Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do dogs and cats get heartworm disease?

    Heartworms are transmitted via mosquito bites to infect dogs AND cats. Once bitten by the mosquito, microscopic larvae are injected into your pet’s skin. It takes about 6 months for these larvae to mature and be detected with heartworm testing. The more bites; the more heartworm larvae transferred. Please contact us to discuss the best way to prevent this life-threatening infection in your pet. A simple blood test is available for both dogs and cats. For more trustworthy and accurate information on heartworm disease please follow our link to the American Heartworm Society website ( .

    Click below for a Pet Health Video about Canine Heartworm Disease
    Canine Heartworm Disease

    Click below for a Pet Health Video about Feline Heartworm Disease
    Feline Heartworm Disease

  • When should new puppies and kittens come in for their first visit?

    Puppies should have their initial examination around 6-8 weeks and kittens around 9 weeks of age if there are no signs of any problems or concerns. Multiple immunizations at different visits will be required to get your new pet’s immune system ready for exposure to the environment outside your home. Puppies and kittens are highly susceptible to viruses, infections, and/or parasites and proper early care and screening help to give your new baby the best start in life.

    Click below for a Pet Health Video about Vaccines

  • Why is it important that my pet has an examination or blood tests done yearly?

    Each year your pet can age as much as a human does in seven years! This means that if your pet has not been to the veterinarian in the past year, it is the equivalent of a human not having a check up in seven years. It is very important to schedule yearly exams for your pet, especially after they reach the age of five.

    Click below for a Pet Health Video about Wellness for your Pet
    Wellness for your pet

  • How old does my pet need to be in order to be considered “old?” And why does it matter?

    Senior citizenship begins at different ages for different breeds and sizes. In dogs, typically the senior years can begin around 5 or 6 years of age for large breeds and 8 or 9 years for small breeds. For cats, it begins around 8 years old.

    It is important to be mindful of your pets advancing age because significant health changes can take place very quickly, sometimes in as few as 3 – 6 months. We recommend bi-annual Senior Checks for our patients so that we can help you stay ahead of any potential health issues. During the appointment, the veterinarian will perform a comprehensive physical exam, noting any changes to eyes, ears, mouth, and body condition. He will also run a comprehensive blood panel to test for any abnormalities in the kidney, liver, & pancreatic enzyme levels and a Complete Blood Count which monitors white blood cell, red blood cell, & platelet counts.

    Today’s pets enjoy longer lives than in years past. It is this office’s goal to help your pet live to the fullest and performing these diagnostic tests every year helps the veterinarian detect problems before visible symptoms are present.

    Click below for a Pet Health Video about Geriatric Wellness
    Geriatric Wellness

  • Why does it matter that my pet has bad breath?

    It is estimated that 80% of pets over the age of 5 years have periodontal disease which includes tartar build-up on the teeth, swollen or receding gum tissue and loss of bone support.

    It takes approximately 24 hrs for plague to harden into tartar on your pet’s teeth. As tartar builds up, it pushes the gum tissue back and away from the teeth, allowing bacteria access to the blood stream. Studies have shown that these bacteria can be responsible for causing heart and kidney disease in many pets.

    The bacteria also eat away at the jaw bone supporting the teeth, leading to pain from loose teeth and abscesses (large pockets of infection at the tooth root). The only solution for either issue is to remove the affected teeth as soon as possible. Abscesses also require antibiotic therapy.

    The good news is that periodontal disease can be reversed in some instances. Scheduling a dental cleaning to have the tartar professionally scaled off and the teeth polished can go a long way toward extending the health and life of your pet.

    Click below for a Pet Health Video about Dental Health
    Dental Health