FAQ

How do I treat for fleas and ticks?

Fleas and ticks are parasites that live on your dog or cats skin and feed on blood by biting. Ticks are of concern because they can transmit disease such as Lyme’s disease. Fleas are of concern because not only can they infest your home but they can strain your pets immune system and some pets are allergic to them causing skin irritation and infection. Fleas and ticks are active outdoors late spring through fall however fleas can live in your home year round.

There are many flea and tick products on the market. For both flea and tick prevention we recommend FRONTLINE PLUS. It is a once a month topical application to your pet. Generally speaking over the counter flea and tick preventative is NOT effective. Never apply flea and tick preventative intended for dogs to a cat.

What vaccines does my puppy/dog need?

Your new puppy should visit its veterinarian within a few days of you bringing it home. For your first visit we ask that you bring the following:

  • any paperwork you might have received from the pet store, breeder or humane society,
  • a fecal sample
  • all your questions.

You can expect:

  • your puppy to receive a through exam by Dr. Schwacha or Dr. Orris,
  • the results from your puppies fecal exam which will be testing for internal parasites
  • your questions to be addressed.

All dogs need to receive vaccines for Rabies by 16 weeks of age and Canine Distemper. The distemper vaccine is a combo vaccine covering distemper, adenovirus type II, parvovirus and Para influenza virus. This vaccine is given in a 3 shot series with 3-4 weeks in between each booster. Your puppy may have already received the first shot from the breeder, humane society or pet store. One year from your puppy receiving it’s first round of vaccines it will receive a rabies and distemper vaccine that will be good for 3 years. However, we strongly recommend your pet visiting the veterinarian yearly for possibly other vaccines and heartworm preventative.

Other possible vaccines to discuss with your veterinarian are: Leptosporosis, Bordatella, Lyme.

Why do I need to test and give preventative for Heartworm?

During your puppy’s initial visits it will be strongly suggested that you start your dog on Heartworm preventative. Heartworm is a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes that is simple to prevent but difficult and costly to treat if ever contacted. If not treated it is fatal.

To test for heartworm disease a small sample of blood is drawn at your yearly exam. The heartworm preventative we have available on site is Tri Heart, it does require a prescription and is given in the form of a monthly chewable tablet. There are other forms of heartworm medication available at our on line store, Vets First Choice. More information about Heartworm disease is available at the AMERICAN HEARTWORM SOCIETY webpage.

Does my puppy/dog need to be vaccinated for Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a multi-system disorder caused by a bacteria transmitted by the deer tick and the western black-legged tick. While we used to recommend the vaccine for only those dogs with active outside lives, it has become clear that ALL dogs are at risk for Lyme disease. For that reason, we are currently recommending the vaccine for all dogs.

How do I keep my dogs teeth clean?

Not only can tartar build up cause bad breath, it can also lead to painful teeth and cause tooth loss. Another important reason to keep your dogs teeth clean is because bacteria can infiltrate the gums and enter the blood stream. Just as you need dental cleanings, it is likely as your pet ages that you will need to schedule dental cleanings with you veterinarian in order to keep their teeth healthy. Regularly brushing your pets’ teeth, providing dental treats and toys will also help to decrease tartar build up.

Why should I spay/neuter my puppy/kitten?

Spaying or neutering your pet involves a surgical procedure under general anesthesia to remove the ovaries and uterus in females or to remove the testicles in males. Veterinarians perform these procedures in order to control the growth of animal populations, reduce the numbers of unwanted babies and sexual behavior in pets (urine marking, spraying, roaming, fighting, etc.) and to reduce or eliminate the possibility of certain diseases including testicular and prostate cancer, uterine infections and breast cancer.

When will I need to spay/neuter my puppy/kitten?

We recommend spaying and neutering your pet between 5-6 months of age to allow sufficient growth and maturity, but to also prevent onset of puberty and to provide the most possible health benefits for your pets. That being said, your pet can be spayed or neutered at any point during their lifetime, as long as they are a healthy candidate for anesthesia and surgery.

What vaccines does my kitten/cat need?

Your new kitten should visit its veterinarian within a few days of you bringing it home. For your first visit we ask that you bring the following:

  • any paperwork you might have received from the pet store, breeder or humane society
  • a fecal sample
  • all your questions

You can expect:

  • your kitten to receive a through exam by Dr. Schwacha or Dr. Orris
  • the results from your kitten’s fecal exam which will be testing for internal parasites
  • your questions to be addressed.

All cats need to receive vaccines for Rabies by 16 weeks of age and Feline Distemper. The distemper vaccine is a combo vaccine covering feline herpes virus-1 (FHV-1, Rhinotracheitis), feline calicivirus, feline parvovirus (panleulopenia), and chlamydophila felis. This vaccine is given in a 3 shot series with 3-4 weeks in between each booster. Your kitten may have already received the first shot from the breeder, humane society or pet store. One year from your puppy receiving it’s first round of vaccines it will receive a rabies and distemper vaccine that will be good for 3 years. However, we strongly recommend your pet visiting the veterinarian yearly.

Other possible vaccines to discuss with your veterinarian are: feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency, and Bordatella.

What is feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and does my kitten/cat need to be vaccinated?

Feline leukemia virus causes immune system deficiency in cats, similar to AIDS in humans. Kittens and young adult cats (1-6 yrs of age) are most susceptible, particularly cats that spend any time outdoors or with other cats. Transmission of FeLV occurs through direct contact between cats including bite wounds, grooming and shared bowls. Your kitten should be tested between 3m-6m of age.

What is feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and does my kitten need to be vaccinated?

Like FeLV, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes immune system deficiency in cats similar to the AIDS virus in human. Transmission occurs primarily through bite wounds. Generally cats/kittens who are spayed or neutered, indoor only or primarily and that tend not to contact and fight other cats have a low risk of exposure to FIV. Your cat should be tested after 6m of age.

What is the ideal litter box environment for my cat/kitten?

Creating a desirable litter box environment is one the best ways to avoid any future problems with inappropriate urinary or fecal elimination.

Here are some tips to help make your cat’s litter box irresistible:

  • Provide your cat with a large and uncovered litter box
  • Place the cat’s preferred litter in the box, unscented, clumping litter is best. Most cats don’t like perfumes.
  • Avoid the use of any litter box liners.
  • Maintain a litter box in each cat’s core area. Place each litter box in a location such that one cat cannot block another cat’s access to every litter box.
  • Place litter boxes in a well-lit and quiet area free of dogs. Avoid placing next to the washer/dryer.
  • Maintain a number of litterboxes in your household that equals the number of cats in the house plus one.
  • Scoop the litter box daily. Dump the litter box monthly and clean with non-ammonia based cleaner.
  • Lower the entrance by cutting down the sides of the litter box so that the cat can more easily get into and out of the litter box, particularly for kittens and geriatric cats.