FAQs

Why does my pet need routine blood work to continue receiving medication?

Animals that receive medications for certain conditions, such as seizures or hormone imbalances, should have periodic blood work to monitor the steady state level of the medication in the patient’s body. Failure to monitor the level may lead to sub-therapeutic dosing or over-dosage.
Other medications are heavily metabolized by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Failure to monitor organ function while on these medications can lead to organ failure.

Why should I get my pet spayed or neutered?

Spaying or neutering you pet will help keep the number of unwanted pets out of our animal shelters and thus minimize the number of pets being euthanized every year. Many owners already acknowledge this as a serious problem, but are unaware that spaying or neutering their pet will also help prevent certain medical conditions such as prostatic disease, pyometra, mammary tumors and other forms of cancer.

What can I do about my pet's bad breath?

Bad breath is caused by plaque and tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth. A dental cleaning is required to remove the build-up, but other methods are available to control future tartar formation. Daily brushing with a veterinary toothpaste, application of an oral rinse, and use of a water additive are all ways you can help slow down tartar formation on your pet’s teeth. Science diet also makes a prescription diet that helps keep your pet’s teeth clean.

Is it harmful for my pet to eat table scraps?

It is not advisable to feed your pet anything other than their dog/cat food. Feeding table scraps, treats or snacks and frequently changing your pet’s diet can lead to severe cases of pancreatitis which can be fatal.

Why does my dog eat its own feces?

It is not clear why some dogs eat their own feces (coprophagia). Some popular theories include dietary deficiencies, covering of their scent and just a disgusting habit.

Dogs fed a good quality food will not suffer from any dietary deficiencies. No matter what the cause, there is a medication called Coproban you can give your dog to help eliminate coprophagia.

Why does my pet need routine vaccinations?

Vaccines are designed to prevent the transmission of disease amongst animals. Inappropriate vaccine schedules or failure to vaccinate pets can lead to increased disease transmission in our pet population. Rabies is a zoonotic disease (can be spread from animals to people) and is required by law. A rabies vaccine can only be given by a licensed veterinarian.

Questions regarding heartworm transmission, testing, prevention and treatment

Detailed information is available under the “Pet Owner Resources” tab on the American Heartworm Society website. A convenient link is located under our education tab.

Why should my pet receive pre-surgical blood work?

Pre-surgical blood work allows the veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s basic physiologic condition and to help ensure a safe anesthesia. The blood work helps determine if special precautions need to be taken with your pet, and may indicate that a procedure should be postponed until a discovered problem can be corrected. The pre-anesthetic screening is not a guarantee against complications with a procedure, but it will help determine the safest protocol for your pet.

What can I do about my pet's shedding?

It is impossible to stop all shedding, but the feeding of a prescription diet, supplementation with omega fatty acids and daily brushing will help greatly reduce the amount of hair your pet sheds.

What happens if my dog eats cat food (or cat eats dog food)?

Years ago dog foods were deficient in taurine, an essential amino acid for cats. Dogs do not require taurine in their diets, but cats that ate dog food exclusively would go blind from the lack of taurine.

Today, all dog foods contain taurine as a preventative. If a healthy pet periodically eats the wrong species food no ill effects will arise, but it is not advisable to continually allow such activity. Pets with medical conditions could suffer ill effects from eating the wrong species food.

How do I know if my pet is overweight?

Pets of ideal bodyweight should have a nice tucked up abdomen, slim waist, easily palpable last 3-4 ribs and no fat deposition over the tail head or brisket.

Why is my pet scooting or licking its rear?

The most common causes of anal irritation are full anal glands or intestinal parasites. It is advisable to see your veterinarian as there are other causes including, allergies, fleas, fecal impaction and cancer.

Should my pet be on flea prevention year round?

It is highly advisable to keep your pet on flea prevention year round. Although the incidence of fleas is lower in the winter months, we still see external parasites every month out of the year. Fleas multiply exponentially and just a few fleas on your pet can quickly turn into an infestation in your house. Many flea products also prevent ticks which can carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and Lyme’s disease.