Healthy happy pets.
Life happens. Let’s answer those questions.
Life happens. Let’s answer those questions.
A new puppy is full of potential. This animal will grow up to be a lifelong family member and companion. Veterinarians along with pet owners have the responsibility of providing good health care, the appropriate environment, and proper nutrition to help you start your puppy out right. Much of our well puppy care is scheduled to coincide with the recommended dates for vaccinations.
A new kitten. There’s nothing quite like owning such an adorable animal. As a responsible pet owner, you will be faced with major decisions concerning your pet’s health. Providing good nutrition, shelter, and medical care, deciding if your pet will live indoors or outdoors, and how you are going to manage scratching and other feline behaviors. Through our routine examination series we can help you answer some of these questions.
Consider what would happen if your dog ate a sock, was hit by a car, or developed seasonal allergies. Consider if your cat developed heart disease or ate a rubber toy. Would you be able to afford $2,000, $3,000 or more for veterinary treatment? With advancements in veterinary medicine, there are many new surgical options and cancer therapies that might be available to you and your pet. If you want to provide the best care veterinary medicine offers, then the cost far outweighs the benefit. Pet insurance eases the financial pressure you may feel when wanting to make the best decision for your ill pet.
We recommend visiting https://www.petinsurancereview.com to obtain a comprehensive review of what different pet insurance plans offer.
The flea that inhabits dogs, cats, raccoons, opossums, and foxes is the cat species flea. These fleas would dearly love to reside on a cat! If your cat does go out on the stoop, screened in porch, back deck or garden, yes we do recommend flea control. Even if they go out rarely just to take a nibble of grass.
If your cat is 100% indoors and never touches the out of doors, then you may be safe. But be on the lookout if you have other pets that do go outside, a dog door (as critters can sometimes come in your home), or an open access through the fireplace or dryer vent. Yes, any way those wild critters can enter your home can be a source of flea exposure.
Yes, there are many pet pharmacies and retail on-line stores to choose from. Please keep in mind that if you purchase a prescription or therapeutic food from us, it does help support our team of amazing people! Shop local is true of our business as well.
We understand that sometimes online ordering is a great convenience. We do have an online store on our website that provides products directly from the manufacturer and does not pass through third party hands. We trust the products offered to you via VetSource.
We do not recommend grain free diets. Dogs are omnivores and not carnivores as many marketing commercials would have you believe. They need carbohydrates for energy and fiber for a good balance to their digestive health.
Proteins such as beef and chicken are the most allergenic ingredients in pet food, not grains. Most allergies however are not food related, but airborne allergens. Please consult us before considering a hypoallergenic diet for your pet.
We recommend you stay away from exotic ingredients and boutique designer diets. We always recommend you feed a diet that has been fed in feeding trials. We would love to enter into a discussion with you, as we know that you want to make the best food choices for your pet.
Insects work pretty fast. It only takes a few seconds to a few minutes outside to get a mosquito bite (heartworm transmission) or have a flea jump onto the skin (raccoons, opossums, foxes, stray cats bring fleas into backyards). We live in a high wildlife suburban area with many bodies of water to support mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.
We want your dog to be protected not only from biting insects, but also intestinal worms. Heartworm preventatives contain protection against common intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms. Many flea preventatives also protect against ticks which harbor serious tick borne illness.
Treating these diseases once infected is much harder and much more expensive than many people realize. Prevention is always best!
Animals have no motivation to demonstrate pain, think of the hierarchy in the animal kingdom. Many accept pain as their normal existence. However, if they do show signs of pain it could be restlessness, panting, difficulty lying down or rising, yelping or whining, or not eating. Many pets may lie in odd locations away from others when in pain. Many pets with tooth abscesses, bladder infections, bone cancer, and other diseases fail to demonstrate pain as they continue daily habits.
Bladder infections can happen when an animal retains urine in the bladder for longer periods than normal such as while an owner is on vacation, with fewer trips outdoors. Other factors can contribute such as the anatomy of the animal, diet, age, and tendency to develop urine crystals or stones. Symptoms of a bladder infection are frequent licking of the genitalia, frequent urination outdoors, or having household accidents. For cats, they may continue to use the litter box, but urine clumps become smaller and smaller. You may see your cat straining for a longer period of time in the litter box or urinating on downed items on the floor.
Your dog does not have worms! Your dog may be removing traces of poop from their backend, or your dog may have irritation from full anal glands. Anal glands typically empty with a firm bowel movement, but in some dogs these glands can fill to become uncomfortable. Glands can be manually expressed by a veterinary professional.
Dogs have histamine release in their feet and skin when exposed to airborne allergens. We have histamine release in our upper airway, “hay fever”; for dogs their feet itch! Licking and chewing at the feet can be a first sign of seasonal allergies. We may recommend an over the counter antihistamine, but we may recommend an evaluation to check for secondary infections such as yeast or bacteria that invade the skin during allergy season. There are many options for prescription allergy medications that will stop the licking.
Every dog has the potential to destroy any toy! We recommend that you choose durable toys that cannot be torn up and potentially swallowed. We do recommend that you provide your pet with a variety of toys for enrichment. Puzzle toys where food is hidden inside can keep them challenged and preoccupied. Cats love food puzzles!
Dental toys should be soft enough to be indented with a thumb nail, but hard enough to prevent destruction. We do not recommend pigs ears, cow hooves, elk antlers, or hard plastic toys that do not allow for indentation. If you would fall on the toy with your knee, it should not hurt! We do recommend CET rawhide chews for dental health, but only under direct supervision. Some dogs try to swallow too large of a piece that can lodge in their airway. You need to be willing to remove this item from their mouth if needed.
Newborn puppies benefit from immunities given in their mother's milk. However, this protection soon dissipates once weaned.
Vaccinations usually begin between 6 and 8 weeks of age and are followed by several boosters about three to four weeks apart until they are 14 to 18 weeks old.
Bringing in a fresh stool sample to each puppy or annual wellness appointment is greatly appreciated!
6 to 8 weeks of age:
First exam, fecal examination, deworming, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.
10 to 12 weeks of age:
Exam, fecal antigen testing, deworming, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis and Bordetella (kennel cough).
14 to 18 weeks of age:
Exam, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis and Rabies, +/- fecal antigen testing. heartworm and flea prevention selected.
6 to 8 months of age:
Exam, Pre-anesthetic evaluation, Spay or Neuter
16 months of age:
Annual examination, fecal examination, heartworm and tick screen, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Rabies; Repeat Annually.
* Non-core vaccinations such as Canine Influenza and Lyme’s vaccination can be discussed depending upon environmental risks.
When it comes to housetraining, your job is to provide encouragement and constant vigilance. Your puppy wants to please you, so praise your puppy for eliminating in appropriate places.
Fortunately, dogs prefer to keep their den area clean, which makes the use of a crate an ideal way to housetrain. If you leave a puppy in his crate for only a reasonable length of time, he will learn to hold his urine and feces until you let him out. Do this consistently each day, and your puppy will eventually get on a regular schedule for elimination. If he is outside of the crate and in the house, he must be under 100% supervision.
As he learns, your puppy may occasionally have an accident indoors. Under no circumstances should you spank your puppy, rub his nose in it or yell. Expect progress, not perfection.
If your puppy is having a hard time housetraining, please call and discuss the situation with the doctor. Having a completely housetrained pet is paramount to a good relationship.
For a variety of reasons, centered on nutritional superiority, we recommend premium diets such as Science Diet, Royal Canin, Purina Pro Plan, Iams, and Eukanuba. Providing your puppy with strong bones and teeth, a glossy coat and a healthy digestive system are our prime concerns.
Switching foods may create problems if done too quickly. Diarrhea or an upset stomach may result. If you change brands of food, do so by gradually mixing in the new diet over a week's period of time.
We recommend scheduled feeding for two primary reasons. First, a puppy will eliminate within thirty minutes after a meal. This allows you to set a routine to fit your schedule. Second, if the food is set out by you at certain intervals, your puppy will acknowledge you as the leader and his source of survival. We recommend that toy breed puppies be fed three times daily and that standard breed puppies be fed two times daily. Water may be available all day but may be restricted after 8:00 p.m.
It is a given that all puppies will chew. They will explore with their mouths. Whether they chew on the leg of a piano or on a chew toy is your choice. Restricting your puppy's space by use of a crate eases the amount of supervision needed. All puppies should be supervised 100% while out of the crate. Provide a variety of chew toys. Reward your puppy for chewing on appropriate objects. Reprimand with a clap only if they've made a poor choice and replace it with the correct one.
Getting your puppy used to the comb, brush, or nail clippers is much easier when they are small. Always associate these activities with food treats and praise. If your puppy becomes overly anxious, make your grooming attempts very gradual.
Regular shampooing is an important part of skin and coat care. We recommend you bathe them not more than once a week and not less than once every two months, dependent on your puppy's environment. We recommend you use a soap-free shampoo designed for dogs.
Professional grooming services are part of our complete health program. Our groomers work with all breeds, providing clipping, bathing, nail trims, and comb-outs. For those puppies that will require routine grooming as adults, getting them used to clipping with a "puppy cut" is recommended.
Early on it is important to introduce your puppy to children, family friends, and any others who will play a role in his life. Otherwise, he may become fearful or aggressive when he meets them later. Have people offer your puppy food treats so that your puppy learns that an extended hand is non-threatening and friendly. Never force your puppy to tolerate attention if he is fearful. The positive experiences your puppy has in the first 4 months of his life will dramatically affect his adult personality.
Your puppy's teeth are tiny and very sharp. They will soon be replaced by larger adult teeth at 4 to 5 months of age. At this time, routine use of rawhide chews (chewing daily) and/or routine brushing are important in keeping teeth and gums healthy. Our team will be glad to assist you in determining what home care will work for you and your puppy.
Some breeds have an increased tendency to have retained baby teeth. These teeth will be evaluated at the 6 month exam to determine if removal is necessary.
We strongly encourage spaying (female) or neutering (male). This procedure is normally performed at 6 months of age prior to the onset of puberty. The benefits of sterilization include a dramatic decrease in breast cancer and testicular cancer late in life, preventing an unwanted litter of puppies, preventing life-threatening uterine infections in older females, and decreasing sexual activities in males such as marking with urine, humping, and aggressiveness. For some large breeds delaying spaying or neutering until the animal has reached skeletal maturity at 12 to 16 months of age is recommended. Any concerns can be discussed with your veterinarian at the final puppy examination.
A spayed/neutered pet makes a better companion and on average lives 2 to 3 years longer than a sexually intact animal.
Maternal antibodies gradually decrease during the first few months of the kitten's life. That's why kittens are given a series of vaccinations every 3 to 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Prior to Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) vaccination, your kitten will be tested for Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. FeLV has the highest risk of exposure compared to all other viral diseases in cats.
We recommended confining your new kitten to a small room during his/her first week home.
Provide at least one litter box per cat in the household. Provide a clean and dry litter. Many cats prefer clumping, unscented litter. Scoop litter daily and clean box weekly. Replace your litter box annually. The most common cause for inappropriate house soiling is a dirty litter box.
If you already have another pet, you should take special care introducing your kitten. It is probably best to confine your kitten to a single room off limits to the resident pet. Prior to an introduction, remove the kitten and place the resident pet in the kitten's room to get used to the new smell in a non-threatening way. This introduction should always be closely supervised to prevent a negative confrontation. The younger the existing pet, the better the chances of a peaceful coexistence.
Spaying or neutering your cat will prevent undesirable sexual behavior common in cats. Marking with urine, yowling, a desire to breed and fighting are good examples. Help your cat to be an enjoyable companion.
When you schedule surgery, we will discuss pre-surgical instructions and recommended procedures. We perform same day surgeries with discharges in the late afternoon. We perform all surgical procedures with the highest standards set forth by the veterinary profession.
A scratching post will give your kitten a place to scratch and exercise, as well as a way to keep her claws in proper condition. Show your kitten how to use a scratching post, so she will be less likely to damage a piece of furniture. Teaching your kitten to tolerate nail trimming when young can reduce unwanted scratching.
We've put together a list of resources that we hope can be helpful to educate and inform you on a variety of animal health topics.