Kitten and puppy vaccination: when must I vaccinate?

The first vaccination of your new pup or kitten is recommended between 6-8 weeks of age. It is the continued at 12 and 16 weeks of age, for a total of 3 visits, each being one month apart. The vaccines given will be determined based on your pet’s age and lifestyle (will it be boarded in kennels? go to the groomer? go to puppy classes? have access to wild animals or uncontrolled water sources?) 

My dog is 4 years old. He had his shots as a puppy, why should I vaccinate him again?

Vaccines given when your animal is still a baby don’t last for more than a year and must be repeated the next year to maintain an adequate level of antibodies that will insure its protection. Depending on the vaccine, some need to be administered every year, whereas others might be efficient longer (up to 3 years according to actual scientific publications). Exposition to the rabies virus from a racoon or a bat can be fatal for your pet, but also for you. By vaccinating your dog, you are not only protecting him, but also other pets around him, as well as human beings. Vaccines can lower the incidence and/or the severity of a contagious condition in cats and dogs. They also insure your pet gets an annual physical examination that could detect the early onset of a condition and allows you to discuss any concerns you may have with your veterinarian.

Why should I bring a stool sample to be analysed if I don’t see any parasites in my animal’s feces?

Pets may have intestinal parasites without necessarily showing any clinical signs (diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, gases ….). Even if your pet doesn’t seem sick, these parasites can cause malabsorption of nutrients and irritation of the digestive track. Also, intestinal parasites may be transmitted to human, especially younger children who tend to bring things to their mouths. A microscopic examination of your pet’s stool will allow us to identify the presence of eggs and to which parasite they belong, and treat them adequately as needed. 

At what age can I have my pet spayed or neutered?

Spaying and neutering is recommended from the age of 5.5-6 months in cats and dogs. In females, it is important to spay before the first heat to decrease the risks of developing mammary tumors in the future (the first heat can occur as early as 6 months of age in cats and smaller dogs, but tend to be latter in larger breads of dogs). Spaying/neutering your pet also prevents many other reproductive tract issues, such as pyometra, perineal hernias, testicular tumors, etc. 

Why is declawing counter-indicated?

Most of the time, declawing can be avoided by offering our cat specific and accessible areas to do their claws (cat threes, carpets, cardboard boxes). This surgery is an amputation of the extremity of every finger and can cause chronic or neurological pains in the future (like phantom limb pains in amputees). Keeping in mind the risk of complications, it is obvious that if this procedure can be avoided, your cat will be much better off without it!

My pet has bad breath, how much does a teeth cleaning cost?

The price of a teeth scaling may vary widely depending on the state of your pet’s mouth and the severity of its periodontal disease. It is why we encourage you to make an appointment with us for an oral examination. Your pet’s general health will also be assessed and an estimate of the price to expect can then be made. 

My dog ate chocolate, what should I do?

The first thing to do in this kind of situation (and in any other case of ingestion of a toxic product) is to call a veterinarian to evaluate if the dosage ingested is toxic depending on the type of chocolate and your dog’s weight. We will then be able to determine if it is necessary to induce vomiting (and we will tell you specifically how to do so) or if medical care should be given by a professional. Careful! It is not always indicated to induce vomiting depending on what toxic product was ingested. Always ask the advice of a veterinarian before doing so. If we are closed when this happens, there is a poison control line with the ASPCA that may be contacted to get advice: (888) 426-4435 

Why does my cat urinate all over the place?

Certain medical conditions can cause urination in inappropriate environments. The first thing to do in a case like this is to have your cat examined and a urine sample analysed for any urinary tract disease or other (infections, diabetes mellitus, thyroid issues, chronic kidney disease, ...). If you have a male cat and he has trouble or pain passing urine, this is an emergency. He could be blocked and cannot go long in that state. If your cat gets a clean bill of health and a behavioral issue seems to be in cause, a few things need to be checked in your cat’s environment: are there enough litterboxes (one more than the number of cats in the household), are the litterboxes the right size, are they clean, are there any stressors around the litterboxes that would have your cat avoiding it… 

Why should I use veterinary products for flea and tick control when there are cheaper alternatives in pet stores?

Flea and tick products sold without prescription may contain active ingredients, which safety and efficiency cannot be trusted. Permethrins are insecticides often found in these products and are a great cause of toxicity in domestic pets worldwide. Signs of toxicity include hyper-salivation, shaking, hyperactivity or lethargy, dilated pupils and sometimes even seizures. Flea collars on the other hand, are of little interest because their level of diffusion on the animal’s body is limited.
Products sold at your veterinary clinic are efficient and safe. Contact us if you have any more questions regarding these products.

Is it bad that I am giving canned food to my cat?

No! It is important to get your cat used to both types of food: kibbles and wet food, at a young age in order for it to develop its taste. Cats are picky eaters… if they don’t get used to the wet food at a young age, they may never like it, which could become a problem when they get older and needs to be fed a specific kind of food. On the other hand, a diet exclusively of wet food is not recommended in a healthy cat, for it could lead to overweight issues and dental/oral hygiene problems. A small amount of wet food can be given as a treat on a daily basis or a few times a week if the amount of kibbles is reduced to compensate this extra serving!