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Common Questions

Have a question that we have not answered? Please feel free to contact our office at 925-866-8500 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to answer your individual pet question.

PUPPY AND KITTEN QUESTIONS

When does a puppy or kitten start its vaccinations? 
We recommend starting vaccinations at 8 weeks of age. We give them in a series 3 to 4 weeks apart so that your pet will have good immunity. Puppies and kittens would receive vaccinations at 8, 12, and 16 weeks, ideally. We give the Rabies vaccinations around 16 weeks of age once the pet’s adult teeth start to come in. The doctor will tailor a vaccine program for your individual pet and its unique needs.

What is the best way to identify my pet? 
Keep a collar with identification on your pet at all times. Be sure that the area code and zip code are undated when they change. A cat should wear an elasticized or breakaway collar. Microchipping is a permanent method of identification and we highly recommend this for ALL pets.

Should I do a routine deworming of my pets? 
We recommend deworming puppies and kittens at regular intervals to get rid of these unwanted pests. We recommend preventatives that aid with internal parasite control in our adult patients and recommend annual fecal screening for the routine parasites seen in our area.

How do I control fleas on my pet?
 With the advancement of flea control like Trifexis, Comfortis, Nexgard and Frontline plus, fleas are no longer the nuisance they once were for you and your pet. Trifexis is an oral tablet that is given every 30 days. It kills all adult fleas in 4 hours before they can lay eggs and also prevents heartworms and many of the internal parasites. Comfortis is an oral tablet that is given every 30 days to kill all adult fleas in 4 hours before they can lay eggs. Nexgard is an oral flavored chew given every 30 days. Frontline plus is a liquid applied down the pet’s back which kills all fleas, larvae and eggs as well as ticks within 24 hours and continues killing them for 1 full month. All of these products are SAFE for your pets and your children. Do NOT confuse these products with others you find in the pet stores. Some of those products can potentially harm your pet or your family.

Are flea collars very effective? 
Not really. Since they are placed around the neck of the pet, they usually cannot kill any fleas which are around the tail of your pet. The insecticide from flea collars is designed to be absorbed into the pet’s blood stream and can be toxic. There are much better forms of flea control. The best use of a flea collar is to cut it into 2 inch pieces and place one in your vacuum bag or canister each time your change it to kill any fleas that are vacuumed up. Call us for more information.

What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel Cough is a respiratory disease caused by a combination of a bacteria and virus usually contracted in areas where large numbers of dogs are housed such as a kennel, dog park, puppy class or a grooming salon. It is transmitted through the air so your pet never has to come in direct contact with the infected pet to get it. There is a vaccination available for protection against Kennel Cough. We recommend this for most of our canine patients. However, this does not protect your pet from ALL upper respiratory disease. It is analogous to the pediatrician vaccinating for whooping cough but your child can still get a cough at preschool.

Does my pet really need a Rabies vaccination? 
YES. It is required by law in the state of California. Rabies is a fatal disease for dogs that is contagious to people.

My cat stays inside all the time. Why does it need vaccinations? 
Some of the feline disease are transmitted through the air so your cat never has to leave the house to get them. If you ever have a personal emergency where you have to board your cat or a medical emergency where your cat must be hospitalized, the unvaccinated cat will be vulnerable to any of the feline diseases. It may be even more susceptible than other cats since it has never been exposed to any type of disease. You can also unknowingly bring some viruses home on your clothing from a stray or other sick cat. The doctor will help devise a plan for your individual pets needs.

My dog was accidentally hit by a car but appears fine. Is it okay to watch him for a while? 
NO! Many times dogs hide internal injuries which can be life threatening if not treated immediately. Also, dogs and cats can suffer from a condition called “traumatic lung syndrome”, a condition in which the lungs can become full of fluid after a sudden blow. It is best to contact a veterinarian and have your pet examined anytime your pet has been in an accident with a car.

My cat is going to his litter box a lot and seems uncomfortable. What does that mean? 
Cats are very prone to a condition called “feline lower urinary syndrome”. Basically, it is a urinary bladder condition which can lead to urinary tract obstruction. This can be a serious, life threatening condition and you should contact your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

My dog licks his feet all the time. Why? 
A dog that licks his feet, rubs his face, or scratches behind his elbows may be showing signs of an allergy. Dogs can be allergic to all sorts of things such as house dust, grass or weeds. Consult your veterinarian about this, especially if your dog is showing any hair loss.

What chew treats are OK to buy for my dog? 
We recommend Nylabones and Kong toys as chew treats. We do NOT recommend rawhides, cow, hooves, pig’s ears or bully sticks as these can be a choking hazard and upset the stomach of your pet. Antler has become a popular chew and seem to be healthy as long as they have been sterilized and your pet chews the appropriate size for its weight.

What is the best food to feed my pet? 
There is no “best” food for all patients. Generally, if the food you are feeding says on the label that it is good for “all life stages”, then find another food. Puppies, adults, and seniors all have very different nutritional requirements. We recommend a food from Science Diet, Royal Canin, Pro Plan or Eukanuba. These companies own the plant where the food is processed and have pristine control over the quality of the ingredient, where it comes from and the manufacturing process. Their diets are formulated by a veterinary nutritionist and are tested on as “AS FED” basis. This means they formulate the diet, feed it to the target pet and are sure that it does what it is supposed to. The pet food industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. There are a lot of marketing gimmicks and competition. The bottom line is that the only person qualified to give diet recommendations for your pet is your pet’s veterinarian! For reliable nutrition information click here.

Is it normal for my cat to vomit hairballs? 
An occasional hair ball is not uncommon. If your cat is long-haired or a good groomer they will ingest a certain amount of hair. The goal is that this passes through the intestinal tract and is voided in the stool, not vomited up on the carpet! Brush your cat regularly to get rid of excess loose hair. After brushing, go over your cat’s coat with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any loose hair. There are foods, pastes and treats that can help if your cat is still vomiting up hairballs. If your cat is vomiting more than once a week call for an appointment. Contact us for more information.

Have a question that we have not answered? Please feel free to contact our office at 925-866-8500 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to answer your individual pet question.

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