General Questions and Answers

Is it really necessary to bring my dog and/or cat in for a yearly comprehensive exam? Comprehensive examinations are recommended AT LEAST annually to check for health issues that may not be apparent to owners. During a comprehensive examination, the veterinarian will examine your pet's eyes, ears, skin and hair coat, listen to their heart, and discuss any concerns you may have. 

Does heartworm prevention and flea prevention need to be given year round? Yes! Mosquitos and fleas are both present year round across the United States, but especially in the Gulf Coast region where temperatures remain warm for much of the year. Heartworm incidence in this region is still very high making year round heartworm prevention paramount. 

When do I switch from puppy/kitten food to adult food? Switching a puppy or kitten to adult food too early can cause obesity and gastro-intestinal issues. We recommend switching to adult dog or cat food between 10-12 months. 

I have finally found a pet store that actually cares about my dog. Taking the time to educate me about the different foods and to go the extra mile about my dogs skin condition. A little further away but worth it!

Nancy

How often do I need to bathe my dog? If no skin condition is present, you can bathe your dog every 4-6 weeks. 

Should I declaw my cat? While we do not promote declawing of all cats, we recognize that there are certain times and situations that declawing may be necessary for the health and safety of the cat and family. In order to ensure the best outcome, we use Co2 laser or all de-claws, keep them overnight for observation, and provide comprehensive pain control.

What are anal glands and why do you “express” them? Anal glands are sacks located just below a dog’s tail that collect a fluid from the animal’s body.  Historically, the excretion of bulky feces pressed against the anal sack during defecation and resulted in a natural squeezing out of the waste liquid during elimination. natural squeezing out of the waste liquid during elimination. However with more complete absorption of modern pet foods and correspondingly smaller stools, the anal sack is often not pressed during bowel movements and so periodically needs assistance from humans to “express” or squeeze the over-full sack to remove this fluid.  This is an especially putrid liquid so we recommend leaving this task to the groomer, or in severe cases, to your veterinarian.

When do you need fecal samples, and why? It is recommended that a fecal sample be provided at annual/wellness visits, new puppy/kitten exams, and when GI symptoms are present. Only tapeworms and roundworms are visible to the naked eye. On some occasions diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss are symptoms of intestinal worms but many intestinal parasites go undetected without running intestinal parasite tests. Some intestinal parasites are zoonotic, meaning they are transmittable to humans making routine intestinal parasite testing important to the health of pets and humans. 

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