Q. What is the normal temperature for my pet? A. Normal for cats and dogs is 101.5. However just like with people, there can be normal variations.
Q. At what age can my pet start vaccinations? A. We recommend starting vaccinations at 6-8 weeks of age.
Q. Why does my dog need a heartworm test? A. Heartworm larva is transmitted by infected mosquitos. The larva travels in the blood stream to the heart where the worms mature. Until the heartworms have caused damage to the heart there are no symptoms. Testing helps us find and treat them before damage occurs.
Q. Can my pet have allergies? A. Yes! Environmental allergies, food allergies, flea allergies. Where allergies in humans can be sneezing and runny nose, in pets it is typically biting and/or chewing at feet or rump. If your pet is itching or chewing on themselves it's best to see your vet before sores develop.
Q. My pet seems overweight. What can I do? A. Talk with your vet! Weight reduction plans can be created and feeding guidelines can be implemented to help. It may be necessary to run some blood tests because there are medical issues that can lead to weight gain. As a general rule, only 10% of daily calorie intake should be from treats. Veggies can be treats too as long as your pet doesn't have an allergy to them.
Q. What human foods are bad for my pet? A. As a general rule, anything rich or fatty can cause trouble so it's best to just feed pet food. Be sure to stay away from grapes, raisins, onions, chocolate, sugar free gum and anything with caffeine. These can be toxic.
Q. Can I give my dog bones, raw hides or pig ears? A. We do not recommend any of these. Often these break into sharp fragments and if swallowed can cause damage to the, throat, stomach and /or intestines.
Q. Why is my dog scooting on the floor? A. Often this is an indication that their anal glands need to be expressed. Anal glands can become infected, impacted and in some cases, can rupture. Some dogs need to have this procedure done frequently, others don't.
Q. At what age can I spay/neuter my dog? A. This varies by doctor and can depend upon weight and breed. Please call for specific details.
Q. What is a spay and a neuter? A. Females are spayed, males are neutered. Both surgeries are done to keep pets from having babies. This not only helps to limit pet overpopulation but there are significant health advantages as well as potential behavioral advantages to both.
Q. Why do some veterinary hospitals do pre-anesthetic blood work and some don't? A. Safety procedures for anesthesia vary based upon doctor/hospital preference. We believe safety should come first so we require pre-anesthetic blood tests. These help us to know if the liver and kidney are functioning well enough for anesthesia to be safe as well as to determine if you pet's blood will clot appropriately.
Q. Can I give my dog an Asprin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen? A. No. These medications are not safe for pets. If you feel your pet would benefit from pain relief, please come see us. There are a lot of pain medications for our doctors to choose from so that your pet can feel better quickly- without the negative side effects of human pain relievers.
Q. My dog ran away. What do I do now? A. Call us. We keep a log of missing pets so if a good Samaritan or Animal Control brings them here, we know who they belong to! Contact Helping Hands Humane Society and post pictures on facebook!
Q. How do I know if my pet is in pain? A. There are several indicators of pain: hiding, not playing like usual, crying, biting, sad look in their eyes, doesn't want to get up. It is in a pet's nature to hide their pain so by the time you start seeing any of these indicators they really don't feel well and need to see a veterinarian.
Q. At what age is my pet considered a Senior? A. This varies based upon breed but we generally say pets over the age of 7 are considered senior pets and should begin their senior care program.
Q. My dog just got into a fight with another dog. He looks ok, should I still go to the vet? A. Yes. Dog fight wounds can look minor but the damage is often hidden. Imagine your shirt is your dog's skin. Pinch a small section of your shirt and pull it away from you. If this was your dog's skin, the entire area of your shirt that lifted away from you is tissue that actually pulled loose under the skin. Damage like this may not heal on it's own. There may be only a small mark (like where your fingers were) but the damage can be quite extensive underneath. Finding this before further problems occur is best for your pet and less expensive for you!
Q. Why does my pet have such bad breath? A. Mouths are warm and dark - the perfect place for smelly bacteria to grow! Tartar on teeth and under the gum line can cause bad breath and a host of other health issues such as liver and heart damage. Infection of a tooth or a sore in the mouth can also cause bad breath. Pet's need regular dental cleanings too. Choose a vet that does dental x-rays and uses anesthesia to do an appropriate and effective cleaning.