What age should puppies be dewormed?

Puppies should be dewormed at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age.

If I have puppies who need their tails docked what age do they need to be?

Tail dockings should be done at 3-5 days of age since the nerves in their tails have not fully developed. This is a cosmetic procedure for purebred dogs only.

At what age do puppies need to have their vaccines done?

Puppies need a set of three puppy vaccinations/boosters. Generally the first vaccination is 6-8 weeks of age. The second vaccination/booster is 10-12 weeks of age. The last vaccination/booster is 14-16 weeks of age. The first Rabies vaccine is done at 14-16 weeks as well. {slider=What age does my puppy need to be in order to get his/her ears trimmed?} Ear trims should be done between 12-16 weeks of age. Your puppy and you must have a consult before surgery. This is a cosmetic procedure for purebred dogs only.

What is the gestation period (pregnancy) for dogs and cats?

The gestation period (pregnancy) for dogs and cats are the same, approximately sixty three days.

When my dog comes for his/her vaccine what is he/she being vaccinated against?

In one injection your dog is being vaccinated against distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza and hepatitis. Rabies and Bordetella are separate vaccinations.

What is kennel cough and how can I prevent it?

It is an upper respiratory virus that most commonly presents with a high fever and a honking cough. It may or may not be associated with boarding. All dogs should be vaccinated. Any dog can be a carrier of this virus and not show any symptoms. It is highly contagious.

Why does my dog/cat need to have a fecal test performed every year?

It is common for a dog or cat to become infected with an internal parasite at some point in their lifetime. Some parasites can even infect and transmit diseases to humans. Performing a fecal test is the best way to determine if your pet has internal parasites. Your pets can have parasites and show no signs.

What are some of the internal parasites that dogs and cats can become infected with?

Some of the most common internal parasites are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia and giardia.
  • Roundworms (nematodes or Ascarids) are intestinal parasites that live freely in the intestine, feeding off of partially digested intestinal contents.
  • Hookworms are parasites that get their name from the hook-like mouthparts they use to attach to the intestinal wall.
  • Whipworms live in the cecum and colon of dogs where they cause severe irritation to the lining of those organs
  • Coccidia are one-celled parasites (protozoa) that spend part of their life cycle in the lining cells of the intestine.
  • Giardia has two forms. A fragile, feeding form that exists in the gut of infected animals, and a hardy cyst form that is shed in feces and can survive several months in the environment, particularly in water.

What are the rice-like worms that I see around my dog’s/cat’s rectum and in their feces?

More than likely your dog/cat has tapeworms. Tapeworms are caused from a dog/cat swallowing a flea that contains tapeworm eggs. As the flea is digested within the dog’s intestine, the tapeworm hatches and anchors itself to the intestinal lining.

What are heartworms and how does my dog get them?

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs. Heartworms are found in the heart and adjacent large blood vessels of infected dogs. It is caused by a blood-borne parasite. This disease is not spread directly from dog to dog. An intermediate host, the mosquito, is required for transmission. A simple blood test is done to determine whether a dog has heartworms or not. Heartworms are easily preventable with a once a month tablet (Interceptor) or an injection that is given once every six months (Proheart 6).

At what age do kittens need their vaccinations done?

Kittens need a set of two vaccines. The first vaccine is usually given at 6-8 weeks of age. The second vaccine/booster is given at 10-12 weeks.

When my cat comes in for his/her vaccines what is he/she being vaccinated against?

In one injection your cat is being vaccinated against Rhinotracheitis (feline herpes and calici virus), Panleukopenia and Clamydia.

What is the feline leukemia virus and FIV?

Feline leukemia virus is a serious disease in cats, caused by a virus infection. This virus impairs the cat’s immune system. Cats lose their ability to fight viruses, bacteria and fungi. FeLV can cause cancerous tumors and cancer of the white blood cells (leukemia). Diagnosis of FeLV is done by a simple blood test. FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) is similar to FeLV because it reduces the ability of the cat's immune system to respond to other infections. FIV is similar to HIV in humans. Vaccines are available to protect cats against FeLV.

How often does my dog/cat need to receive their rabies vaccine?

The first rabies vaccine is given when puppies/kittens are 16 weeks of age. The first rabies vaccine given (no matter what the age) is good for one year. Each rabies booster is good for three years.

Does my dog/cat need his/her teeth cleaned?

YES! The mouth of all mammals is home to thousands of bacteria. Many of these bacteria will breed on the surfaces of the tooth and form an invisible layer called plaque. Some of this is naturally removed by the dog’s/cat’s tongue and chewing habits. Over time the plaques thickens, becomes mineralized and is then visible as tartar. The tartar presses on the gums, which recede, and the bacteria then result in gum inflammation and infection (gingivitis). The gums continue to recede until ultimately the socket is infected and the tooth is lost. Bacteria from your dogs/cats teeth are absorbed into the blood stream and can be carried to other organs in the body. Heart valve infections, kidney and liver problems are frequently due to bad teeth.

At what age is my dog or cat considered geriatric (old)?

In general, 7 years of age is when a dog or cat is considered geriatric. The aging process for small breed dogs and large breed dogs differ, the larger the dog the quicker the aging process. Once your pet is considered geriatric we recommend doing a geriatric panel yearly. This panel consists of a general health blood panel, a thyroid screen, a CBC (complete blood count) and a urinalysis.