Veterinary Doctors Answer

1. Why should I spay or neuter my pet?

There are long term health benefits to your pet when they are spayed or neutered.

Medical benefits of spaying include preventing unwanted pregnancies/pseudo-pregnancies, reduced incidents of cancers (i.e. mammary) as well as serious uterine infections (i.e. pyometra). Behaviorally, spaying your dog can reduce aggression between house mates and other intact female dogs.

The medical benefits of neutering can include reduced incidents of prostatic diseases and testicular cancer.

2. What can I expect during my first visit with my puppy/kitten?

We strive to make your puppy or kitten’s first visit as stress free as possible. There is always a friendly smile and a pocket full of treats waiting for your young one at our front counter. Our vet will perform a physical exam to assess your puppy/kitten’s overall health including the eyes, ears, teeth, heart and to check for any abnormalities. Our doctor will also educate you on your puppy/kitten’s growing needs as well as what to expect during the first year of his/her life.

How much do vaccinations cost?

Your puppy/kitten will typically require three sets of vaccinations; however this can all depend on the age of your young one at the time of first vaccination. As the cost can vary depending on your puppy/kitten’s age and lifestyle, it is recommended to give us a call at 604-579-0986

3. Does my pet have to get a full set of vaccinations to get a rabies certificate? What shot(s) are absolutely necessary for my dog/cat and how much do they cost?

To get a rabies certificate, only a rabies vaccination is needed. This law is in place to protect humans and animals from the spread of rabies. However, the vaccine cannot be administered without the animal first having received a physical examination. It is in the best interest of your pet to get a routine check-up plus all the necessary vaccines as determined by your veterinarian to maintain your pet’s health. There are many infectious diseases animals can contract, many of them fatal to your pet. The additional cost of the vaccines which prevent these diseases is often quite minimal. Administering vaccines is a safe, easy and cost effective way to prevent disease.

4. What is Senior Screening? What care should I take for Senior Pets?

Senior Screening

Senior or geriatric pets should see their veterinarian at least twice a year, more often if there are indications that something may be wrong. Early detection of a health problem could denote easier and less costly treatment. As with humans, animals are living longer today, and are increasingly suffering from some of the same disease processes. Cancer, diabetes, kidney and liver failure, arthritis, vision trouble, cognitive dysfunction, and dental disease are just a few ailments commonly seen in senior patients. Senior pets benefit from screening bloodwork to detect many of these problems before it is too late to treat along with annual examinations and vaccines.

Veterinarian/Client Consultation

The client, or pet owner, should mention any changes in the pet’s behavior or health. A few examples are unusual lumps or bumps, trouble getting around or seemingly disoriented. Possible dental issues should also be brought to the veterinarian’s attention such as lack of appetite, bad breath, drooling or pawing at the mouth.

Physical Examination

The veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination which will include palpation (touching/feeling) of the patient’s abdomen and musculoskeletal system for any abnormal signs. The veterinarian will also listen to the patient’s heart and lungs with a stethoscope to check for any problems such as a heart murmur. The eyes, ears, teeth and skin will also be examined.

Diagnostics – Blood work, urinalysis, radiographs and other testing may be performed should the veterinarian deem it necessary. A fecal examination is also performed sometimes to

check for any intestinal parasites, regardless of the patient’s parasite control status.

Wellness Recommendations – Heartworm preventative, flea and tick control, and vaccinations will be recommended by the veterinarian and the veterinary staff based upon the particular patient. Depending on findings during the physical examination, a dental cleaning or other diagnostics or procedures may also be suggested.

Staying Alert – Pet owners should take extra care to be alert regarding changes in their pet’s health. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately should the patient begin to experience unexplained weight loss, excessive water intake and urination, lethargy, loss of appetite, changes in behavior, vomiting or diarrhea, lameness or any other indications of failing health.

What are the common summer pet emergencies and what care should I take during summer?

1. Heatstroke – This can happen VERY quickly and even when the temperature isn’t all that high. Cool your pet down quickly and call your veterinarian immediately. Some pets may require intensive therapy to save their life, such as IV fluids and medications for shock.

2. Bee sting – These are usually mild but can become severe depending on the number of stings and the pet. Call us to book an appointment for treatment and care.

How do I know if my pet has arthritis and what should I do?

Does your pet seem stiff in the morning, less active, or doesn’t jump, play, or climb stairs like they used to? It might not just be a sign of age. Most senior pets experience osteoarthritis to some degree. Unfortunately, arthritis can be difficult to identify in our pets. Their natural agility, size, and tendency to mask the signs of pain are all characteristics that keep them alive in the wild, but make it difficult for owners to recognize subtle changes in their movements.

Make sure that your senior pet gets a veterinary examination to check for this painful disease, so you can take steps to ease your pet’s discomfort if needed.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative disease involving the joints. Over time, the cartilage breaks down, and bones start rubbing together, creating friction, pain, and reduced joint motion.