Q. What pet food do you suggest?
We like any quality name brand food that has the AAFCO seal that states that the food has undergone feeding trials. We recommend Hills Science Diet, or Royal Canin, iVet food, or any food that is considered a premium food sold at pet stores. There is a huge push for "grain-free" diets these days. The truth is that dogs are omnivores like people. And omnivores can eat grain and actually should eat grain. There is nothing wrong with "grain-free" diets. Some dogs respond well to "grain-free" diets and some dogs do not respond well. The best food for your dog is the food that your dog does best on, which is different for each dog. It may take many months of trial and error to find out which type of food is best for your pet.
Q. Can my animals eat people food?
It is not advisable to feed human food due to the imbalance of nutrients and the fact that it is not formulated to meet the needs of animals. Human food may also cause gastrointestinal upset or obesity.
Q. Is it a medical problem if my pet is over weight?
Obesity in pets can lead to disorders such as diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, and arthritis.
Q. Is it normal for a cat to vomit frequently?
It is not normal for a cat to vomit frequently. Cats may vomit hairballs; however, if they are vomiting fluid or food, it may be indicative of an underlying disease. Many of these diseases can be successfully diagnosed with bloodwork or ultrasonography. We recommend a scheduled appointment to determine the cause of the vomiting.
Q. What should I do if my pet has diarrhea?
If your pet has diarrhea, but is eating and acting normally, you can try withholding food for 12-24 hours. If your pet continues to have diarrhea, is acting lethargic, not wanting to eat, or there is blood in the diarrhea, then your pet should be examined as soon as possible. At your pet's exam, Dr. Josh will want a fecal sample brought in, because there are many different types of intestinal parasites that can cause diarrhea (worms, giardia, coccidia, etc...).
Q. Is it ok to let my cat outside?
It is ok to let your cat outside, however, you do need to be aware of the fact that outdoor cats are more prone to injuries from trauma and cat fights, and are more prone to exposure to infectious diseases such as Feline Leukemia (FeLV) or Feline AIDS (FIV). All outdoor cats need to be vaccinated for feline leukemia FeLV, and tested annually for this disease and FIV.
Q. Should I be concerned if my pet is panting a lot even if it is not hot outside?
Excessive panting could be normal. It could also be an indication of pain, an endocrine disorder, a breathing disorder, or many other diseases. We recommend an exam as soon as possible, along with X-rays of the chest.
Q. What does it mean if my dog is scratching at his ears?
The most likely causes for scratching at ears are ear infections or allergies. The treatments are very different; therefore, it is best to bring your pet in for an examination.
Q. My animal is scratching a lot. What should I do?
Your pet may have allergies or some other skin disorder. We would need to examine your pet to determine the cause of the scratching and the proper treatment. The first step would be to perform a skin scrape/cytology.
Q. What should I do if my cat is urinating out of the litter box?
Inappropriate urination can be an indication of a medical or behavioral problem. The first step is to bring your cat into the hospital for a complete physical examination, urinalysis, and/or an ultrasound of the urinary tract. If it is a medical problem, we can provide appropriate treatments. If it is a behavioral problem, we can provide many suggestions to try and correct the problem. Feliway plug-ins are very effective at treating feline behavior problems.
Q. Why should my dog stay on year round heartworm prevention?
Heartworm disease is a life threatening disease that is spread by mosquito bites. Dogs need to stay on year round heartworm prevention for two reasons. The first reason is because mosquitoes are in the environment when the ambient temperature is above 57 degrees. In the Dallas area, we have the potential for mosquitoes in the environment all year round. The second reason is that the heartworm medication prevents the occurrence of intestinal worms. These worms have a zoonotic potential (risk to humans). Two of these worms can penetrate human skin, and kids seem to be more prone to exposure due to their tendencies to run around barefoot. There have been documented cases where the worms have penetrated the skin from the feet. Some worms (roundworms) when accidentally swallowed by people (usually kids) can migrate to the eyes and brain, resulting in serious illness. We do not want to run the risk of human exposure, especially if there are kids in the household.
Q. Why does my dog need a heartworm test?
We require an annual heartworm test to make sure your dog has not been previously exposed to an infected mosquito. If your dog is on year round prevention, we still perform the test every year to ensure that the drug is working properly. Also, yearly heartworm testing is the recommendation of the American Heartworm Society. If your dog gets heartworms, and you can prove that you have purchased year round heartworm prevention, the manufacturer will pay for the heartworm treatment. This is great news, because the treatment can cost up to $1,000 or more.
Q. Why do I need to bring my pets in annually?
The most important part of any wellness plan for your pet is the annual physical examination. On average, dogs and cats age 7 years for every one human year. The annual exam allows us to examine all body systems, evaluate dental health, and determine the proper weight for your pet. We can not over emphasize the need for annual wellness examinations in order to prevent or catch diseases early.
Q. Is it okay to get my pet’s medications online?
We do not recommend internet pharmacies because they are not regulated by the government. Many of these pharmacies are purchasing illegal drugs from over seas. Many of these prescriptions do not have the correct drug inside or have a different drug inside- there is no way to tell- because they are not regulated or tested. We also have no way of knowing if the drugs are stored properly. Many pharmacies are also prescribing medications without proper prescriptions from veterinarians. Some of these pharmacies may be able to charge less for similar prescriptions at a veterinary hospital; however, part of the benefit of a prescription includes client education and drug adjustments when needed. The internet pharmacies are not capable or legally able to provide this type of service.