Most Commonly Asked Questions

These are questions that we hear on a regular basis. We want to give you the information so you can make better choices.

Why do I need to brush my Pet’s Teeth?

Dental disease is the most common preventable disease in dogs and cats. Dogs and cats are commonly bothered by tartar build-up and plaque on the teeth. Plaque and tartar accumulate on the teeth which lead to irritation and subsequent infection of the gum-line. This bacteria then begins to eat away at the enamel and the root becomes exposed. This condition is not only painful and produces a foul odor, but the bacteria that is accumulating in the mouth is constantly swallowed and can lead to more serious infections of the heart, liver, kidneys and bladder. Small breed dogs and cats are at a higher risk for dental disease due to the production of poor dental enzymes. This disease can start early in life. In order to protect your pet against dental disease, you should brush their teeth a minimum of three times per week. Remember, our pets CANNOT spit so the toothpaste must be for dogs and cats and not
contain fluoride. (See oral care)

Do I need to give my dog the Lyme vaccine?

In our area, there is a high incidence of lyme disease. If the dog is in an area where ticks are prevalent, the lyme vaccine is recommended.

Why does my cat need vaccines if he is indoors?

Rabies vaccine is A LAW!! Due to the large rabies epidemic during the past few years in this area, rabies must be given. If your cat gets out by mistake or if a visitor comes in the house and gets bitten or scratched, your cat may have to be euthanized or quarantined for 6 months, and you as the owner, may get heavily fined.

Why does my pet scoot its rear on the carpet?

This is probably due to full anal glands and is NOT NORMAL. Once a dog is showing signs of licking his/her backside or ‘scooting’ its rear on the carpet or rug, it means the anal gland is probably full. Expression of the full glands needs to be performed before a possible problem arises (anal gland abscess).

Is it normal for my pet to have brown wax or an odor from its ears?

No, dog’s ears should be clean just like a humans. If after cleaning, a large amount of brown wax is removed, or if there is a strong odor from the ears, this usually indicates an ear infection. This must be treated with appropriate topical ear medications.

What is heartworm disease and do I have to keep my dog on heartworm preventative year round?

No, but many people do. If the heartworm pills are stopped during the winter months (Dec, Jan, Feb), your dog must be tested before you can begin giving the preventative medication again. When the dog is on heartworm pills year round, a biannual heartworm test is all that is needed. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. It is NOT transferable from one dog to another through direct contact. Microscopic larvae are injected into a dog’s system and the larvae migrate into the blood stream. For the next 6 months, these larvae grow into large worms and eventually lodge into the heart.

How often due animals shed? Is there anything I can do to stop it?

Each animal has its own schedule. Depending on the breed, some shed more than others. For the majority, most dogs shed at least twice a year. Usually in the spring time, when the winter coat will be replaced by a lighter summer coat. Then again in the fall, when the summer coat is replaced by a heavier, winter coat. Diet is very important factor with a dog or cat’s hair coat. A high quality diet usually leads to a better, shinier coat. Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils can also play an important role in decreasing shedding.
There are some metabolic diseases that also can increase hair loss and shedding. The number one contributing disease is thyroid disease. This can only be diagnosed with a blood test.

Can I catch anything or give anything to my pet?

Most of the time, no. There are a limited number of transmissible diseases that humans can get from their pet. Some internal parasites (Roundworms, Hookworms) are transmissible with fecal-oral transmission to children. Ringworm and sarcoptic mange are skin diseases that are transmissible through direct contact. Feline bartonella (cat scratch disease) is also transmissible through cat scratches or bites. Almost no respiratory or gastro-intestinal diseases are contagious.

How often should I bathe my dog?

This is a personal preference. Dogs do not need to get bathed. For those that want to bathe their dog a few times a month, a prescription shampoo should be used to replace the oils that get stripped off the coat during bathing. If bathing is going to be performed every few months, any quality pet store shampoo can be used.

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