Frequently Asked Questions

We are usually asked about

“How can I save money on my pet’s health?”

The simplest way to save money is through prevention. It’s much cheaper to keep your pet safe and healthy than to wait until your pet is sick or injured.

Example: A puppy vaccination series of 3 injections, which include protection against parvovirus, would cost under $100. Treating a sick puppy for Parvo can cost over $1200 and some puppies may die despite even heroic and costly efforts.

“What is the normal temp for my pet?”

The wetness or dryness of the nose is NOT an indicator of health. Rectal temperatures are still the most accurate method to measure internal temperatures at this time.

Normal vital signs:

DOGS: Temp 100.5-102.5 rectal
Pulse 70-140bpm
Respirations 10-30/min
CATS: Temp 101-102.5 rectal
Pulse 120-180bpm
Respirations 10-30/min
(Larger pets tend to have pulses and temperatures on the lower end)

“At what age will my female dog or cat go into heat?”

The answer varies a bit between breeds and individuals. As a rule, larger dogs tend to go into heat later than smaller dogs.

DOGS 6-18 months 1-2/year(spring & fall) 11-17 days
CATS 4-18 months Every 14-17 days (spring & fall) 1-4 days

(Please be aware that while a female cat is in heat she can continuously go in & out of heat until she is bred or spayed. This means she could potentially be in heat every other week during the season).

“How long is my dog or cat’s pregnancy?”

DOGS: 57-69 days, average: 60 days
CATS: 55-65 days.
Note: Cats may give birth several days apart if they were bred several days apart.

“When can I spay or neuter my pet?”

We advise spaying/neutering early to reduce risk of some cancers and unwanted pregnancies.
DOGS: 4-6 months. For smaller dogs, we recommend spaying after their adult canine teeth are in.
CATS: 4 months. Cats should have had at least 2 vaccinations for FVRCP before surgery.

“Does my pet have to be current on vaccinations for me to medical board or have elective surgery?”

YES! Puppies must have completed their DHPP series and adult dogs be current on those and Kennel Cough (Bordetella) vaccinations. Kittens must have completed at least 2 of their FVRCP series.

“How bad is Parvo? Is it contagious?”

Canine Parvovirus is highly contagious and deadly, causing life-threatening disease in under vaccinated dogs. The virus is spread by body fluids from an infected dog, usually from diarrhea. It can live for very long periods of time (even years) in dirt and other surfaces and is resistant to many common disinfectants. This is why we strongly advise that you do NOT take your puppy out into public areas nor have unvaccinated dogs come in contact with your puppy until they have completed ALL of their puppy series vaccinations. Just 1 vaccination is not enough to protect your puppy. Under vaccinated adult dogs may also contract Parvo. Note: Please be aware that fall is a notoriously high season for Parvo.

“Can I feed puppy or kitten food to my adult animals?”

Animals require different nutrition based on species and age. As a rule, puppy and kitten diets are higher in protein and fat than maintenance diets and can cause weight gain or eventually contribute to other issues such as diarrhea, allergies or even kidney disease. Please follow manufacturer’s recommendations.

“Why do I have to test my pet for heartworm every year, even though I use Heartgard all the time?”

Although we highly recommend yearly testing for any dog who has had a break in heartworm prevention, pets who have been on uninterrupted heartworm prevention are still encouraged to test yearly. Not testing annually voids the manufacturer’s warranty and they will not cover pets who don’t have documented annual tests.

“I saw something that looks like little rice grains around my pet’s bottom. What the heck is it?”

Tapeworms are a likely culprit. These do not usually show up in regular fecal tests so we rely on clients who notice the parasites on their pet or the pet’s stool. Praziquantal (brand name Droncit) is our recommendation for treatment. Along with Praziquantal, most tapeworm medications are now available over the counter.

“My pet seems a little sore. Can I give him some of my Advil/Tylenol/Naproxen, etc?”

NO!!! Dogs and cats are very different from people in how they process medications and their smaller size makes it very easy to overdose otherwise safe drugs. Even very small doses of certain human drugs can kill a cat or do serious damage to a dog. DO NOT USE HUMAN MEDICATIONS UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY YOUR VETERINARIAN! We will be glad to help you find the best veterinary medications for your pet’s individual needs.

“Can I use Frontline on my pregnant or nursing dog?”

Yes. However, please read all instructions for any flea control product. Many products cannot be used on cats and can cause severe reactions, up to and including death.

“My pet is getting very old and sick and I want to prepare for having to put him to sleep. What should I expect?”

Euthanizing a pet can be devastating for the entire family and we try to make the experience as comfortable as possible for everyone. Our staff will assist you with making a convenient appointment and will discuss certain decisions, which should be made before your pet is euthanized. You will be asked to sign a euthanasia form, directing the doctor to perform the procedure, and how you would like us to care for your pet’s remains. After selecting your options, we will process your payment and all paperwork so you can devote your attention to your pet. A doctor will consult with you and answer any questions you may have. Then the doctor may administer a sedative and have an intravenous catheter installed in a leg to make the procedure more comfortable for your pet. You may opt to stay with your pet during the euthanasia or step out of the room.

We are all pet owners and personally understand what you are going through when you put your pet to sleep. All of us are here to help you and your family through this difficult time.

Didn't find the answer?