Lauren E. Lane, VMD

Diplomate, ABVP
Canine/Feline Specialty

Ronald J. Lane, VMD, MS, MBA


Frequently Asked Questions

SPAY & NEUTER

Why is it so important to spay/neuter my pets?
When your pet is approximately six months old, he/she will begin to reach sexual maturity. Females will begin to have heat cycles, males may begin to wander or (urine) mark their territory. We recommend neutering your pet to prevent unwanted litters and to help keep him or her healthy. Spaying a female prior to her first heat cycle greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer and eliminates the risk of a uterine infection (which requires emergency surgery), as well as ovarian cysts and tumors. In males, neutering eliminates the risk of testicular tumors and reduces the risk of prostatic problems and the growth of perianal tumors. It may also decrease aggressive tendencies. Neutering your pet will not change his/her personality or necessarily make him fat.
Will my male dog be more relaxed after he is neutered?
Neutering your dog will not decrease his energy level, but it can help to decrease his urge to roam and urine mark. It can also decrease his tendency toward certain types of aggression.
At what age should my dog/cat get spayed/neutered?
We recommend that you have your pet spayed or neutered at 6 months of age.

PHYSICAL EXAMS

What is involved in a physical exam?
During your pet’s physical exam, the veterinarian will take a thorough history, check his/her ears, eyes, nose, teeth, throat, heart, lungs, kidneys and other palpable internal organs, body condition, skin and hair coat, lumps and bumps, and address any other concerns that the pet owner may have. Please bring a list of things you would like to discuss with the veterinarian (such as diet or weight management) to your pet’s appointment.
I just got a new pet. How soon should I have it seen by the veterinarian?
We recommend that you have your new pet seen by your veterinarian as soon as possible. Often rescues and shelters require a physical exam within a specific number of days from adoption. Some breeders provide a health guarantee if a problem is detected within a specified number of days after purchase.

VACCINES

What is involved in a physical exam?
During your pet’s physical exam, the veterinarian will take a thorough history, check his/her ears, eyes, nose, teeth, throat, heart, lungs, kidneys and other palpable internal organs, body condition, skin and hair coat, lumps and bumps, and address any other concerns that the pet owner may have.  Please bring a list of things you would like to discuss with the veterinarian (such as diet or weight management) to your pet’s appointment.
I just got a new pet.  How soon should I have it seen by the veterinarian?
We recommend that you have your new pet seen by your veterinarian as soon as possible.  Often rescues and shelters require a physical exam within a specific number of days from adoption.  Some breeders provide a health guarantee if a problem is detected within a specified number of days after purchase.

INTESTINAL PARASITES

What specifically are you checking for in a stool sample?
When we test your pet's stool, we are looking for the eggs from intestinal parasites that your pet may have been exposed to outdoors, and even indoors. Did you know that many "bugs" such as houseflies and stinkbugs can carry worms that affect your cat or dog? Intestinal parasites are transmissible from pet to pet, and potentially to humans, so it is important to have your pet's stool tested annually.
How can my cat get intestinal parasites if he is indoors only?
Indoor cats can get intestinal parasites from insects and rodents that come into your home, or from other pets in your home that have intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites are transmissible from pet to pet, and potentially to humans, so it is important to have your pet's stool tested annually.
Can I get worms from my pets?
Some types of worms are transmissible to humans which is why it is important to practice good hygiene and to have your pet's stool samples checked annually.

HEARTWORMS & FLEAS

How do dogs (and cats) get heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is caused by a blood borne parasite that is transmitted from dog to dog by mosquitoes. After a blood test and a negative heartworm result for dogs over the age of 6 months, we recommend giving your pet a simple heartworm preventative available the form of a chewable monthly tablet. Puppies can start heartworm as young as six weeks of age. We recommend that dogs take this monthly preventative year-round. High risk dogs are dogs that are exposed more to mosquitoes such as dogs that live outside or travel to the shore, the south or are near streams, ponds, pools and other bodies of water. Although less likely, cats can also get heartworms and will have signs of vomiting, asthma or sudden death. There is a preventative for cats, but the blood test will only show exposure to heartworm, not definitive disease.
Does my dog need to be on heartworm preventative year-round?
It is recommended that you keep your dog on heartworm preventative year-round. In addition to protecting him/her from heartworms, which are transmitted by mosquitoes, it also protects your pet from several other intestinal parasites that are commonly found in your pet's environment. If you choose not to use the heartworm preventative year-round, we will perform a simple blood test to make sure your pet is still heartworm free before restarting the monthly preventative.
Should I use flea preventative year-round?
Fleas typically become a problem in late spring and can survive outdoors well into autumn. Your pets will often stop picking up new fleas from the outdoors after a few good hard frosts. But, if your pet has fleas, they can live in your house year-round. Because of this, many pet owners opt to treat their pets with topically flea products monthly to every three months to help control infestations.
My dog only ever goes outside to go to the bathroom, why does he/she have fleas?
Fleas can be picked up as soon as your dog walks in the grass outside. You can even bring the fleas or their eggs into the home on shoes and clothing.
My cat is indoors only; why does he/she have fleas?
Other pets in the house and people who are going outside can be bringing the fleas in.

COMMON MEDICAL QUESTIONS

How old is too old to get my cat declawed?
If you wish to declaw your cat, we recommend that you schedule it in combination with a neuter procedure which is recommended at 6 months of age. If you are considering a declaw for your mature cat, we recommend a consultation with your veterinarian to discuss alternative options as well as the procedure and aftercare.
What do IV (intravenous) fluids do? Does my pet have to be sedated for IV fluids?
IV fluid therapy is sometimes recommended for sick patients to replace body fluids when dehydrated, experiencing blood volume loss or electrolyte abnormalities. For patients that will be undergoing anesthesia for a surgical procedure, IV fluids help to keep your pet well hydrated, clear medications from his/her body more quickly, and support your pet's blood pressure while under anesthesia. Your pet does not need to be sedated to have IV fluids.
My dog is sliding his bottom on the floor. What is he doing?
If your pet scoots his bottom on the floor, we recommend that you bring him in for a visit with the veterinarian. There can be several reasons why an animal "scoots", including anal gland problems or tapeworms.
Should I bathe my pets?
Most pets keep themselves clean by self-grooming. If you would like to bathe your pet, be sure to use a gentle shampoo made specifically for pets. Too much bathing can dry your pet's skin.
Can I give my dog/cat aspirin/Advil/Tylenol?
No. If you feel that your pet is experiencing pain and is in need of pain relief, please call our office so that we may prescribe a product that is safe for your pet. Over the counter human pain medications are potentially toxic to pets and can be very dangerous. Some of them are even lethal.
Can I buy my pet's medications from an online pharmacy?
We encourage you to purchase your pet's prescription medication directly from your veterinarian's office. Many of the products that we sell are veterinary exclusive, which means they can only be sold to a veterinarian to be dispensed responsibly to our patients. Some of these products carry a guarantee by the manufacturer, which will be voided if you purchase it anywhere other than your veterinarian.
When should I get my dog a license?
The state of Pennsylvania requires that all dogs be licensed at 3 months of age. Lifetime Licenses are available for pets who have been micro-chipped.
Does a microchip have a GPS tracking device in it?
No. A microchip acts as a permanent identification of your pet but is not a GPS tracking device. GPS tracking systems are available, but are still working out the "kinks."