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FAQ

  • My pet vomited today. What should I do?
    If your pet is lethargic, not as active or perky as usual, disinterested in eating, not drinking normally, vomiting blood, got into the trash or may have eaten a foreign object or unusual food, you should withhold its food and call for an appointment. We will get your pet in for an exam and possible x-rays or blood work. If your pet does not show any of the above symptoms after vomiting, still keep it under observation to see if it vomits again. Remove it’s food for 12 hours and make sure that water is always available. If no more vomiting occurs after 12 hours has gone by, feed it two parts cooked whole rice and 1 part boiled chicken or lean hamburger for a day or two. If vomiting continues for more than 24 hours or occurs more than once in 24 hours, withhold food and make an appointment for an exam, x-rays and/or blood work.
  • How can I stop my dog from eating its stool?
    You may purchase a product called “Forbid” (or try meat tenderizer) to sprinkle on your dog’s food. It changes the stool, making it taste even worse. You may try “booby-trapping” any stool in the yard with hot sauce. However, you must be consistent. If your dog encounters any stool that has not been booby-trapped then it will take longer for your dog to stop this habit. Also try leash walking your dog and keeping the yard picked up.
  • My dog is itching and I think it has fleas; how can I tell?
    Fleas are small, dark brown-black insects. You can usually see them, often near the base of the tail or on the belly. They flee from light. You can also see “flea dirt”. This dark, grainy material in the hair coat or on the skin turns red when moistened, as opposed to dirt, that continues to be black even when wet.
  • What are normal body temperatures for dogs and cats?
    Average temperature for dogs and cats is 101.5. A range of 100.5 to 102 is probably okay. Always use a well-lubricated rectal thermometer to take your pet’s temperature.
  • Are rawhides chews safe?
    Rawhide chews usually do not cause a problem. Choking or blockage may happen if your dog swallows the whole chew or an un-softened chunk of it. Rawhide chews can upset some dogs intestinal system causing vomiting or diarrhea. It’s best to supervise your pet when it’s chewing on any toy.
  • Cold, wet noses are good, right?"
    A cold, wet nose may be a sign of good health in dogs and cats, but even a healthy pet can have a warm, dry nose on occasion. On the other hand, really sick pets can also have cold, wet noses. What does all this mean? Your pet’s nose is not a reliable indicator of your pet’s health.
  • Can my kids or family get worms from my pet?
    Roundworms, hookworms, giardia and coccidia can all be transmitted through stool-contaminated soil, sand boxes or litter boxes. In addition, cats can carry toxoplasmosis and shed it in their stool. If your pet has one of these worms/parasites and a member of your family comes in contact with its stool, they could become infected. Pet Vet recommends checking all pets’ stool samples on a yearly basis and deworming new kittens or puppies prophylactically. Also, cleaning up your pet’s stools daily will decrease the chance of these parasites being infective to your children or family.
  • My pet seems to have reactions to vaccines consistently. Should I stop vaccinating it?
    No, but Pet Vet doctors may modify the vaccine schedule or administer a pre-med PRIOR to vaccinating your pet. These measures should decrease the incidence and/or severity of the vaccine reactions. Also, Pet Vet offers blood work to determine your pet’s vaccine titer level; if the level is adequate your pet may not need to be vaccinated that year. We will discuss your concerns and formulate a plan prior to vaccinating your pet.
  • Why do I have to test my dog for heartworms if I give a preventative every month?
    Heartworm preventatives are not 100% effective. Sometimes a dose gets missed, spit out, vomited or is just not adequately absorbed, resulting in inadequate protection. Heartworm testing is a safeguard against your pet suffering from heartworm disease without your knowledge. Furthermore, giving some types of heartworm preventative to a dog that has heartworm infection may actually result in a shock-like reaction due to a rapid kill of immature heartworms.
  • When do dogs/cats come into heat?
    Puppies and kittens usually reach puberty around six months of age. After this time female dogs usually come into heat twice a year; on average the heat cycle takes about three weeks to complete. Female cats are different; they come into heat seasonally. Cats normally cycle at approximately three week intervals during the spring, summer, and fall.
  • Can my pet be spayed when she’s in heat?
    Yes, it can still be spayed. However, due to extra bleeding from an increased blood supply to the area, there is more risk involved and it may cost more. Pet Vet recommends most pets be spayed prior to their first heat. This surgery can be done starting at 4 months of age.
  • Why is a series of puppy/kitten shots necessary and will my pet need to have the series every year?
    The early series of vaccinations insures a good level of protective immunity in a young puppy or kitten. This is the age when they are most susceptible to many contagious diseases. A series of vaccines are given because it is unknown exactly when your puppy’s or kitten’s antibodies, received from it’s mom, are dissipating. At this time their own immune system must be stimulated with the vaccines to protect themselves. This loss of mom’s antibodies generally occurs somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks of age. Adult pets will usually need yearly vaccine boosters, but will not need to repeat the series.
  • Why is a series of puppy/kitten shots necessary and will my pet need to have the series every year?
    The early series of vaccinations insures a good level of protective immunity in a young puppy or kitten. This is the age when they are most susceptible to many contagious diseases. A series of vaccines are given because it is unknown exactly when your puppy’s or kitten’s antibodies, received from it’s mom, are dissipating. At this time their own immune system must be stimulated with the vaccines to protect themselves. This loss of mom’s antibodies generally occurs somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks of age. Adult pets will usually need yearly vaccine boosters, but will not need to repeat the series.
  • My pet had surgery. What should I watch for with the incision?
    The incision should be clean and dry with no discharge. It should be warm but not hot and not exceedingly painful to a light touch. There will be a slight amount of swelling, but not so much that the skin has swollen around the sutures. The area around the sutures should be pink, not beet red. Do not allow your pet to lick any incision. Please call or make an appointment to come in if you have concerns or questions about the incision.
  • Does my pet need pain control when it has surgery?
    The advent of providing pain control for pets is a recent development in veterinary medicine. Studies have shown that pets given pain medication post operatively heal faster, eat sooner, have fewer infections, and are much less stressed than pets that don’t receive pain medication. Pet Vet does recommend pain control for most surgeries and some dentals.
  • Why does the clinic recommend blood testing before procedures requiring anesthesia?
    Pre-anesthetic blood testing allows Pet Vet to evaluate your pet’s basic organ function. The testing could warn us of a condition not obvious on physical exam. It may indicate that we should take extra precaution with your pet’s anesthesia or surgery, or avoid a procedure altogether until a discovered problem can be corrected.
  • My pet feels better but I still have medication left. Do I really have to keep giving it?
    Yes, you should give all medications prescribed until gone. Your pet may look like it feels better, but not be 100% over its illness. If the medication isn’t given until the prescription is finished, the illness may reoccur and it could be worse than it was initially.
  • I know what’s wrong with my pet; why can’t you just give me the medication?
    A Federal law requires that veterinarians establish a valid client-patient-doctor relationship before treating an animal and/or providing medication. Also licensed veterinarians are the only people who can diagnose and treat animal illnesses.
  • What is cancer?
    Cancer is an unrestrained growth of cells that destroys normal tissue and body parts as it grows. Some cancers are very aggressive and can spread (metastasize) fairly quickly throughout the body. Other cancers are slow growing and are more unlikely to spread. Most of the types of cancers that affect people can also affect companion animals.
  • My animal is having surgery tomorrow.  Can it have food and water?
    Please take their food away by 10:00 PM the night before surgery. We will feed them once they fully recover from anesthesia. There is no need to limit their access to water at any time.
  • When can I pick my pet up following their surgery?
    We usually allow a patient that is neutered to go home the day the surgery is performed, but any pet that is spayed and/or declawed generally spends the night here at the clinic. You may pick up animals that spend the night for a surgery at your convenience the very next day. In some circumstances, we may keep your pet for a longer period depending on the type of procedure and the severity of the animal’s condition.
  • What are the benefits of having my pet spayed or neutered?
    Spaying or neutering your pets can greatly reduce their risk of developing many types of cancer later in life. Spaying your animals will also reduce/eliminate the chances of your pets developing a uterine infection called a pyometra which can be a life threatening condition. It may also decrease or even eliminate unwanted behaviors such as aggression or running off. Spaying or neutering your pets is also the only way to do away with unwanted litters of puppies or kittens without placing an extra burden on animal shelters.
  • How old does my puppy or kitten have to be to have them spayed or neutered?
    We generally recommend waiting until your animal is 4 months of age to try to avoid any urinary incontinence issues from spaying or neutering them too young. We also try to spay animals before they have their first heat cycle because doing so greatly reduces their risk of developing mammary tumors.
  • How do I know when my pet needs a dental performed?
    Bad breath, inflamed gums, plaque and tartar buildup, and loose teeth are all of great concern when it comes to the health of your animal’s mouth. If you notice any of these signs, please bring your pet in for a dental checkup or schedule a dental cleaning. If your pet’s teeth are not in need of a cleaning at the time of the checkup, we can give you recommendations to help maintain your pet’s overall mouth health such as helpful treats/toys, teeth brushing, and other pet safe dental products. If your animal is at greater risk of complications during anesthesia, we have products that can help improve mouth health and remove plaque and tartar buildup without performing a dental cleaning.
  • Should my dog be on heartworm medication? What happens if I miss a dose of heartworm medication?
    Yes. Heartworm disease is very easy to prevent but very difficult and even life threatening to treat. We recommend testing your dog for heartworm disease before starting on the preventative. If you miss a dose or doses of heartworm preventative, please consult with us immediately.
  • How often should my pets be vaccinated?
    Dogs and cats should be vaccinated annually with a 5-way or 4-way vaccine during a visit with a thorough physical exam to ensure they are adequately protected against the more common canine/feline pathogens. We currently recommend that cats should be vaccinated against Rabies starting at 12 weeks of age then annually. Dogs should be vaccinated against Rabies starting at 12 weeks of age then boostered within one year of the first vaccination then triennially as long as the vaccination does not lapse.
  • Do you board animals at your clinic?
    Yes, we do board quite a few animals, but our space is somewhat limited with our surgery patients staying the night as well. Please call in advance when possible to ensure that we are able to board your pets on the dates you need.
  • Why is my pet scooting its rear on the ground?
    There could be several reasons that your pet is scooting on the ground. Your pet may need its anal gland expressed, need to be dewormed, or have other more serious issues. Please call us the clinic to make an appointment. It would be helpful if you could bring a fecal sample to your appointment to check for the presence of worm eggs.
  • My dog/cat is having puppies/kittens. How long can they go between delivering puppies/kittens?
    Please call us if you have any questions about your pet having puppies or kittens because cases vary from animal to animal depending on age, size, and the breed of the animal.
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