I'm thinking of getting a pet. How do I know what to get?

Owning a pet can be extremely rewarding, but taking time to make an informed decision before you choose is important. Things you should consider include:

  • How the pet will interact with the entire family-especially children
  • Costs associated for food, vaccinations, grooming, emergencies, preventative medications (such as flea/tick control)
  • How much time will be needed to interact with your pet to train it and keep it happy
  • Laws associated with owning the pet
  • Expected lifespan
  • Behavioral characteristics of the species/breed

Many pets seem irresistible at first. But the little puppy may grow to be 150 pounds and become financially difficult to care for. The fuzzy kitten may shred everything in sight. Situations like these can create tremendous stress on your family if you don't anticipate such possibilities. Please consider all aspects of pet ownership and do your research before getting your companion so that you are prepared for the responsibility. If you are not sure about choosing a pet, we encourage you to discuss it with one of our veterinarians.

Why should I spay/neuter my pet?

The first reason most people think of is to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens. There are millions of pets put down each year because there are not enough homes for them. In addition, there are medical reasons to consider.

With the spay of your female cat/dog, the ovaries are removed and this eliminates the heat cycle. The procedure will help to prevent possible problems such as uterine infections and reduces the risk of breast cancer. The castration of the male cat/dog removes the testes and this typically reduces the breeding instinct and makes them less likely to roam. It also reduces the risk of testicular cancer and some prostate problems.

The best age to have these procedures performed may depend on the species and breed. Please call for additional information.

I have an emergency and your office is closed. What should I do?

If you are a current client with our hospital and it is after hours you should call our office number. Our doctor will be on call and if you follow the instructions on the answering machine you will typically receive a call back within a few minutes. Remember when you leave a message for the doctor to speak clearly and be sure to leave a phone number where you can be reached. If your call is not returned within a few minutes please understand that the doctor may be with another emergency and the call back may take a little longer. If the doctor has a personal emergency there will be instructions on how to get alternative help.

Everyone is talking about Lyme disease. What do I need to know?

Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick and can cause serious health issues for humans and animals. If a person or animal has Lyme disease, they cannot transmit it to another person or animal.

The best thing you can do to decrease the chance of infection in your pet is to take protective measures. There are many tick preventive products and your veterinarian can assist you in selecting the best one for your pet. Keep pets out of areas prone to have ticks such as wooded areas, tall grassy areas and marshes. Check for ticks after you have been out and remove them as soon as possible. The deer tick is very small with black legs. Female ticks are about 3mm long but after a blood meal may be about 10 mm long. Male ticks are smaller than the females. There is a vaccination available for dogs and the veterinarian may recommend it depending on your dog's lifestyle.

Symptoms of Lyme disease may not appear for 2-5 months after being bitten by the infected tick. Signs of infection may include:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint swelling
  • Decreased activity
  • Lameness, which may come and go or migrate to a different joint

This is not a complete list and keep in mind there are other diseases that ticks can transmit that may also cause serious health problems. Your pet can be checked for these with a blood test. Although complications can occur, most often once detected your pet will be treated with a course of antibiotics.

If your pet is positive for Lyme disease, it is probably a good idea to have other pets and family members checked as well.

Why do I need to have my pet vaccinated?

Pennsylvania law requires that a person owning or keeping a dog over 3 months of age must have it vaccinated against rabies. Rabies virus is an acute viral disease of the central nervous system and is transmitted usually through the injection of saliva by an animal bite. It is most often fatal.

There are several other highly contagious viruses that can affect both dogs and cats. It is recommended to vaccinate against these to protect them and prevent the spread of these diseases. Puppies and kittens are usually more susceptible to these infections and should always start on a good immunization schedule.

Hospital Policies & Payments

Pet examinations are seen by appointment. Walk-ins will be seen only if time permits. Emergencies take priority and we will do our best to see them as soon as possible.

Our doctor tries to see your pet at the time we have scheduled, but there may be times when an emergency or complicated case may put him behind. If this situation occurs, you are welcome to wait or reschedule if it causes you too much inconvenience. If you are unable to make your appointment, we request 24 hours notice for cancellation unless you have an emergency.

All payments for services are expected in full at the time of service. Payments are by cash or check. If you need to have an estimate before having your pet seen, please ask. Any other payment arrangements must be approved before service.