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Here is a common list of questions that your pet has for us and our answers:

If I have a favorite doctor, can I schedule my appointments to see only that doctor?

When your pet parent calls to make an appointment, he/she should be asked if there’s a specific doctor you’d like to see. If not, just ask. Also, since the doctors rotate on the weekends, there may be a time when you’ll see someone other than your regular vet.

It’s my first time visiting your clinic. Do I need to bring anything?

If you have been to another veterinarian’s office, we ask that you bring your medical history. To make it even easier, you can have your records faxed directly to our office at 813-643-5615.

If you’ve just left your breeder or another facility, please have your pet parent bring all of your medical history, including health certificate to our office on your visit. Also to make sure you’re okay, we ask that you bring a small feces sample for an intestinal parasite analysis.

When I visit for my annual exam, which vaccines are needed and why?

Rabies and distemper are the two highest recommended vaccines. Rabies affects both pets and people and is fatal if acquired. Rabies should be given to puppies and kitties 16 weeks of age or older and should be boosted one (1) year later. After that, you should check with your veterinarian to determine when you need to be vaccinated again.

The distemper virus is easily transmitted and fatal if acquired. Vaccines which come in a set of three, should begin at 8 weeks of age. There are several other vaccines available depending on your lifestyle with your pet. VCF also offers Lepto, bordetella, lyme and canine influenza vaccines for dogs. For cats, we also have the FIV & FeLV vaccine. Talk with one of our team members to determine what is the best vaccine protocol for you.

If I get a rabies vaccine, do I need to get a rabies tag?

By law, you are required to purchase your tag at the time of your vaccine or when your pets gets altered (but that’s another question). If you get lost or happen to bite someone, your tag will let the county officials know that you are protected and it will prevent an issuance of fines for your owner.

I’m always so scared, why do I have to see the doctor two times in the same year?

We try to make your visits as stress free as possible, but because you live in an area where mosquitoes can bite and infect you with heartworm and ticks can give you lyme & other illnesses such as erlichia and anaplasmosis, it is advisable that you be examined twice a year to make sure you are healthy. Also since we do not live in an area that freezes, intestinal parasites can be transmitted year around as well. When you’re healthy, then you are not a risk of infecting your family.

How old do I have to be before I can be spayed or neutered?

The average age for spaying or neutering is six (6) months. Some very large breeds or very small breeds may be better to wait a few more months. Ideally, females would be spayed before their first heat.

I'm a Kitty that likes to scratch on things - It makes my owner mad, but I can't help it. What can I do?

Thankfully there are several options for you. There are rubber caps that we can adhere to your claws, which is quick and painless. We can also educate your owners that you need a scratching post and encourage you to scratch it! Lastly, there is declawing. This can be done anytime after four (4) months. If not spayed or neutered, it can be done at the same time. This procedure is best performed when the pet is young.

Can I take Tylenol, aspirin, pepto bismol, benedryl or other medications that my pet parents take to make them feel better?

Pets are advised not to take any over-the-counter medications without your doctor’s permission. Some human medications are toxic to dogs and cats or may affect them differently than expected. It is in your best interest to have your parent call us before administering any medication.