Commonly Asked Questions

What vaccine does my pet need to stay healthy?

 There is no one answer to this question.  A number of factors will determine what vaccines your pet should have including life style, travel, age and other health concerns.  We recommend talking with a veterinarian to make the best decision for your pet – vaccines are very important but we do not believe that all vaccinations are right for all patients.


My pet has been having diarrhea but is otherwise acting fine, should I be concerned?

Diarrhea can be caused by a number of things including parasites (giardia is common in our area), diet, bacteria, viral or more serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases or neoplasia.  If the diarrhea has persisted for more than 1-2 days or has recurred several times we recommend a visit with a veterinarian and remember to bring a fecal sample!


Does my pet need to be on heartworm medication?

Heartworm disease is not endemic in our area due to our temperature fluctuations (too cool at night).  If your pet travels with you outside of central Oregon then heartworm prevention may be appropriate, especially in the summer months.  Most heartworm preventatives also function as a monthly dewormer for common intestinal parasites.  If you have small children at home or your pet is very social and spends a lot of time in heavily dog trafficked areas then having your dog on a monthly parasite prevention program makes sense.


My pet suffers from separation anxiety – what can I do?

This is one of the most common behavioral disorders encountered with our dogs.  Often a combination of behavior modification with drug therapy is needed to help the more severely affected patients.  A consult with any of our veterinarians can help determine what is the best course of therapy for your dog.


My pet is having surgery tomorrow – can he or she still have water?

We recommend that you withhold food after about 8 pm the night before a procedure but do not restrict access to water.   We want our surgical patients to be well hydrated!


How often should I bathe my pet?

Too frequent bathing can strip your cat or dog of their natural oils and lead to dry, flaky, itchy skin.  Bathing once monthly is typically more than adequate.  We recommend using a soap free shampoo (these will not lather like a regular shampoo!) and rinsing thoroughly with tepid water.  If your pet is struggling with dandruff, excessive oil, or is overly itchy this may be an indication of another problem (allergies, thyroid issues, infection) and a visit with a veterinarian is recommended.


My dog has been shaking his head a lot, should I be concerned?

When a dog has an ear infection or a something stuck in his ear like a fox tail, common in our area, the first clinical sign can be head shaking. Other indications of a problem include excessive discharge from the ear (often dark brown), a bad smell, holding the ear down, or tilting of the head.  If the head shaking persists for more than one day or if any of the other signs listed above are also present than your dog should be seen by a veterinarian.  Ear infections if left untreated can lead to chronic changes in the ear canals and are very uncomfortable for your pet.