Why does my pet need their teeth cleaned?
85% of all pets have dental disease by the age of 3. Not only does dental disease cause bad
breath but also results in pain and loss of teeth. Dental disease is caused by bacteria
forming plaque and tartar on the teeth. The bacteria irritate the gum line, the gums become
inflamed in the early stages of dental disease causing gingivitis. Left untreated, this
leads to periodontal disease which causes the loss of the bone and gingival support structure
of the tooth and subsequent tooth loss. In addition, the bacteria from dental disease is
released into the blood stream which can result in damage and infection of the internal
organs, such as the kidneys, liver and heart.
A professional dental cleaning is required to remove plaque and tartar from the pet's teeth
and assess the health of the mouth.
How often should my pet have their teeth cleaned?
Most pets need their teeth cleaned yearly to prevent tooth loss. This varies dependent upon the breed
and the habits of your pet. For instance, small dogs usually need their teeth cleaned annually whereas
large breed dogs often require less frequent cleanings. A veterinarian can perform an oral examination
on your pet to determine if your pet needs their teeth cleaned.
Do I need to brush my pet's teeth at home?
Yes. Proper dental care at home is highly recommended to help maintain the oral health of your dog
and cat between cleanings. Other oral home care options such as dental formulated foods, water
additives, and dental treats can also be part of a complete dental care plan.
What happens when my pet's teeth are cleaned?
Typically, a veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination and complete bloodwork to
determine if it is safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. An intravenous catheter should be
placed for safety. Next the pet is given medication for sedation and then anesthetized. The
pet should then be monitored closely and receive intravenous fluids to support the pets blood
pressure and organ health. The veterinarian will perform a through oral exam. The teeth are
cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler, a tool that vibrates at a high speed, to remove large pieces
of plaque and tartar. A hand scaler is used to clean under the gums of every tooth and on all
sides of the tooth. Dental probes are used to measure the depth of the pockets found between
tooth and gum - abnormally deep pockets indicate periodontal disease. Radiographs of the teeth
are generally recommended, and may be necessary to evaluate the underlying bone structure.
Once all the plaque and tartar are removed, all tooth surfaces are polished, and a fluoride
treatment may be applied. Your pet will then be carefully monitored during the recovery
What kind of diet should my pet have?
Our pets are designed to eat meat based diets, therefore we recommend you feed all-natural,
meat based or grain free diets that are also free of all dyes, artificial flavoring,
additives, low-quality grain fillers, by-products, chemical preservatives and potential
allergens. Avoid regular feeding of low-quality grain based foods. Discuss your pet's
diet and their treats with your veterinarian during your regular exam. CityVet only
stocks all-natural food that we believe in and that our vets feed their own pets.
How can I prevent fleas and ticks?
Fleas and ticks can be prevented by giving an appropriate flea and tick preventative.
Typically, year-round administration is recommended to prevent flea infestations. Flea
and tick control is important both for your pet's health but also your families. Both
fleas and ticks carry disease that can be transmitted to humans.
There are many products available that prevent fleas and ticks. It is important to choose
a product that works and is safe for your pet.
Can I get diseases from my pets?
Yes, there are many diseases that can be transmitted from pets to humans. These diseases
are called zoonotic diseases. Here is a list of common zoonotic diseases in pets:
- Campylobacter infection
- Cryptosporidium infection
- Giardia infection
- Lyme disease
How often should I groom my pet?
Keeping your pet clean and well-groomed is important for good health. The frequency
of grooming depends on the type of coat, hair length, breed, and owner's preference.
Most dogs should be groomed every 6 - 12 weeks. Long haired dogs should be brushed
at least weekly while short coated dogs may not need to be brushed. Brushing short
haired dogs will help remove loose hair and decrease shedding. Cats are very good
at keeping themselves groomed but medium and long hair cats may need to be brushed
weekly. Overweight, ill, and arthritic cats may need more frequent brushing.
How often should I bathe my pet?
Most pets should be bathed every 1 to 3 weeks or when dirty, however the frequency
of bathing depends on the type of coat, hair length, breed, and any skin conditions.
What is heartworm protection and how many months should my pet be on heartworm prevention medication?
Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and, if left
untreated, can be fatal. Heartworm prevention is administered once a month either by
pill or topical application, or a long-acting injectable heartworm prevention can be
administered every 6 months in dogs. Depending on the specific product you and your
veterinarian choose for your pet, heartworm prevention may also prevent intestinal
parasite infestations such as roundworms and hookworms and external parasites such
as fleas and ticks. In accordance with the guidelines of the American Heartworm
Society, we recommend all dogs and cats be given year-round (12 months) heartworm
prevention regardless of lifestyle beginning at 8 weeks.
Why does my dog need a heartworm blood test?
We recommend testing annually to ensure the prevention program is working (I would
use the words "fully effective" instead of "working". Testing for heartworms is a
simple blood test. Pets can get sick (vomiting, diarrhea, and/or death) if placed
on heartworm prevention if they have heartworm disease. Even with prevention
year-round there is a chance the product could fail (your pet spits out the pill,
did not absorb the pill appropriately, topical medicine was not applied properly,
did not give on time, etc.).
My pet never goes outside so does it really need heartworm prevention?
Yes. Heartworm disease is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito and
mosquitoes are often found inside houses. The American Heartworm Society
studies show the incidence of heartworm disease is just as high in indoor
pets as outdoor pets.
Doesn.t the fecal sample test for heartworms?
No. Heartworm disease is a blood-borne disease that is transmitted through
mosquitoes. A simple blood test will confirm whether your dog has heartworm
Does my cat need heartworm prevention?
Yes. While heartworm disease is more common in dogs it is far more serious in
cats. Cats can have serious, often fatal, disease from the development of even
one heartworm. Additionally, there is no treatment for cats. The incidence of
heartworm disease is just as high in indoor cats as outdoor cats. Therefore,
it is recommended all cats be on heartworm prevention.
Vaccines: Vaccines are an important part of your pet's health care. Vaccines keep your pet
healthy by preventing serious diseases. We will develop a vaccination schedule for your pet
based on your pet's lifestyle, health, and individual circumstances.
How often does my pet need a Rabies vaccination?
Dogs - The first Rabies vaccine your pet receives is good for 1 year. A booster
should be given 1 year after completing the initial puppy vaccine and every 3
years after, unless state, provincial, or local requirements state otherwise.
Cats - Rabies is given yearly with a non-adjuvanted vaccine in order to avoid some
of the potential side effects of the 3 year vaccination.
When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?
We recommend spaying or neutering every pet, and we recommend spaying or neutering
your pet around 6 months. This recommendation may vary based on each individual pet.
Please schedule an appointment to discuss spaying or neutering your pet with one of
our veterinarians. Please check your local laws as many cities have laws requiring
pets to be spayed or neutered unless you have a breeding license.
Why does my pet need to be admitted several hours before a surgical procedure?
There are many steps involved in safely anesthetizing your pet. The steps taken
prior to anesthesia are just as important as the steps taken during the procedure.
Your pet is admitted early to permit enough time to complete the preparation.
In preparation for the procedure your pet will receive a complete physical exam,
bloodwork (recommended), placement of an intravenous catheter, and premedication
to ease anxiety and provide smoother induction of anesthesia. The premedication
often requires a minimum of 30 mins to take effect. Each of these steps require
time to complete before the procedure can begin.
What should I bring for my pet's hospital stay?
If your pet is on a special diet or on any medications, you should bring these
with you to the hospital. We ask that your refrain from bringing beds, blankets
and toys. Your pet needs a germ-free environment pre and post-surgery and we
want to avoid putting them at risk.
Are there any special at-home care instructions for my dog or cat before undergoing surgery?
Yes. Pets must be fasted prior to anesthesia. For most pets no food after 8:00 pm
the night before the procedures. Water is ok. In the event your pet is a diabetic
or an exotic breed (rabbits, guinea pigs, others) please call and discuss your
situation with a veterinarian. Please allow plenty of time the morning of the
procedure to review the procedures and paperwork (typically 10 to 15 minutes).
Is anesthesia safe for my pet?
While there is always a risk when undergoing anesthesia, modern anesthesia is very
safe. CityVet uses the safest, multi-modal approach individually created for each
pet. This includes injectable medications for sedation and pain management as well
as gas anesthetic agents. The combination of pre-anesthetic assessment of your pet
(including blood work), use of modern anesthetic agents, and the latest anesthetic
monitoring equipment and well-trained staff means that anesthesia is generally
considered to be a very low risk for your pet.
How will you manage my pet's pain during surgery?
CityVet uses advanced pain management techniques to maximize the comfort of your
pet before, during, and after the procedure. Pain control improves your pet's
recovery and speeds the healing process.
My pet is a senior; it is safe?
Anesthesia in otherwise healthy, older pets is considered safe. It is important
to have recommended pre-operative testing performed prior to anesthesia to check
major organ function and allow us to tailor the anesthesia to any pre-existing
My pet has kidney and heart disease; is anesthesia safe?
Prior to anesthesia, patients with kidney, heart, or other underlying diseases
should be fully evaluated. Testing may include bloodwork, urinalysis, x-rays,
or ultrasound. Our veterinarians will determine based on each individual
situation if it is safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia.
When my pet is having surgery, when should I expect an update on my pet?
We know you will be anxious to hear how your pet is doing. You will receive a call
from one of our team members when your pet is fully recovered from the procedure.
If there are any abnormalities on pre-anesthetic exam or blood work, you will
receive a call prior to the procedure to review options. Remember that no news
is good news, and you will be contacted immediately should the need arise. We
will be available at discharge to discuss the procedure and discharge instructions
with you in detail, as well as answer any questions.
After surgery, when will my pet be able to go home?
Pets undergoing most outpatient procedures will be ready to go home the same
evening as the day of the procedure.
How do I know if my pet is in pain?
It can sometimes be difficult to tell. Dogs and cats by nature are designed to
hide their pain (signs of weakness in the wild). If you are not sure if your
pet is hurting, call us to have us examine your pet. Some signs of pain are
obvious, such as limping, but signs of pain are often more subtle and can
include one or more of the following: not eating, a change in behavior or
normal habits, sleeping more, decreased energy or lethargy, or hiding.
Is there a benefit to referring my friends and family?
Yes. CityVet's Care to Share program rewards you for recommending us to your
friends and family. Both you and your friend will receive $25. We encourage
you to tell your friends and family about CityVet.