Resources for you and your pet

posted: by: MVASC Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Resources for you and your pet



Immunizations
Many canine diseases can now be prevented through vaccinations. A vaccination schedule prepared by your veterinarian can thus greatly contribute to good health and a longer life span for your dog. Below are the most important diseases for which vaccines are currently available.

Canine Distemper: is a widespread, often fatal disease. All dogs should be vaccinated against distemper, starting with a distemper-measles vaccination at 6-8 weeks of age.

Canine Adenovirus type-1 and type-2: cause infectious hepatitis and respiratory infection. Hepatitis caused by adenovirus type-1 causes severe kidney damage or death. Adenovirus type-2 is an important factor in kennel cough.

Canine Bordetella: may contribute to kennel cough. This bacterial overgrowth wipes out the normal lining of the nasal passageway.

Canine Leptospirosis: is a bacterial infection, which may lead to permanent kidney damage.

Canine Parainfluenza: although parainfluenza is often a mild respiratory infection in otherwise healthy dogs, it can be severe in puppies or debilitated dogs.

Canine Parvovirus: is a disease of widespread distribution, which causes severe dehydrating diarrhea and vomiting in dogs of varying ages. Parvovirus is especially dangerous in puppies under 1 year.

Rabies: one of the worlds most publicized and feared diseases, is fatal. Rabies virus attacks the brain and central nervous system, and is transmitted to humans chiefly though the bite of an infected animal.

Canine Coronavirus: is a highly contagious intestinal disease causing vomiting and diarrhea in dogs under 1 year. Coronavirus can be life threatening.

Lyme Disease: spread by the deer tick, Lyme Disease causes swollen joints, high fever, and lethargy. Lyme Disease can affect dogs of all ages. It can also cause kidney disease and heart disease.

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Heartworm Facts
Adult Heartworms live in the right side of the heart. They are 6 to 14 inches long. Several hundred may be present in one dog! Heartworms impair blood circulation, resulting in damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Serious damage may occur, even before the owner detects outward clinical signs.Advanced signs include difficulty breathing, coughing, tiring easily, listlessness, loss of weight, and fainting.

Heartworms are found THROUGHOUT the United States and Canada. Heartworms are spread by MOSQUITOES. After ingesting blood from the infected dog, the microfilaria (or larvae) are transmitted to another dog when the mosquito bites it. It takes 3 to 6 months for adult Heartworms to develop in a dog after it is bitten by an infected mosquito.

Heartworms occur in ALL breeds of dogs: large and small, shorthaired and longhaired, inside- and outside-dogs.Diagnosis of Heartworm disease is by a blood test to detect if adult worms are present in the heart.

Treatment IS very SUCCESSFUL when the disease is detected early. The adult worms are killed with Immiticide given through a series of IM injections. A few days later, the worms will die, and are carried by the way of the bloodstream to the lungs where they lodge in small blood vessels. They slowly decompose and are absorbed by the body over a period of several months.

We usually do a series of laboratory tests checking the condition of the internal organs (liver, lungs, heart, and kidneys) before beginning Heartworm treatment. This greatly decreases the chances of treatment reactions. It also gives us an idea of how your dog will respond to treatment.

Another drug is then given approximately four weeks later to rid the bloodstream of the microfilaria (or larvae). Two weeks later, we will then recheck the blood for Heartworms to be sure treatment was successful.

HEARTWORMS CAN BE PREVENTED!!!!

An oral medication, which is given once a month, is available.

Routine testing for Heartworm once each year is suggested for ALL dogs!

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Intestinal Parasites
Ascarids: (Roundworms)
Round; White; 2 to 4 inches long; May curl up when seen; resemble “Spaghetti”.
May be vomited up from stomach, or coughed up from the lungs.
Are most commonly found in young puppies and kittens.
May cause intestinal blockage when found in large numbers.

Hookworms:
Very thin, almost transparent, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.
Normally NOT visible to the naked eye.
Hook onto the intestine and suck blood, which causes anemia.
Puppies and kittens can become infected when nursing milk from the infected mother.
May be ingested orally or may actually penetrate the skin (usually through feet).
Causes bloody diarrhea and death when severe.
Most HARMFUL of ALL internal parasites.

Whipworms:
Inhabit the lower part of the intestine (colon).
Causes chronic diarrhea, sometimes containing blood.
Normally NOT visible to the naked eye.
Eggs are ingested off the ground.

Tapeworms:
Short, flat segments (look similar to “rice” or “cucumber seeds”).
Causes a poor appearance and dry skin.
Often seen on the hair around the rectum.
Cannot be diagnosed by microscopic exam like other parasites, unless a segment just happens to be present – segments are NOT passed everyday.
Spread by FLEAS, rabbits, birds, and other rodents – NOT by dogs and cats.

Internal Parasite Prevention:
Fecal examination of your pet’s stool should be done every 6 months.
Use specific dewormers for the type of parasite present, as determined by microscopic fecal examination. Over-the-counter deworming medications are usually NOT effective against most internal parasites that cause the REAL problems!
Remove feces from your lawn, street, or kennel daily.
Exercise your pets in grassy areas not frequented by other animals.
Prevent your pet from eating rodents, such as mice, rats, and rabbits.
Prevent your pet from eating earthworms, which spread “roundworms”.
Control FLEAS!
Deworm pregnant pets before breeding, and again before whelping to help prevent infecting newborn pets.

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Neutering the Male Dog
What are the health benefits to the dog?
There are several health benefits to neutering. One of the most important concerns the prostate gland, which under the influence of testosterone will gradually enlarge over the course of the dog’s life. In old age, it is likely to become uncomfortable, possibly being large enough to interfere with urination and defecation. The prostate under the influence of testosterone is also predisposed to infection, which is almost impossible to clear up without neutering. Neutering causes the prostate to shrink into insignificance, thus preventing both prostatitis as well as the uncomfortable benign hyperplasia that occurs with aging. Other health benefits of neutering include the prevention of certain types of hernias and tumors of the testicles and anus. Neutering also reduces excessive preputial discharge.

At what age can neutering be performed?
Neutering can be performed at 5 to 6 months of age.

What exactly is done surgically?
An incision is made, generally just forward from the scrotum. The testicles are removed through this incision. The cords are ties off and cut. The skin incision has “buried stitches”.

What can I expect upon discharge from the clinic?
The scrotum may be swollen in the first few days after surgery. Most male dogs are eager to play the day after surgery, but to keep the incision intact, it is best to restrict the dog from boisterous activity.

What if a dog has an undescended testicle?
Underscended testicles have an increased tendency to grow tumors (compared to descended testicles). They may also twist on their stalks and cause life-threatening inflammation. For these reasons, neutering is recommended for dogs with undescended testicles. This procedure is more complicated than a routine neuter; the missing testicle can be under the skin along the path it should have descended to the scrotum, or it may be inside the abdomen. Some exploration may be needed to find it, thus there is often an incision for each testicle. The retained testicle is sterile and under-developed. If there is one descended testicle, this one will be fertile, but since retaining a testicle is a hereditary trait it is important that the male dog not be bred before he is neutered.

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Spaying the Female Dog
Sterilization of female dogs is commonly performed with a surgery called a spay, in which both ovaries and the uterus are removed.

What exactly is done surgically?
It is very important that the patient has not been fed in at least 12 hours. Anesthetic medications commonly induce nausea, and vomiting can be very dangerous in a sedated patient.

A preoperative examination is performed; blood work is recommended.

A tranquilizer or other pre-anesthetic medication is administered to ease the induction of anesthesia. A special medication is given intravenously to induce sleep. This medication is called an induction agent and lasts only long enough to establish the maintenance of anesthesia by the inhalant anesthetic (gas). Once the pet is asleep, a tube is placed in the throat to ensure that a clear airway is maintained throughout the procedure. The tube is hooked up to a machine that delivers a specific concentration of inhalant gas mixed with oxygen. A certified veterinary technician is assigned to monitor your pet. The patient is monitored throughout anesthesia by checking gum color, heart rate, respiration rate, and other parameters. Sometimes a cough is noted for a couple of days after surgery. This may have been caused by the tube in the throat. Such coughs only last a couple of days; anything that persists longer should be re-evaluated.

In the surgical prep area, the abdomen is shaved and scrubbed. The patient is draped with sterile drape material to isolate the area where surgery takes place.

The incision is made on the midline of the abdomen, and the three points where the ovaries and uterus attach are tied off and cut. The abdomen is checked for bleeding and three layers of stitches are placed to close the incision. It is helpful to know that should the skin stitches come out, there are two layers holding everything closed.

The CVT continues monitoring until the pet wakes up and coughs out the endotracheal tube.



What should I expect at home?
Most spay patients go home the next day or even immediately after surgery as if nothing had happened, we recommend the use of pain medication for a few days. We want to prevent pain and not treat pain. Dogs who show a propensity to lick their stitches will need an Elizabethan collar to restrict access to the stitches. Activity should be restricted during the week following surgery. Excessive activity can lead to swelling or fluid accumulation under the incision. If a fluid pocket does form, it should resolve on its own after a few weeks. If a fluid pocket forms and drains liquid from the incision, the dog should be re-checked with the veterinarian.

Why should all female dogs be spayed?
Mammary Cancer - A female dog spayed before her first heat will have a near zero chance of developing mammary cancer. After the first heat, this incidence climbs by 25% and after the second heat the risk is 50-50 It is easy to see that an early spay can completely prevent what is frequently a very difficult and potentially fatal form of cancer.

But is it too late if a dog is already past her second heat? No, in fact spaying is important even in female dogs who already have obvious tumors. This is because many mammary tumors are stimulated by estrogens; removing the ovaries, the source of estrogens, will help retard tumor spread.

Spaying removes both the uterus and both ovaries and is crucial in the prevention, as well as the treatment, of mammary cancer.

Simple Convenience - The female dog comes into heat every 6 to 8 months. There is a bloody vaginal discharge and attraction of local male dogs. Often there is an offensive odor. All of this disappears with spaying.

What is Pyometra?
Pyometra is the life-threatening infection of the uterus, which generally occurs in middle-aged to older female dogs in the four to six weeks following heat. The hormone progesterone, which primes the uterus for potential pregnancy, does so by causing proliferation of the blood-filled uterine lining and suppressing uterine immune function. It is thus easy during heat for bacteria in the vagina to ascend to the uterus and cause infection. The uterus with pyometra swells dramatically and is filled with pus, bacteria, dying tissue, and toxins. Without treatment, the dog is expected to die. Despite her serious medical state, she must be spayed quickly if her life is to be saved. This is an extremely common disease of unspayed female dogs! Pyometra is not something that might happen; consider that it probably will happen.

Health benefits from spaying are too important to ignore. Please call for spay scheduling for your female dog.

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Why Feed Premium Food?
Although grains are good for humans, dogs and cats are primarily meat-eaters… certainly NOT vegetarians! Look at the ingredients: Supermarket brand are primarily grain and soy.

You may think soy protein is just as good as meat protein, but animal-based protein is the most usable form of protein for animals. Dogs have a much shorter intestine than humans, and therefore must convert protein much faster to a digestible form. Vegetable proteins are digested much slower. Meat and chicken are the MAJOR sources of protein in Premium Foods.

High quality protein is much easier on the liver and kidneys as your pet matures.

Diets high in fiber (indigestible material) are healthy for people, but can produce loose and frequent stools in pets.

Premium foods are 85 to 95% digestible.

Most commercially available foods are only 50 to 60% digestible!

Higher digestibility means LESS STOOLS and easier housetraining.

Quality foods are completely balanced. Often you note improved hair coat and muscle mass in six (6) weeks due to high quality ingredients. Proper calcium/phosphorus ration aids best growth rates and helps prevent Feline Urologic Syndrome in cats.

Since young animals have small stomachs, a more concentrated food insures better growth because it contains more nutrition and less “filler”.

Most pets accept the food readily due to the outside meat or chicken coating.

Warming the food for 15 seconds in the microwave greatly enhances flavor.

You will be feeding one-half to one-third less as you do with most commercial brands. (Compare the feeding charts on the label)

Since an 8-ounce cup of premium food weighs less, you will find that you get many more cups in each bag. Commercial foods usually weigh 1 to 2 ounces per cup more due to bulk and fillers.

Feeding costs with premium foods will be NO more PER MONTH than with the food you are now using, even though you pay more per bag. Remember you feed few amounts, and also get more cups in a pound of product.

Premium foods utilizes a “FIXED FORMULA”, which means the ingredients don’t change.

Most other foods vary the amount of each ingredient, using whatever is the cheapest at the time of ingredients are purchased.

This often results in diarrhea when a new bag of food is opened.

This will NOT happen with high quality premium foods.

Examples of premium foods include: Iams Foods, Hill’s Science Diet, and Purina Pro Plan.

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Introducing the Puppy to Its New Home
A new puppy is a source of cheer and warmth everywhere. It is well documented that the companionship of a puppy has positive benefits for people. Even older dogs and cats seem to perk up when a pup is introduced into the household. Puppies give unqualified love, affection, and devotion.

The following are suggested as “essential” items for the new puppy:
Health records including dates of vaccinations and dewormings.
High quality food.
Food and water bowls that can be sanitized easily.
Shipping crate for a bed.
Shampoo, proper grooming tools.
A collar, leash, and chew toys.

The change in environment can cause many stress-related problems:
Coccidiosis (a type of intestinal infection).
Tracheobronchitis (a relatively minor upper respiratory problem).
Hypoglycemia (low blood-sugar from a poor appetite or poor diet).
Dehydration (usually from not drinking enough water).

These physical problems are often brought on by unavoidable stress, and are similar to problems you might have if you were moving to a new area. Just like you, the puppy may not sleep or eat as regularly as it would in more familiar surroundings.

Some puppies ease through the transition to their new homes, while others may have a harder time. If stress-related problems are ignored, secondary problems can become serious, even life threatening.

Call us for advise ANYTIME the puppy seems lethargic, or loses its appetite. The most important objective is to get the puppy to EAT. Small breeds are more susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood-sugar), and may need additional feedings in small quantities. Some puppies require privacy, coaxing, or companionship to eat. Every puppy is different.

The puppy’s diet should NEVER be changed rapidly. The puppy might not eat the strange new food, or if it does, it may develop diarrhea leading to dehydration and other complications.

Diet changes should be made over a 2- to 4-week period to prevent digestive upsets.

WATER IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOOD IN THE PUPPY’S EXCITED FIRST FEW HOURS IN ITS NEW HOME.

To encourage the pup to drink and reduce the risk of low blood-sugar, you might put some honey in its mouth or on a dish (too much honey, however, will depress the appetite). If the puppy does not eat after these methods have been tried, you might try:
Warming the food. Many foods are coated with an outside “flavor” layer that enhances its appeal when warmed. Most foods can be warmed in the microwave, oven, or by adding warm water or broth and soaking the foods for a few minutes. Notify the clinic if your puppy does not eat within 8 to 12 hours. Rest is very important to the puppy. Puppies generally sleep throughout the day, waking only to play for a short time, eat, and eliminate waste. Do not expect the puppy to run and play all day. A human baby does not play all day either. Treat your puppy just the same as if it was a newborn infant brought home from the hospital, and you won’t go wrong.

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Housetraining Hints
THE PUPPY MUST EARN HIS FREEDOM:
SUPERVISE the puppy CONSTANTLY when he is loose in the house.
CONFINE the puppy properly whenever you cannot supervise him.
Small, portable dog crate.
Safely fenced in backyard or kennel.
A small area in the utility room or kitchen that has been boarded off so the puppy cannot injure himself or destroy property. Bathroom with floor protected.

REWARD THE PUPPY PROPERLY FOR RELIEVING HIMSELF OUTSIDE
Take the puppy outside (on a leash) and praise the puppy when he relieves himself outside. Take the puppy to the same area of the yard for bathroom purposes. Use a verbal cue such as “Hurry Up”, “Go Potty”, “Do Your Business”, etc. Say this in a gentle, quiet tone of voice. In the beginning, this will mean nothing to the dog; so do NOT become upset when he fails to respond. After 2 to 3 weeks he will start to understand if his eliminating is followed by warm, sincere praise.

Keep his bathroom area picked up except for the most recent stool.

Give the puppy approximately 10 minutes to relieve himself. Do NOT form a habit of waiting 20 to 30 minutes for the puppy to eliminate. After he is consistently relieving himself within 10 minutes, GRADUALLY over a period of several weeks shorten the time span to 5 minutes.

DO NOT REPRIMAND THE PUPPY FOR FAILING TO RELIEVE HIMSELF!

HAVE THE PUPPY ON A SCHEDULE FOR HIS MEALS AND OUTDOOR BREAKS. FEED A HIGH QUALITY FOOD.

FEED THE PUPPY ALL IT WILL EAT IN 10 TO 15 MINUTES 3 TIMES EACH DAY. Do NOT leave food down for him to nibble on. If the puppy is fed on a precise schedule 7 days a week, his bowel movements will become very predictable.

HIGH QUALITY FOODS PRODUCE MUCH LESS STOOLS. You get what you pay for in dog food. High quality foods are priced higher because they have higher quality ingredients, which are more digestible and therefore produce less stools. Housetraining will be much easier if you feed the best foods available. We recommend such foods as IAMS, and SCIENCE DIET. For best results when feeding these foods, they should be fed exclusively – NOT mixed with other foods to cut your cost. If you are going to feed grocery store food, we recommend PEDIGREE PUPPY or PURINA PUPPY CHOW.

TAKE THE PUPPY OUTSIDE AFTER:
Each meal.
Anytime he drinks water.
When he wakes up in the morning or from a nap.
When he plays hard, gets excited, or chews hard on his toys.
When he has a scheduled break.
When he gives you “intentional signals” by circling or sniffing.
Pick the puppy up and carry him outside if he is small. Do NOT rush at the puppy and frighten him. Do NOT yell or threaten him. Simply get him outside as quickly and calmly as possible. Young puppies in the 8- to 12-week range will need to go out every 1 to 2 hours. Pups in the 12- to 16-week range will need to go out every 2 to 3 hours.

DO NOT EXPECT THE PUPPY TO TELL YOU WHEN HE HAS TO GO OUT BY BARKING AT THE DOOR!

IF YOU HAVE TAKEN THE PUPPY OUT AND HE DOES NOT RELIEVE HIMSELF, when you bring him back in, put him back in his crate or keep him on a leash with you and take him back out in 20 to 30 minutes. Do NOT let him wonder through the house unsupervised after an unproductive trip outside (some puppies are distracted and actually forget why they are outside or that they needed to relieve themselves).

BEDTIME
No food for 2 hours before bedtime.
No water for 1 hour before bedtime, (unless has exercised a lot).
Take the puppy OUTSIDE for a break LAST THING BEFORE BEDTIME.
Place the puppy in the crate (it is best to remove all collars and halters to avoid injury).
Show NO ATTENTION to the puppy once it is placed in the crate.
Any attention you show (even yelling at it) simply tells the puppy that if it whines or cries, you will show it more attention. For the first few nights, you may want to place the crate in a different room where you can close the door so you do not hear the puppy crying or whining. Once the puppy has learned to stay quiet, many people prefer to move the crate to the bedroom. Later, after the puppy is thoroughly trained, many people will simply leave the door of the crate open (or even take the top of the crate off) and use this as the permanent bed for the puppy. Most puppies will make it through the night without accidents if they are confined. BUT, get them out IMMEDIATELY upon waking. The fact that the puppy can go 8 hours at night does NOT mean it can go 8 hours during the daytime. DON’T BECOME DISCOURAGED. SOME PUPPIES WILL CONTINUE TO MESS IN THE CAGE UNTIL THEY ARE 3 TO 4 MONTHS OF AGE. It still would be better for the mess to be in the cage rather than in other parts of the house. IMMEDIATELY take the puppy outside when it is allowed out of the cage.

Crate training depends upon the instinct of dogs to keep their beds clean. Dogs are “den” animals. Their own private place gives them a sense of security. CONFINEMENT IS NOT CRUEL UNLESS ABUSED. A puppy does not want a mess in his bed and then have to sleep in it! The crate should NOT be so large that he can relieve himself in one end and then sleep in the other, or he will do so. If too large of a crate is used, a divider can be constructed to place in the crate to make it smaller until the puppy grows to the size requiring the entire crate. Introduce the puppy to the crate as soon as it is brought home. The cage should be left open so that the puppy can voluntarily enter the cage for food, water, toys, or shelter. By making the cage experiences pleasant, the puppy should feel secure and comfortable in its cage. For the crate to remain a positive, enjoyable retreat, the dog should never be placed in the cage for punishment. If social isolation or “time-out” techniques are used for punishment, an area such as a washroom, laundry room, or basement might work best.


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Immunizations for the Cat
Panleukopenia: Panleukopenia is caused by a virus. The virus is shed in all excretions, particularly feces. Clinical signs are lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. They can often have purulent discharge from the eyes or nose.

Rhinotracheitis or Calicivirus: these are viruses that affect the upper respiratory tract. Clinical signs are similar with a “cold”. These viruses cause purulent discharge form the eyes and nose. Cats can have a loss of appetite, a fever and dehydration. Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus are herpesviruses. This means that they can have recurring clinical signs throughout their life.

Feline Leukemia Virus: FeLV is a highly contagious, fatal viral disease in cats. FeLV is spread by saliva (licking & fighting), spread through urine and feces, and spread in the uterus or nursing milk. The most common symptom is no symptoms at all. A cat with FeLV may show weight loss, lethargy, or oral lesions. Our clinics recommend that all cats be tested for Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.

Rabies: one of the worlds most publicized and feared diseases, is fatal. Rabies virus attacks the brain and central nervous system, and is transmitted to humans chiefly through the bite of an infected animal.

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Intestinal Parasites
Ascarids: (Roundworms)
Round; White; 2 to 4 inches long; May curl up when seen; resemble “Spaghetti”.
May be vomited up from stomach, or coughed up from the lungs.
Are most commonly found in young puppies and kittens.
May cause intestinal blockage when found in large numbers.

Hookworms:
Very thin, almost transparent, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.
Normally NOT visible to the naked eye.
Hook onto the intestine and suck blood, which causes anemia.
Puppies and kittens can become infected when nursing milk from the infected mother.
May be ingested orally or may actually penetrate the skin (usually through feet).
Causes bloody diarrhea and death when severe.
Most HARMFUL or ALL internal parasites.

Whipworms:
Inhabit the lower part of the intestine (colon).
Causes chronic diarrhea, sometimes containing blood.
Normally NOT visible to the naked eye.
Eggs are ingested off the ground.

Tapeworms:
Short, flat segments (look similar to “rice” or “cucumber seeds”).
Causes a poor appearance and dry skin.
Often seen on the hair around the rectum.
Cannot be diagnosed by microscopic exam like other parasites, unless a segment just happens to be present – segments are NOT passed everyday. Spread by FLEAS, rabbits, birds, and other rodents – NOT by dogs and cats.

Internal Parasite Prevention:
Fecal examination of your pet’s stool should be done every 6 months.
Use specific dewormers for the type of parasite present, as determined by microscopic fecal examination. Over-the-counter deworming medications are usually NOT effective against most internal parasites that cause the REAL problems!
Remove feces from your lawn, street, or kennel daily.
Exercise your pets in grassy areas not frequented by other animals.
Prevent your pet from eating rodents, such as mice, rats, and rabbits.
Prevent your pet from eating earthworms, which spread “roundworms”.
Control FLEAS!
Deworm pregnant pets before breeding, and again before whelping to help prevent infecting newborn pets.

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Feline Spay
Spaying your cat is an important part of basic cat health care. Spaying at a young age prevents mammary cancer and spaying at any age prevents unwanted kittens, noisy heat cycles, and possibly even urine marking in the house. Even though the cat spay is a routine and commonly performed procedure, many pet owners still have questions. Hopefully, this will be helpful.

At what age can my cat be spayed?
The traditional age for spaying is 6 months.

What is actually removed during spaying?
Spaying is an ovariohysterectomy, which means that both the ovaries and the uterus are removed. The cervix is tied off, leaving the vagina to end in a blunt sac. Since it is the ovaries that are responsible for the heat cycles, possible mammary tumor development, and behavior problems, it is crucial that the ovaries be removed intact.

How long will my cat stay in the hospital?
Our clinic may prefer to keep surgery cases overnight so that they can have “bed rest” in a properly confined area. In certain cases this first night of confinement helps the incision in healing.

Will she have stitches?
Your cat may or may not have stitches based on the doctor’s preference. The spay incision is closed in several layers (the abdominal muscles, the tissue under the skin, and the skin itself may all be closed separately).

What can I expect regarding recovery period/incision care?
One of the advantages of keeping cats overnight after spaying is that they usually go bouncing out of the clinic as if nothing has happened. Some cats will not eat for the first day or so but if the cat does not seem back to normal by the day following discharge, we would like to know about it. Later in the recovery period, it is not unusual to notice swelling at the incision site. Cats often react this way to internal sutures and this kind of swelling is common and resolves spontaneously. Such swellings are firm and there is no fluid drainage or bleeding from the incision. They generally resolve in 3 to 4 weeks.

Any fluid drainage from the incision is abnormal and your cat should be rechecked by your veterinarian if possible.

What if she is in heat at the time of her spay?
Some female cats are disruptively annoying when they are in heat, yowling and carrying on, and they are spayed to end the heat quickly. Other cats are spayed in heat randomly when the owner does not realize that the cat is in heat. Either way the spay is slightly more difficult due to the engorgement of the tissues and larger blood vessels. Spaying in heat does not carry a significant risk to the cat.

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Neutering the Male Cat
Why is neutering a good idea?
Neutering a male cat is an excellent step to helping your young cat grow into a loving, well-adapted household citizen. The main reason to neuter a male cat is to reduce the incidence of objectionable behaviors that are normal in the feline world but unacceptable in the human world.

ROAMING: More than 90% will reduce this behavior with neutering. Approximately 60% reduce this behavior right away

FIGHTING: More than 90% will reduce this behavior with neutering Approximately 60% reduce this behavior right away

URINE MARKING: More than 90% will reduce this behavior with neutering. Approximately 60% reduce this behavior right away. The extreme odor of tom cat urine is reduced after neutering as well.

What is a good age to neuter by cat?
The traditional age of neutering a cat is 6 months.

What is done exactly?
The cat is fasted over night so that anesthesia is performed on an empty stomach. The scrotum is opened with a small incision and the testicles are brought out. The cords are pulled free and tied and the testicle is cut free. The skin incision on the scrotum is small enough so as not to require stitches of any kind.

Recovery?
There is minimal recovery with this procedure. There should be no bleeding or swelling. It is a good idea not to bathe the kitten until the incisions have healed 10 to 14 days from the time of surgery.

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How to Puppy and Kitten Proof Your Home
Kittens and puppies are naturally inquisitive, which can often lead to serious injury. Here are some tips on how you can make your house safer for the new arrival. That’s shocking - young animals love to chew when they’re teething. Keep electrical wires out of reach, or use a pet-repellent spray. They’d die for some chocolate - chocolate can be dangerous. It contains theobromine, a powerful stimulant that is toxic to pets. Sweets, cakes, and cookies can also upset a young animal’s G.I. tract and lead to diarrhea and vomiting, which can be serious.

Treats can be threats - never give turkey, chicken, or rib bones as a treat. They can splinter and cause serious injury.

Common household killers - cleaning agents, bleach, ammonia, disinfectants, drain cleaner, oven cleaner, gasoline, and rat poison. Keep them locked up.

Check the antifreeze - pets are attracted to the odor and sweet taste of antifreeze. Store in a tightly sealed container on a high shelf, wiping up any spills on the garage floor. Window-washing solution also contains antifreeze. And remember, engine warmth promotes catnaps, so honk your horn to wake pets who may be under the hood.

Killer house plants – poisonous plants include lilies, philodendron, dieffenbachia, elephant ear, eucalyptus, spider plants, azalea, ivy, amaryllis, pyracantha, oleader, boxwood, Jerusalem cherry, and plant bulbs.

It fit yesterday – puppies and kittens grow rapidly. Collars and harnesses can be rapidly outgrown, leading to serious wounds.

Take care of personal care items, medication, cosmetics, shampoos, skin creams, hair “perm” solutions, depilatoriws, suntan lotions, sleeping pills, antihistamines, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen can all be lethal to pets.

It’s not a toy – don’t leave plastic bags out. Inquisitive young animals, especially kittens, can suffocate.

The heat is on – watch out for hot irons, coffee pots, and space heaters. Kittens and puppies will suddenly be able to jump to new heights.

A dip tip – keep covers on hot tubs and swimming pools. Kittens and even young puppies can fall in and not be able to get out.

‘Tis the season – keep holly, mistletoe, and especially Christmas tree tinsel out of reach.

Cozy up – always use a fireplace screen.

Do not eat with that mouth – rule of thumb: If any or all of something will fit in a mouth, it’s dangerous. Watch out for cigarette butts, rubber bands, balloons, sewing needles, thread, string, and ribbons, and yes, even pantyhose. Because what goes in must come out, often via surgery.

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Online Information
www.akc.org - The American Kennel Club – connect to find a breeder or information on registering your dog
www.aspca.com - American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
www.tricountyhumanesociety.org - Check out our local humane society in St. Cloud
www.purina.com - Purina pet foods – great general and nutritional information
www.iams.com - Iams and Eukanuba pet foods – great general and nutritional information. Take a compatibility test to match you with the perfect dog breed!
www.hills.com - Hills pet food (Science Diet) – great general and nutritional information. Take a quiz on common pet myths.