Woodmoor Veterinary Hospital and Pet Lodge


Should I spay or neuter my pet?

Spaying (females) and neutering (males) is recommended for most dogs and cats. In addition to helping reduce pet overpopulation, there are many health and behavior benefits. By spaying your dog before her first heat cycle, her risk of mammary cancer later in life is much reduced. Spaying also eliminates the risk of a life threatening condition called pyometra, as well as cancers of the reproductive tract. Females left intact usually have heat cycles twice a year, during which time they can exhibit unwanted behavioral changes, and can become pregnant with just a few minutes of inattention on the owners part.

By neutering your dog, you can greatly reduce the risk of certain tumors. Also, your male dog is more likely to roam if left intact, and therefore has greater exposure to danger from cars and other dogs.

Female cats have heat cycles that can last several months, during which time they are often exhibiting very marked behavior changes such as yowling and rolling around on the ground, which can be very hard for owners to tolerate! Intact male cats tend to roam and are in danger of being attacked by other cats or hit by cars. They are also more likely to mark their territory by spraying urine.

Why do a fecal test?

Intestinal parasites are very common among dogs and outdoor cats in this area due to the abundance of wildlife. Parasites are acquired by digging in the soil, hunting rodents/rabbits/birds, finding something dead outside, etc. Many parasites that infest our animals can also be transmitted to people, with potentially devastating consequences. Most parasites are easily treated with various medications.

We recommend most dogs be on a monthly worming pill (to protect against heartworm, roundworm, hookworm, and tapeworm) and checking a stool sample once a year to look for giardia, coccidia, and whipworms.

For outdoor cats, we recommend yearly stool sample checks and applying topical wormer to the skin behind the ears every 2-12 months as needed, depending on how frequently they hunt.

Should I declaw my cat?

Aahh, that feels good!

Not all cats need to be declawed and almost never does a cat need to be declawed on all four limbs. The younger and smaller the cat the better, as healing time will be easier and faster. Declawing is a full surgical procedure that involves removal of the last portion of each toe. The cat will be sore for a few days and will need to stay overnight with us for two nights.

  • We offer low cost nail trims
  • Kittens generally outgrow the clingy, running up your pant leg phase.

Offer your cat or kitten plenty of acceptable scratching toys to encourage this normal behavior on appropriate items instead of on your furniture!

Does my pet need dental care?

Does my pet need dental care?

Does my pet need dental care?

A healthy mouth is a very important part of your pet’s overall health. As tartar accumulates on the teeth, bacteria start to colonize under the gumline. This leads to bacterial showering into the bloodstream which can lodge in the heart, kidneys, liver, and other organs and cause severe and even fatal health consequences.The bacteria under the gumline also start to work their way down the tooth root, eventually causing loose and abscessed teeth. By keeping your pet’s teeth clean, you can prevent these problems, and can enjoy his or her healthy fresh breath!

The rate of progression of dental disease varies widely among dogs and cats. There are individual and breed variations.There are certain breeds genetically prone to early and advanced dental disease, such as poodles, schnauzers, chihuahuas, collies, and dachshunds. These breeds often need yearly cleanings starting at about 2 or 3 years of age. Other dogs may be able to go several years between cleanings. Certain cats have a genetic disposition to a disease where the body starts to resorb the tooth at the gumline, leading to severe pain and eventually the loss of the tooth.

Dental health is one of the important parts of the regular check up your pet should receive at least yearly. Your veterinarian can help you decide on a good home care dental program and how often your pet might need professional cleaning.

At Woodmoor Veterinary Hospital we have the same ultrasonic scaling, polishing, fluoride treatments, and dental xray capabilities as most human dentists. Unlike human dentists, however, our patients won’t sit still for complete cleaning and oral exam! Therefore dental cleaning does require general anesthesia. We keep the anesthesia as light as possible, just enough for them to be lightly asleep to allow us to be thorough in our dental exam and cleaning, and for any extractions that may be needed for loose or abscessed teeth.

For dental procedures, please plan to drop off your pet in the morning and pick him or her up in the afternoon.

What does it mean to have a senior pet?

Due to their shorter lifespans, animals age faster than people. Dogs and cats are considered geriatric by age 8. By performing twice yearly physical exams and yearly blood tests on our geriatric pets, we can often pick up major problems before owners have noticed symptoms, and before they become life threatening. There are many recent advances in treatments for age related problems and conditions.

Why vaccinate my pet?

Keeping your pet current on the recommended vaccinations is an important component of keeping him or her healthy. Some diseases, such as rabies and leptospirosis, can be transmitted to owners from their pets. Some diseases, such as canine flu and “kennel cough” are highly contagious between dogs and are a major concern in places where dogs congregate such as dog parks, doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, and training/socialization classes.

Most boarding and grooming facilities in the area require proof of current vaccinations. Check with each facility well before your boarding stay or grooming appointment to see which vaccines are required.

The doctors at Woodmoor Veterinary Hospital are careful to recommend only those vaccines we feel are necessary for your pet, depending on his or her lifestyle and risk for exposure. As always, you have the final say on which vaccines you would like given to your pet.

Check out these documents for more information:

Should I microchip my pet?

Yes, microchipping your pet is a form of identification. This is a simple insertion of a microchip under the skin of your pet; it will not cause any harm to your pet. A scanner can then read the identification number so that if your pet is lost and picked up by the Humane Society, they will scan for a microchip. The microchip company will contact you so it is very important to keep your contact information current. Most veterinary professionals have their owner microchip scanner as well. However, you must register your pet with the microchip company in order to be in their system.

My pet ate (insert noun here), now what do I do?

Whenever your pet eats something that he/she should not have, always contact the veterinary hospital. If need be, we will refer you to Animal Poison Control. Some items may cause no harm while other items can kill. Remember, your pet physiology is different from ours. Just because we may eat something does not mean your pet can.

See the section below “What should I NOT let my pet eat and why?”

Holiday time, how do I protect my pet?

These are the most likely holidays that can cause problems with your pet:

  • New Years: This holiday can be loud and disturbing to your pet. Be sure your pet is secure within the house and cannot runaway due to fear. Keep snacks out of reach or you may end up with a pet having an upset stomach, bloated stomach from too much food, and diarrhea.
  • July 4th: This holiday is very loud and disturbing. Even the calmest of pets may become nervous. We hear about more lost pets at this holiday time than any other. Your pet may run in fear, possibly straight into traffic. Don’t let this happen. Secure your pet inside.
  • Halloween: There is a lot of yummy candy and chocolate lying around. Make sure it is all out of reach, including the wrappers that have been thrown in the trash. Plus, all the costumes may be upsetting to your pet. And always keep your pet inside at Halloween time; unfortunately, this is a time when people tend to do strange and harmful things to animals.
  • Thanksgiving: All the food! Every dog’s dream, probably even some cats. A grab from the table here, dropped food there, all the handouts from guests. If your pet is part of the party then make sure too much of a good thing is not going to your pet. If you know this will be too difficult at party time then consider boarding your pet for the night, weekend, or week.
  • Christmas: Christmas is much the same as Thanksgiving and the same precautions should be followed. Other things to watch for; decorations and presents that may be opened by the dog and eaten. Watch out for the tinsel. Tinsel is very appealing to cats and also very bad. Your pet may play with tinsel and end up ingesting it. Animals never intentionally eat something harmful to them, it just happens. We recommend that any household with pets should not decorate any part of the house or tree with tinsel.

Can I give my pet my medication?

No! Many medications that we take for ourselves may harm or even kill your pet. In fact, never give any mediation to your pet without discussing it with a veterinary professional. Even if you have more than one pet and have medication for one and not the other. Thinking and knowing what medication needs to be given are two different things. A medication that may have helped one of your pets may do absolutely no good for another pet or even make matters worse. If your pet is given or ingests any kind of medication call a veterinary professional immediately or contact the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Please note, there is a fee for their services.

Why is my pet acting out of the ordinary?

Any time your pet is not acting normal we recommend you call us immediately. A number of things may be going on. It could be as simple as he/she doesn’t like how the furniture was rearranged to something very severe. Don’t we all wish our pets would talk to us? The veterinarians and technicians know what to look for and what questions to ask. Don’t be shy, this is what we do and are always here for you and your pet.

What should I NOT let my pet eat and why?

  • Chocolate: The darker the chocolate, the more harm it can cause your pet. Chocolate can cause elevated heart rate and heart rhythm disturbances, diarrhea and vomiting, seizures, and even death.
  • Onion: Can cause anemia.
  • Grapes/Raisins: Can cause kidney failure.
  • String: Can create tightly bound intestines which may require surgery to release.
  • Coins: Can cause life threateing heavy metal toxicity.
  • Gopher/Mouse/Rat poison: Can cause bleeding disorders or severe neurologic problems.
  • Antifreeze: Causes kidney failure. It has a sweet taste and only takes a few licks to cause death.
  • Nuts: Can cause kidney failure.
  • Avocado: Can cause organ failure.
  • Garlic: Can cause anemia.
  • Any food item may cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and/or pancreatitis.
  • Any non digestible item can cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed. Some of the most common are rocks, toys, and clothing.

What do I do if my pet gets sprayed by a skunk?

Deodorizing recipe to help if your pet is sprayed by a skunk:

1 qt. hydrogen peroxide
1 cup baking soda
1 tsp liquid soap
Lather in, let sit for 5 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.