Why should I have blood work taken on my cat or dog before surgery? Why is it important?

Pre-surgical blood work is a safety measure, which allows your doctor to evaluate the chemical makeup of your pet prior to surgery. This pre-surgical screening can help determine if your pet is a good surgical candidate and gives your doctor the ability to see if his values fall within normal limits.

Pre-surgical blood work is a must for older patients and a sensible option for all pets. Anesthesia, as safe as it has become throughout the years is still primarily cleared from the body by the liver. If a patients liver values are not within normal limits or are questionable your doctor would more than likely postpone a surgical procedure and first address the issue of why and how your pet’s liver values can first be normalized.

All in all blood work is another means of allowing your doctor to thoroughly examine your pet’s health and catch any unforeseen problem which external examination may not be able to spot alone.

Where is the thyroid gland and what does it do?

The thyroid gland is a small lobulated gland, which is wrapped around your trachea and is located near the level of your pets’ larynx. It is an endocrine gland that secretes thyroid hormone, which regulates the body’s metabolism. Too little hormone results in obesity in dogs (hypothyroidism). Too much leads to a dramatic loss of weight in cats (hyperthyroidism).

When should I begin applying flea and tick preventative on my dog?

Ans. It’s best to keep your pet on flea and tick prevention all year! Flea season usually occurs at the start of spring, usually the end of March or the first week or two of April. Flea season has been getting longer every year which is why it is recommended to keep your furry friend protected year round. At the very least, flea and tick preventative should be continued until the first good frost. This varies and can be anywhere from mid-November to December. Flea and Tick Products should only be purchased through your veterinarian as quality control may be an issue at outside sources. We carry Vectra 3D, Bravecto, and Revolution. Vectra 3D is a topical solution that helps repel and kill fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes but does NOT prevent heartworm disease! Revolution is topicaly placed on the skin just like Vectra but is FDA approved and also protects against scabies, some intestinal parasites, Heartworm disease and ear mites. Bravecto is a flea and tick preventative that is given orally once every 12 weeks.

When should I begin heartworm preventative and does my dog have to be on it for the entire year?

Ans. Usually, I start puppies on heartworm preventative when they reach 8 weeks of age and recommend to the owners that their pet stays on it on a monthly basis year round. Some clients have questioned the reasoning behind a year-round preventative and wondered if they can keep their pet on it for only the summer months. Although summer is when there is an increase in mosquitos, changing weather patterns have brought us more rain and have allowed these pests to linger well into the autumn and winter months. Therefore your pet is safer if kept on the preventative throughout the year. Also, it helps minimize the risk of certain intestinal parasites that can potentially become a problematic disease of humans. We have three options, Revolution Topical once a month treatment for cats and dogs, Triheart oral once a month treatment for dogs only and my favorite, ProHeart6 Injectable which protects non-stop for 6 months with a single safe and easy injection.