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Frequently Asked Questions

How does my dog/cat get tapeworms?

What can I clean my pets ears with?

Why does my pet scoot his/her rear on the ground?

Is it cruel to declaw my cat?

How old does my cat need to be before he/she are spayed or neutered?

What is Parvo?

What is a dog's normal temperature? A cat?

What can I do about fleas?

How does my pet get heartworms?

Should I be present when my pet is euthanized?

How can I tell if my pet is overweight?

How often should I have my pet's teeth cleaned?

Why does my pet constantly scratch?

Why does my dog/cat eat grass?

 

Grass eating is usually normal.  Dogs and cats in the wild eat grass to supplement their diet with vegetation.  many veterinarians believe that pets eat grass in an attempt to calm an upset stomach but eating grass doesn't necessarily mean that your pet has a tummy ache.

One of my pets passed away and now the other one seems depressed, what should I do?

 

Visit your veterinarian first to rule out a physical problem.  if there is no underlying illness, make sure you provide your pet with plenty of extra TLC (Tender Loving Care).  Many pets will experience a period of grieving over the loss of a companion.  You may want to consider getting a new pet when you are ready.  Your pet may or may not adjust to a new friend, it depends on his/her personality.  Your veterinarian can explain the process of introducing a new pet. You and your pet will need time to adjust to the change and your veterinarian can help ease this process.

How does my dog/cat get tapeworms?

 

Grass eating is usually normal.  Dogs and cats in the wild eat grass to supplement their diet with vegetation.  many veterinarians believe that pets eat grass in an attempt to calm an upset stomach but eating grass doesn't necessarily mean that your pet has a tummy ache.

What can I clean my pets ears with?

 

We recommend rubbing alcohol.  It eliminates moisture that may get trapped from swimming or bathing.  Excess moisture is the most common cause of ear infections.  You must be sure that there is no irritation in the ears prior to using alcohol.  If there is pre-existing irritation or breaks in the skin within the ear the alcohol can be quite uncomfortable.  If you aren't sure if irritation is present or if an odor is present, you should visit your veterinarian prior to attempting to cleaning your pet's ears.

Why does my pet scoot his/her rear on the ground?

 

It can be caused by a variety of factors, but the most common are full or infected anal glands or a tapeworm(s).  Anal glands usually empty when a dog defecates.  However, they are sometimes unable to empty and your dog will feel a constant, itchy pressure.  When tapeworm segments are passed, they can cause an itching sensation.  You will need to visit your veterinarian for an anal gland expression, treatment for the tapeworm(s) or an exam to rule out other, more serious problems such as polyps or tumors.

Is it cruel to declaw my cat?

 

We believe that declawing produces only mild discomfort for a very brief period of time if done at a young age.  In fact, most kittens that are declawed between 9-16 weeks of age show little to no discomfort the day after the procedure.  Pets that are older tend to have more discomfort and beyond a certain age we don't recommend declawing.  We recommend no younger than 9 weeks old and no older than 1 1/2 years old.  Weight is also a factor.  They need to be at least 2 pounds but not over 12 pounds.  For many pets, declawing may mean the difference between a long healthy life in a loving home and euthanasia.  We certainly believe that a brief period of mild discomfort is preferable to a dangerous life outside in a suburban or urban neighborhoods, abandonment or euthanasia.

How old does my cat need to be before he/she are spayed or neutered?

 

We recommend spaying or neutering between 9 weeks and 6 months of age, preferably before the first heat.  Contrary to popular belief, younger pets handle anesthesia better than older pets.  There is also less pain and bleeding associated with the procedures when the pet is younger.  We require that the pet weigh at least 2 pounds and be at least 9 weeks old.  Early spaying can prevent mammary cancer and a uterine disease called Pyometra.  Both can be fatal.  Neutering a male reduces the risk of prostate and testicular disease and helps to prevent aggression and marking behavior.

What is Parvo?

 

Parvo" is short for Parvoviral enteritis.  It is a highly contagious, very serious and very common viral disease in dogs that affects the digestive system.  The most common signs are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and depression.  The onset of illness is sudden, and death can occur in as little as 48-72 hours.  The virus can survive for months or years in the environment.  Vaccination provides the best chance for prevention.

What is a dog's normal temperature? A cat?

 

A dog's normal body temperature is 99-102 degrees; a cat's normal body temperature is 99-103 degrees.  Activity level and environmental factors can dramatically affect your pet's temperature.  You must take your pet's temperature with a thermometer.  A cold wet nose doesn't mean that your pet does not have a fever, nor does a warm dry nose indicate that a fever is present.

What can I do about fleas?

 

We recommend treating fleas on 3 fronts.  First, apply a flea product such as Frontline to your pet monthly.  Frontline is very effective and spreads through the oil on the surface of your pet's skin.  It does not cross the skin in the bloodstream as so many other products do.  Second, treat the inside of your house with an insecticide spray or use borax on the carpets.  Finally, treat the yard with an insecticide granule on a monthly basis.

How does my pet get heartworms?

 

Heartworms are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.  When a mosquito bites an infected dog, it picks up microfilaria (baby heartworms) along with the blood.  The microfilaria develop in the mosquito and when the mosquito bites an uninfected dog the developing heartworms infect the new pet.  Once introduced by the mosquito bite, they migrate to the heart and develop into adults.  Heartworm infection is a very serious condition that can result in problems such as heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure, and death.  Heartworms are easily prevented but your pet must be tested prior to beginning heartworm preventative.  We currently have an oral heartworm preventative that must be given monthly or an injectible preventative (we give the shot, you don't) that is good for 6 months.

Should I be present when my pet is euthanized?

 

This varies tremendously with each situation and can be influenced by the owner, the condition of the pet and the reason for euthanasia.  In the end, being present during euthanasia is completely up to the owner.  Before making a decision, consult with your veterinarian on what to expect and if it's the right decision for you.

How can I tell if my pet is overweight?

 

Press lightly over their rib cage, if you can count individual ribs with light pressure, they're fine.  If you have to press firmly to feel individual ribs, they're overweight.  If you can't feel individual ribs with firm pressure, they're obese.

How often should I have my pet's teeth cleaned?

 

You should have your pet's teeth cleaned every 6 month to 1 year, depending on the pet and the rate of tartar buildup.

Why does my pet constantly scratch?

 

There are a wide variety of conditions that can result in itching and scratching.  These can include, but are not limited to, allergies, fleas, mange mites, food allergies, sensitivities to environmental factors, metabolic disorders and skin infections.  The most common cause of constant itching is pollen allergy.  Your pet may experience seasonal allergies.  Visit your veterinarian to determine the cause of itching, there are many treatments he/she can administer that may dramatically help your pet.

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Why does my dog/cat eat grass?

One of my pets passed away and now the other one seems depressed, what should I do?

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