FAQ's answered at Tabernacle Animal Hospital

Q: How often should my pet be examined by a veterinarian?

A: We typically recommend yearly examinations for all pets.  Like people, the older an animal gets, the higher the probability of health problems.  For this reason, a 6-month interval may be advised to avoid complications from untreated conditions.  We often screen for some of the common diseases associated with old age when a pet is over 6 or 7 years old.  Discuss signs of these diseases with us when your pet is middle aged.

Q: What vaccines are recommended?

A: Vaccination protocols are tailored to meet the specific needs of each patient.  These needs may vary depending on such factors as lifestyle, environment, age and ongoing research among veterinary specialists.  You may find that some of the older vaccines are needed less often, and newer ones are being developed as the risks change.

Q: When will my puppy calm down?

A: Your puppy's behavior, especially if he seems hyperactive, is the product of breed, age, environment, and individual personality.  Some dog breeds are noted for their calmness and others for their high energy.  Be sure to investigate prior to acquiring your puppy.  Most healthy puppies are very active unless they are asleep.  Social maturity may come with physical maturity, but some breeds (especially sporting and larger dogs) may appear to be adults and behave like puppies for a long time after.  Neutering your pet will not "calm him down", but maturity will.

Q: Why is oral health so important?

A: Oral and dental disease have been strongly linked to many serious diseases in people and the same is true for dogs and cats.  Bacteria trapped in the recesses between gums and teeth can erode ligaments that hold the tooth in place.  More importantly, they can gain access to the bloodstream, where they deposit on heart valves and kidney tubules, causing serious damage.  Cleaning your pet's teeth is far more than a cosmetic issue.

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