South Gessner Pet Clinic P.A. -
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Frequently asked Questions?
 
1.  Q:I don't want my animal any more is it okay for me drop it off  
    to your clinic so you can take care of it and fine it a home?
          A: This is a medical/Surgical private practice. We would encourage you to take your pet to the nearest shelter.        -Houston Humane Society: 713-433-6421       -SPCA: 713-869-7722       - Citizen's for Animal Protection: 281-497-0534
     
    2.  Q: What does the exam include?
    A: A routine examination checks the eyes, ears, teeth, gums, lymph nodes, heart rate, respiratory sounds, joints, skin, temperature, abdominal palpation, neurological function and weight.  It will give an overall idea of your pet's general health. Pets age much faster than people.  Your pet should be examined twice yearly. 

    3.   Q: Why does my pet need lab tests?

    A:Lab tests allows us to see changes inside your pet and gives us windows into organ function.
          

    4.   Q: What are 4 things that you can do to maximize your dogs
     health?

    A:1-Keep all vaccines current       2- Feed a name brand diet: Hill's, Purina, Royal Canine, or Iams-Top of the line in each brand. 3-Give monthly heartworm- intestinal worm preventative. 4- Give monthly flea preventative

     
    5.   Q:Is it safe to give my pet bones from the table?

         A:Do not give your pet bones from the table. A hard rubber ball or  like chew toy is a much better bet than risking injury   from bones that may splinter.  

     
    6.   Q:I would like to give my pet a bath. What is the best way to do it?
           A: Bathe your pet in a warm room to prevent chilling and speed drying.You can use your bathtub or shower.Place your pet in a tub containing enough lukewarm water to come up to the middle of the leg. Wet hair thoroughly,apply pet shampoo, massage well, then rinse.Wash the eyes out with sterile eye wash.  Dry your pet by giving him/her a quick rub down with a heavy towel.
     


    7.  Q:How often should I give my pet a   bath? 
    A:Every 2 to 6 weeks depending on the breed and hair coat.
         
     
    8.   Q:I know all the puppies like to chew, but he is ruining all my good things.  Any suggestions?
          
    A: There are many ways from keeping your puppy from chewing on  Things.  Try giving your pet something it will enjoy chewing, like a       flavored nylon bone or a hard rubber ball.  A good treat for chewing       are Dentley chew bones (non-flavored). 



    9.   Q:With all the brands of dog food, I'm really confused as to what I should be feeding them.  Is one better than the other?A: Feed a name brand diet: Purina (Pro- plan), Hills (Science Diet), Iams (Eukanuba), and Royal Canine.  Feed a life stage diet for your       pet.  Never feed a raw diet: there are health risks to you and your pet.

        

    10.  Q:Do cats need variety in their diets, or can I feed dry food all the time?
    A: Cats should eat 75- 90 % canned food.  Cats are true carnivores. They need a high protein and low carbohydrate diet, less than 8% on a dry weight basis.
           
     

    11.  Q:My cat loves to join us for meals.  Is it safe to feed her table food?
          
     A: Feeding your cats table food is alright, but make sure at least 90% of their diet is nutritionally balanced by cat food.

    12. Q:Is it safe to feed my pets raw meat?
      A: Pets can get parasites and pathogenic bacteria from eating raw meat and those parasites are transmissible to humans.  All meat should be cooked or boiled.


    13.  Q:Are vegetables good for my pet?
     A: It's fine to feed your pet vegetables if they want some.  Opt for        well cooked green beans, carrots, potatoes and rice.  Avoid        vegetables with high acidic content such as tomatoes, peppers,       eggplants, lettuce and raw greens.  Vegetable should only be less       than 1/4 of their total diet.     

     
    14.  Q:We currently have a cat and we will be bringing home a new puppy. How will they get along with each other?

           A: When bringing a dog into a home that already has a cat, be prepared that there might be some conflicts.  The adult cat that hasn't been around other animals may not like the dog.  When  bringing puppies and kittens together there should be less of a problem as the topic of being "territorial" is not truly taken place.All pets should be checked by a veterinarian before being         introduced.

     15. Q:Is it normal for my cat to vomit hair?A: It is normal for a cat to vomit hair.  This is called a hairball an is especially common in cats past 2 years of age.  Laxatone is a good product to help with this problem.
          
    16. Q: At what age does my pet need to be protected from heartworms?         A: 8-12 weeks of age.   
         
     
    17. Q:Is it possible to get hookworms from my pet?
          A: Since humans are not the natural host for hookworms, they migrate throughout the body, doing damage as they go.  They migrate just under the skin, causing unsightly rashes, eruptions,and itching.  They may also go deeper into the body, inflaming internal organs.  In rare cases, they may infect the small intestine.
     
    18. Q:My pet tries to lick his wound.  Is this alright, or will he cause an infection?
           A: Despite the old stories, your pet licking his wound is not helpful to' healing.  Licking the wound can cause increased inflammation.
     
    19. Q:At what age should my pet be brought home?
         
    A: Between 8 -10 weeks old.
     
    20. Q:How will I know if the pet I select is really healthy?
    A: Look for these signs when selecting a healthy pet. The eyes and nose should be free of any discharge; ears should be clean and free of odor. Check for dehydration of the skin by pinching a small piece and then releasing it. If the skin is healthy it should return its original condition. New pet should be checked by a veterinarian before coming into your household.    
     

    21.  Q:At what age should my pet be spayed?
           
    A: You should have your pet spayed before the end of there first year of life. 

    22.  Q:Should I give my pet medicine for heartworms?
            
     A: Yes! Every 30 days year around for their whole life. Before any medicine can be give for heartworms, a pet must be tested to insure that active infection does not exist.

    23.  Q:How can I safely remove a tick from my dog?
    A: Use an approved tick puller or a pair of thumb forceps. Never use your bare fingers.      
     
    24.  Q:At what age should my puppy's tail docked?
        
    A: You should have your puppies tail docked at about 2-3 days old. The dewclaws can also be removed at this time.     


    25.  Q:What vaccination does my puppy need?
         
    A:Puppy vaccinations start at 6 weeks of age and are given ever 3 to 4 weeks through 20 weeks of age.  Rabies is given at 12- 16 weeks.   


    26.  Q:I know my dog should be neutered. I am curious as to whether his testicles will be remover during the surgery?
         
     A:When a male is castrated the testicles are removed.


    27.  Q:How old should my children be when bringing a new pet home?
         
    A:Children need not be a certain age for the family to bring home a new pet, however; it is important that young children not be left  alone the iny puppies or kittens as they might injure their new pet.

    28.  Q:What are dewclaws?


         A:Dewclaws were once the "thumbs" many generations ago. After not being used for all this time they have changed forms and became the small growth on the inside of his leg. Your pet may dew claws only on his/her two front feet, or on all four.  

     29.  Q:How would I know if my pet has an ear infection?
       A:Ear infection can cause your pet a great deal of pain Look for signs of head shaking, smelly discharge or dark colored earwax,
            scratching, or redness. If you suspect a problem, bring yourpet in for proper medical care.

    30.  Q:How often does my puppy or kitten need to be feed?
    A: Between 6-12 weeks feed 3 times a day. Between 12 weeks and        6 months feed twice a day. From 6 months on feed once a day.         You can also try a self-feeding program by keeping his bowl full        all of the time. Be sure to select a good food like Science Diet Growth

    31.  Q:My puppy is eating his own stool. How can i stop this  
    A: Many puppies will eat their stool. To stop this habit, sprinkle Adolph's Meat Tenderizer on the stool. This should end the problem.  
    32.  Q:Will my pet's coat change color, as they get older?
            A: Pets hair color can change as, he or she gets older. At about 6
            months the fuzziness will disappear. This could cause a change in color.Certain breed have a natural change in the color, which is
            predictable.
     
    33.  Q:What's the best way to hold my new pet?
           A:The best way to hold your new puppy is to place one hand under
            the hind end and support the chest with the other hand. This gives
            your pet a sense of security.
     
    34.  Q:How can I check my pet for heartworms?
            A:The way your veterinarian checks for heartworms is by taking a
            blood sample from your pet. It is mixed with a special solution
            and incubated with tracer molecules that bind with any signs of
            heartworms in your pet, production a positive color change. The
            test is extremely accurate.
     
    35.  Q:How often does a female go into heat?
          A:A females goes into heat about twice a year. They may skip a heat cycle occasionally, but will seldom have an extra one. The cycle last 21 days in dogs. Cats first heat between 5 & 8 months. A cat will remain in heat until she is bred. Small breed dogs come into heat at about 6  months and medium breed dogs at 8 or 9 months.
     
    36.  Q:How can I tell if my female pet is going into heat?
           A:Some physical signs that your female pet is going into heat are a are a swollen vulva and a light red vaginal discharge.
     
    37.  Q:When is a dog or cat license required in our city?
           A:The licensing of your pet varies from city to city. In general it
             would be yearly. Be sure to check your area for the correct
             information.
     
    38.  Q: How can I tell if my pet has mange?
           A:To tell if your pet has mange, a microscope examination of a
             skin specimen is required. Because of this, you should bring your
             pet in for an examination by the veterinarian.
     
    39.  Q:At what age are pets sexually mature?
           A:Male become sexually mature between 7 and 9 months old. Small
           breeds female have their first heat around 6 months. Medium size
           female have their first heat at around 8 or 9 months.
     
    40.  Q:Will a mother cat reject her kitten if I pick them up?
           A:While a mother cat won't reject her kittens if you handle them, it's a good idea not to keep them away from their mother for too long.
     
    41.  Q:Is it really true that a cold, wet nose means my pet is healthy?
             A:A cold, wet nose is not necessarily a sign that your pet is healthy. The idea is misleading. Animals sweat from their noses and  footpads.Your pets may be wet with perspiration. Wet noses may be normal or they can indicate that your pet has a respiratory disorder.
     
    42.  Q:What should I take into consideration when choosing a long or
           short haired pet?
           A:When making the decision to select or long or short haired pet,
            consider the climate in your area. If the weather includes extreme
            heat, a long haired animal will suffer because of it. If you don't
            have a lot of time for grooming, or if fleas and ticks are a
            problem, a short haired pet may be the wiser choice.
     
    43 Q:Is being over weight a serious health problem in pet?
           A:Obesity is a serious problem for animals. Being overweight can
            cause liver disease, pancreatitis, diabetes, arthritis , back and heart problems. They may become overheated more easily causing  heat stroke. Difficulty in breathing is also apparent in overweight animals.
     
    44.  Q:How long is a cat and a dog pregnant before she has kittens  or puppies?
           A:The average gestation in cats and dogs is 61 to 63 days.Siamese may carry for as many as 71 days. The average is about 9-10 weeks.
     
    45.  Q:Is it true that houseplants can be poisonous to pets? 
           A:Houseplants in general can be poisonous to dogs
               and cats. Many common plants are toxic to your cat if she
               chews or ingests.them. These include
               Jadeplants,  Philodendron,  East Lilies, Poinsettia,Irish      
               Mistletoe, and English Ivy.
     
    46.  Q:Just exactly what are roundworms?
           A:Roundworms are 4 to 6 inch long parasites that attack the small intestines and respiratory tract of dogs. They are most prevalent
            in puppies. The worms can be transmitted from the mother to the
            pups in the women. Symptoms are: mucus-stained stools, dull coat, vomiting roundworm segments that look like coiled spaghetti. Pups may have a potbelly. The best treatment is to see your veterinarian for deworming.  Some OTC medications can cause serious health problems         
     
    47.  Q:How do I take a stool sample?
           A:Getting a stool sample should not be difficult. Only a small amount is required for testing about 1-2teaspoons. Simply scoop  it up and keep it in a cool place if you plan to take it later in the day or the following morning. 
     
    48.  Q:What does it mean if my pet's stool is like black tar?
           A:A black, tar-like stool indicates intestinal bleeding. It may indicate worms or other serious problems.Bring your pet in for an examination as soon as possible.
           
    49.  Q:What does it mean if my pet has blood in the stool?
            A:Blood in a pet's stool may indicate several things. Perhaps it a  minor irritation in the large intestine that could clear up in day or it may indicate canine parvovirus or poisoning. It is a good idea to  bring the pet in for an examination to determine to determine the acute cause and appropriate treatment.
     
    50.  Q:What type kind of toys are good for cats or dogs to play with?
            A:The pest toys for dogs: hard rubber balls large enough so they can't swallow, large rawhide chew stick, nylon bones that are especially good for keeping your pet's teeth clean. The best toys for cats are: wooden spools, catnip mice, hard rubber balls, paper balls, and remember...cats generally make their own toys. Kong  Toys are great for dogs.
     
    51.  Q;Can I take my cat or dog on a plane with me?
           A:It is perfectly safe to take your cat or dog on a plane with you. They needs to be in a pet carrier and if small enough, may actually fit under your seat. If your pet is a large breed he may need to go in the baggage compartment under the plane.  Do let the airlines know your plans when you book your flight so they can         best advise you on their procedures. Most may require a healthcertificate from your veterinarian.
     
    52.  Q:How useful is hiring a professional to train my pet?
            A:Professional training will be quite useful to both you and your pet. There are excellent books and video at the library and bookstore that give additional hints at dog and cat training. If your dog is having a specific behavior problem, a good traineror Certified Veterinary behavioralist is needed to get your pet on the right track.
     
     53  Q:How old should my puppy or kitten be before there first
           de-worming?
           A:Your puppy or kitten should begin de-worming at 3 weeks of age. It is advisable that your pet be tested first.
     
    55.  Q:How often should my pet be checked for worms?
            A:Your pet should be checked once a year for worms. If he/she has problem with worms th en a checkup every 6 months is advisable.

     
     
     
     

     
     





     



























     

     




     






     





     



     


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