¿Se habla Espanol?
Sí, varios miembros de nuestro equipo hablan Espanol incluyendo la doctora Sylvia Gutierrez, DVM.
My pet's teeth were cleaned 3 months ago & they look like they need it again. Why?
Bacteria and plaque begins to accumulate within thirty minutes of a professional scaling and polishing. Tartar forms once plaque builds up and can only be removed by scaling the teeth. You can prevent plaque build up and tartar formation by practicing good dental hygiene at home. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is the only effective method of preventing plaque. Once every other day or once a week is not effective.
What can you do if my pet refuses to accept brushing?
Use a tartar prevention diet, CET antibacterial rinses or gels, or CET chew treats. Although these are not as effective as daily brushing, they do help reduce bacteria in the mouth and keep their breath fresh. Dental disease is the most common disease in pets and maintaining good oral health will extend your pet’s life.
What is the best method to house train my new puppy?
We strongly recommend crate training. This will reduce accidents from occuring so you can focus on rewarding appropriate elimination outside. Paper training can confuse your pet when they learn to prefer one surface over another and may lead to accidents inside your home. Purchase a crate that is large enough for your puppy to move around in, but not so large to allow them to have an accident in the corner and avoid contact by moving to the other side of the crate. You can divide a crate if you have a larger one already. Puppies will learn not to eliminate where they sleep and spend time during the day. The bottom of the crate should be left bare so there is nothing that will absorb urine.
The goal is to encourage the dog to start inhibiting the urge to eliminate. After a few weeks of no accidents in the crate you can place a bed or blanket in the crate for comfort. Do not feed or water the puppy in the crate unless instructed by your vet to do so. The crate also serves as a quiet retreat for your pet to nap or to take a break from the rest of the family. Never let children play in the crate. This is your pet’s special place.
Remember, a crate is used as a training tool and should not be used to confine your pet for long periods at a time. Young puppies cannot and should not have to hold their urine for more than 3-4 hours. If you are going to be unable to take your puppy out frequently during the day then other arrangements should be made with a friend or neighbor to give your pet the social and physical development it needs. Some lifestyles may benefit from an older dog that is already housetrained or more easily crate trained than a very young puppy.
When should I have my dog or cat spayed or neutered?
Dogs and cats that are not being used for breeding purposes should be spayed or neutered at six months of age. This addresses both medical as well as social issues. We recommend female pets be spayed before their first heat cycle because it reduces the incidence of mammary cancer by 90 to 100%. If you spay them between their first and second heat cycles you have about a 50% chance of reducing this threat. After their second heat cycle we have no scientific data that supports any reduction in risk of breast cancer but it will eliminate the chance of life-threatening uterine infections and other commonly seen reproductive diseases. In male dogs it prevents prostate diseases commonly seen in older males. In both males and females it helps dogs with aggressive tendencies, eliminates unwanted pregnancies and troublesome heat cycles.
Should I take my exotic pets to the vet regularly like I do my cat or dog?
Yes! You should provide preventative health care to all members of your family. We recommend annual or bi-annual exams for all pet birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, and small rodents. We do not see reptiles or amphibians in our practice, but they also need regular vet care. During our exams we weigh the pet, perform comprehensive exams, check lab work, and perform some grooming on nearly every species. Some of these pets, such as ferrets, have a very short life expectancy and age very quickly so they can encounter serious health problems as early as two years of age. It is important to diagnose these problems as early as possible so that your pet may live a longer and healthier life. Some species show very subtle signs of illness or show no signs at all. We often find problems during exams and in their lab work that you might not otherwise find. Some of these pets can carry zoonotic diseases. These are diseases that can infect people as well as animals.
Is birdseed, such as millet and sunflower seed, a balanced diet for my pet bird?
No! Seed is the equivalent of candy bars and cupcakes for humans. Imagine how you would look and feel on such a diet! Seeds lack important vitamins and nutrients. For your pet birds we strongly recommend a quality pelleted diet, such as Harrison’s all natural pellets, Roudybush, or LaFeber’s pellets. You will be pleasantly surprised at just how vibrant the feather colors become on a balanced diet. For the larger species, these foods should represent about 75 to 80% of your pet’s diet . The remainder should consist of appropriate vegetables and some fruits and nuts. Smaller species of birds, such as cockatiels, budgies, and passerines, should have no more than about 30 to 40% of their diet as pellets. The remainder of their diet should be whole grains or millet seed and plenty of fresh vegetables. The smaller species can develop increased urination on a full pelleted diet and some researchers theorize that the pelleted diets are too high in calcium for their kidneys to handle.