When should I spay or neuter my pet? Why should I spay or neuter?
ANSWER: You can have your pet spayed or neutered as early as 6 months of age. Spaying and neutering your pet benefits both you and your pet. Pets that have been spayed or neutered no longer have the urge to roam and look for a mate, and as a result it limits their chances of being involved in a traumatic accident, such as being hit by a car.
What is heartworm disease?
ANSWER: Heartworm disease is found in both dogs and cats, but is more commonly found in dogs. Heartworm disease is caused by large worms that live directly in the chambers of the heart and arteries.
How are heartworms transmitted?
ANSWER: Heartworm is transmitted by mosquito bites. The steps are as follows:
- A mosquito bites an animal that is currently carrying adult and larval heartworms.
- The larval form is carried by the mosquito, which is called microfilariae.
- When the mosquito bites another dog or cat, that animal is now infected with the heartworm microfilariae.
- Within 70 to 90 days, the microfilariae have made it through the tissues to the animal's heart, where they mature and reproduce (providing both male and female worms are present) and live for several years. If both sexes of worms are present, they will be producing their own microfilariae within 6-7 months after that mosquito bite.
- The cycle continues.
How can I prevent my pet from getting heartworms?
ANSWER: Before your pet is placed on the preventative, a negative test result is needed. At that time you can begin your pet on heartworm prevention; prevention is the form of a monthly chewable tablet. The most effective way to administer heartworm preventative is year-round. You can discuss this with your veterinarian.
What is a mircochip and how does it work?
ANSWER: Losing a pet can be heartbreaking, and an unsuccessful search even more. Over the past few decades a new method has been developed in helping us keep track of our pets: microchipping. Microchipping is nothing more than your pet receiving another annual vaccine. A microchip is administered through a needle and is implanted in the flap of skin in the neck of your pet. The chip itself is a tiny capsule about the size of a grain of rice. The chip holds a number that is unique to your pet. The chip remains inactive until it is scanned, and today just about every vet and animal control center is equipped with these scanners. Once a chip has been identified, professional personnel will ensure the safe return of your pet.
What is feline leukemia?
ANSWER: Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a virus that is considered the most important infectious disease agent producing fatal illness in cats. Feline leukemia virus is shed in saliva and tears, and it can also be present in the urine and feces of other infected animals. This means that cat-to-cat contact, such as sharing food and water bowls along with grooming behaviors, can be a source of transmission.
What are the symptoms and how can I be sure that my cat isn't infected?
ANSWER: Some of the common symptoms that are produced by the feline leukemia virus include depression, weight loss, decreased appetite, diarrhea or constipation, enlarged lymph nodes, respiratory distress, or excessive drinking and urination.
Today the best way to determine if your cat is infected with feline leukemia is through a blood test. This blood test can typically be run in your veterinarian's office, and you can usually have the results in about 15 minutes.
Can feline leukemia be treated?
ANSWER: NO. Currently there is no cure for an infected cat. If you have an infected cat, it is not recommended that you bring another cat into the household.
What is pre-anesthesic bloodwork, and is it necessary?
ANSWER: Having your pet tested prior to being placed under anesthesia is very important. Pets are unable to communicate to us whether or not they are feeling well. If your pet had an underlying illness such as kidney or liver failure the pre-anesthesic bloodwork would alert the doctors before placing your pet under anesthesia. Also pre-anesthesic bloodwork would allow doctors to see if your pet was diabetic. Pre-anesthesic bloodwork will help in assuring a safe anesthetic procedure.