Frequently Asked Questions
My pet seems healthy. Are annual examinations necessary?
Yes. Similar to people, annual examinations are important in maintaining your pet’s health. Pets age much more quickly than we do. One year to us is the equivalent to 5-7 years in your pet. Annual examinations and wellness blood work help with early detections of ailments and diseases which can be monitored or even prevented with regular check-ups.
How do I know when my pet has a problem serious enough to justify bringing him to see the doctor?
The problem here of course is that there is a language barrier between humans and animals. You would like to just ask him how badly he feels and how long he has felt that way. People have a hard enough time deciding when they should see their own doctor. A general rule is that if you spot a problem that you know would cause you to seek medical attention if it were you instead of your pet, then your pet needs to be seen. More subtle problems that persist for more than a day or so at least warrant a phone call to the clinic so that we may begin the problem identification process. If our clinic is closed and you feel that your pet has a medical problem that should be addressed immediately, please contact one of our emergency clinics. Do not wait until we re-open in the morning.
What are the most common dental problems in pets?
Over 70% of all dogs and cats over five years of age suffer from periodontal disease. In most cases this process is uncomfortable, and it will eventually lead to problems such as tooth loss, bacteria in the blood stream, and damage to the kidneys, heart and liver. Small breed dogs tend to be predisposed to periodontal disease, and may begin to show signs of dental disease earlier than 5 years of age.
Why is my pet's breath so bad?
Bad breath is usually associated with bacteria in the mouth that produce sulphur containing compounds. These compounds not only smell bad, but they also are damaging to the oral tissues. Professional cleaning along with home plaque control provide the best results. Bad breath is occasionally seen with medical conditions such as kidney failure and diabetes, that is why your pet’s bad breath should be addressed by your veterinarian.
Should pets be fed milk?
People wonder if pets in general need milk. The answer is “no”. Many pets have an intolerance to milk, which can cause diarrhea. Milk is also not a good choice as a milk replacer for puppies and kittens, it is best to choose a milk replacer that is designed for your pet.
Is it true that houseplants can be poisonous to pets?
Many common houseplants can be poisonous. Most plants are toxic to your pet if he or she chews or ingests them. These include Jade plants, Philodendron, Easter Lilies, Poinsettia, Iris, Mistletoe, and English Ivy. If you believe your pet has ingested any of these plants, please contact our clinic immediately.
What are heartworms and why is heartworm preventative important?
Heartworms are worm-like parasites that grow to be several inches long and live in the right side of a dog’s heart. The larvae of the parasite are transmitted to dogs through mosquitos. The growth of the heartworms can block the flow of blood to your pet’s heart and eventually cause death. It is important to have your pet tested for this disease once yearly. A blood test can be easily performed in 10-15 minutes at our clinic. In order to avoid your pet contracting heartworms, once monthly heartworm prevention is necessary year round. We have two different products available at our clinic, Interceptor and Heartgard, and our veterinarians would be happy to help you decide which product is best for your pet.
How would I know if my pet has an ear infection?
Ear infections can cause your pet a great deal of discomfort. The first sign is usually an unusual odor. Look for signs of head shaking, smelly discharge or abnormal colored or excessive ear wax. These are all possible symptoms of an ear problem. If you suspect a problem, please call us for an appointment so we can determine the best treatment for your pet.
What is a dog or cat's normal temperature?
A dog or cat’s normal rectal body temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
What does it mean when my pet drags his rear end along the ground?
When your pet scoots on his or her rear end, it is most likely a result of an anal gland problem or an intestinal parasite. It is a good idea for your pet to be examined by a veterinarian in order to check their anal glands as well as be checked for intestinal parasites.
How often does a female dog go into heat?
A female dog goes into heat about twice a year. They may skip a heat cycle occasionally, but will seldom have an extra one. The cycle lasts 21 days in dogs. Alternatively, cats will go into their first heat between 5-8 months. A cat will remain in heat until she is bred. Small breed dogs generally have their first heat cycle earlier than medium or large breed dogs.
Why should I vaccinate my pet?
Vaccinations help to ensure the health and well-being of your pets by significantly reducing the likelihood of your pet contracting the disease for which it is vaccinated. To find out which vaccines would be appropriate for your pet, please schedule a consultation with one of our veterinarians.
At what age should my pet be spayed or neutered?
You should have your pet spayed before the end of his first year of life. Spaying and neutering is generally performed around 6 months of age, however, sometimes unwanted behaviors arrant a pet’s spay earlier than 6 months. It is generally accepted that there 90% less incidents of mammary cancer in females spayed at a young age. In addition, early neutering can significantly decrease the risk of prostatic disease, such as cancer and infection.
At what age should I begin trimming my pet’s nails and what are some rules of thumb I can use for trimming my own pet’s nails?
Begin trimming your pet’s nails when they are young so it becomes part of a routine and they become used to this type of grooming. When trimming your pet’s nails, trim in front of the place where you see the blood circulating, also called the quick. On black toenails finding this area can be difficult, therefore, it is easiest just to trim the part of the nail that has a hook a the end. Our assistants would be happy to teach you the proper way to trim your pets nails at your next visit.
When should a newly acquired kitten or puppy have their first visit to the veterinarian?
The sooner you visit the veterinarian with your new pet, the better. A doctor will make sure your new pet is healthy and recommend a vaccination schedule to protect your new pet against common diseases. They will discuss feeding, parasite control, neutering, and many other things to help you enjoy your pet for years to come. Our veterinarians are available for appointments at a variety of times in order to have your family’s new addition fit easily into your busy schedule. Please call for an appointment. We would love to meet your new pet!