Both puppies and kittens begin their vaccination series at six to eight weeks of age and receive vaccinations every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. It is also very important to have your puppy or kitten’s stool checked for worms or other intestinal parasites at a young age. If you are unsure of your new pet's age, you can always ask us for advice.
Fleas and ticks can be a real nuisance. Not only do they make your pet and you uncomfortable, they can transmit diseases to them. Lyme disease, a disease transmitted through the bite of a deer tick, is relatively common in York County so it is important to try to prevent your pet from being bitten by ticks. We have several products that will aid in the control of these parasites and our receptionists will be happy to discuss the various products with you.
A dog is in season about 21 days. The first 10 days include bleeding from the vagina, then your dog is ready to accept the male. A cat is completely different from a dog. They go in and out of season from January to June. It is always best to neuter your pet if you do not intend to breed her so that she does not develop breast or uterine cancer.
Do not use your fingers to remove ticks. Use tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Slowly and steadily pull the tick off. Occasionally the mouth parts will remain in the skin but don't worry. These will eventually be sloughed out as the skin layers grow out. You should know that ticks carry a vast array of diseases. Lyme disease is one disease that dogs can be vaccinated against. Call our hospital for more information.
The right size cage is one in which your pet can lie down, turn around, and have three to four inches of extra head space when sitting or standing. While the right-sized cage may seem too confining or too small to you, it is not for your dog. The theory behind crate training is that a puppy will not urinate or defecate if they can’t get away from it. This trains your puppy to “hold it” and not go whenever they want. That said, it is important to get your puppy outside frequently and often in the same area of your yard. You should put your puppy in its crate at night and when you are away from home. Crate training can be very effective if you remember to bring your puppy outside a) right before bedtime b) immediately when you get up in the morning c) before you leave the house and d) right when you return.
In general, the normal body temperature for animals is higher than for humans. Normal body temperature is the same for cats and dogs. The normal rectal temperature of a cat is 100° to 102.5°F. The normal temperature of a kitten at birth is 97°F. The temperature gradually increases with age until it is 100°F at 4 weeks of age. It is important to note that you cannot detect the body temperature of your cat or dog by feeling its head or skin.
Cats are very prone to urinary tract infections. Signs include frequent urination and production of only small amounts of urine. Some cats will urinate outside the litter box when they have problems. In some cats crystals and possibly stones will form in the bladder. These crystals can form into a plug that can block the urethra preventing normal urine flow. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY! Any time your cat is straining to urinate could be a sign of blockage and you should call immediately! This is especially problematic in male cats. Although females will often get bladder infections, they rarely become blocked.
Cats and dogs should be spayed at about 5-6 months of age BEFORE they go into heat. Spaying after even just one heat cycle increases their chance of getting mammary (breast) cancer. Dogs cannot be spayed while they are in heat but cats can have surgery even if they are in heat.