There is no question too big or too small for our veterinary team. Below are some answers to our most common questions.

Cat lying on a wood surface

We proudly serve the pets of Elk Grove Village, IL, and beyond.

At Oakton Animal Hospital, we get a ton of interesting questions from pet parents. Below are some common FAQs that might help answer any questions or concerns. Please feel free to call us at (847) 439-8090 for any other concerns you might have about your pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I have an after-hours emergency with my pet and your office is closed?

Hopefully, we will always be open when you need our help, but occasionally, and each evening, we close and are not available. Whenever we are not here, we always leave our answering machine on with specific instructions for you on obtaining after-hours help for your pet. Please have paper and pen ready to write down our suggestions when you call us. Our telephone number is (847) 439-8090. You will be instructed who to call and where to take your pet for emergency help. Should you need emergency services, they will be sure to let us know that your pet has been there to see them so that we may provide you with follow-up care for your pet after the initial emergency visit. As always, if you feel your pet’s problem is NOT an emergency and can wait until the next time we are in the office, you may leave a message, and we will be sure to contact you quickly upon our return.

How often should I bring my pet in to see the veterinarian?

This is an excellent question and an important one! In general, pets under 8 years of age should be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year. It is generally accepted that pets 8 years old and older are considered seniors. Beyond 8 years of age, pets should be seen by a veterinarian at least twice a year. Even pets that never leave the comforts of home should still be seen by a veterinarian on an annual basis in order to catch problems before they get worse. You would be amazed what a veterinarian can see, feel, smell, and hear upon doing a complete physical exam, that you were not aware of. A once-a-year examination is recommended to catch problems at their earliest stage before they worsen or become potentially life-threatening. Over 8 years of age, most veterinarians agree that a pet should have an annual blood screening to determine what is going on inside the pet. The physical exam allows the veterinarian to detect problems on the outside of the body and the bloodwork complements the exam by checking out the insides of the pet.

How long does a typical checkup appointment last?

If your pet is healthy and you are coming in for an annual wellness exam, you can expect to spend about 1/2 hour or so at our hospital. If your pet is sick or otherwise not doing well, we will need to spend more time together investigating the cause and taking an accurate history. With an ill pet, expect to spend at least one hour at our hospital, from start to finish. Although we do go exclusively by appointment, despite our best efforts we occasionally are running a bit late. We will make every attempt to service your needs quickly, thoroughly, and professionally, understanding that your time is a valuable commodity.

When my pet comes in for the annual wellness visit, what should I expect will be recommended?

Each year the veterinarian will perform a comprehensive physical exam as well as answer any and all questions you might have about your pet’s health. In addition to the physical exam, your veterinarian may recommend any or all of the following depending on your pet’s age, overall health, and risk factors:


Vaccinations for Rabies, Distemper/Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella (Kennel Cough) and Lyme disease are available

4Dx screening – This vital test should be done once a year for EVERY dog. The results let your veterinarian know if your pet is infected with Heartworms, a deadly parasite which is treatable if caught early.

Stool sample – A technician will examine your pet’s stool under the microscope to check for the presence of harmful intestinal parasites. If parasites are identified, an appropriate deworming plan will be recommended.

Wellness blood screening – A small sample of blood is obtained to check your dog’s organ function (kidneys, liver, etc.) as well as check the red and white blood cell counts.

Medications – Your veterinarian will recommend appropriate preventative medication for your dog including Heartgard (for Heartworm prevention), Nexgard (for fleas and ticks), and perhaps others.


Vaccinations for Rabies, Distemper/Rhino/Calicivirus, and Feline Leukemia are available. Your veterinarian will discuss which of these are recommended for your pet

Stool sample – A technician will examine your pet’s stool under the microscope to check for the presence of harmful intestinal parasites. If parasites are identified, an appropriate deworming plan will be recommended.

Wellness blood screening – A small sample of blood is obtained to check your pet’s organ function (kidneys, liver, etc.) as well as check the red and white blood cell counts.

Medications – If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, the veterinarian may recommend Heartgard (for Heartworm prevention) and/or Frontline Plus (for flea and tick prevention). Although Heartworm disease, fleas, and ticks are less of a problem in indoor-only pets, we have seen these parasites occur many times in pets that “never go outside”. Your veterinarian can help you decide which medications make sense for your pet.

What should I bring with me to my pets examination visit?

If you are a new client and have not been to our hospital before or if it has been a long while since your last visit, please use our new client form. Here you can download and print our “New Client form” or complete it online. By filling this out and bringing it with you to your first appointment, it will save time and energy upon your arrival. In addition to the completed form, we always recommend that you bring a fresh stool sample from your pets. This is important whether your pet is coming in for an annual wellness exam or if your pet has any sort of intestinal upset (diarrhea, vomiting, etc.).

My pet’s teeth are getting very dirty and brown, and I have noticed that her breath is getting very foul. What do you recommend?

These may be early signs that your little, furry friend is suffering from periodontal disease. In a nutshell, as tartar builds up on the teeth, the tartar gets under the gumline, destroying the tooth’s attachment to the bony socket. The tooth gets infected (or abscessed) which is quite painful, and then eventually rots completely. Although oral pain and odor are of major concern, the greatest risk is that infection can spread from the mouth to the internal organs (heart, kidneys, liver), thereby decreasing the lifespan of these organs and ultimately shortening the life of the patient. We strongly encourage you to have your pet’s mouth examined by one of our veterinarians if you are experiencing any of these signs. Prompt attention to the problem is the key to eliminating pain and preventing a small problem from becoming a large one! Call us today at (847) 439-8090 to schedule an oral examination for your pet.

What type of pets do you see at Oakton Animal Hospital?

At this time we are only seeing dogs and cats. With the arrival of specialty practices that see ONLY exotic pets, we have determined that it is in the client’s best interest to see one of the many exotic animal specialists in the area for all other species. We would be happy to suggest a hospital in the Chicagoland area to assist you with your bird, reptile, or pocket pet.

What makes Oakton Animal Hospital different from other area animal hospitals?

At Oakton Animal Hospital, we are very proud to deliver that “small-town feel with big-city technology”! Unlike some of the larger animal hospitals in the area, we pride ourselves in knowing you and your pet and providing a more personalized experience. You won’t end up seeing a different veterinarian every time you come to our practice and all of our employees have been here for many years. We also pride ourselves in having a clean, comfortable, odor-free environment, and in treating you and your pets with the respect you both deserve. Because at Oakton Animal Hospital, “pets are people too”!

But don’t just take our word for it, check out what our amazing clients have been saying!