FAQ's Exceptional Care for 
Exceptional Pets

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you only see emergencies?

Not at all! We are a complete veterinary care facility, providing physical examinations, vaccinations and preventive care; medical and surgical services; dentistry, radiology, pediatric and senior care; orthopedic and laser surgery; in-house specialists, laboratory services and more! We do see our fair share of emergencies, but that is only the tip of the iceberg! FYI: Our emergency services are provided for our clients and pets only.

2. Can you bill me later?

The Animal Hospital of Barrington receives no financial support from charitable organizations, government agencies or any other third party payment. In order to offer high-quality veterinary medicine, it is required that every client be prepared to pay for all services as they are rendered. We do not extend credit or accept partial payments. For your convenience, we accept cash, checks (local banks only, with a valid license), VISA and Mastercard.

3. Do you take walk-ins?

We know that sometimes in an emergency it is not possible to call ahead, but for routine services and non-emergencies (ie. vaccines, ear infections, rash, etc.) we do operate by appointment. Everyone loves a smooth-running schedule, so please help us maintain ours by calling ahead.

4. Do you offer grooming?
Not presently but we haven't ruled it out for the future! We do carry an assortment of shampoos and conditioners if you are the "do-it-yourself" type!

5. What are your hours?
By appointment:
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday - CLOSED for family time

6. How do I get there?
We are located on route 125 in Barrington, just seconds north of the junction of routes 125 and 9, also known as "Calef's Corner." We share our driveway with the Appledore Medical Group (Barrington Family Practice and Advanced Orthopedics). For more information, click here.


7. I just want a rabies shot for my dog, nothing else. How much is that?
Our primary concern here at The Animal Hospital of Barrington is with your pet's health, and therefore we do not do vaccinations without an exam. Unknown medical conditions or disease can be cause for serious complications, even with something as "basic" as a vaccine. We also encourage you to become familiar with the other preventive health measures which are in your pet's best interest, above and beyond what is required by law. During an examination, your pet's overall physical condition, skin, eyes, ears, heart, lungs, muscles and bones, and teeth will all be evaluated, and recommendations made and/or treatments prescribed as necessary. It is our goal to ensure a long, happy life for your pet and we encourage you to take an active role in this endeavor. We welcome you to call the office to inquire about fees and any other questions you might have.

8. What actually happens during a physical exam?
There seems to be a misconception as to why pets need to see a veterinarian yearly. Most owners think the most important reason is so that their pet can "get his shots" and that anyone who knows how to give a shot and has access to vaccines can do it. In reality, the most important reason is so that the veterinarian can look at your pet and determine if there are any abnormalities that an untrained eye may not notice. There are many things your doctor looks at when you take your pet in for his "shots". Here are just a few things we look for as a part of your pet's physical exam; from the moment the doctor sees your pet, the physical exam has already started.

Overall (from a distance exam)

  • Gait: Is there any limping or stiffness? Is the stride length and range of motion normal? Does the pet have normal coordination/neurological control? Is there any weakness?
  • Attitude: Is the pet bright, alert and responsive? Does he appear to be able to see and hear?
  • Is his weight appropriate or is he too thin or too fat?
  • Is his haircoat shiny and healthy looking?


  • Is he holding his head normally, or is it held too low or tilted? Does he lift it willingly and move it side to side? Is it painful if you move his head?
  • Does he have a nasal discharge? Is there evidence of bleeding from the nostrils?
  • Is there any eye discharge? Are the corneas smooth and clear? Is he squinting? Tearing? Is the anterior chamber of the eye clear? Does the lens appear normal or cloudy? Is the conjunctival color normal or reddened? Is the conjunctiva inflamed? Are the scleras white or yellow? Do the eyelids close normally? Is there adequate eye lubrication? Are there any eyelid masses?


  • Is there an odor? Is there calculus or tartar buildup? What color are the gums (White? Brown? Pink? Red? Bluish??) Are the gums inflamed? Is there pus from the gumline? Are there recessed gums or exposed roots? Bruising or bleeding of the gums? Gingival masses?


  • Is there any redness? Wax/dirt in the ears? Inflammation of canal? Itchiness? Odor?


  • Are the lymph nodes normal size and firmness?
  • Is there dependent edema?
  • Does the pet cough on tracheal palpation?

Front Legs

  • Is there any lameness (limping)?
  • Are the elbows close to body (not pointing outward)? Is there any evidence of bone proliferation due to arthritis?
  • Is there any grinding inside the joint on movement, or fluid in the joint
  • Is the gait and range of motion normal?
  • Are the nails normal length and wearing evenly?


  • Do the lungs sound normal? (no wheezes or crackles, air movement normal and on both sides, no muffled heart sounds, lungs inflate to normal degree, pet is taking normal breaths)
  • Are the heart sounds normal? (correct rate range for species, breed, and level of activity or excitement, no murmurs or arrhythmias)


  • Is the animal under or overweight? By how much?
  • Are there any areas of pain in the abdomen?
  • Are there any palpable masses or fluid in abdomen?
  • Listen for excessive gas or fluid noises in digestive system
  • Assess size and shape of abdominal organs (accuracy varies with size of animal and
  • Assess abdominal wall for any masses or herniations

Overall (from a distance exam)

  • Is the hair coat normal thickness and distribution? Is it shiny and free of dandruff? Are there bald spots? Mats? Broken hairs?
  • Is the skin color normal? Does the skin have an odor? Are there scabs or wounds? Swellings? Masses? Is the skin itchy?


Is the rectal temperature in the normal range? (100-102.5 F)

  • Is there evidence of rectal bleeding? Are there any anal swellings or abnormal discharge from anal glands? Is there evidence of diarrhea on the tail fur?
  • Is the animal neutered? If not, are both testicles normal size, shape, and firmness? Masses?

Rear Legs

  • Assess muscle mass and tone
  • Are there any swellings?
  • Assess range of motion, especially at hips
  • Is there any pain in the lumbar spine or hips?
  • Are the lymph nodes normal size and shape?
  • Is the weight bearing surface normal? (not walking on one side of foot, etc)
  • Is the nail growth and length normal?

This entire physical exam process may take only a minute or two for an experienced veterinarian. Any abnormal findings may lead to a more in-depth look in a given area (ie complete eye exam, looking in the ears with an otoscope, rectal exam, etc.) or additional diagnostics. If you have noticed anything abnormal about your pet or his behavior, be sure to tell the doctor during the physical exam.

9. Do you offer boarding?
Not currently and while The Animal Hospital of Barrington does not endorse one boarding facility over another, we would be happy to provide you with the names of facilities our clients know and like. We also have information on in-house pet sitters, who will see to your pets' care while in the comfort of their own home.

10. Do you see birds/snakes/turtles/other exotic pets??
While we of course love all animals, our practice is "small animal," meaning cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits and various "pocket pets".

Have a question that's not answered here? Please contact us!

Why Choose Us?

  • We Have 85 Years of Combined Vet Experience Under One Roof
  • We Have a Highly Skilled & Licensed Veterinarian Technician Team
  • We Are a Compassionate & Family-Centered Animal Hospital
Ready to Find Out Why So Many Pets Love Us?

Contact Our Friendly Team

Whatever your furry family member needs, our team is ready to help. From routine checkups and dental care, to more advanced diagnostics and surgery, we will always treat your pets like a member of our family.