My pet seems healthy. Why do I need to bring them in for an exam every year?

Because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Not only do our pets age faster than we do, but they can be very good at hiding signs of illness or injury until the problem has progressed to a severe level. By bringing your adult pets in annually and your senior pets semiannually, we’re able to not only keep a close eye on their health but also detect and treat any problems while they’re in their early stages. The earlier a problem is addressed, the better the outcome will be—and in many cases, it will be easier for your pet and less expensive for you.

When is my pet considered a “senior?”

Generally, cats are considered senior at 9 or 10 years old. Roughly speaking, dogs are considered seniors at about seven years of age, but it varies according to breed and size:

  • Small or toy breeds (less than 20 pounds): 8 to 11 years
  • Medium-sized breeds (20 to 50 pounds): 8 to 10 years
  • Large breeds (50 to 90 pounds): 8 to 9 years
  • Giant breeds (more than 90 pounds): 6 to 7 years

What vaccines does my pet need?

In Indiana, the rabies vaccine is legally required for all cats, dogs, and ferrets over the age of three months. Other “core” vaccines that are not legally required but are recommended for all pets include the DHPP vaccine for dogs and the FVRCP vaccine for cats. Additional vaccines may be recommended for your pet based on their lifestyle and level of risk.

Why do puppies and kittens require a series of vaccinations?

Young animals are highly susceptible to infectious diseases because their immune systems are not yet mature. In many instances, the first dose of a vaccine prepares your pet’s immune system to recognize a virus or bacteria, and later doses help further stimulate the immune system to produce the important antibodies needed to protect them. Most puppies and kittens need vaccines every three to four weeks from the time they are eight weeks old to around four months of age.

Does heartworm/flea/tick prevention really need to be given year-round?

Absolutely, yes! Fleas, ticks, and heartworm-spreading mosquitoes are present year-round. Prevention is the key to avoiding parasite infections and infestations, which are both dangerous to your pet’s health and expensive to treat. There are many ways for your dog or cat to contract parasites—even indoor-only pets can be infected by things tracked in by humans or indoor/outdoor pets.

My pet seems to have the same problem that they were previously treated for. Why can’t the vet just prescribe the same medication again?

Many illnesses have the same kind of symptoms, and even though your pet may appear to be showing the same ones, the problem may be different. Additionally, another medication or treatment may be needed altogether.

What kind of food is healthiest for my pet?

There are a lot of different pet food choices out there, and it can be confusing to determine the best diet for your furry friend. Our veterinarians use evidence-based and science-backed nutritional guidelines in their dietary recommendations, and we’ll help you cut through the hype (and slick ad campaigns) and figure out the best diet for your pet.

Should I spay/neuter my pet? When should this procedure be done?

Yes! Spaying or neutering your pet is not only essential to controlling the pet population and reducing the needless euthanasia of homeless pets, it has health benefits for your pet as well. Spaying or neutering your pet can reduce the likelihood of some kinds of cancer and can also help curb unwanted behaviors like aggression, marking, and the urge to roam. In general, a pet can be spayed or neutered at around five to six months of age, but your vet will work with you to determine the best age for your pet to have their surgery.