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When should new puppies and kittens come in for their first visit?

Puppies and kittens should have their initial examination around 6-8 weeks of age if there are no signs of any problems or concerns. Multiple immunizations at different visits will be required to get your new pet’s immune system ready for exposure to the environment outside your home. Puppies and kittens are highly susceptible to viruses, infections, and/or parasites and proper early care and screening help to give your new baby the best start in life.

How safe is my pet's procedure?

Each individual procedure will vary from pet to pet and condition to condition. As with humans, the older the individual the more precaution needs to be taken. Typically a physical examination, review of the patients' medical history and blood work are recommended with older patients. These precautions will make a procedure as safe as possible with a senior pet.

Why does my indoor pet need heartworm preventative?

Indoor pets need heartworm preventives because heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, and mosquitoes can certainly enter our homes. Both dogs and cats should be on heartworm preventives.

How important is nutrition for my pet?

Similar to human food intake, a diet that is low in fat and high in protein is essential to the life of your pet. Chateau Veterinary Hospital offers the newest and most efficient food for your pet available today.

What if I begin to notice visible parasites for the first time on my pet?

Flea and tick preventatives have improved greatly in recent years. These preventatives are safe and effective in a wide variety of forms. At Chateau Veterinary Hospital, we fit the preventative product to the pet's problem and environment. Parasite control is of great importance to eliminate disease carrying parasites.

What is Canine Influenza or Dog Flu?

Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs and occasionally cats. It is generally mild, but can be fatal.

Mild: cough that can last up to 30 days, sometimes nasal discharge

Severe: high fever and pneumonia Cats: runny nose, congestion, drooling.

Are all dogs at risk?

All dogs exposed can get sick. 80% will look sick and 20% will look ok but will still spread the disease. At highest risk are dogs that go to competitions like agility or barn hunt, dog shows, or associate with those dogs. Lower risk dogs are those that board, go to dog parks or go to the groomer.

Do dogs die?

Less than 10 % of dogs that get the flu will die. Most recover in 2-3 weeks but should be isolated from other dogs for 30 days.

Is there an outbreak in Louisiana?

The only known cases in Louisiana were from a dog show in Monroe in May, 2017.

Can people catch Canine Flu?

People cannot catch the flu from dogs, but could potentially carry it from one dog to another on their hands or clothes.

Is there a vaccine?

There are 3 vaccines, one for each type of flu and the most effective vaccine (which Chateau carries) which is for both strains that have been found in the US. Two vaccines are required, two weeks apart. Dogs are not protected until two weeks after the second vaccine. Like our flu vaccine, the vaccine is not 100% effective.

When should I spay or neuter my dog?

Recently we had to have a discussion with one of our patient’s breeders over the time to neuter the pup. The breeder wanted the procedure done at 6 months of age to prevent him from being used for breeding. We strongly urged that the procedure be delayed because of increased future health risks. Fortunately, when shown the research, the breeder allowed us to do what we thought was best for the puppy.

Old Recommendations

For many years, it has been recommended that a dog be spayed (hysterectomy in female dogs) or neutered (castration in male dogs) at about the age of 6 months.

New Recommendations for Large Dogs

Recent research from a study titled The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, which has been following 3000 golden retrievers for 6 years, suggests that for Golden Retrievers, and possibly all large breed dogs, it may be better health wise to wait until your pet has gone through puberty.

The downside of early spay/neuter seems to be a great risk of the pet becoming overweight or obese. In fact, golden retrievers spayed or neutered before one year of age had double the risk of being overweight.

Being fat may not seem so bad, but those dogs also had a 300% increased risk of non- traumatic orthopedic injury. This included arthritis and cranial cruciate injury. Cruciate injury may necessitate an expensive surgical procedure for your dog.

Chateau Veterinary Hospital’s recommendation for large breed dogs is currently to wait until your pup is 9 to 18 months of age to have them spayed or neutered.

What About Small Dogs?

Small breed dogs seem to have less risk for the orthopedic issues that large breed dogs have, but still may be at increased risk of obesity with early spay/neuter.

We have another issue with small breed dogs that involves baby teeth. Our smaller patients have increased risk of not losing their baby teeth when they should, therefore sometimes have both the adult tooth and the deciduous or baby tooth in the mouth at the same time. This can increase damage to the adult teeth through overcrowding. The time to extract those stubborn deciduous teeth is as soon as the adult tooth appears and the baby tooth refuses to come out. That is usually at about 6 to 7 months of age. We may suggest that your pet be spayed or neutered then to prevent them from having to undergo additional anesthetic procedures. For pups that we suspect will have this issue, we offer a no charge visit when your pup is six months old with one of our technicians to see if there are potential teeth problems.

Our Recommendation for Your Pet

Obviously there are many things to be considered when deciding the best time to spay or neuter your pet. Your dog is an individual and our recommendation will be made considering these factors and many others.

We promise to stay up to date on the latest research for the best for your pet.

Why get Health Insurance for my pet?

Chateau Veterinary Hospital recommends pet insurance for our clients and their pets. Pet insurance allows you to say yes when your pet faces a catastrophic illness or injury. The ability to provide complex, lifesaving care for our pets has grown exponentially, as has the cost to provide that care. Your pet with pneumonia may need a ventilator. Your cat with end stage kidney disease may benefit from a kidney transplant. These types of medical care are available now for pets. One overnight stay in an intensive care at an overnight or specialty clinic can easily run several thousand dollars. That is an expense that may cause many people to have to euthanize their beloved pet. Health insurance may help.

Things You Need to Know:

Unlike your health insurance, pet insurance can exclude preexisting conditions. That is why the best time to buy pet insurance is when you first acquire your pet, while they are healthy. Pet insurance companies may request any available medical records. Pet insurance, like human insurance, is a business. Their goal, while trying to help your pet, is also to make money. If you feel that your claim has been unfairly denied, investigate. If Chateau Veterinary Hospital has provided the care, we will go to bat for you.

Investigate Before You Buy:

Some websites that may be helpful include:

Call us with any questions.

One More Question?

If you have more questions, send us a message and we will answer you as soon as possible.

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