Q: Why does my pet need a dental procedure?
A: Periodontal disease (disease of the structures around the tooth--the gums, bone, and connective tissue) is one of the most common problems that we deal with on a daily basis at Gregg Veterinary Hospital. Periodontal infections, tooth fractures, and oral masses can be sources of serious discomfort for your pet. Additionally, untreated periodontal infections can cause damage to major organs of the body including the heart, liver, and kidneys. Proper veterinary dental care can help prevent your pet from developing painful dental conditions and can extend their life expectancy as well.
Q: At what age should I have my pet spayed or neutered?
A: There are several factors that help determine the best age for spaying and neutering including your pet’s breed (larger breeds wait longer) and individual health status. Prior to any surgery at Gregg Veterinary Hospital, all pets undergo a physical exam and a pre-anesthetic blood screening to determine overall fitness for the surgical procedure. Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery.
Typical spaying and neutering for most pets not used for breeding purposes is usually recommended between 4 and 6 months of age. Spaying and neutering help with animal population control and prevent unwanted pets. Just as importantly, spaying and neutering can improve the overall health of your pet, and help in avoiding certain reproductive diseases, and some types of cancer.
Q: What are heartworms, and how can I prevent my pet from getting them?
A: Heartworms are a serious, year-round parasitic threat to your pet’s health. After an infection occurs, treatment is not only very expensive, but can also be life threatening.
Heartworms are extremely common in the warm, humid environment in Louisiana, and can infect both our canine and feline companions. Heartworms are spread when a mosquito bites an infected animal and then transfers the juvenile worms when it bites a healthy animal. Unless your pet is taking a heartworm preventative, these immature worms can grow into adults that can cause serious damage to your pet’s blood vessels, lungs and heart, and may even cause death.
There are several options available for prevention of this potentially life-threatening disease. A monthly preventative can keep your dog or cat healthy and is much less expensive than having to treat adult heartworms. Our veterinarians at Gregg Veterinary Hospital will determine which preventative is right for your pet, based on needs and lifestyle.