Q1) Is my pet too plump?
A: Many owners are not sure how to determine if their pet is overweight. Your pet should have a tuck in the waist and an hourglass appearance when viewed from above. You should be able to feel their ribs without pressing too firmly. See the chart below to help you determine where your pet is. If you think your pet is overweight, ask one of our veterinarians about a low calorie diet they recommend or other weight reduction plan.
Q2) What vaccinations should my pet get?
A: Puppies and Kittens will receive vaccines every 3-4 weeks starting at around 6-8 weeks until they are 4 months old. Puppies will receive a 5-in-one vaccine every 3-4 weeks that protects against Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Hepatitis, and Parainfluenza. At the puppy’s last 2 round of vaccines they will receive their Bordetella vaccine to protect against kennel cough. Based on your pet’s lifestyle, vaccination against leptospirosis, lyme disease, or influenza may be recommended.
Kittens will receive a FVRCP vaccine every 3-4 weeks that protects against Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia, and Chlamydia. At the kitten’s last 2 rounds of vaccines they will receive their Leukemia vaccine. Between 14-16 weeks both puppies and kittens will receive their 1 year Rabies vaccine.
- Rabies Vaccine: The rabies vaccine is required by law for all dogs and cats. The first rabies vaccine dogs and cats receive is when they are at least 14 to 16 weeks of age and is good for 1 year. After first year the rabies vaccine is boostered every 3 years.
- Rabies is a very serious viral disease that affects most warm-blooded animals including cats, dogs, and humans. The virus is present in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted through bite wounds. Once inside the body, the virus attacks the nervous system, eventually causing death. Once clinical signs occur, the disease is almost always fatal. Since rabies in maintained in populations of wildlife, such as skunks, foxes, bats and raccoons, it is a persistent danger to unvaccinated companion animals. For this reason, most states require, by law, regular routine vaccinations against rabies for all dogs and cats. Any person who is bitten by a strange animal should seek medical attention immediately.
- DA2PP Vaccine: This is the 5-in-one vaccine for dogs. This vaccine protects against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Adenovirus, and Parainfluenza. These viruses can cause serious gastrointestinal, respiratory, and neurological diseases. This is required for dogs to protect them against those diseases once a year.
- Bordetella Vaccine: The Bordetella vaccine is for dogs only. It can be administered by intranasal or by injection. It protects against an upper respiratory infection called kennel cough. We recommend dogs get their Bordetella vaccine every 6 months if they go to boarding, doggy daycare, dog parks, grooming, etc.
- Leptospirosis Vaccine: This vaccine is for dogs only and is given once a year. This vaccine is not required, but is recommended for dogs that come into contact with wildlife, go hunting, visit wooded wet and/or swampy areas, or that come into contact with urine of wildlife (deer, raccoons, squirrels, etc).
- Lyme Vaccine: This vaccine if for dogs only and they receive it once a year. Lyme disease in dogs, just like people, is transmitted by ticks. Lyme disease is becoming more prevalent in SW Ohio and vaccination is especially important for dogs that lead active outdoor lifestyles.
- FVRCP Vaccine: This vaccine is for cats only and they receive this vaccine once each year. The FVRCP vaccine protects against Panleukopenia (distemper), Calicivirus, Rhinotracheitis, and Chlamydia, which are upper respiratory diseases cats can contract.
- Feline Leukemia: Only cats receive the feline leukemia vaccine. It is recommended for kittens and cats 1-2 years old and younger. It is also recommended if your cat is outdoor only or goes both indoors and outdoors. Leukemia is very contagious between cats, so if your cat goes outside and can possibly come into contact with other cats, it is very important to keep them vaccinated once a year for leukemia.
Q3) Should I brush my pet’s teeth?
A: Dogs and cats can develop tartar on their teeth. When this is left untreated it can cause gum disease that can potentially lead to heart and kidney disease. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily, or as often as possible, is a great way to keep the mouth healthy. If you are unable to brush your pet’s teeth, there are dental chews and special diets available that may help!
Most pets will also require routine dental cleaning under anesthesia to keep the mouth healthy and will prevent bad breath, inflamed gums, loose teeth, and plaque and tartar buildup. Our veterinarians are happy to see your pet to evaluate their teeth and discuss a dental regiment and schedule a cleaning.
Q4) What’s the scoop on Flea, Tick, and Heartworm medicines?
A: Heartworm disease is a parasite transmitted by mosquitos. It takes 6 months for larvae to mature into adult heartworms and be detected by a heartworm test. This is why it is extremely important to keep your dog on heartworm prevention once a month, year round. Cats are also able to contract heartworm disease (even indoor cats) and prevention is important for them as well.
Flea and tick prevention can be given year round or just during the spring, summer, and fall seasons depending where you live and your lifestyle. Flea and tick prevention is important because it prevents tapeworm transmission from fleas as well as other diseases that can be transmitted by ticks.
This chart shows the cycle of heartworm:
Q5) How often should I bathe my pet?
A: Most dogs without a skin condition do not need a bath more than once a month. Sometimes bathing your dog more than once a week can cause dry skin! If you are asking about bathing your cat, well.. Good luck with that! ☺
Q6) Why does my dog eat poop?
A: Dogs can eat their feces and feces of others most likely because it has become a habit. It can also be due to boredom or they just have a really big appetite. It doesn’t necessarily mean your pet is missing any essential nutrients from their diet. It’s best to discourage this behavior because it is a way they can become introduced to new intestinal parasites and bacteria. There are products like ForBid and some treats that may help deter your pet from eating feces.
Q7) What are the benefits of having my pet spayed or neutered?
A: Spaying or neutering your pets can greatly reduce their risk of developing many types of cancer later in life. Spaying your animals will also reduce/eliminate their chances of developing a life threatening uterine infection called Pyometra. It may also decrease or even eliminate unwanted behaviors such as aggression or running off. Spaying or neutering your pets is also the only way to prevent unwanted litters of puppies or kittens.
Q8) Why is my pet scooting its rear on the ground?
A: There could be several reasons that your pet is scooting on the ground. Your pet may need it’s anal glands expressed, need to be dewormed, or have other more serious issues. Please call us to make an appointment to have this problem assessed by one of our veterinarians. It would be helpful if you could bring in a fecal sample to your appointment to check for the presence of any intestinal parasite eggs.
Professional Pet Care
Pet owners trust us to look after the needs of their beloved companions. We are specialists committed to delivering the very highest of veterinary care and affection.