Frequent asked questions...
Q. What is a microchip and how do they work? Can it harm my pet?
A microchip is a tiny encapsulated computer chip that has a unique identification number associated with it. It is implanted intramuscularly in your pet with a hypodermic needle and serves as a form of permanent identification that cannot be lost or tampered with. The chip itself does not have any moving parts or a power supply associated with it and once implanted it will not harm your pet. In fact, after implanting it your pet will not even know it is there!
A. Almost all veterinary clinics and animal shelters have a microchip scanner. The scanner works by reading a frequency signal through the skin of your pet. If your pet ever becomes lost and is brought to a veterinarian or an animal shelter, one of the first things that an employee will do is scan your pet to see if there is a microchip. If so, then the identification number will be cross checked in a database to see who the animal belongs to and then your pet will be able to be returned safely to you.
A microchip is an inexpensive way to permanently identify your pet. Thousands of pets are lost every year and without proper identification never make it back home.
Q. My pet seems to be chewing on grass a lot lately… is that normal?
A. Many dogs and even some cats eat grass. Normally it will pass through their GI tract undigested and not cause any issues nor will it be detrimental to your pet’s health. There are many theories to why a pet will consume grass. Some owners believe that grass eating will lead to vomiting, but more likely it is a symptom of being nauseous instead of its cause. Many pets will eat grass because they think it tastes good or they enjoy the texture. Some will eat it out of boredom. If grass consumption is becoming a concern or your pet is destroying your lawn, checking your pet for intestinal parasites and deworming them would be an appropriate measure to take. If your pet is eating your lawn because they like the taste or texture, you could try supplementing their diet with healthy snacks such as carrot sticks or green beans which may help satisfy their cravings. If it is a behavioral problem, having your pet wear a basket muzzle outdoors may be an appropriate preventative measure to take. Overall, grass consumption is a non-harmful habit that many pets exhibit
Q. How often do I need to take my pet for an exam?
A. Since domestic pets age much faster than people the American Veterinary Medical Association and most veterinarians recommend twice yearly general exams. If there is obvious illness more frequent evaluation may be necassary.
Q. How often does my dog need a rabies shot?
A. The first rabies vaccine given to dogs is good for one year. Subsequently, the vaccine is valid for three years at a time in Oregon.
Q. Is it safe to put my pet on a diet?
A. All of us are on some sort of diet if we are eating. The key issue is whether the current diet that our pet is eating is appropriate for the age, weight, activity level and general health of the patient. The question should be asked of your veterinarian at the time of each physical examination.
Many of our pets are over fed leading to obesity. Obesity often contributes to hypertension, cardiopulmonary disease, joint problems and diabetes. Long term studies have confirmed that pets that are kept "lean" live 20% longer than those that are "fat". A weight loss diet should be designed to reach a targeted weight in 3-5 months.