Success Stories


Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you need any additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Are you one big practice?

No. The LifeCentre is a multi-specialty center that is the home for nine progressive, independent veterinary specialty practices. The LifeCentre fosters a collaborative environment and each practice considers their fellow practices their partners. You can contact The LifeCentre and one of our administrative staff with direct you to the practice you are looking for, or you can contact the specialty practice directly. Please click here for all the contact information.

What is a specialist?

A specialist is a veterinarian that has undergone an additional 3 to 4 years of training in their particular specialty, such as surgery or internal medicine. The specialist completes a 1-year internship in their chosen specialty and then 2–3 years of residency. Once complete, the specialist must publish a paper and sit for a series of exams. They receive the prestigious title of Diplomate once they pass their exams and complete all the other requirements.

Is my family veterinarian a specialist?

Your family veterinarian is considered a general practitioner, which means they are the best resource for your pet's wellness and preventative care. Just like your family doctor, your pet's primary care veterinarian may refer your pet to a specialist if they feel they can benefit from their additional expertise.

Why would my pet need to see a specialist?

Your family veterinarian should always be the first person you turn to when your pet is ill or injured, the exception being if it is an emergency and your veterinarian’s office is closed. Our emergency and critical care practice is open 24/7 for these cases. Your veterinarian will perform all the appropriate tests and if they believe your pet is in need of additional, specialized care, they will refer you to a specialty practice, like the ones here at The LifeCentre. Because a specialist had undergone the additional years of training and other requirements, they are experts in their field and will have more insight into your pet’s specific illness or injury. They will work with you and your family veterinarian to develop a treatment plan that is best for your pet.

Do I need a referral?

If you are scheduling an appointment with a specialist at any of the practices, you will need a referral. If you are bringing your pet in for emergency services, no referral is necessary.

What forms of payment do you accept?

The accepted payment forms will vary by practice; however, all the practices accept most major credit cards, checks, and cash. Please click here to locate the phone number for the specialty practice you are seeking.

Do you accept pet insurance?

Pet insurance is becoming a more and more viable option for those wishing to provide the best possible care for their pet. There are various pet insurance companies in the market today, so be sure to research which plan best fits your family's budget and your pet's health needs. Your pet insurance company will supply you with the claim forms you will need to bring with you to your veterinary practice and have the veterinary staff complete. You pay the veterinary practice directly, and then mail or fax the claim form to the insurance company. They will reimburse you the appropriate amount allocated by your plan.

Each practice here at The LifeCentre will have different guidelines on pet insurance; please click here to locate the number for the specialty practice you are seeing.

What do I do if my pet needs emergency care?

If your pet is need of emergency care, please call 703-777-5755 or 866-904-1909 immediately. Animal Emergency Critical Care is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Learn more about Animal Emergency Critical Care.