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FAQ – Veterinary Care

At what age can I have my pet spayed or neutered?

Spaying or neutering is traditionally done at approximately 6 months of age. We have the expertise and training to safely spay and neuter pets as young as 8 weeks 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. Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery. Also, a pre-anesthetic blood screen is recommended prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery.

Is it a good idea to let my pet have at least one litter?

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 tumours later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life, decreasing the desire to roam the neighbourhood, decreasing the incidence of prostate cancer later in life, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreases the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens.

I’ve heard that some clinics offer anesthesia-free dentistry. Is this safe for my pet?

It is not safe, and it is illegal for anyone (including veterinarians) to offer anesthesia-free dentistry in most provinces in Canada. Safe, effective and pain-free dentistry can only be performed under gas anesthesia, and Practice Standards for British Columbian veterinarians require it in all cases.

Why does my pet need dental care?

Dental health is just as important for dogs and cats as it is for people. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and expensive oral surgery. Bacteria can also cause serious, potentially fatal infections in your pet’s kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart. Unless your pet just ate something fishy, stinky breath isn’t normal. Having a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s teeth regularly and clean them as needed will help prevent dental disease and any related problems.

I’ve found a clinic that’s offering prices well below what other clinics are charging for veterinary care. Is this a good option if I don’t have much money to spend on my pet?

Like human doctors, veterinarians are expected to meet minimum standards of care (as overseen by veterinary regulatory authorities). However, if prices are lower at one clinic, you should ask for clarification about what the procedure or treatment includes. You will likely find significant differences in the level of care provided by that clinic.