What to Expect River Road Veterinary Hospital

Because They're Family

What to expect when visiting River Road Veterinary Hospital

Serving the Greater Andover Area

For those of you who have not visited with us at River Road Veterinary Hospital before, we would like you to know what to expect when you come in for an appointment. It’s very important to us that both pets and their parents feel comfortable when they are at our facility. Our veterinarians and staff go above and beyond to make sure that’s the case, whether this is your first visit or you’ve been coming here for years.

We created a virtual appointment in photos to familiarize you with our hospital and process. You can also see a video, "Brix's Trip to RRVH," on our Facebook page or YouTube channel for a dog's view of what an appointment at RRVH is all about.

If you’re ready to schedule your appointment, reach out to us at (978) 306-4144. We provide care to pets in Andover, Lawrence, and Methuen.

Checking In

When you first enter the hospital, we ask you to check-in with the receptionist. They will confirm the reason for your visit and let the rest of the team know that you have arrived. If you are a new client or bringing in a new pet, we will borrow any pet records you have to open a medical record. If you would like to fill out this form in advance, you may complete it online in the Patient Resources section of our website, or you can complete it once you are here. You will then be shown to one of our five examination rooms.

Pet Nurse Exam

Your pet nurse will do a pre-exam, which includes taking your pet's temperature, pulse, respiration rate, and weight. They will discuss the reason for your visit and pass along any specific questions or concerns you have to the doctor.

We will also discuss preventative health care, including:

  • Heartworm prevention
  • Flea and tick prevention
  • Nutrition
  • Vaccinations

We’ll also do a risk assessment to determine how your pet lives and make recommendations accordingly.

Additional Exam Services

If you would like your pet's nails trimmed, ears cleaned, or other procedures done, just let us know and the pet nurse will do these for you. Before any treatments are done, your pet nurse will show you a treatment plan, and you can discuss any possible concerns and costs. In order to make sure that you are never surprised by an invoice at the front desk, we make every effort to inform you of any costs in advance.

Any questions or concerns you have for the doctor will be relayed to your veterinarian in addition to the findings of the pre-exam. You can always contact us after you leave if you have any additional concerns.

Doctor Exam

This exam starts even before your pet is on the exam table. When our veterinarian enters the room, they will observe your pet’s behavior and will be able to detect certain problems right away, if there are any. For example:

  • How your pet walks around the exam room gives an indication of neurological status and possible arthritis.
  • How your pet takes and chews a treat helps us evaluate not only additional neurological points but also potential dental and ocular (eye) issues.

Your pet is then examined on the exam table so that they associate the table with anything potentially unpleasant and not the exam room itself. The room is a safe place and they’ll learn to be more relaxed in general.

The doctor will do a comprehensive physical exam, from the tip of your pet's nose to their tail. If vaccinations are due, they will be done in the exam room, unless you request for them to be done in the treatment area. The doctor will discuss any physical exam findings that are of concern and answer any questions you may have. If blood work needs to be done, the pet nurse will take your pet to the treatment room for blood collection. For more involved diagnostics (i.e. x-rays or certain blood tests), it may be recommended to admit your pet to the hospital for several hours.

Medication & Follow-Up Appointments

The pet nurse will complete the exam by preparing any requested medications and reviewing directions with you. They may demonstrate various home techniques, if necessary (i.e. tooth brushing, ear cleaning, etc.). They will also schedule your next appointment at our Andover pet hospital. This is done for several reasons, including making sure that your pet doesn't miss their next treatment or exam and allowing us to spend more time with patients and less time calling to schedule appointments. Once all your questions have been answered, you will be shown to the front desk to check-out.


If any prescription diets have been recommended, we will be able to get these for you from Gustopher's. We will also schedule any follow-up appointments if that hasn’t yet been done in the exam room. You can also stop by Gustopher's for a pet toy for a job well done!

Ready to make your appointment with our highly-trained veterinarians? Reach out to us today. We look forward to seeing you and your pet.

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See What Makes Us Different
  • Dedicated to the Long-Term Health and Happiness of Pets of All Ages.
  • River Road Veterinary Hospital Is Happy to Take Care of All Your Pet Care Needs.
  • A Team of Veterinarians and Staff That Are Dedicated to Your Pet’s Health and the Quality of Care They Deserve.
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  • “Your pets are in great hands at this office.”

    - Ally Young
  • “I’m glad I brought her here instead of anywhere else.”

    - Keisha Guzman
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    - Gary H