*At what age do puppies open their eyes?  Usually around 10 days give or take a few days.

*What is the earliest age that puppies or kittens can/should be vaccinated?  Vaccinations usually start at 6 weeks of age.There should be no harm from vaccinating earlier but maternal Ab will block adequate response to vaccination early in life. We don't know exactly when maternal protection will drop below protective and blocking levels. That is why we do a series of vaccinations in pediatric patients. We can start as early as 6 weeks of age (8 weeks is more typical) and then repeat vaccinations at 3-4 week intervals out to 16 weeks of age. Usually on a schedule of 8-12-16 or 6-9-12-16 if started earlier. After 16 weeks of age maternal Ab is usually no longer blocking (but may persist past that time in some animals) and after 16 weeks one MLV or recombinant vaccine is sufficient for the viral antigens.

*At what age does a dog/cat gets its first vaccination?  A dog/cat's  first vaccination starts at 6 to 8 weeks of age.  

*Why is it important to control fleas?  It is important to control fleas for many reasons. They can cause discomfort, itching and skin disease in allergic pets.  They suck blood which in severe infestations can lead to anemia requiring a transfusion.  They can transmit parasites such as tapeworms, blood parasites, and even some bacteria that are transmissible to people.

*How do you control fleas?  Treat Pet:Oral Capstar for quick kill.  Comfortis or Trifexis Monthly  Topical Certifect, Frontline or Revolution monthly for long term control.  Treat Indoor environment: Premise Spray or Fogger with insect growth regulator and adulticide---Repeat in 2 weeks, 3 months, then every 3-6 months.  Treat Outdoor environment:  Monthly Diazinon, malathion. 

*What are parasites and what are the warnings?  Parasites are harmful to both pets and people. Worms such as Roundworms and Hookworms are very common in puppies and kittens. Control requires more than one treatment, and even with multiple treatments they may still persist!!  Please let us know if you see parasites after receiving a de-worming and follow instructions for recheck visits and de-wormings. All pets should begin monthly preventive medications for protection against the common intestinal parasites, heartworms, fleas and ticks.

*My dog is eating it's stool / feces what can I do?  General Information :  Many dogs develop the unpleasant habit of eating feces. In some animals, it becomes almost compulsive behavior. These pets eat not only their own feces but also those of any other animal.  Several theories have attempted to explain this behavior. Among possible causes are boredom, too much confinement, lack of certain enzymes in the digestive system, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and neuroses.  Coprophagy usually does little harm except transmission of intestinal parasites and fecal bacteria, which may cause tonsillitis or intestinal upset.  Important Points in Treatment:  In some pets, nothing seems to stop this behavior. However, here are a few suggestions that may help:  1. Remove the feces from the premises daily. Prevent access to cat litter boxes.  2. Do not confine your dog to an area where it has bowel movements. 3. Provide regular exercise for your pet. 4. One or more laboratory stool examinations may be required to rule out hidden causes.  5. Provide your veterinarian with an accurate description of the pet's current diet, including snacks. 

*How long is a pet in heat?  For 2 to 3 weeks. It starts as a time of bleeding and swelling of the female vulva called proestrus where the female attracts males but does not want to accept them. This may last for 1-2 weeks. Then comes Estrus where she attracts and will mate. This may last a few days or more. Then she goes out of heat. Heat occurs about every 6 months.

*When is my dog due to give birth?  Due Date is LH Peak +65 days (May correspond with first acceptance?)or Diestrous day #1 plus 57 days. (May correspond with first refusal of male by bitch)

*How do I know if my dog is having a problem giving birth?  1. Failure to go into labor 70-72 days past the first breeding.2. Failure to start showing signs of labor beyond 24-36 hours after the drop in rectal temperature.  3. Failure to start having active contractions 24 hours after showing behavioral signs such as refusing to eat, vomiting, or showing nesting behavior, restlessness, panting.  4. Failure to give birth after 1 hour of strong contractions, or after 4-6 hours of weak contractions.  5. If the bitch is in pain, ill, or bleeding excessively

*What does my pregnant or to be bred dog need?  Prior to breeding overweight bitches should be placed on a diet. The bitch should be examined, checked for worms, heartworms, and vaccinated prior to breeding. Older bitches may need CBC< Chem Panel, Urinalysis. Consider testing for Brucellosis.  Giving a multiple vitamin supplement is helpful. Added folate and omega-3 fatty acids benefit the puppies.  At 21-28 days post breeding- Can examine to determine pregnancy. Proper diet should be fed during pregnancy- do not supplement with calcium. Canned food, garlic or Worcestershire sauce can be added if not eating well. During the final 3 weeks of pregnancy and first three weeks after birth the bitch and puppies should be isolated from other dogs to prevent transmission of herpes virus.  Ten-14 days prior to whelping: Abdominal radiographs to determine fetal count. Digital Vaginal Exam, Glucose, Calcium levels. 

*At what age can I spay my dog or cat?  We recommend that cats and dogs be spayed at around 5-6 months of age. It is advantageous to spay them young, preferably before they are two and a  half  years old, to reduce the chances of them getting breast cancer.   Dogs should not be spayed within 2 months after their heat because doing so may cause a false pregnancy with prolonged milk production.

*What is removed when a female pet is spayed? Everything; ovaries and uterus. If the uterus is left, this can cause infection. If the ovaries are left, then the pet will still be in heat and have the same effects as if she wasn't spayed. Either way, pets don't suffer from lack of estrogen once uterus and ovaries are removed.

*Should I spay my dog before her first heat?  Generally- yes. The earlier they are spayed the better chance of preventing breast cancer.  Large breed dogs, no matter what age they are spayed may later develop urinary incontinence due to lack of hormones. However the benefit of reducing breast cancer outweigh this risk.

*How long after a heat should I wait to spay my dog?  Wait three months after finishing the heat.  It can be done during a heat but excess bleeding and inflammation makes it more dangerous. Then during the first two months after a heat the pet's  progesterone hormone level will be high and spaying during this time can create a false pregnancy where the dog will get enlarged mammary glands and produce milk, possibly for an extended time. That is why it is best to wait for 3 months after the heat.


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