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Wellness FAQ and Tips

Wellness FAQ and Tips

When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?

We recommend spaying or neutering every pet, and we recommend spaying or neutering your non-breeding pet around 6 months. This recommendation may vary based on each individual pet. Please schedule an appointment to discuss spaying or neutering your pet with one of our veterinarians.

How often does my pet need a Rabies vaccination?

The first Rabies vaccine your pet receives is good for 1 year.  We recommend Rabies vaccinations for most canines.   Dogs are required by OK State Law to be vaccinated against Rabies. For cats, we use feline exclusive Rabies vaccines which are good for 1 year.

How often does my pet need a Rabies vaccination?

The first Rabies vaccine your pet receives is good for 1 year.  We recommend Rabies vaccinations for most canines.   Dogs are required by OK State Law to be vaccinated against Rabies. For cats, we use feline exclusive Rabies vaccines which are good for 1 year.

What is heartworm protection and how many months should my pet be on heartworm prevention medication?

Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and, if left untreated, can be fatal. Heartworm prevention is administered once a month either by pill or by topical application. Depending on the specific product you and your veterinarian choose for your pet, heartworm prevention medication can prevent other parasite infestations including internal parasites (worms) and external parasites (fleas and ticks). In accordance with the guidelines of the American Heartworm Society, we recommend all dogs and cats be given year-round (12 months) heartworm prevention regardless of lifestyle.  Pills are available for dogs / Topical available for cats.  There is also an injectable that can be given every six months.

Why does my dog need a blood test before purchasing heartworm prevention?

Your dog will need to be tested with a simple blood test for heartworm disease on an annual basis. Dogs could get sick (vomiting, diarrhea, and/or death) if placed on heartworm prevention when they have heartworm disease. Even if they have been on heartworm prevention year round there is always the possibility that the product may have failed for various reasons (your pet spit out the pill, did not absorb the pill appropriately, topical medicine was not applied properly, forgot to administer medication on time, etc.) and the earlier we can treat your pet for heartworm disease the better the prognosis. Some companies will guarantee their product providing you use the heartworm prevention year-round and are performing yearly heartworm tests. When starting heartworm prevention it is important that your veterinarian performs an initial heartworm test.

My pet never goes outside so does it really need heartworm prevention?

Yes. Heartworm disease is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito and all mosquitoes can get into houses.

Doesn’t the fecal sample test for heartworms?

No. Heartworm disease is a bloodborne disease that is transmitted through mosquitoes. A simple blood test will confirm whether or not your dog has heartworm disease.

How can I prevent fleas?

It is important to prevent fleas. We recommend all dogs and cats be given a monthly flea preventive regardless of lifestyle year-round. Not only are they uncomfortable for your pet, fleas are also carriers of disease, such as tapeworms. There are many medications for the treatment and prevention of fleas. Some medications are in a combined form with the monthly heartworm medication. Not only is this convenient, but it reduces the cost of two medications!

General Wellness Tips

Prevention is the medicine: Yearly vaccinations, a proper diet and enough exercise are very important.

Even with all of the above, your pet may still get sick. While it can be difficult to know when to call the vet, here are a few guidelines for recognizing a sick pet:

  • Unexplained or sudden weight loss.
  • Significant loss of appetite or increased appetite.
  • Pawing at ears or shaking head.
  • Lumps on the body.
  • Significant hair loss ( not just shedding, which is normal); dull, patchy coat.
  • Persistent sneezing or coughing.
  • Abnormal discharge from the eyes or nose.
  • Stiffness or weakness in any joints; pet moves with difficulty.
  • Straining to urinate or defecate. Inability to urinate is an emergency – get your pet to the vet immediately

Don’t feed your pet table scraps

“People food” is not formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your pet…and it’s often too greasy or rich. This can cause your pet to become overweight and with it, develop health problems related to obesity. Your pet may also refuse to eat regular pet food once he or she has developed a taste for human food.

Limit the treats

Treats are often salty and fatty, and just like table scraps, they can make your pet fat.

Homemade diets are not recommended

It’s hard to provide all the nutritional requirements for your pet; it’s better to leave that up to pet food companies who spend large amounts of money researching this very thing. Homemade diets are also hard to provide for pets that may be kenneled from time to time.

Do not feed cat food to your dog, or dog food to your cat

Cats and dogs have very different nutritional requirements. Your dog most likely loves cat food, so try to keep kitty’s food out of his reach.

Don’t feed bones to your pet

Bones can potentially cause serious problems such as intestinal blockages, internal punctures, choking, vomiting, etc.

Puppies and kittens food

Feed kittens and puppies food that is specifically formulated for their needs. Growing animals have special needs.

Resist “free-feeding”

Avoid leaving food out for your pet. This method may encourage overeating and obesity.

Set a feeding schedule

Kittens and puppies should be fed several times a day, with the number of meals decreasing as they get older. Adults need only to be fed once or twice a day. Establish a schedule and stick to it.