Here you will find some of the most commonly asked questions and answers.  If you don’t find the answer to your question on this page, or you have additional questions, please call us at (608)586-5768.

What is required for my pet to be able to have surgery done at your clinic?

Our clinic requires an animal to be fully up to date on Rabies and Distemper and must have a pre-surgery exam done at least one week prior to the scheduled surgery. If an animal is 7 years or older, our clinic requires them to have a pre-anesthetic blood panel run. This can be done at the same time as the pre-surgery exam.

What is the normal temp for a dog and cat?

Every dog or cat has it’s own normal temperature, however it is usually between 101 and 102 degrees.  The reason we usually take your pet’s temperature early in the vet visit is that nervousness or excitement can cause it to increase above normal.  By seeing your pet for regular exams every six months and keeping good records, we can more easily determine what your pet’s “normal” temperature really is.  Any temperature over 103 might be cause for concern.

It is ok to give my dog bones?

We do not advise giving your dog real bones or rawhides.  Forceful chewing can cause fractured or “broken” teeth, and tiny fragments can cause vomiting or diarrhea.

I don’t see any worms in the pet’s stool, why do I need to bring in a sample at his/her check up?

Intestinal parasites, or worms, are one of the most common health problems affecting our pets and a growing risk for our children. Not all internal parasites can be seen by the naked eye, most only under a microscopic exam.   All pets should have regular fecal parasite examinations performed in the lab as puppies, or kittens and then yearly as adults.

How long are dogs or cats pregnant?

The gestation (pregnancy) period for dogs and cats is usually between 60-65 days.

I have a new puppy or kitten. What care should I plan on for their fist year?

Veterinary care for puppies and kittens is as important as medical care for human babies.  As with children, the medical care they receive in that precious first year, can make a huge difference in the quality of health they enjoy as adults.  Ingredients for a healthy puppy or kitten include:

1) A thorough physical exam to look for congenital problems, such as retained baby teeth, hernias, external parasites or more severe conditions such as retained testicle or heart defect.

2) A fecal test for worms.  Many breeders give their puppies or kittens dewormers, but in addition a test should be run in the event the worms have not been cleared or other parasites that require different medication.

3) Vaccinations against common diseases such as Rabies, Distemper, Parvo Virus, Lyme Disease, and kennel cough for puppies; Rabies, Distemper, Feline Leukemia and Feline Infectious Peritontis for kittens need to be given often as babies to help them establish immunity.  Puppies are usually 3-4 times after weaning and kittens 2-3 times.  It gets easier though.  After we finish their baby series, they only need boosters once a year.

4) It is very important that preventive care for fleas, ticks and heartworms be started immediately before an infestation occurs which could affect the health of your youngster. Heartworm and flea/tick preventatives can be given as of 8 weeks of age on most products.

How long are dogs and cats in heat?

Dogs usually come into heat twice per year, spring and fall, although each dog is individual.  The heat cycle last approximately three weeks.  Cats, if not spayed, can seem to be constantly in heat.  If cats are not bred they may come right back into heat in a short period of time.  Spaying your female dog or cat prior to her first heat cycle greatly reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer later in life and the possibility of a pyometra (severe uterine infection), both serious health threats to older females.  Spaying your female pet early in life is one of the most important health decisions you can make for her. This can go for male dogs/cats as well.  The males are at risk for testicular cancer if not castrated at a younger age.

My cat is not using the litter box.  Is he just being spiteful because I work all day?

We receive a lot of phone calls from concerned cat owners with litter box problems, in fact inappropriate urination is the number one reason most cats could be saved if certain litter box rules are followed.  If your cat ever begins urinating or defecating outside the litter box, it is important that physical exam be done immediately. Many times we find illness is responsible for this behavior.  If your cat has a bladder infection, urinating will cause extreme discomfort and pain, which he will then associate with his litter box.  He will then in search of a place where he doesn’t feel the pain while urinating which results in urine spots all around the house. If your cat ever stops urinating completely or attempts to go and nothing comes out, he may be blocked which is a very serious, life threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care. We also know that stress, dental disease, diabetes, kidney failure, behavior issues and a dirty litter box can cause an otherwise well-behaved feline to avoid the box.

Is chocolate ok for my pet?

Milk chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested in large quantity.  Baker’s chocolate can be very poisonous to pets.  Best to keep all sweets stashed away where your pet can not reach them.

My dog seems to be stiff and slow in the morning- would it be ok to give him an aspirin?

Symptoms of osteoarthritis in older pets can be limping, lagging behind in walks, generalized stiffness, or difficulty climbing stairs.  You should NEVER give your pet human medicine such as aspirin, Tylenol, or acetaminophen.  You should try to keep him or her comfortable until you can schedule a visit to see us for an exam and/or medications which are safe and effective for pain relief.

My cat never goes outside.  Why does he/she still need vaccinations and a stool check each year?

The majority of the felines we see here at our clinic are house cats.  Most cats allowed to run at large usually experience untimely deaths due to injury or illness.  Many people think that if their cat stays inside all the time, it should not need vaccinations or annual fecal checks.  But indoor cats need annual exams and vaccinations just as much as outdoor cats.  We highly recommend keeping your cat indoors and many places law forbidding pets at large.  Unfortunately, even if your cat is indoors at all times, it is still at risk for disease.  If your pet does not have its immunity stimulated by regular vaccinations, it has no protection if exposed.  A single stray cat coming up to the screen window on a summer day and hissing or spitting through the screen at your cat could be enough to expose your pet to any disease the stray cat could be carrying.  We also take a lot of calls from cat owners stating that their cat has caught or killed a bat that happened to be in the house.  Bats are known carriers of Rabies and Rabies can pose a serious threat to an unvaccinated pet AND the family it lives with.

If you didn’t find the answers to your question(s) on this page, or you have additional questions, please use our “Contact Us” page or call us at 608-586-5768

You can also click the “About Our Hospital” link below for more FAQS.