FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Do I need to have an appointment or do you accept walk-ins?
Except for emergencies, all patients are seen by appointment.
2. What forms of payment do you accept?
Cash, Check, Master Card, Discover and Visa
3. Can I make payments?
Full payment is required at the time of service.
4. Do you only see dogs and cats?
No- we treat birds, ferrets, rabbits, lizards, snakes and almost any other exotic pet you can name! Give us a call and we can let you know if we have a doctor that can treat your pet.
5. My pet had vaccines today and is not acting right. Should I be concerned?
It is fairly common for your pet to experience some or all of the following mild side effects - usually starting within hours of vaccination and typically lasting no longer than a few days. If these side effects last for more than a few days, give us a call.
-Sneezing or other respiratory signs (following an intranasal vaccine)
-Discomfort and local swelling at the vaccination site.
-Diminished appetite and activity
-A small, firm swelling under the skin may develop at the site of a recent vaccination and should disappear in a couple of weeks. If it persists for more than three months or grows in size, give us a call. More serious but rare side effects, such as severe allergic reactions, may occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, itchy skin, difficulty breathing and collapse. These allergic reactions can be life-threatening and are medical emergencies. If our hospital is closed call the NW PA Pet Emergency Center at 866-5920.
6. At what age can I have my pet neutered?
Spaying of the female or castration of the male cat or dog can be done at approximately 5 or 6 months of age. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether he or she is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Current vaccinations are required and a pre-anesthetic blood screen is recommended prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery.
7. What is the pre-anesthetic blood screening?
This is a blood test that is done in the hospital prior to surgery. It tests the organ functions, blood counts and clotting function of your pet. The pre-anesthetic blood screening is done to assure safety during surgery and the ability to heal following surgery.
8. How long do the sutures stay in after my pet's surgery?
Procedures involving sutures require them to be removed 12 to 14 days following the surgery. This is a quick appointment scheduled with a technician.
9. Is it a good idea to let my pet have at least one litter?
No, there is no advantage to letting your pet have one litter. However, there are many advantages to having your pet spayed or neutered! These advantages include decreasing the chances of; breast tumors, cystic ovaries, uterine infections and prostate cancer. It will also decrease their desire to roam the neighborhood, help prevent spraying and marking, and help control the pet population.
10. At what age will my female dog go into heat?
Usually between 5 and 12 months of age. Once a dog goes into heat we wait two months before performing the spay surgery to allow the uterus, ovaries and surrounding tissues and blood vessels to return to normal. Cats are a different story! They will continue to go into heat every 3 weeks or so until they are bred or spayed so the waiting period does not apply to them. For more on this please visit our Pet Library.
11. Do you do grooming or boarding?
No, at this time we do not groom or board pets.
12. Can I give my cat or dog benadryl, tylenol or advil?
No, animals metabolize medicines differently than humans so never give it to your pet without your vet's OK.
13. Will chocolate kill my dog?
At the very least it will cause stomach upset, and at worst it can cause neurologic problems, including seizures or even death. The ingredient in chocolate that causes the problem is theobromine- which is most concentrated in Baker's chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. Milk chocolate can still cause problems but is less toxic. Check out our chocolate toxicity chart.
14. When do I start vaccines for my puppy or kitten?
Vaccines begin at 6 weeks of age. Any given before that may be blocked by antibodies the puppy or kitten received from it's mother. Vaccines are then given at 3-4 week intervals until the pet is 16 weeks of age.
15. Do flea collars work?
Unfortunately, only in the area around the neck. They usually contain pyrethrins which paralyze and kill the fleas- but they do nothing about the other life stages- larvae and eggs. We recommend Advantage for fleas and Frontline Plus for fleas and ticks. Both are topical treatments that help eliminate all life stages of the parasites. We also have a chewable tablet called Comfortis which treats fleas, larvae and eggs, but is only available for dogs at this time.
16. What are heartworms?
Heartworm is a disease of the heart that is spread by mosquitoes. We recommend testing your pet in the spring and putting him or her on a monthly preventative like Iverhart Plus during the warm months, usually through the month of November. If you keep your pet on preventative medicine year-round we recommend testing for it every two years.
17. My pet was sprayed by a skunk. What do I do?
We sell a commercial deodorizer called Skunk Off, but we also have a home recipe you can try:
Dissolve 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Add 1 teaspoon of liquid soap, mix and put in spray bottle.
Spray liberally on pet, rub in and wait 15 minutes.
Rinse out completely with warm tap water.
18. I see worms in my pet's stool. Can I get medicine for this without making an appointment?
No, we need to view some of the pet's stool under a microscope to determine the types of worms present before a course of treatment can be recommended. We also want to be sure that your pet is generally healthy otherwise before we begin any medicinal treatment. For more information about worms, check out our Pet Library.
19. I see a tick on my dog but we never go in the woods. How did this get on him and should I be concerned?
Yes, you should be concerned. Deer ticks carry lyme disease, ehrlichia and anaplasmosis. If you think your dog has been bitten by a tick we can test for these diseases. To be safe, we recommend using Frontline Plus and vaccinating for lyme disease. Ticks are carried by mice and birds to areas that never see deer. Northwestern Pennsylvania has a high incidence of lyme disease, second only to New York State.