Pet Care FAQ

Vet's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why can't my animal have any food the night before surgery?

The stomach should be empty when anesthetic is administered. If there is food in the stomach the animal might vomit during surgery and the vomitus could be aspirated with fatal results.

If I board my dog or cat at the Clinic, what will she do all day long? Dogs and Cats usually spend their days sleeping and waiting for their owners to come home. At the Clinic your pet will watch other dogs or cats as well as the Clinic employees. They are walked or exercised as needed, fed regularly, brushed and visited as time allows by our pet loving staff.

I'm getting a puppy soon. How can I puppy proof my house? Puppies chew up or swallow anything they can get in their mouths. All small toys that could be swallowed or those that have small pieces that could be chewed off must kept out of reach of our new puppies. Electrical cords, eyeglasses, hearing aids, telephones, fragile items, poisonous materials, medications and toxic substances must be kept from the mouths and teeth of curious puppies.

I want to be a veterinarian. Is WSU the best place to go to school, or is it mainly the home of an exciting football team? Washington State University has one of the top Veterinary schools in the Nation. There are many other Veterinary Schools but the competition for entrance is rigorous. The best chance to gain admission to the Veterinary College is through your own State’s educational system.

Can I stop treating my pets for fleas during the cold, winter months? The climate in Western Washington is very mild. Fleas can survive most winters. Flea pupae may survive in the environment for up to 18 months. Many pets are allergic to fleas. These pets and their companions must have year-round flea control.

I've heard keeping my dog and cat's teeth clean is important, but I'm not sure why. Gingivitis or gum disease is the most frequent cause of cardiac and kidney disease. Plaque or tarter on the teeth and the associated bacteria is the cause of gingivitis. Dental scaling, polishing and regular brushing prevents or reduces dental problems.

I have a new puppy, when should I start training it? Sharing your home with a super puppy is a joy. We recommend that basic training should start as soon as you bring the puppy home. Your first veterinary visit should be for a pre-purchase examination and include a discussion on teaching the family to enable successful dog training. Please consider the purchase of a Super Puppy Book and a security den before acquiring your new dog.

What shall I feed my puppy or Kitten? Young animals have special needs for protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Check with your vet during your first pup/kitten visit for their recommendation. All of the premium brands of pet food have special diets for small, medium, and large breed dogs (their growth needs are all different). Premium cat food brands have special kitten diets, too.

How soon can I bathe my pet after surgery? If there is no bandage, wait two weeks before bathing your pet. This is the duration of the skin healing phase. Any bandages must stay dry. If there is a bandage, it must be protected from accidental wetting as well as soaking during bathing. Washing the feet or a gentle sponge bath is usually acceptable. Ask your surgeon to be sure.

How old must my pet be before neutering? There are many reasons to choose the age for neuter surgery. The patient must be old enough that the organs can easily be found, surgically manipulated, and removed. The patient must be large enough to anesthetize easily and safely. Other procedures that may be needed may also be considered in the timing choice. Check with your veterinarian for their recommendation.

Can my pet be spayed while she is in heat? Safety for your pet is our primary consideration. The state of “heat” or estrus increases the blood flow to and enlarges all of the blood vessels associated with the ovaries and uterus as well as the skin along the incision line. “Heat” also causes a delay in the blood clotting mechanism. While there may be extenuating circumstances which compel an owner to desire that surgery be done during estrus, it can more difficult, more time consuming and prone to more complications.

What should I do when my veterinarian’s office is closed? If you have an emergency there is help available. After hours veterinary emergency services are available in Olympia and Tacoma and are listed in the phone book. The Deschutes Animal Clinic aspires to provide the best care possible for the pets of our regular clients. If we have had your pet under our care for a problem in the previous few days we will make every attempt to follow up on the current case. However, if the problem requires 24 hour monitoring, we will not be able to provide all-night monitoring and will refer you to an Emergency Service that is fully staffed during the hours our clinic is closed. You will also be directed to the Emergency Service if your pet’s problem is an injury or non-current problem.

Why do I have to get my pet vaccinated every year? Every family is unique. You may have a mix of pets and people that provide a special challenge to maintain the health of your pets and provide a safe environment for your loved ones. We need to make decisions based on our knowledge of diseases, of immunology and of pet and people behavior as well as what we can learn about your family and the manner in which you live with your pets. Some vaccine protocols will always require annual boosters. Remember, too, that our pets age between 3 and 7 years for every “calendar year” of ours.

Why does my dog scoot on the floor? Dogs probably scoot on the floor because they have full or impacted anal glands. These glands are similar to a skunk’s scent glands and can be quite odoriferous. If your dog continues to “scoot”, you should seek veterinary help for your dog. Dogs also scoot if there are clinging masses of hair or feces near the rectum. Make an attempt to examine the area to determine whether a bath or veterinary care is needed

What is mange? There are many kinds of mange. The most common is Red Mange or Demodectic mange. People are not susceptible to the particular species of demodex mite that causes disease in dogs. Although the scabies mite cannot complete its life cycle on the human, Sarcoptic mange can cause much discomfort for people who live closely with their dogs. You can serve as a vector to carry this mange from one pet to another. Other types of mange are less common and cats can get certain types of mange, too

I'd love for my dog to have puppies. Will it help make her a more social dog? Having a litter of puppies does not improve the social skills or intelligence of any dog. If you desire your family to play a part in the "miracle of birth," consider your part in the tragedy that accompanies unwanted and untrained dogs wandering the streets, dropped off at Animal Control, or dumped in the country to die under the wheels of fast cars, big trucks or by the teeth of wild animals. People who breed dogs should have best interest of the breed as the motivation for planning a litter, and be prepared for the expenses that accompany having a litter of puppies. All breeding dogs should be above average for their breed and have been examined carefully by your veterinarian for commonly inherited problems.

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7:30 am-6:00 pm


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