When should I bring my puppy or kitten in to see a veterinarian?
We recommend a veterinary exam for your pet within 2-3 days of bringing it home. Our veterinarian will check your pet's heart, look for hernias or other problems, check for parasites, or other health problems that could affect your new pet's well-being or affect the other pets in your household. We'll also discuss with you proper feeding and training tips as well. A health check on other new pets, like rabbits and guinea pigs, is a good idea also.
Will you vaccinate my puppy or kitten when I bring it in?
Puppy and kitten vaccinations are scheduled when your pet is 8-weeks, 12-weeks, and 16-weeks of age.
Why do you vaccinate so many times?
We vaccinate multiple times in order to protect your pet after the antibodies that were transferred by their mother wear off. This happens at different times in each animal, so vaccinating multiple times ensures your pet can mount it's own permanent antibody response against disease.
Routine Preventative Care Questions
My pet is healthy and doesn't go anywhere. Why should I bring him in to see a veterinarian?
Even healthy pets should see a veterinarian at least once per year. Remember your dog or cat ages around 5-7 years for each one of ours. Lots of things can change in that time that you may not notice that can impact your pets overall health and longevity.
I heard too many vaccinations cause problems. Is that true?
If pets are vaccinated inappropriately it may cause problems. At Chalet Veterinary Clinic we tailor our vaccination program to your pet's needs. We recommend core vaccinations on an annual basis, with rabies every 3 years. Core vaccinations are those which all pets should be protected against; non-core vaccinations are recommended for pets that have a specific risk of exposure like Lyme disease.
My pet needs medication routinely. Why do I have to get blood drawn?
If your pet has a specific health problem that requires medication, once per year we will ask to recheck a blood test for one of these reasons: to make sure the medication is working properly, to make sure there has been no change in your pet's liver or kidney function because of the medication, to see if we need to change the medication dosage.
Why do I need to test my dog for heartworm?
Heartworm is a disease that will always be with us in Wisconsin. It's endemic here because we have mosquitoes and we have canines - both wild and domestic - that can carry the larvae in their blood that causes heartworm disease. When a mosquito bites an infected animal it picks up the larvae from that animal. Then if it bites your pet it transfers the larvae into your pets' bloodstream. The larvae go through several lifestyle changes and develop into adults in your dog's heart.
But if my dog was on heartworm preventative last year, do I still need to test?
Yes! The American Heartworm Society recommends testing annually even if your pet is on heartworm preventative year-round. (And they do recommend giving heartworm preventative year round even in Wisconsin.) We endorse this policy for two reasons: NO MEDICATION IS 100% EFFECTIVE. At 95-97%, heartworm preventative is pretty good but not totally protective. The second reason is that we all slip up once in awhile and your dog may not have taken and absorbed every dose of heartworm preventative at the critical stage for larvae development.
If it's not 100% effective, why should I bother to give heartworm preventative at all?
The major heartworm preventative manufacturers do guarantee their products, when purchased through a licensed veterinarian, and given as directed through the entire year. If your pet should develop heartworm disease while on year-round medication, they will pay for the cost of diagnosis and treatment.
Should I bring in a stool sample to check for parasites?
Yes! We recommend checking a stool sample for intestinal parasites at least once per year, or if your pet is having diarrhea, to check for common parasites like roundworm or hookworm. Both of these parasites can cause problems in people, especially children, so treatment as soon as possible in an infected animal is important.
How do I bring in a stool sample?
Probably the easiest way is to use a zip-lock bag. Turn it inside out, put it over your hand like a glove, and pick up the stool sample — usually no more than a cup sample is sufficient. Invert the bag and zip it up. Keep it cool before bringing it in to us. Please do not submit anything over 12 hours old or anything dried or frozen.
Fleas & Ticks
Should I use flea and tick preventative on my pets?
Yes! Fleas and ticks are nasty and cause many health problems for your pet. Using a flea and tick preventative every 30 days starting in March should prevent your pet from picking up ticks in the early emergence we see here in the spring. Continue through November to protect your pet from the second tick uprising and keep fleas off at the time they're most desperate to find a winter home.
Should I use flea and tick preventative all year?
It depends on your pet's risk. If your pet goes to a doggie daycare or interacts with other pets at a dog park all year round, we would recommend it. Or if your pet is traveling down south with you in the winter, keep them on preventative.
What kinds of diseases can my dog get from ticks?
Most commonly dogs in Wisconsin are exposed to Lyme Disease through the bite of the deer tick. But in the past 2-3 years we have started seeing infections of Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis. All three of these infections can cause fever, lack of appetite, and lameness. There may also be symptoms related to kidney disease in some instances, or some blood diseases.