Frequently Asked Questions

Belle Plaine Animal Hospital FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Belle Plaine Animal Hospital FAQs

Do I need to have an appointment?

Yes, patients are seen by appointments. You can easily schedule an appointment online here.

At what age should my puppy be vaccinated?

Puppies are normally vaccinated for distemper and parvo virus, as well as other viruses (in an all-in-one vaccine) at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. After the puppy series, there is a booster one year later. A rabies vaccine is given along with the second distemper/parvo virus vaccination at 12 weeks, boostered a year later, and similarly, every 3 years after that. Depending on the risk of exposure, the need for vaccines against Lyme disease, bordetella (kennel cough) and leptospirosis can be discussed with your veterinarian.

At what age should my kitten be vaccinated?

Kittens normally receive distemper/ upper-respiratory vaccines (in an all-in-one vaccine) at 8,12 and 16 weeks. Like puppies, they receive rabies and second distemper vaccines at 12 weeks. One year later, they should receive a booster for rabies and distemper vaccination. Depending on the risk of exposure, other vaccines against Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) can be discussed with your vet.

When can my puppy start heartworm preventative?
Depending on the product, they can start as early as 6 weeks, but generally most start at 8 weeks.
At what age can I have my pet spayed or neutered?

Spaying or neutering should be done at approximately 6 months of age. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. Also a pre-anesthetic blood screen is performed prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery. We also require an up to date heartworm test on any dog older than 6 months of age.

How long do the sutures stay in after my pet's surgery?
Procedures involving sutures require them to be removed in 10 – 14 days following the surgery.
Do you board pets?

We do not have boarding available at our clinic.

What is feline leukemia? How can my cat get it?

Feline Leukemia is a major infectious disease in cats. The virus is spread from cat to cat through saliva, the litter box, from grooming, some flea bites, a bite wound, or from an infected mother to her kittens. A blood test will show if your cat has Feline Leukemia (FELV). There are vaccines for feline leukemia that are available after a negative blood test.

How often should I see my veterinarian?

Dogs and cats should see their veterinarian for a physical exam, fecal exam, and appropriate blood testing and vaccinations annually. The kinds of vaccinations the pet gets vary depending on their management, age, and disease history. The recommended blood tests vary by their species, management, and age as well.

What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease can be very costly to treat and if left untreated it can lead to severe heart/lung/kidney disease, and even death.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, checks, credit cards (Visa, MasterCard & Discover) and CareCredit for all veterinary services.

Learn more about our payment options here.

Can I make payments?

Payment is expected at the time services are rendered. In order to focus on our patients’ needs, customer service, and minimizing costs, we do not bill. Your understanding is appreciated.

Learn more about our payment options here.

Should my puppy or kitten be de-wormed?
Yes. Puppies and kittens can be subject to in-utero infestations with several types of worms that can cause pulmonary and digestive problems after they are born, as well as anemia (in the case of hookworms). De-worming medication given during vaccination visits at your vet is a good way to eliminate parasites early so that puppies and kittens thrive. Having stool samples checked yearly is a good way to help detect intestinal parasites acquired by your pets. Otherwise, tapeworm segments can easily be seen attached to the hair around the anal opening and are more common in cats.
How important is dental care for my pet?

It’s as important as it is for humans. Regular dental care (cleaning, polishing) reduces gum disease and the need for extractions. It will also reduce heart and kidney disease that can follow a badly infected mouth. Brushing isn’t always easy, especially in cats, but the benefits are huge. A flavored pet toothpaste is recommended.

What is the pre-anesthetic blood screening?

The pre-anesthetic blood screening is run in our clinic prior to surgery. Pets have a CBC (complete blood count) and a small chemistry panel.

My dog or cat is having a surgical procedure performed. Does he or she need to fast beforehand?
Yes. We recommend a 12 hour fast before all procedures requiring anesthesia or sedation. Water does not need to be withheld.
Is it a good idea to let my pet have at least one litter of pups?

No, there is no advantage to letting your pet have one litter. However, there are plenty of advantages to having your pet spayed or neutered. These advantages include decreasing the chances of breast tumors later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life, decreasing the desire to roam the neighborhood, decreasing the incidence of prostate cancer later in life, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreasing the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens.

My dog has a cough what should I do?

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian so that they can evaluate your dog and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

What is the SNAP 4Dx Plus Test?

The Snap 4Dx Plus Test is an annual parasite screening that checks for Heartworm disease and three tick-borne diseases – Anaplasmosis, Lyme, and Ehrlichia in dogs. Heartworm is a disease that is transmitted by mosquitos. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the deer tick. Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichia are also diseases that are transmitted by the tick. After a negative Snap 4Dx blood test, you can vaccinate your dog for Lyme disease annually. As pet owners, you always want to use flea/tick prevention monthly.

What is Leptospirosis (Lepto)?
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease which means it can be passed from animals to people. Lepto is a deadly bacterial disease spread by wildlife and domestic animals. Lepto bacteria are shed through urine. To avoid your pet getting leptospirosis, avoid exposure to still or slow-moving water and vaccinate your pet annually. Lepto can be passed from pet to owner. It is recommended that all dogs be vaccinated yearly because of the zoonotic potential of the disease.
What should I do if I trim my pet's nails too short?
If you trim your pet’s nail too short and it bleeds, don’t panic. This happens to everyone! Use corn starch or flour to stop the bleeding. If you are away from home, ie. camping, walk your dog around in the mud and let it dry. When the bleeding has stopped give your pet a treat and a big hug and try it again another day.

Many different products are available at veterinarian clinics or pet stores to stop nail bleeding. You may want to keep one on hand.