Frequently Asked Questions
Q#1. How long does it take for a dog /cat to deliver after being bred?
A#1. The average is 63 days (60-65). Pregnant dogs should be checked for worms and be up to date on immunizations.
Q#2. I think my dog has mange. What should I do?
A#2. There are a number of things it could be. (Different types of mange, bacterial or fungal infections, ringworm, allergy) The pet really needs to be examined to determine the proper treatment or medication.
Q#3. What are the signs of distemper?
A.3. The signs of distemper can be confused with many different diseases. If your pet is sick in anyway, you need to bring it in for an exam. Runny eyes, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhea and lack of appetite may be early signs.
Q#4. How old does my dog/cat have to be to be spayed / neutered?
A#4. All pets should be spayed or neutered at 6 months of age. It is most beneficial for the health of the pet if done before the first “heat” cycle.
Q#5. How old does a pup have to be to start its shots?
A#5. Usually 6-8 weeks of age, we prefer to start deworming pups at 2-4 weeks of age due to the severe problems that intestinal parasites may cause.
Q#6. How much will the first shots cost?
A#6. The age of your pup/kitten will determine which vaccines we would do and how much the cost might be. We perform a thorough physical examination on all pets before vaccines to insure best results from the vaccine procedure. We generally do an exam, fecal, deworming and vaccines dependent on age. You also receive a free puppy/kitten kit, which includes 1st month of heartworm/flea medicine and a complimentary bag of science diet food.
Q#7. How long will my dog/cat stay in heat?
A#7. Dogs stay in heat an average of 3 weeks. They usually come in heat every 6-9 months. Cats are unlike dogs, they will almost constantly stay in heat until they are bred. Spaying your pet (cat or dog) will prolong your pets health.
Q#8. My dog is scratching at its ear. What should I do?
A#8. It could be a bacterial infection, ear mites, fungus, foreign body or allergy causing the problem. We need to examine the ear discharge under the microscope and look into the ear with a videoscope to determine the cause of the problem and the proper medication.
Q#9. My dog is in labor. What should I do?
A#9. We need to see her if her vaginal discharge is anything but clear, (green, bloody, etc) or the pet has been straining for 2 hours with no results.
Q#10. My dog is pregnant and due anytime. What should I watch for?
A#10. She usually will act restless and nervous when labor begins. A clear discharge will be present and within a couple of hours, a bubble should appear followed by a puppy being delivered itself. You can come by the clinic to pick up a handout about all the stages of delivery.
Q#11. When can I bring my pet in to be spayed / neutered?
A#11. We perform surgery Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. We prefer you drop your pet off the afternoon before so we can fast your pet for you and do the pet(s) pre-operative labwork. If you decide to drop off the morning of surgery, you will need to fast pet, (no food/water after midnight) and bring your pet in by no later than 8:30 a.m. on the day of surgery.
Q#12. How long will my pet have to stay after surgery?
A#12. We usually send the pet home the same day surgery is performed. Pets usually do much better and are much more satisfied at home in their natural environment. Occasionally, however, a pet may need additional in-hospital recovery time for monitoring which is why we offer a second night stay at no additional charge.
Q#13. What are the chances of my dog dying in surgery?
A#13. Because of our AAHA accreditation, pet(s) are monitored continuously during surgery. There are always some risks any time a person or animal is anesthetized, but we take every caution to minimize that risk. The risk can be significantly reduced by evaluating pre-op blood work on your pet to assess the organ functions, platelets for blood clotting, possibility of hidden infections, etc.
Q#14. How long must I wait after my pet has pups/kittens before I can have it spayed?
A#14. We prefer to wait about 1 week after complete weaning has taken place to allow the milk to dry up. This decreases the risks of post-op mammary swelling, incision line infections, etc.
Q#15. Can my pet be spayed while in heat or pregnant?
A#15. Yes, due to the enhancement of the reproductive tract and related blood vessels, there will be an additional charge during the heat or early pregnancy time. If in heat, the female must still be kept away from all males for at least 7 days after surgery to allow the “in heat” scent to leave her. She can no longer get pregnant at this time but could be seriously injured if mated. Any female midway or further in the pregnancy cycle can also be done, but the charges will be based on the Dr’s assessment and the length of time of the procedure. The further along in the pregnancy she is, the longer the procedure takes.
Q#16. Can people get intestinal worms from pets?
A#16. It is possible to get intestinal worms from pets by ingesting the pet’s stool that contains worm eggs. These worms can cause some serious health problems if this does happen. Children and all people handling pets and their stool should always wash their hands thoroughly afterwards. We recommend deworming all puppies/kittens at 2-4 weeks of age and every 3-4 weeks after that to prevent this problem. Our clinic can dispense you the safest, most effective medications at reasonable fees. DO NOT use over the counter meds. They are not effective against many intestinal parasites and may even be harmful. Older pets should be routinely examined for intestinal parasites every 6-12 months and placed on an appropriate monthly preventative.
Q#17. What are the signs of heartworms?
A#17. Some of the early signs of heartworms include weight loss, tiring during exercise, labored breathing or coughing. Your dog should be checked for heartworms each year and placed on preventative medication to be given once each month. When heartworm disease is caught early, before severe heart damage has occurred, we can treat these dogs very effectively, usually with no permanent damage.
Q#18. How much does it cost to have my pet dewormed?
A#18. That will vary with the type of parasite found on the fecal exam and whether liquid or pills are preferred along with how much the pet weighs.
Q#19. My child was bitten by a dog. What should I do?
A#19. Wash the wound with soap and water, and then contact your physician or the health department. If the dog is a stray without tags, call the animal shelter or health department.
Q#20. My dog is pregnant. Can she have her shots now?
A#20. Some vaccines are OK to be given during pregnancy and some are not. The Dr’s can best advise you on this after doing a comprehensive physical exam on her. She should definitely be checked for heartworms and intestinal worms and treated appropriately.
Q#21. Are puppies born with worms?
A#21. Very often so, up to 95%. They also can be infected with some types through the mother’s milk after nursing. We recommend deworming puppies at 3-4 weeks of age and every 2 weeks after that. You are welcome to pick up medication at our hospital to perform this procedure yourself.
Q#22. My dog died from parvo. How long must I wait before getting another dog?
A#22. Wait at least 30 days; disinfect thoroughly anywhere the previous pet may have had vomiting or diarrhea by using a Clorox solution (4 oz in 1 gallon of water); vaccinate pet BEFORE taking it home. PARVO CAN LIVE ON YOUR PLACE FOR UP TO 7 YEARS.
Q#23. When is the best time to breed my dog?
A#23. The dog should be at least 12-15 months and in her second heat cycle before attempting breeding in order to allow her maximum growth prior to pregnancy. Your female dog should be “in heat” for about 2-3 weeks altogether. There will be a bloody discharge and vaginal swelling the first week and she should start attracting males. The middle week should be when she will allow the male to mount and breed. We recommend attempting to breed every day starting about 7 days after the bleeding begins. Once she allows the mating process, skip a day, and then allow mating to occur every other day until she no longer allows it. This is usually a total of 2-3 matings. We recommended that prior to breeding she be up to date on all preventative health care.
Q#24. Can I breed my dog on its first heat?
A#24. We don’t recommend this because she is still a growing dog. If she gets pregnant, a lot of the nutrition she consumes will be passed on to the developing puppies and will stunt her growth and development.
Q#25. How old does my pet have to be to get a rabies shot?
A#25. Rabies vaccination is required by law at 4 months of age, and then according to state law (again in 1 year and then every 3 years). Vaccination for distemper/parvovirus, kennel cough, etc. is also important as is heartworm prevention. These can all be done at one time for your convenience.
Q#26. What vaccinations does my ferret need?
A#26. Ferret distemper vaccinations are started at 8 weeks of age and boostered once. Rabies vaccination is given at 3 months of age. The kennel cough vaccine is also recommended at 3 and 4 months of age if exposed to dogs. Ferrets should be routinely checked for intestinal worms, medicated appropriately and heartworm prevention started.
Q#27. Your Flea Products don’t work!
A#27. Flea control is an ongoing battle. It requires thorough treatment of the yard, house and the pet. The products we dispense are the best available and work well when used properly. There is no easy answer to flea control.
Q#28. What do puppies need?
A#28. Starting at 8 weeks of age, they need a series of puppy immunizations and dewormings. As well, it is important that they have a good quality of nutrition. ?
Q#29. How soon can my cat/dog get pregnant?
A#29. Pregnancy can occur as early as 4 months of age; cats and small breeds come in heat earlier than larger breeds. We recommend spaying them prior to that first heat to greatly decrease this possibility.
Q#30. What’s included in your boarding fee?
A#30. The fee includes Science Diet food (if your pet needs another brand or variety of food, we ask that you bring it along) and all care including giving routine medications required by the pet. Pet(s) are walked 3 times daily.
Q#31. Do you bill?
A#31. Yes through a company called Care Credit. We also accept checks and all major credit cards.
Q#32. My dog has a “sore” on his back. Can I come get some medication?
A#32. We would recommend your pet be seen. It could be a variety of things including a “hot spot” which could get worse without proper therapy or drainage from tumors, etc.
Q#33. My dog has a runny eye(s). Can I pick up some medication for it?
A#33. There are many causes of eye irritations and infections. We cannot properly determine the correct medication without examining the pet. If the wrong medication is dispensed, additional damage may occur, even blindness. For this reason, it is important you have the pet examined.
Q#34. What are the signs of parvo?
A#34. Listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea – often with blood. If your pet shows any of these signs, you should bring it in immediately. The earlier treatment is started, the better chance we have to save the pet.
Q#35. My dog is vomiting but I cannot bring it in. What can I do?
A#35. No food or water for 12 hours. If your pet is not better within 24 hours, we recommend diagnosis and treatment.
Q#36. My dog was in yesterday for vaccinations and deworming. Now it is passing long, round worms. What should I do?
A#36. A dog will pass roundworms for 24-48 hours after deworming medication is administered. This should cause no problem. It is very important though to make sure follow-up deworming is performed.
Q#37. My dog was dewormed one week ago. Now he’s passing these little white worms. Why didn’t your worm medicine work?
A#37. These are tapeworm segments. Unfortunately, tapeworms only show up on the lab test about 10% of the time because they are only passed periodically. Tapeworms are caused by the ingestion of fleas so your dog should also be treated for fleas. We also recommend all pet(s) in the environment should be treated for fleas and the environment itself should be treated.
Q#38. My cat has stopped using his litterbox. What can I do?
A#38. There is a strong possibility something physically is wrong. The cat needs to be examined immediately. There is a problem in cats called “FUS” (feline urological syndrome) that can be very serious and even threaten the life of your pet.
Q#39. My dog is constipated. What can I give him?
A#39. It is possible that there might be an intestinal blockage and a laxative could cause serious problems. It needs to be examined as soon as possible.
Q#40. My dog had a bath/dip at the groomers 3 days ago. Now he has fleas again, why?
A#40. The pets living environment is probably infested with fleas and MUST be treated to decrease the source of fleas. As well, the insecticides used at the groomers were probably pyrethrin based and have little residual activity. We would recommend one of our topical monthly products, (Advantage or Frontline). Come in and we can explain further.
Q#41. My puppy vomited up his worm medication on the way home from your office.
A#41. Some puppies do get carsick, you should come by and pick up another dewormer to give at home.
Q#42. My dog has diarrhea. What can I give him?
A#42. There are many causes of diarrhea-infections, irritations and internal parasites. For proper diagnosis the pet should be brought into the clinic for an examination.
Q#43. I have some baby kitten/puppies with fleas. What can I use?
A#43. You must be very careful with what you use as many of the products available, especially over the counter, can be poisonous. What is the age? Capstar can be safely administered at 4 weeks and Advantage at 6 weeks. As well, if one of the monthly topical is used on the mother and the environment is treated, the babies should be taken care of as well.