Frequently Asked Questions
I want to get my pet spayed/neutered. What’s the procedure?
Dogs and cats can be spayed (the female procedure) or neutered (the male procedure) starting at 16 weeks of age and at least 2 pounds of body weight. We require that your pet be up to date on their Distemper vaccination and if they are at least 16 weeks of age be current on Rabies vaccination. We will also require that one of our staff veterinarians perform a complete physical examination on your pet before we schedule the surgery. Surgery will be scheduled as soon as all these preliminary requirements are met but usually there is a 2-3 week wait for a surgical appointment.
Does every pet need preoperative blood work?
We recommend that pre-operative blood screens be performed on all animals before undergoing general anesthesia or sedation as this may alert the veterinary surgeon of any possible complications as well as determine any precautions needed before or during the anesthetic period. These blood tests assess organ function, electrolyte levels as well as red and white blood cell counts. For any surgical candidate over 5 years of age this pre-op blood work will be compulsory prior to anesthesia. We do not require this general blood screen on young, healthy dogs and cats; however, we highly recommend you as the pet owner have them performed. Due to the fact that all our blood screens are performed by an outside laboratory your pet will need to have his/her blood drawn at least two days before the scheduled surgery date.
I had a dog spayed 15 years ago and she didn’t get pain medications, why does my dog need it now?
Pain medication for animals has evolved quite a bit over the last decade and is now very affordable for the benefits yielded by it’s use. Pain medication incorporated during the postoperative recovery period is very beneficial in returning the patient to normal activity. Surgical patients are generally placed on pain medication for 4-5 days postoperatively and subsequently the side effects are minimal. These medications are known as NSAIDs (Non- Steroidal Anti- Inflammatory Drugs). They help control swelling and pain at the surgical site that may lead to licking, chewing and possible infection of the incision.
I found three ticks on my dog, what do I do?
If you do not feel confident completely removing the ticks safely at home you can bring your dog to the clinic to be removed by the staff. Ticks are vectors for several tick borne diseases that are transmitted when the tick attaches and feeds on your dog. For this reason, your dog should return to the clinic 60 -90 days after removal of a tick for a blood screen to test for tick-borne diseases. If the screen is negative we recommend vaccinating against Lyme disease, the most common tick transmitted disease for this area. Tick preventatives and tick collars should also be used year-round.
I have an 8 week old puppy, when can he start on vaccines and what is the procedure?
The vaccines should be started now if they haven’t been already. Nursing puppies ingest antibiotics from their mothers. These maternal antibodies provide early protection against infectious diseases. However, they also neutralize the immunizing agents in vaccines. Maternal antibodies naturally decline during the first 3-4 months of life and eventually disappear. For this reason, puppies should receive a series of vaccines beginning about 6 weeks of age and be given every 3-4 weeks until 5 months of age. This increases the likelihood of long-term protection from vaccines as soon as maternal antibody levels have declined below protective levels.
At what age does a male cat start spraying?
Male cats can begin spraying as early as 6 months of age. Neutering at an early age will greatly reduce/eliminate this behavior. At our clinic spay/neuter surgeries can be done as early as 16 weeks of age or 2 pounds of body weight. You may call us at (315) 337-4160 for more details.
At what age can a female cat get pregnant?
Female cats can come into estrus and can be bred as young as 4 months old. After their first estrus (also referred to as a heat cycle) they will cycle every 4-30 days (and can be bred). Females can be bred again just 7-9 days after giving birth. We recommend your cat be spayed before their first estrus. We can spay your cat as young as 16 weeks of age or after they have attained 2 pounds of body weight.