Why are vaccinations necessary?
Vaccines protect animals against contagious diseases that can cause serious and sometimes fatal diseases. Because of vaccines many Americans live without fear of terrible diseases such as polio, tuberculosis, and others. The same is true of our pets. Because rabies is a very fatal disease that people can get as well as animals, there is a law requiring that all pets be vaccinated against the rabies virus yearly or every three years if a vaccine approved for three years is used. There are many other diseases that are more commonplace in the environment that can cause harm to your pet such as distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and bordetella. We recommend vaccinating your pet against these pets using the purest annual (not three year) vaccines available to both protect your pet and avoid potential reactions.

Why are heartworm tests necessary?
Heartworm preventatives are very important to protect your pet from a potentially fatal disease that is epidemic in our area. The manufacturer recommends yearly testing to make sure your pet did not catch this disease for some reason (the pet spit out or vomited the monthly preventative or the pet owner forgot to give the preventative). If you use our recommended preventative, Heartguard, and have purchased it regularly from an approved source (your veterinarian) and therefore can get records to show this, the manufacturer will pay for any treatment of heartworms as well as hookworms and roundworms if your pet should test positive. The manufacturer can confidently offer this guarantee because Heartguard works so well to protect your pet.

What is best way to prevent parasites?
To control fleas and ticks you have to treat both the pet and the environment (your house and your yard). Frontline Plus is the best monthly treatment for your pet because it is the only treatment out there that kills flea eggs and larvae in addition to killing adult fleas. It is also quite waterproof and maintains its strength better than its competitors over the course of the month. If you have an infestation it is best to treat your house and yard yourself or have a professional treat them two times at a two week interval to wipe out the life cycle of the pests.

Does my pet need dental cleaning?
Dental cleanings for animals are just like the dental cleanings that people get once or twice a year. We scrape the teeth and under the gum line to remove tartar and then polish the teeth smooth and apply fluoride as well as another protective product called Oravet. Because pets do not brush and floss daily like people do, they get a thick buildup of tartar and bacteria that can lead to gum disease, abscesses and even more dangerous and potentially life threatening problems such as kidney failure, heart disease, spinal cord disease and strokes.

Should I be concerned by my pet’s coughing?
Kennel cough, which is also called infectious tracheobronchitis or Bordetella, is a very common upper respiratory infection in dogs. The condition can be triggered by several different viruses and bacteria, but the most common trigger is the presence of both the parainfluenza virus and the bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica. Kennel cough is highly contagious and can remain infective for 6 to 14 weeks after symptoms resolve. Both viral and bacterial causes of kennel cough are spread in the air by sneezing, coughing dogs. It can be difficult to owners to understand that treating a puppy cough can take a while.

A sudden dry hacking cough, sneezing, snorting, retching, gagging, or vomiting in response to very light pressure to the trachea, or a spasmodic cough when a dog is excited or exercising – these are all common symptoms of kennel cough. A nasal discharge may be present, and sometimes there can also be fever. Symptoms typically occur 2 to 14 days after exposure in mild cases of kennel cough. Dogs usually continue to eat and remain alert. When the condition is more serious, dogs can become lethargic. They can lose their appetite. Pneumonia can develop.

Bacterial cultures, viral isolations, and bloodwork can be performed to identify the specific pathogens causing the exact type of kennel cough the dog has. Some vets take x-rays, which can show bronchitis. Complete recovery from kennel cough can take up to three weeks in healthy dogs, and twice as long in older patients or in dogs with underlying immunosuppressive conditions. Treating a puppy cough can also take a bit longer, as they need more time to recover. It’s always best to consult a veterinarian immediately if you see consistent coughing and sneezing in your pets!

Should I be concerned by my pet’s vomiting or diarrhea?
We all know that dogs are kind of similar to children in that everything tends to go in their mouth! Even when watching them closely, sometimes we miss them eating something they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, when the pet’s body is trying to expel that something, it results in diarrhea and vomiting. However, these are functions of a healthy dog or animal, but sometimes these functions become symptoms of a much larger problem!

Sometimes, what they’ve swallowed, they can’t get back out! Most times your dog can effectively pass or vomit up the offending item, but this does not extend to everything! If your dog has eaten a toy, something sharp or you have no idea what they’ve ingested, they are in danger of causing further damage to their system and surgery would be required to remove the item. If what they’ve eaten is poisonous, like different plants or household cleaners, only a trip to the vet can potentially save their lives!

Your pet may also have other serious conditions. Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting are caused by underlying conditions like pancreatitis, stomach bloating and abnormal parasites. A veterinarian can effectively diagnose these symptoms and help your pet get back on the right track. You shouldn’t rule out that the reason for vomiting and diarrhea is your pet’s diet. Certain foods can cause inflammation or gas to build up in the pet’s system.

So, you see! Even if it seems like your pet probably just picked up something off the floor, it could go south very quickly! It’s so important to make an appointment with a veterinarian to check out any and all vomiting and diarrhea with your pets!

How often should I feed my pet?
It is best to feed your pet twice daily for better health of the digestive system. A good rule of thumb for the amount to feed is one cup or one can (or combination thereof) for each 20 pounds of body weight divided into two meals a day.