Frequently Asked Questions
Heartworms - Are heartworms in this area?
There is a relatively low incidence of heartworm in Peoria due to the fact that heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes and most areas of Peoria don't have many mosquitoes. However, heartworm is very prevalent in some parts of Arizona and the U.S. and has been showing up more and more in the valley. If you are travelling or if you have seen mosquitoes in your area, we recommend the use of the "once a month" heartworm preventative (Heartguard Plus). A blood test is recommended to check to make sure your dog is free from heartworm now.
Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) - Blood in the urine, or inability to urinate.
This can be very serious. Commonly seen in neutered male cats, this may be fatal if not seen by a vet immediately. This condition implies a urinary tract infection (bladder) plus crystals blocking the urinary path (the urethra).
Debark - Can I get a dog debarked there?
No, our doctors does not perform this procedure. There are some doctors who do. Please call our office if you need a referral. (623) 979-3288
Mange - Can I get mange from my dog?
Yes. There are two types of true mange in the dog. Demodectic and sarcoptic. Both involve very tiny (microscopic) mites that burrow into the skin of the affected animal. The result is a skin problem (usually hair loss plus other symptoms). It takes a veterinarian to tell the difference between these and other skin conditions. ONLY SARCOPTIC MANGE is transmissible to people. It shows up as small red bumps (very itchy) on the affected person.
Ringworm - Can I get ringworm from my cat?
Yes. It is a fungus that is equally at home on man or animal. Fortunately, there are several good medications that can be used to treat it. It usually affects young animals and also young people.
Worms - Can I get worms from my dog?
It is possible to get medical problems from your dog's worms but it is rare for this to happen. We recommend that you have your dog or cat's stool checked for worms once a year to avoid the exposure to your family. Possible problems include hookworms, tapeworms and roundworms.
Surgery - Can I watch the surgery?
Sometimes the doctor will allow people to watch depending on the surgery. Please ask the doctor.
Visiting - Can my pet have visitors in the hospital?
We do allow visits for the hospital patients if doing so won't upset the patient or if the visits aren't disruptive to our routine. We would be happy to put in some familiar object from home. We do not allow other food if it is not a balanced diet. We don't mind special things to eat if the doctor doesn't feel it is harmful to the animals condition.
Toxo - Do I have to get rid of my cat if I get pregnant?
NO! The main concern that you hear about is a disease called Toxoplasmosis. It is fairly rare in the cat but is very dangerous to the unborn fetus if the mother gets the disease. The cat can be tested with a blood test to rule out the condition. Normally, just taking ordinary sanitary precautions when handling the cat's stool and litter is enough.
Hours - Do I have to have an appointment?
Appointments are recommended, but if you have an emergency, we will work you in as quickly as possible.
Tonsils - Do pets get tonsillitis?
Yes, pets do have tonsils and can get tonsillitis. Most cases can be treated with medicine, but surgery can be done if medicine does not work.
Walks - Do pets get walked while in the hospital?
Yes, if the dogs stay longer than one day. Cats do not get walked outside.
Boarding - Do you board pets? How big are the runs?
No, not routinely. We only have room for 10 animals and that space is used for the surgical, sick, and injured patients. Two of the runs are 4' by 8'. They have a ceramic tile floor and are air conditioned and heated.
Lost Pet - I lost my pet, how can I find it?
We refer people to lost and found at AZ Humane Society or Rabies Animal Control (Dog Pound). Leave your phone number and we'll put a note on our bulletin board. We highly recommend microchipping to prevent lost pets. Ask us about the cost and benefits.
Tapeworm - I saw little moving grains of rice in the stool?
Normally, if they are flat, they are tapeworms. Occasionally people find maggots in the dogs stool in the yard and mistake them for parasites. Maggots are just fly larvae and are not a problem for the animal directly.
Dysplasia - Is hip dysplasia fatal?
No, this is a hereditary disease causing poorly formed hip joints that lead to arthritis. Sometimes it gets so bad that some dogs will have to have surgery. Usually help can be achieved from medicine.
Bones - Is it okay to feed bones?
No, we prefer alternatives: rawhide chews, Kong chew toys, or nylabones. If you must, then get a "knuckle bone" - this is a big leg bone from a cow.
Nursing - What if my female doesn't have enough milk for her pups?
You should bring her in for a checkup. Sometimes the milk is okay, sometimes there is something wrong with the mother that is causing reduced milk. Sometimes the puppies are the ones that are sick.
Whelping - My female just had puppies and is in convulsions.
This dog should be seen by the Doctor. Many times when a dog is nursing puppies and has a seizure or is very weak or wobbly, it may be the result of a low blood calcium level. This is called "milk fever" by some breeders, but the correct term is "eclampsia". It can be treated by the Doctor giving the animal an injection of calcium. This can become an emergency situation.
Poison - My dog ate some roach/rat poison. What do I do?
This is an emergency. Try to find the box of whatever and bring the box and the dog in A.S.A.P. The treatment varies with the chemical. If it just happened, we will probably induce vomiting. If we are closed go to the nearest emergency clinic. In Peoria, call 623-974-1520.
Night Watch - Do you have someone on all night?
No. The Doctor checks on hospitalized animals in the evening if needed. If more intense monitoring is required, we refer the patient to the Emergency Animal Clinic.
Pet Food - Do you sell pet food?
Yes, we sell Hill's Prescription Diets.
Pet Sale - Do you sell pets?
No. We do not recommend pet shops either. It is best to go to a private party or breeder. These are found in the want ads or out of our breeder directory.
Avian (birds) - Do you take care of birds?
No, the doctors are not bird specialists.
Visa - Do you take credit cards?
Yes. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
House Calls - Does the Doctor make house calls?
The Doctor makes some house calls by special appointment only.
Fleas - How can I get rid of fleas?
We have several over the counter products that a technician can talk to you about depending on the problem and your household situation.
Lifespan - How long do dogs, cats, ferrets, or rabbits live?
The bigger the dog, the shorter the life span.
- Small dogs: 14 - 16 years
- Medium dogs: 12 - 15 years
- Big dogs: 10 - 12 years
- Cats: 14 - 16 years
- Ferrets and Rabbits: 3 - 12 years
Cat Heat - How long is a cat in heat?
Off and on for 1 - 2 months in spring and fall, 1 - 2 weeks on, then 1 - 2 weeks off. We recommend spaying.
Pregnant - How long is a dog or cat pregnant?
All are 63 days, plus or minus 3 days.
Spay - How old do they have to be to be spayed?
5-6 months is the minimum age requirement to spay dogs or cats. We don't feel that it is necessary to wait for them to have a litter or to have a heat period. Research shows that it doesn't matter on gaining weight, nor does it affect the pet's personality. After surgery, the Doctor sews them up with special dissolving stitches, all on the inside. There is no need to remove them. It takes 7 - 10 days for the skin to heal. We usually have to keep the pet overnight, but some people prefer to take them home the same night, this is okay.
Bathing - How soon can I bathe my pet?
It is okay to bathe the pet after their first vaccination at 6 - 8 weeks old. Use proper shampoo that we carry, if possible. Bathe as little as once per month when possible. It is very dry here in Arizona, and too frequent bathing tends to dry the skin and hair coat. It is best not to use shampoo for people, as the pH is different and may be too harsh for your pet's skin and coat.
Breeding - My dogs are breeding, how do I get them apart?
To be stuck together is normal, and to force them apart can cause damage either or both dogs. It's best to wait and have normal separation. Occurs in 10 - 20 minutes.
Plants - My pet just ate my houseplant will it make him sick?
Most houseplants such as ivies, poinsettias, mistletoe, and quite a few others will make your pet sick if it has eaten them. Identify the plant type and call the vet to bring in for treatment, do not induce vomiting unless advised by the Doctor. Also, call Poison Control at 253-3334 or 255-3334. Special poison control for animals at 1-800-548-2423 24 hour hotline ($25.00) charge per call.
Strays - There is a strange dog in my yard. What do I do?
Call the Arizona Humane Society at (602) 943-7402.
Dog Vaccinations - What age and how often should I vaccinate my dog?
Starting at 6 - 8 weeks, puppies should be vaccinated with DHPP/Corona every month until 4 months of age, when they can also receive a rabies vaccination. They should then be vaccinated every year for the annual vaccinations (DHLPP and Corona) and every 3 years after they are a year old for rabies. The first puppies rabies vaccination is only good for one year. Certain breeds, (like Rottweillers) should be vaccinated more often.
Cat Vaccinations - What age and how often should I vaccinate my cat?
Start at 6 weeks, once a month until 4 months old. Feline distemper, 3 respiratory viruses, Leukemia (2 shots one month apart), and rabies at 4 months of age.
Declaw - What age can my cat be declawed? Isn't it cruel?
A kitten can be declawed at 12 weeks. We do not feel declawing is cruel. The surgery is done under anesthetic, so there is no pain. We keep them overnight, and their paws are bandaged to avoid any problems or infection. Then they go home, where they are held in for 7 - 10 days. They adjust to it very well and can still defend themselves if necessary, this is done by biting an/or the hind claws, or by simply running away.
Dog Heat - What age does a dog come in heat and how often?
Anytime from 6 months to a year. Generally, a female comes into heat every 6 months. It will last about 3 weeks, but this and the frequency may vary greatly from dog to dog.
Tails - What age should puppy tails and dewclaws be done?
3 days old.
Breath - What can I do about my dog/cats breath?
Bad breath is usually due to problems in the mouth with teeth or throat. Usually, have the Doctor look at the mouth.
Pain - What can I give my pet for pain?
For dogs, we recommend using either aspirin or Tylenol. Cats should NOT be given either of these drugs unless advised by the Doctor under special circumstances.
DOSE for dogs (may be repeated every 12 hours as needed):
- Small dog - less than 15lbs. one baby aspirin or 1/2 regular Tylenol (325mg).
- Medium dog - 15 -30lbs 1/2 regular aspirin or one regular Tylenol.
- Large dog - 30 - 60lbs One aspirin or one Extra Strength Tylenol (500mg.).
- X-Large dog - over 60lbs Two aspirin or two regular Tylenol
Constipation - What can be done for constipation?
The animal should be seen by the Doctor. Some things can be done at home; increase roughage in the diet (cereal-type roughage), Milk of Magnesia can be given.
Weekends - What do I do if I need you on Sunday?
If you have an emergency, call the normal office phone at 979-3288. After hours and on weekends, call Emergency Animal Clinic N.W. which is located at 9875 W. Peoria Ave. (98th Ave. and Peoria Ave.) (623) 974-1520
Birds - What do I do with a baby sparrow?
We recommend calling Liberty Wildlife at (602) 947-6216 for information on how to care for a wild bird and return it to the wild.
Orphan - What do I feed an orphan pup? How?
The best is goats milk. This can be found at many grocery stores. There is a goat dairy in Glendale. Also, Esbilac is a milk replacement that we have or you can buy it at the pet shop. Best way to feed is by a stomach tube. Or, you can use the nipple on a regular human bottle.
Ears - What do you do about stinky ears?
Usually, ears that smell bad are either infected or just very dirty. The Doctor needs to check them to see what is needed. Either medicine or anesthetic and clean.
Feeding - What should I feed my puppy or kitten?
We recommend feeding a high quality dry puppy/kitten food fed free choice or twice a day. Addition of a small amount of canned food to add variety and flavor is acceptable.
Office Feeding - What do you feed them and how often?
We use Prescription Diets and canned diets. The pets are fed once or twice a day depending on the case.
House Training - When can I start housebreaking?
Start as soon as you get the puppy. Don't expect him to get good at it until about 4 months or so.
Weaning - When can I start to wean the the pups?
The pups should be offered Gerber's baby cereal at about 3 weeks, then some puppy food at about 4 weeks, should stay with mom until about 6 weeks.
Pup Eyes - When do puppies open their eyes?
Usually about 14 days plus or minus 3 days.
License - Where do I get a license for my pet?
When your dog is 4 months of age, he is old enough for his rabies shot and then can be licensed by the county. We will give you the paperwork to fill out and send to Animal Control along with the appropriate fee to receive your new tag.
Scraps - Why can't I feed what I eat?
Animals can eat some table food, but it usually spoils their appetite for them. Some animals can't handle the variety of spices found in "people food".
Annual Vaccinations - Why do I have to get these shots every year?
The animals immunity only lasts one year. The manufacturers recommend yearly boosters to maintain adequate immunity.
Teeth - Why do you have to use anesthesia to clean teeth?
To clean the teeth well, we use an ultrasonic dental machine like your dentist. Even the best dogs will not hold their mouth open and hold still for a good complete cleaning. Minimal cleaning can be done with a mild or even no anesthesia.