Fayette County Veterinary Clinic, Inc.
Here is where we'll attempt to answer some of the questions we are
most frequently asked. If you have any questions not answered here,
feel free to give us a call or e-mail us.
At what age do you start puppies/kittens on their vaccinations?
As a general rule, we recommend giving first vaccinations at 6-8 weeks of age. Giving
the vaccinations too early can counteract the immunity they get from their mother if
she was vaccinated. They will need a booster vaccination at 10-12 weeks and another
booster at 14-16 weeks. Rabies vaccine is not given until 12 weeks of age. See our Vaccinations page for more information on which vaccinations we recommend.
At what age can you spay/neuter a puppy or kitten?
Six months of age is the best time to spay (if female) or neuter (if male) a puppy or
kitten. At this age they are old enough to safely endure the anesthesia, yet young
enough that they still haven't come into heat (in most circumstances). Older dogs
and cats can be spayed or neutered anytime after six months of age. We recommend
you allowing us to run a pre-surgical blood test prior to surgery. This test will check
kidney and liver functions. The kidney and liver are the two organs most responsible
for processing the anesthesia out of the system. If either one is compromised, the
animal may have difficulty waking up from the anesthesia. There is an additional
charge for the testing but it is great peace of mind.
How long does a heat cycle last in a dog?
Generally, a dog's heat cycle lasts approximately 21 days. Most dogs cycle every six
months. The heat cycle can be broken into three phases. The first phase, lasting
approximately 7 days, consists of a very swollen vulva, reddish-brown discharge, and
flirtation but no acceptance of male. The second phase, lasting approximately 9
days, consists of a less swollen vulva, clear or no discharge and acceptance of male.
The third phase consists of disappearance of discharge, no sexual behavior and no
acceptance of male. People often wait until their animal goes into heat before
deciding it's time to have them spayed. It's a good idea to wait until the animal goes
completely out of heat before having them spayed. If done while the animal is in
heat, the surgery is much more risky, as there is additional bleeding.
How long does a heat cycle last in a cat?
A cat's heat cycle can last from 14-21 days and occurs in months where there is
more daylight (February - October). A cat's cycle can be broken down into 3 phases.
The first phase lasts 1-2 days and can be difficult to identify. The second phase
lasts 6-8 days and consists of behavioral changes such as rolling, rubbing, extra-
ordinary vocalization, tail rolling to side and acceptance of male. The third phase
lasts 7-10 days and consists of rejection of male and ending of behavioral changes.
The cycle repeats every 14-21 days until the cat is bred. Cats can easily become
pregnant again while they are still nursing their current litter.
Can my female dog/cat be spayed while she's in heat?
She can, but it's best to wait until they go out of heat. When they are in heat, they
tend to bleed more readily during surgery making the procedure much more risky. If
you want to take the risk and have your dog or cat spayed while in heat, there will
be an additional charge.
My pet is scheduled for surgery. What do I need to know beforehand?
We do routine surgeries by appointment only on Mondays through Fridays. The
animal needs to be brought in no later than 7:30 am the morning of the surgery. The
animal needs to be kept off of food and water for 8-10 hours prior to surgery. If
possible, we prefer to have the animal come in the afternoon before the day of
surgery. There is no extra charge if done so.
Any time an animal (or human, for that matter) is put under anesthesia, there is a
risk. The risk can be minimized by having pre-surgical testing performed. We can
perform these tests in-house. We run a test which checks kidney functions, liver
functions and protein levels. If any of these values don't fall within a prescribed
range, it means there may be a problem with the animal processing the anesthesia
out of their system. In these cases, we won't do the surgery until the underlying
problem is resolved. This pre-surgical test is optional, but there is an additional
charge. Remember, just because an animal "looks healthy" doesn't mean there's
nothing to worry about. Problems may easily exist without exhibiting any outwardly
The majority of the time, the animal can go home late the same afternoon. We like
to make sure the animal is fully awake from the anesthesia before sending it home.
What are the benefits of spaying/neutering my pet?
There are long term health benefits to your pet when it is spayed or neutered.
Obviously, the primary benefit is controlling the pet population and reducing the
number of unplanned, unwanted pets. But spaying and neutering also greatly reduces
or even eliminates the chances of breast cancer in females and testicular cancer in
males as well as other maladies.
Spay and neuter procedures are major surgery for your pet. But the average
spay/neuter often costs less than an automobile tune-up. The procedure requires
the time of a veterinarian and a surgical technician, newly-sterilized surgical
instruments, general anesthesia, drapes, suture material and hospitalization. When
measured against the cost of feeding and nurturing unwanted kittens or puppies,
spaying/neutering is much more cost effective.
Somebody dumped a dog on me! Do you take in strays?
Unfortunately, no. We can't accept strays unless you pay to have them euthanized
or boarded until we can find a home for it. We will try to help you find a home for it
or you can contact the Gardenia Janssen Animal Shelter. You may also post a notice
on our bulletin board.
Why won't veterinarians diagnose and/or prescribe over the phone and save me time?
For the same reason a medical doctor won't, it's both unethical and illegal. Without
physically examining an animal, it's impossible for the veterinarian to come up with an
accurate diagnosis and rational plan of treatment.
A veterinarian can't make a diagnosis based on symptoms only as observed by an
owner. The outward signs may be an indication of any number of internal causes
with a wide variety of clinical treatments. A complete physical examination and
possibly other diagnostic tests are required to determine the cause of the symptoms
and best course of treatment. Also, some medications are considered prescription
medicines and it is illegal to dispense such items without a valid doctor/patient
Fayette County Veterinary Clinic, Inc.
My dog/cat has fleas! What can I do?
Fleas can be a major problem, especially in our warm climate. Our recent lack of cold
winters has only exacerbated the problem. Fleas used to be hard to control, but at
present there are several products which are very effective and are easy to apply.
The three most well known are Advantage, Frontline and Comfortis. Advantage and Frontline are topically applied once a month and begin killing fleas on the animal within a couple of hours of application. Both products are available for cats and dogs. If you have a tick problem as well, Frontline is more effective on ticks. Comfortis is an oral pill which starts killing fleas within 30 minutes and continues to kill for an entire month.
Another product which works well is Program. This product comes in a pill form for
dogs, and either a oral liquid or injectable form for cats. Whereas Advantage and
Frontline kill fleas on contact, Program works as "birth control". It keeps the adult
fleas from laying viable eggs and the fleas will die out naturally. If you have a bad
existing problem, it may take a while to catch up, but once you do this is a very good
product. If you use Program, you have to put all of your animals on it. If the flea is
able to get a blood meal from a host, it will start laying viable eggs again.
Often times treating the animal alone is not enough. You'll correct your problem much
quicker if you also treat the environment as well. This includes your yard, house and
everywhere you pet has daily access. Look for a product that has IGR (a growth
regulator, which keeps the eggs from hatching). Otherwise, you will have to treat
once a week for 4-6 weeks in order to break the cycle of eggs hatching.
Give us a call or stop by and we can fill you in on all the details of these and other
products. We are confident we can correct your flea infestation problems with these
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