Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Recently my follower/blogging friend Mimi (Hey Girl!) left me a comment about my previous blog and asked me this, here is her comment:

I do get confused on what cats need. My dog is down pat but I've had trouble with Ms. Kitty. I took her in for her shots at 7 weeks, she ended up getting sick..had ear mites that the vet should have checked for in my opinion...had to give her some kind of shot for the infection...took her back twice...anyway long story short...when I checked the other day on getting her spayed they said she had not had her vaccinations. I thought what was that $200 for when I brought her in August? Then they said it would cost $250.00 to spay her. I believe my vet is trying to rip me off. what do you think?
So here is my answer:
Okay so about 6 weeks or older is when a kitten get his/her fist set of vaccines. Then 3 weeks later your kitten needs to receive another round of shots, and then another round will be needed again three weeks later. Check out my previous post about vaccines and that should tell you what she needs.
The reason why your kitten probably did not get her vaccines boosted again is because she had an infection and her immune system was compromised. The injection they gave her was an anti-biotic that will last for two weeks. As for the ear mite issue. YES your vet should have caught that at the first visit. When your pet goes to their very first exam after adoption your vet should do a complete head to tail check, this includes the ears and the eyes. If you feel that this is something that your vet missed talk to the office manager and tell her the issue and that you feel that you should not have had to pay for an exam the second time around because of a mistake made by the doctor. Hopefully you can get a discount at your next visit or reimbursed for the office call/exam fee.
The reason why it may cost the $250.00 to spay her is because your vet may use the pediatric form of anesthesia which is not only SAFER for your pet BUT it is more expensive. Your vet probably will do what is called a Pre-anesthetic blood screen BEFORE any anesthesia is given. This blood screen will check your pets liver and kidney values which will make sure they are functioning properly in order for your kittens body to safely metabolize the anesthesia. Another thing that your vet may do (and should do) is an IV catheter and fluids. When your pet has and IV catheter and fluids while under anesthesia it helps their body flush the anesthesia out of their system and it helps your pet come out of the anesthetic a lot easier. Your vet also may do what is called Pre-Medication ( I hope that they do). Pre-medication for your pet can be pain meds and/or anti-biotics and/or a sedative to help your pet relax before surgery. Then of course there is also the cost of the doctors time, and the actual spay itself. What I mean when I say "the actual spay itself" is that you are paying for the tools used, any materials such as sutures, gauze etc etc.. and then the disposal of your pets reproductive organs because it is considered hazardous wasted and has to be disposed of a certain way by law. You may also be charged for overnight hospitalization if your pet has to stay the night.
I would recommend getting an estimate from your vet for any kind of surgical procedure that your pet needs. This way they not only have to stick to the price they gave you BUT you also know what you are paying for. Make sure that you look it over with your vet, ask any questions that you may have, and make sure that you not only take a copy of the estimate for your own records but also make sure that there is a copy of it in your records kept at your vet. And if you are given an estimate at the end of the year make sure that the cost of things is not going up after the year ends, because if it is your estimate from the year previous is no longer good.
I hope I was able to answer all your questions,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your families!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian and I can not diagnose or prescribe medications for your pet. If you think your pet is having a medical emergency or needs diagnosing please seek medical attention from your veterinarian immediately.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The right time to start vaccines and what vaccines to give.

I have decided to post a little blurb about vaccines. First let me explain what a vaccine is. A vaccine is a modified- live virus or a killed virus that is injected into your pet under the skin. When the vaccine is injected into your pet your pets immune system will then begin to memorize what this virus looks like and then will then memorize what it is and how to effectively break it down and kill it off. Because your pet is injected with a modified-live or killed virus you pet needs to have an exam and temperature taken before receiving the vaccine. This needs to be done because if your pets immune system is compromised and then your pet is given the vaccine it could make your pet really sick OR it could kill your pet. So why is it that your pet needs to have vaccines? Puppies and Kittens acquire some immunity from their mother, but this immunity begins to fade between the time they are weaned and approximately twelve weeks of age. It is important for puppies and kittens to begin a series of vaccinations shortly after being weaned. The vaccinations need to be repeated every three to four weeks until the age of fifteen weeks in kittens and sixteen weeks in puppies. The individual components in the vaccine will vary, depending upon the potential diseases your pet may be exposed to. After completing the puppy or kitten series, the DAP (for puppies) and the FHCP (for kittens) vaccines can be good for as long as three years. However the youngster will need to have their Rabies and Bordetella/ FELV boosted after one year. I recommend that every pet receive a yearly exam until age 7 and twice a year after age 7. Now here are the vaccine series that your pet should receive as a puppy/kitten and then depending on how long the vaccine is good for every year to every three years.

Core Vaccines (DAP and Rabies):
-start at 6 to 8 weeks old with DAP
-repeat DAP every 3 to 4 weeks until 16 weeks old or older
-give Rabies vaccine at 12 weeks of age or older
-repeat DAP and Rabies vaccines one year later

Non-Core Vaccines (Leptospirosis and Bordetella)
-give Leptospirosis and/or Bordetella at 12 and 16 weeks
-Th 1st Bordetella is Intranasal, 2nd is injectable
-repeat Leptospirosis and/or Bordetella one year later

Core Vaccines: these are the vaccinations I would recommend for all dogs in my region.
Non-core Vaccines: these are the vaccinations that can be given in addition to the core vaccinations for patients "at risk".

Core Vaccines- For cats (FHCP and Rabies):
-start at 6 to 8 weeks old with FHCP
-repeat FHCP every 3 weeks until 15 weeks old or older
-give Rabies vaccine at 12 weeks or older
-give FHCP and Rabies one year later
Non-core Vaccines (FeLV):
-kittens must be at least 9 weeks old and FeLV negative to receive the vaccine
-give 2 doses of FeLV with-in a 3 week interval
-repeat FeLV one year later

Core Vaccines: these are the vaccinations I recommend for all cats in my region
Non-core Vaccines: these are the vaccinations that can be given in addition to the core vaccinations for patients "at risk".

DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian and I can not diagnose or prescribe medications for your pet. If you think your pet is having a medical emergency or needs diagnosing please seek medical attention from your veterinarian immediately.

Pets and why they shed..

One of my followers MiMi had a question about why her pets are shedding like crazy lately... Here is her question:
I have a question about shedding. My dog and cat have started doing some heavy duty shedding and dandruff creating. It's never been this bad before. It's killing me! I thought they should not shed until summer. Any advice?

Well let me just say that this year has been particularly unbelievable as far as shedding goes, I can't tell you how often I have to dust mop the office lately.
There are many reasons why your pets could be shedding like crazy so here they are:

A change in the seasons. When it gets warmer or colder your pet is going to shed. When they do this they tend to do whats called "blowing their coat". When it goes from winter to summer they blow their heavy undercoat and grow in a thinner coat for the summer to keep cool. When it gets colder your pet will shed that thinner coat and grow in thicker hair and a heavy under coat to stay warm.

Your pet's thyroid could be out of balance. You can have a simple T4 screen done at your vet. If this is the case there are medications that you can give to help level this out. Your pet will probably have to be on this for the rest of his or her life so be prepared for some medication adjustments and frequent blood tests for about a month or two and then annual/bi-annual blood tests (depending on your vets protocal) to make sure that your pet is getting the right dose of medication.

If there has been anything stressful at the home happening such as a big move, a new pet, a lot of visitors, or major changes to your pets environment such as a remodel, changing of furniture, or where your pet normally eats or sleeps.

Your pet could have whats called Demodex , its a skin condition that can cause your pet to shed like crazy and have dandruff. OR you cat could have lice. NOT to worry though because this lice is species specific and it only likes cats or dogs.

If you brought home a new pet from a shelter he/she could have a type of mange mite that can cause the shedding, lice, or the demodex. It is a common thing that happens a lot so if this is the case don't think its you.

Here are a couple things that you could try to help reduce the shedding:

Brush your pet thoroughly daily for a couple weeks and then weekly. Start by brushing the coat out in the opposite direction that it lays. Start from the bottom and work your way up, and then brush in the direction that the coat does lay. This will help them shed that old coat and the new one grow in. Not to mention it will feel good to your pet and it will encourage good grooming habits. You can also take your pet to the groomer if you find that it bothers your sinuses too much.

I also noticed that MiMi was talking about how her allergies seemed to be acting up since the new kitty arrived. I can explain this too.
The reason why you are seeming to be allergic to your new kitty but never before to any other cat it's that the proteins in her saliva are different that your older kitty's. When the new kitten grooms herself her saliva dries on her fur and then later flakes off onto things. You then come along not knowing it is there, and with out realizing it you either stir it up into the air, or you touch it and then your face in some way and directly expose yourself, or if she tends to lay on things like your bed, clothes, favorite place to sit and then you go to that spot your also exposing yourself unknowingly. To help with this try taking a daily allergy pill like clairitin or something like that to help. I know that it sounds weird that you can be allergic to one cat and not the other but trust me I have the same issue at work and it's not just with cats. Some breeds of dogs cause me to have a reaction too. If it seems that you aren't able to cope with the allergy related reaction to your new kitty you made need to re-home her or take her back to the shelter you got her from.

I hope that I was able to answer your questions.
Merry Christmas!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian and I can not diagnose or prescribe medications for your pet. If you think your pet is having a medical emergency or needs diagnosing please seek medical attention from your veterinarian immediately.

Buddy The Aussie Dog

Buddy The Aussie Dog