultation. Wellness appointments are typically 45 minutes.

Are house calls more expensive than hospital visits?

You can expect to pay a house call fee ($35-$65, depending on distance) for a visit, in addition to a typical exam fee. However, for a variety of reasons (free puppy/kitten exams, conservative vaccination, etc.), appointments are usually comparable in price to those of a regular veterinary hospital, despite a much longer consultation. In addition, clients tend to find that our proactive approach can save overwhelming expense in the long-term.

What services can be provided in house call appointments?

We provide the same services as a regular hospital, with the exception of emergency care, surgeries/dentals, x-rays/ultrasound, and hospitalization.

What if my animal requires one of the above services?

We are happy to work in conjunction with another veterinary hospital where you have a preexisting doctor-client-patient relationship. We will gladly send records and lab results to another hospital as needed. If you do not have a hospital preference, we refer to Rhinebeck Animal Hospital in Rhinebeck, NY, Hudson Highlands Veterinary Group in Beacon, NY or Upstate Veterinary Specialties in Albany, NY.

Is an appointment necessary? Can I consult with the doctor over the phone?

Legally speaking, a valid doctor-client-patient relationship needs to be established through a physical exam (updated annually) in order for veterinary advice to be given or medications prescribed. Similarly, a newly developed problem can only be assessed or treated appropriately with an exam.

How far will you travel for a house call?

We generally serve Kingston and the Rondout Valley of Ulster County, and are still accepting new clients in Kingston, Stone Ridge, Accord, Olivebridge, Rosendale, High Falls, Rifton, Tillson, and New Paltz.

When should I suspect that my animal might need to be hospitalized instead (home visit not the best course of action)?

If your animal displays any of the following:

  • Not eating or drinking much
  • No urination in more than 12 hours
  • Uncontrolled, frequent vomiting
  • Jaundice (skin turning yellow)
  • No bowel movement in more than 2-3 days

Many times these symptoms are mistaken for end-of-life manifestations in an older animal, but this is not necessarily the case, and hospitalization may reverse the problem.

How do I know if it's time to put my animal to sleep?

This decision is seldom easy. However, if your animal has a known or suspected terminal disease that has caused it to lose interest in food, interaction, or activity, or if he/she is clearly in the process of dying, euthanasia is the most humane and compassionate course of action.

Do you provide cremation services after home euthanasia?

Certainly. We will take your animal with us after euthanasia for cremation and, if requested, his/her ashes will be returned to you approximately one week later in a beautiful wood photo frame urn. We partner with Hartsdale Pet Cemetery and Crematorium in Westchester County to provide this respectful rest for your beloved animal. Please ask us if you are interested in memorial services, pet cemetery burials, cremation participation, or other styles of urns.

Does my animal need a rabies vaccine?

All dogs and cats in the state of New York are required by law to be vaccinated for rabies at a minimum of every 3 years. A 1-year vaccine is mandatory by law if your animal is:

  • Receiving the rabies vaccine for the first time
  • Overdue for its rabies vaccine

In rare cases of debilitating or vaccine-exacerbated illness, a rabies exemption may be provided. Puppies and kittens cannot receive their first rabies vaccine before 3 months of age. Please ask us about the safest rabies vaccine for cats.

Is my animal over-vaccinated?

This is a rampant problem. Despite three decades of evidence-based veterinary immunology research, veterinary business practices and misinformation still result in millions of animals receiving vaccines or a frequency of vaccination that serve no practical function. These vaccines can, however, put animals at risk. We make education on this topic a primary part of our practice.

Will I receive vaccine reminders?

Yes. These are sent via our automated system directly to an email you provide, 30 days before the vaccine or procedure is due. Please give us a call if you need to update an email address.

Is my animal eating the right food?

It can be difficult to believe, but the majority of animals eat pet food every day that directly causes or exacerbates chronic disease. We strive to prevent this from happening through education and dietary modification.

What does it mean that you practice "proactive veterinary medicine"?

Many of the most common animal diseases are entirely preventable through simple measures. However, the majority of veterinary hospitals practice conventional medicine in which medications, "prescription foods", and/or surgery are used reactively to treat symptoms of disease once they have already developed. Although equipped to treat symptoms, proactive veterinarians focus on preventing disease through proper diet, exercise, and avoidance of potentially harmful exposures.

What method can I use to pay for the house call?

We accept checks (made out to Ethical Veterinary), cash, and credit cards.

What if my animal needs a refill medication?

Occasionally, Dr. Jefferson will dispense medications at an appointment. However, most medications/preventatives are quickly ordered from our online pharmacy via this website, either at the appointment or on your own. Dr. Jefferson will immediately receive an alert to review and write prescription labels for any orders you may place. If doctor-approved, medication will then be delivered directly to your street address. Our online pharmacy also offers auto-ship and timed mailing of individual-dose preventatives!

How often should my animal be examined?

Apparently healthy animals should be examined annually. It is ideal for geriatric animals to be examined every 6 months, especially if you've noticed changes in their urination, eating, drinking, weight, or ability to tolerate exercise. Animals with chronic illness (kidney disease, diabetes, etc.) may need to be examined more regularly.

Are discounts offered for multi-animal households?

Yes. We offer a 15% discount off the exam fee for each additional animal examined at the appointment.

Do you have an office that I can visit?

No. We are strictly a house call practice and do not have an office for medication and sample drop-off/pick-up. Requested lab samples are always delivered and picked up from your home free of charge.

Can my animal's records be sent to you from another hospital?

Yes, but legally you must call the other hospital to make this request. You can ask that records be mailed to you, you can pick them up from the other hospital, or you can have the hospital fax them directly to us at 845-853-1533.