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Did you know....

We find that most of our clients have done their research and have a pretty good idea of the life expectancy of their dog.  However, they are often surprised to discover that with good care, it is not unusual for cats to have a good quality of life in to their 20's.

1. What age should my new puppy/kitten come in for vaccinations?

Puppies and kittens should start their vaccination series between 6-8 weeks old.  It is also important for them to be fully examined by a veterinarian prior to these vaccinations to make sure he or she is healthy enough to receive them.  This is also a good time to begin the deworming series as well as to run a fecal exam to check for additional parasites.

2. At what age should I have my pet altered? Why is spaying/neutering important?

It is recommended to have your pet spayed or neutered between the ages of 4 & 6 months. Altering your pet will decrease the risk of future reproductive health problems such as mammary, uterine, testicular & prostate infections and cancers. Neutering may also calm his temperament and make him less likely to mark territory.

3. Why is pre-anesthetic blood work important?

For your pet’s safety, it is always best to have a blood screening done prior to anesthesia to ensure that your pet will be able to properly process and eliminate the anesthetic.  If your pet’s internal organs are not functioning properly, it can be dangerous to place your pet under anesthesia. The blood work can also help to uncover any hidden illnesses and will provide a baseline for future reference.

4. Is Heartworm prevention necessary in San Diego?

Unfortunately the answer is Yes!  The number of heartworm cases is on the rise in San Diego. This fatal disease is spread through infected mosquitoes and causes damage to the heart and lungs.  Some signs include chronic cough and fatigue. Treatment of heartworm disease is a difficult, painful and costly process and if not treated early, can lead to cardiac failure and death. Therefore prevention is key.

5. Why should my pet be on flea control when I haven’t seen any fleas?

Many dogs and cats have severe allergies to fleas. Even one tiny flea, which may not be seen, can cause your pet to become very itchy.  This leads to certain skin issues such as flea allergy dermatitis and skin infections which can cause your pet discomfort.  Dogs and cats can also contract tapeworms by swallowing just one flea.  It is important for your pet to be on year round flea control to prevent these problems.

6. Can I catch any disease or illness from my pet?

Zoonotic parasites, such as tapeworm, roundworm, whipworm, hookworm, giardia, and coccidia, can be transferred between animals and people. These parasites can cause severe health issues in people and gastro-intestinal issues in animals.

7. Why should I have my pet’s teeth cleaned?

Proper dental care is important for animals too.  Accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums leads to inflammation of the gums, tooth decay and other issues associated with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease if left untreated can cause kidney, liver and heart problems, not to mention discomfort for your pet.

8. Are microchips a good idea?

Microchips are an excellent way to make sure your pet can be properly identified if ever lost or stolen.  Most shelters and clinics automatically scan incoming animals for microchips.  Each microchip has its own unique number that is implanted under the skin on the upper back enabling your pet to be returned back home to you!

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