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FAQ Medical Information
- How often should my pet see the veterinarian?
Routine annual veterinarian visits for apparently healthy pets are ideal resources for preventive medicine. The best chance a pet has against an illness is early detection and prevention of the disease altogether. Please refer to the Client Education/Basic Information/Reasons to See a Vet.
- How often should my pet be vaccinated?
Puppies and kittens should receive a series of 3 sets of vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart by the time they are 4 months old. Routine booster vaccinations should be given in 1 year and then every 3 years thereafter. Some vaccines may need boosters every 6 months to a year, such as Bordetella and Leptosporosis. In Houston, TX, rabies vaccination requirements include the initial two vaccines 1 year apart and then boosters every 3 years.
The exact vaccinations necessary for each client is dependent on activity, location, age, and general exposure. Please refer to the Client Education/Basic Information/Vaccinations.
- Do you perform titers prior to vaccinating?
We do not routinely perform titers on our patients prior to vaccinations, but titers can be evaluated by request.
- What does the physical examination include?
A physical examination by a licensed veterinarian includes a general evaluation of the temperature, pulse, respirations/lungs, teeth, skin, ears, eyes, abdomen, joints, weight, mental status, muscle tone, and assessment of the patient’s history.
- What happens when my pet is spayed or neutered?
Female pets are spayed to prevent ever getting pregnant. We perform a complete ovariohysterectomy, which removes both ovaries, uterine horns, and the uterus.
Male pets are neutered to prevent being able to impregnate a female. We perform a castration to remove both testicles. If a pet is cryptorchid, or retains the testicle within the body, the patient is at a higher risk of testicular disease and may pass the trait to the litter.
- Why should I spay/neuter my pet?
Several positive reasons for spaying/neutering your pet include:
1) Decrease risk for breast cancer and uterine infections in females.
2) Decrease risk for prostate and testicular diseases in males.
3) Decrease risk of aggression and roaming in males. Also prevents traumatic incidents related to these behaviors.
4) Decrease chance of unwanted litters or complications related to pregnancy and breeding.
5) Females no longer have heat cycles.
6) Decrease likelihood of spraying or marking territory, especially in your home.
7) Altering your pet is now affordable and cost effective compared to providing the veterinary care for a new litter.
8) Be part of the cause to reduce pet overpopulation and needless euthanizations throughout Houston shelters.
Please refer to Client Education/Basic Information/Reasons to Fix.
- At what age should I consider altering my pet?
We prefer to alter pets at 4-5 months of age before their first heat cycle and before reaching puberty. The minimum weight is 2 pounds, and the minimum age is 3 months.
- Can my pet still be altered if in heat, pregnant, or nursing?
Your pet can still be spayed if she is in heat or pregnant. She may require more pain medication and fluid therapy due to her condition. In addition, she is at a slightly greater risk for surgical complications. If in heat, you may consider rescheduling her surgery two weeks later. Nursing patients should wean their litter and schedule their spay surgery two weeks later.
- How long is recovery from a spay/neuter surgery?
Tissue healing at the incision site can take 7-14 days. Patient activity varies for each pet based on age and medical condition. Most patients return to normal activity in 1-3 days, though some require pain medication for 1 week.
- Do I need to return for suture removal?
No. Absorbable sutures are placed for all layers of incision closure and internally. These take several weeks to absorb. The incision site should be monitored for a reaction to the suture material, such as swelling, pain, or discharge.
- Will spay/neuter surgery cause my pet to gain weight?