At what age should I have my pet altered (spayed/neutered)?
For the majority of dogs and cats, we recommend having them altered between four and six months of age. Pets that are altered at a young age typically have a better rate of recovery than older pets. Spaying a dog or cat before her first heat cycle can greatly reduce her risk for mammary cancer. In addition, this eliminates the risk for uterine and ovarian cancers and pyometra, an infection of the uterus seen in intact females that can be fatal. Neutering animals young can help prevent aggression, spraying/marking, and the urge to roam. However, if your pet is older than this, it is still a good idea to have the procedure, as it still provides many health benefits in older animals. Ask a technician for more information.
What does my pet need for his/her annual visit?
A complete physical exam, vaccinations, a fecal exam to look for parasites, and a heartworm test are all essential elements of an annual visit. As your pet ages, we also recommend bloodwork as a way to monitor for common diseases in their early, treatable stages.
How much will that cost?
Price always depends on the exact services we provide, based on your pet’s needs. You can call us for an estimate and a technician will go over each item with you.
I’m not sure if I want to spay my pet. I’m thinking about breeding her. Do you have any advice?
Breeding an animal can be a complicated and costly affair. Many pets will give birth naturally, but there is also the chance of needing an emergency Caesarian section to safely deliver the litter. This is especially common in smaller dogs and certain breeds like bulldogs. A C-section surgery can cost anywhere from $600 to $1600, depending on when and where it is performed. Our doctors will be happy to talk to you about the risks and benefits of breeding.
What about my male pet? What are the benefits of getting him neutered?
Neutering an animal removes the risk for testicular cancer and may help lower the risk for prostate issues later in life. Neutering a dog can also help curb aggression and other behavioral issues such as roaming and marking, if done early. Finally, 1 out of every 3 pets will get lost in their lifetime. An intact male can easily sire a litter of puppies if he gets loose, so neutering is essential for population control.
What’s the risk from heartworms? How does my pet get them?
Louisiana is a high-risk area for heartworms. This parasite is carried by mosquitoes, who pass the larva to your dog when they feed. As the larva mature, they take up residence in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs, causing damage to the tissues. Left untreated, the damage can be life-threatening. Because it only takes one mosquito to begin a dangerous infection, year-round prevention is key to keeping your pet safe. Even pets who live mostly indoors are at risk – including cats! Mosquitoes are great at sneaking in through open doors, so be sure to take the proper precautions to ensure a happy, healthy life for your pet.
What are my options for heartworm prevention?
We offer 2 topical products for cats: Revolution and Advantage Multi. Both products prevent heartworms as well as treat fleas, ear mites & intestinal parasites. We offer a variety of monthly chewables or a 6-month injection for dogs. See our Products page for more detailed information.
How about fleas and ticks?
For dogs, we offer Nexgard, Bravecto, Comfortis, Advantage & Advantix. See our Products page for more information. Fleas & ticks can cause serious illness in your pet. Year-round protection is highly recommended.
Do my pets still need heartworm and flea prevention in the winter? Aren’t there fewer parasites when it’s cold out?
Yes. Although the parasite population does decrease, your pets are still at risk. Mosquitoes are still present even in the coldest months, and it only takes one to infect your pet with heartworms. Fleas always survive the winter months in south Louisiana and will be waiting for the next opportunity to infest your pet. It is important that you stay on prevention throughout the year. It’s easier and cheaper to keep a pet protected than it is to treat a disease or parasite.