Frequently Asked Questions & Helpful Information
If you have questions about our animal hospital, our veterinary services, or your pet's health, we have the answers! Check out our frequently asked questions and helpful information below. If you still have questions, please don't hesitate to contact one of our two locations!
As a new puppy/kitten owner, what should I be concerned with?
Different breeds and sizes have different needs. Your veterinarian can inform you if your new puppy/kitten requires special care. Just as in humans, young pets are more susceptible to disease and are less capable of fending off infection. Keeping them away from other sick pets is critical.
Testing for and treatment of intestinal parasites in young puppies and kittens is important for a few reasons. Intestinal parasites can cause extreme illness in puppies and kittens but can also spread to humans. Young children are particularly susceptible as they have not yet developed proper hygiene behaviors to inhibit the spread of these parasites. Practicing proper hygiene and keeping new pets away from young children until they are properly vetted is best.
How often should my pet have an exam?
At the very least, your healthy pet should come into ERVC or HVH for an annual check-up. Yearly vaccine boosters and routine exams can help prevent illness. In older pets and pets with medical conditions, we may recommend more frequent examinations.
Can you just tell me how to treat my sick pet? Why do I have to go in?
In most cases, we cannot properly diagnose your pet without performing an exam. Many conditions have very similar symptoms with very different treatments. In addition, your pet may require prescriptions to treat his illness. In order to prescribe these medications, we are legally required to have a relationship with your pet that can only be established through physical examination.
What are some common household items that are toxic to my pets?
Alcohol, chocolate, grapes/raisins, onions, garlic, chives, raw meat, and xylitol are just a few items that are commonly found around the house that should be kept away from your pet. Find more information here.
Why is my dog always scratching himself?
There are many reasons your pet could be scratching, but the most common reason we see is allergies. You can find more information on allergies and how we treat them on our Dermatology page.
What are heartworms and how can I prevent my pet from getting them?
Heartworms are parasites that are spread to dogs and even some cats through mosquito bites. Heartworm disease is very easy to prevent, but very difficult and even life-threatening to treat. The best treatment for heartworm disease is prevention. Learn more about heartworms and other parasites on our Wellness page.
Why does my pet need a heartworm test to be prescribed heartworm prevention?
Heartworm disease prevalence is very high in our area, making it easier for heartworms to spread, even to protected pets. Undiagnosed infections cause damage to vital organs and tissues. Identifying an infection as soon as possible lessens the degree of tissue damage and gives an infected pet a better chance of survival. Even in a protected pet, there are many variables that can decrease your pet’s resistance to heartworm disease. Consistency is key; missing just one month, or even being one week late can affect your pet’s resistance. Also, pets will occasionally vomit oral parasiticides. In some instances, the medication has already been absorbed, but in others, they will need to have another dose. If your pet vomits his prevention and you are unaware, his resistance may be negatively affected.
At what age should my pet start taking heartworm prevention?
We recommend starting your puppy on heartworm prevention as early as 6 weeks.
What age can I start my puppy on flea prevention?
Your puppy can start flea prevention as early as 8 weeks.
Does my pet truly need a dental procedure?
Regular teeth cleaning can prevent harmful bacteria from building up and causing infection in your pet, but sometimes your pet will show signs of dental disease no matter the preventative measures. Our pets will show signs of decreased appetite and whining while eating when they have an abscessed tooth or gum disease. ERVC and HVH are well equipped to handle your pet’s routine dental procedures.
At what age should I start having my pet’s teeth cleaned?
Smaller breeds can sometimes require professional dental cleaning by the age of 2. Larger breeds do not generally require professional dental cleaning until after the age of 4. Always consult a veterinary professional when determining whether a dental is needed on your pet. Part of our annual examination is assessing the condition of your pet’s teeth. Your veterinarian will give you recommendations on the best course of action for your pet.
Why is my pet’s breath so bad?
Bad breath is usually associated with bacteria in the mouth. Professional cleaning along with home plaque control gives the best results.
Do you work with rescues?
We work with many rescues, both locally and around the United States. If you would like to volunteer or get more information, please visit the Lifelines 4 Canines Facebook page.