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FAQs

Puppy

  • There are many health benefits to spaying or neutering your puppy. For females, these include decreasing the risk of mammary cancer (especially spaying prior to their first heat), eliminating the risk of a pyometra (infection of the uterus), and ovarian cancer.  For males, this can decrease the risks of a perineal hernia, benign prostatic diseases, perianal adenomas, roaming behavior, and male-on-male aggression.
  • Spaying and neutering also helps with population control.
  • The general recommendation of when to spay or neuter your puppy is around 5-6 months old. However, there is research showing it could be beneficial to wait longer for large breed dogs, closer to 9-12 months old. It is still ideal to spay females (dogs and cats) prior to their first heat, unless otherwise recommended by your vet. If you have a large breed dog, please ask your vet the ideal time to spay or neuter.

  • 6-7 weeks old: first puppy visit
    • This includes a routine physical exam, explanation of introducing your puppy to training, diet recommendations, vaccine schedule and recommendations based on his/her life style, explanation of heartworm/intestinal parasite and flea/tick prevention, nail trim, fecal exam (please bring a stool sample), and their first vaccine (if they haven’t already received it).
    • First vaccine: : DHPP Combo vaccine (Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza) – These are viruses your puppy can be introduced to when socializing with other dogs or puppies.
    • We will need to booster this vaccine every 3-4 weeks until your puppy is 16-20 weeks of age. This is because we are introducing viruses allowing them to create their own antibodies, however we are also competing with their maternal (mother’s) antibodies until they wane around 16 weeks old.
  • 9-10 weeks old: second puppy visit (age depends on when your first puppy visit is/when you adopt the puppy)
    • Second vaccine: DHPP Combo vaccine (Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza).
    • Talk about Bordetella vaccine – this is for kennel cough. If your puppy is going to be boarded, groomed, or go to doggy day care, we will recommend this vaccine as they are at a higher risk of this being around other dogs/puppies.
  • 12-13 weeks old: third puppy visit
    • Third vaccine: DHPP Combo vaccine +/- leptospirosis.
    • Introduce leptospirosis vaccine – This is a zoonotic (animals can give to people) disease dogs can get from drinking standing water that little critters (opossums, raccoons, squirrels) have urinated in. We can discuss your puppy’s lifestyle and if they are at risk. This vaccine will need one more booster.
  • 16 weeks old: last puppy visit
    • Fourth vaccine: DHPP Combo vaccine +/- leptospirosis.

Rabies vaccine: This is a neurologic virus that your puppy could contract from raccoons or bats in this area. Legally, puppies are required to have this vaccine.

  • Ideally, within a week of adopting your new puppy. It is important to ensure your puppy is healthy and discuss any questions you may have about adopting your new furry friend. Please see “puppy visit schedule” above to learn what this exam includes. Getting your puppy established at the vet clinic is helpful for any future problems you puppy may encounter.

  • We recommend feeding puppy food until they are 80% fully grown. This can be difficult to determine especially when we don’t know the parents’ sizes. Usually this is consistent with introducing them to adult food around 9-10 months old.
  • Please take the introduction to a new diet slowly. Even though you may be feeding the same brand and same protein, it is still a new formula you are introducing to the puppy which can be tough on their digestive tract. Start with 75% old/25% new, then 50%/50%, then 25%/75% over a 2 week period.

  • It is exciting to bring your new puppy home and introduce him to your other animals. Taking this process slowly will help aid in proper introductions. This means bringing the puppy in and seeing how your pet reacts to him/her. If they are hesitant, do not force the puppy on them but allow the older dog/cat to take their time to meet the new puppy. You may need to keep the puppy gated off in a different area to give the older animal breaks. This will help your older animal relax for a little while. You may need short but frequent introductive meetings. It all depends on the behaviors of your puppy and older animal. If you have questions, please call us!

Kitten

  • Kittens should be seen at a clinic prior to introducing them to a cat/cats already in the home. Ideally, they should be seen within a week of adopting your new kitten. Kittens can be exposed to Feline Leukemia, Feline AIDs, upper respiratory viruses, and intestinal parasites.
  • During the first visit, we highly recommend testing your kitten for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDs (FeLV/FIV test). These diseases can be transmitted from other cats and the kitten’s mother.
  • It is important to ensure your kitten is healthy and discuss any questions you may have about adopting your new furry friend. Please see “kitten visit schedule” below to learn what the first visit includes. Getting your kitten established at the vet clinic is helpful for any future problems you kitten may encounter.

  • We recommend feeding kitten food until they are almost fully grown. Usually this is consistent with introducing them to adult food around 1 year old
  • Please take the introduction to a new diet slowly. Even though you may be feeding the same brand and same protein, it is still a new formula you are introducing to the kitten which can be tough on their digestive tract. Start with 75% old/25% new, then 50%/50%, then 25%/75% over a 1-2 week period.

  • We highly encourage owners to avoid declawing their cats. This procedure is an actual amputation of their third phalanx, called an onychectomy, which is equivalent to amputating a person’s third knuckle. Cats and kittens walk on their toes so this procedure causes them to have to change their gait, creating arthritic changes in their wrists, elbows, shoulders and back. It is also very painful since they do not have a choice but to walk on their newly amputated toes. Research has shown many declawed cats have behavioral changes, even directly after the procedure, but most later on in life. Behavioral changes include aggression, urine marking, and not using the litter box.
  • We promote alternatives including:
    • Nail trims – we would be happy to show you how at your appointments.
    • Training – similar to training puppies not to bite.
    • Increase the use of scratch posts in social areas.
    • Using Feliway or Feliscratch to discourage scratching furniture and encourage scratching on scratch posts.
    • Soft paw – nail caps.

  • There are many health benefits to spaying or neutering your kitten. For females, these include decreasing the risk of mammary cancer (especially spaying prior to their first heat), eliminating the risk of a pyometra (infection of the uterus), and ovarian cancer.  For males, this can decrease the risks of a roaming behavior which decreases the chance for getting hit by a car or getting into a cat fight. Non-medical benefits include decreasing risk of spraying in the house and decreasing the strong urine odor.
  • Spaying and neutering also helps with population control.
  • The general recommendation of when to spay or neuter your kitten is around 5-6 months old. Males can be neutered a little earlier than this if they start to show marking or aggressive behavior. It is ideal to spay females prior to their first heat, as this greatly reduces their chances of mammary cancer.

  • 6-7 weeks old: first kitten visit.
    • This includes a routine physical exam, explanation of introducing your kitten to training, diet recommendations, vaccine schedule and recommendations based on his/her life style, explanation of heartworm/intestinal parasite and flea/tick prevention, nail trim, fecal exam (please bring a stool sample), Feline leukemia/Feline AIDs test (felv/fiv test), and their first vaccine (if they haven’t already received it).
    • During the first visit, we highly recommend testing your kitten for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDs (FeLV/FIV test). These diseases can be transmitted from other cats and the kitten’s mother. This test is especially important if you are going to be introducing your new kitten to other household cat friends.
    • First vaccine: : FVRCP Combo vaccine (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia) – These are viruses your kitten can become exposed to if they get outside, meet another cat, accidentally get out of your house and are taken to a shelter, etc.
    • We will need to booster this vaccine every 3-4 weeks until your kitten is 16-20 weeks of age. This is because we are introducing viruses allowing them to create their own antibodies, however we are also competing with their maternal (mother’s) antibodies until they wane around 16 weeks old.
  • 9-10 weeks old: second kitten visit (age depends on when your first kitten visit is/when you adopt the kitten)
    • Second vaccine: FVRCP Combo vaccine (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia).
  • 12-13 weeks old: third kitten visit
    • Third vaccine:  FVRCP Combo vaccine +/- Feline Leukemia vaccine.
    • Introduce Feline Leukemia vaccine: This is recommended mainly if your kitten is going to be an indoor/outdoor cat. They could be introduced to this virus through interactions with other cats.
  • 16 weeks old: last kitten visit
    • Fourth vaccine:  Combo vaccine +/- Feline Leukemia vaccine.
    • Rabies vaccine: This is a neurologic virus that your kitten could contract from raccoons or bats in this area.

Adult Dog

  • Yes, they can! They see the color spectrum like a red-green colorbind person. They can see shades of violets, blues, yellows and greys. Reds and greens are basically shades of yellow to them.

  • The short answer is through transmission from mosquitoes but let’s dive into that answer further.
  • An adult female heartworm is living in a infected dog, fox, coyote or wolf that then produce baby worms called microfilaria. These are circulating in the bloodstream. A mosquito will bite the infected animal and obtain a blood meal which picks up these baby worms. They develop within the mosquito (required for the survival of the heartworm) and mature into the infective stage larvae over 10-14 days. Once developed, the mosquito will continue to bite other dogs and animals depositing the larvae into the animal’s skin. This allows the worm to enter into a susceptible animal and get into the bloodstream. Once in this new host, it takes around 6 months for the larvae to develop into an adult heartworm. These heartworms can live for 5-7 years in a dog’s heart and 2-3 years in a cat’s heart. This lifecycle will then continue and cause more animals to become infected.
  • This disease is so much easier to prevent than to treat. A monthly dewormer is highly recommended! We carry Interceptor Plus, Heartgard Plus, and Revolution.
  • Treatment is thousands of dollars, and prevention is ~$8-20/month!
  • We recommend year round prevention to ensure proper protection of your furry friend.

  • Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which are classified as methylxanthines. Usually, the more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it could be. An overdose of chocolate can cause hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, and potentially death. Vomiting and diarrhea, increased thirst, increased urination and lethargy have also been seen with chocolate consumption. Please call if your dog every consumes chocolate and we can direct you with the next steps.
  • Other household items:
    • Ant baits
    • Silica gel packets
    • Any human medications
    • Liquid potpourri
    • Cigarettes
    • Bread dough
    • Moth balls
    • Rodenticides
    • Xylitol (in gum)
    • Cleaning products
    • Acetaminophen
    • NSAIDs (Aleve is very toxic!!)
    • Antidepressants
    • Anti-freeze
    • Garlic, onions, grapes, raisins

  • We are advocates of preventative medicine rather than waiting for problems to treat. Dogs age much faster than we do and we can help prevent or slow the progression of diseases. A full physical exam is recommended yearly. Your veterinarian will look at your dogs nose, eyes, ears, gait, coat, skin, teeth, listen to their heart an lungs, look over their musculoskeletal and neurologic systems, and more.
  • We also recommend a yearly heartworm and tick disease test (blood test), and intestinal parasite test (fecal test)
  • A yearly bloodwork panel is also recommended. This allows us to catch a number of diseases before it’s too late. Blood panels help us see red blood cell, white blood cell and platelet numbers. It also helps us to evaluate the kidneys, liver, pancreas, protein levels, and electrolytes.

  • This depends on your dog’s lifestyle.
  • Core vaccines include rabies and dhpp (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and panleukopenia). After your puppy gets his or her yearly vaccines, these will both be due every 3 years.
    • Rabies is required.
    • Dhpp is highly recommended.
  • Leptospirosis vaccine: This is a yearly vaccination that is recommended for dogs who will be outside an exposed to puddles or any water. Leptospirosis is a bacterial spirochete dogs can get by drinking contaminated water. Rodents, raccoons, opossums, etc. that are carrying the disease urinate in water sources or near them. This is a zoonotic disease, meaning a disease people can get from contaminated water too. A lot of vets believe this should be a core vaccination.
  • Lyme vaccine: Lyme disease is caused by bacterial spirochete that is carried by the deer tick. We, unfortunately, have these ticks and this disease in our area. We highly recommend tick prevention, either topical or oral monthly prevention. To get further protection, we also recommend this yearly vaccine. Lyme disease is zoonotic, meaning we can also get this from tick bites.
  • Bordetella vaccine: This disease, also known as “kennel cough” is caused by a bacteria called bordetella bronchiseptica. We recommend this vaccine for dogs that are exposed to other dogs in a kennel situation, doggy day care, or boarding facilities. This is a yearly vaccine that is given orally at our clinic.

  • The best thing would be to give us a call to make an appointment. This behavior may seem like an annoyance, but this can be very difficult for your anxious pup to understand. Anxiety comes out in many different forms for our furry creatures. We need an adequate history from you regarding what your dog has been doing when you leave. If you could bring in some notes and any videos help too. We will guide you to find a balance of behavioral modification activities and potentially add in behavioral modifying medication if needed.

  • This could mean a few things, including an upset stomach/GI tract, a behavioral issue, they found something in the grass to eat, or maybe they actually like the taste (dogs can be funny like that!).
  • If you are seeing excessive grass eating, please give us a call and we would be happy to help you.

Adult Cat

  • There are many reasons to vaccinate your indoor only cat.
    • There is always that chance they could escape and get outside. They could be exposed to multiple viral diseases outdoors.
    • You could actually bring these viral infections home as they can stay stable in the environment or on you for up to a week depending on the virus.
    • Unfortunately, bats can get in your house.

  • Preventative medicine is key to keeping your feline friend happy and healthy. We encourage vaccinating to prevent them from becoming infected with viral infections. We also encourage yearly bloodwork to monitor for any diseases prior to start treating before it’s too late. We can also catch other things on physical exam such as dental health and arthritis.

  • Ideally, all cats should be on heartworm preventative. There is not a specific treatment for heartworm disease in cats so the key is preventing. Even if your cat is indoor only, mosquitoes can still get inside an infect your cat.

  • Yes! But not as vivid as we do!

  • Please allow for one litter box per cat PLUS one more!
  • Find a litter they like and stick with it. Cats hate change! (Most like fine grain litter)
  • Keep their litter boxes where they like them…they don’t like when you move them. Cats hate change!
  • Try experimenting with a covered box to see if they may like that better. (Plus an open one too)

Microchips

  • It is a small identification device, about the size of a grain of rice that gets implanted between your animal’s shoulder blades. It can be read with a microchip reader.

  • A microchip is not a GPS tracker. It is a device that can be scanned to find the number associated with your information.

  • A microchip is a implanted using a large needle between the shoulder blades. There is no surgery involved with the process and anesthesia is not required.

  • When your animal is found and brought to a clinic, shelter, police station or somewhere with the ability to read a microchip, they are scanned and their number is detected. That number is attached to your information and you will be called.

Surgery

  • Please make sure to withhold food after 10pm unless advised otherwise by your veterinarian. If your pet needs medications in the morning, you can give them a small amount of food in order to get the pills into them.
  • Please continue to leave water down and available to them. We prefer our patients to be hydrated when having surgery.

Poison

Medication

  • Please call us prior to giving any medication. Depending on what your dog is experiencing, we may or may not advise a medication you have, but it is always best to consult your vet first. There are several human medications that are highly toxic to your pet so please call! (Aleve is the most toxic NSAID to animals!)

Fleas

  • Please make an appointment to see us so we can figure out a plan together. Your animal, along with the rest of your animals will need to be placed on a flea preventative. We do not recommend any over the counter flea preventatives as most do not work and some can be toxic to your animal!
  • We will prescribe a flea preventative which will need to be continued for at least 3 months to take care of all fleas over their lifecycle. We will also advise you to spray your house and potentially call in an exterminator depending on the severity.

  • Please call to make an appointment right away and we will take you through the steps to figure out a plan.

  • Yes, your dog and you can still bring in fleas to your cat. They are still at risk with this situation. We highly recommend keeping your cat on preventative along with your dog year round now.

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