Common Client Questions

Spay & Neuter

What are the advantages?

Every year in the United States millions of pets are placed in shelters or euthanized due to overpopulation. Spaying or neutering your pet is the first step in correcting this issue! But what are the more immediate benefits? Spaying and neutering

*Image courtesy of DVM Multimedia

animals can drastically decrease common behavioral issues such as spraying, roaming, fighting over females, etcetera. Spaying hugely reduces the risk of mammary cancer in females that affects the large majority of older animals! Neutering not only reduces the risk of testicular and prostate cancer, but it also prevents certain infectious diseases such as Brucellosis (a disease that can be transmitted to humans). There are so many benefits to spaying or neutering your pet! If you are on the fence, please contact us and we will do our best to answer your questions and make the decision that is best for you and your pet.


Is it safe?

Spays & neuters are among some of the most common procedures done on our furry friends and one of the safest thanks to the hard work of millions of veterinarians across the nation. We will tell you that every surgery has its risks however, we manage those risks to avoid any complications to the best of our ability. We have anesthetic monitoring equipment and our trained staff to monitor your pet under anesthesia before, during, and after the procedure. Weuse sterilization techniques and medications to minimize the risk of infection. All of our doctors are surgically trained to perform spays and neuters in both dogs and cats. These procedures are considered “routine”. That means that not only do they occur frequently, but usually they are performed without major complication or risk. We strive to create the safest environment we can for your pet.

When should I bring my pet in?

Our doctors suggest that all pets be spayed or neutered at 5-6 months of age. This is before they reach sexual maturity, preventing any surprise pregnancies and hugely minimizing the risk of cancer later in life. Although this is what we recommend, animals can be spayed or neutered at any time past this age, so do not hesitate to schedule an appointment if you have an older companion!

My pet is having surgery tomorrow. What should I do?

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Everyone who has had surgery knows that is is no fun having to skip breakfast that morning however, it is very important that your pet not eat after 10PM the night before surgery. The risk of food regurgitation is extremely high during anesthesia. If this happens, food commonly enters the lungs causing a very serious, often fatal, infection. The best and easiest way to avoid this complication is, just like with people, for our pets to not eat the night before surgery. This includes even small treats and anything they might get into like the cat’s food or table scraps. They can still drink water up until they come in for their appointment.

How do I know when my pet needs a dental?

The most common complaint we hear that indicates a pet needs a dental is smelly breath! If your pet’s breath knocks the wind out of you, they probably need a dental. Other, more subtle, signs include decreased appetite, less chewing on toys, and excessive drooling. Dentals are very safe, routine procedures that are done every day at our clinic. Please do not hesitate to ask about it during your next visit or give us a call!

*Image courtesy of Daily Veterinary News

What are heartworms & how does my pet get them? 

Heartworms are a type of worm that can grow up to a foot in length and set up shop in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. They can cause extensive, irreversible damage to your pet’s cardiovascular system that frequently leads to heart failure and death. This parasite can infect dogs, cats, ferrets, and even humans.

Animals are infected with heartworms via a mosquito bite. The rule of thumb is: any animal can be bitten by a mosquito, even indoor-only ones. Many of us are indoor-only humans too but look how often we are bitten by mosquitoes! As you can see by the map below, Oklahoma is one of the most commonly affected areas of the country for heartworms. So it is even more important to protect our pets!

*Courtesy of the American Heartworm Society

How do I prevent my pet from getting heartworms?


The only effective method of preventing your pet from becoming infected with heartworm is using heartworm preventatives. Veterinary medicine has advanced and produced a wide variety of products for this purpose. Topicals, chewable treats, and even injections can be used to prevent heartworm infection. Unfortunately, bug sprays and mosquito nets are not enough. Preventatives are the only research-tested, doctor-approved method of preventing heartworm disease.

Can heartworm infections be treated?

Great news: heartworm infections can be treated! However, it takes months of treatment, confinement, and funds. What’s even better than treatment? Prevention! Heartworm prevention is significantly more cost effective and pet friendly than heartworm treatment. Although, if your pet is diagnosed with heartworms, we can do our best to treat it. It involves monthly doses of medication and strict rest. Long term, we manage the damage done to the heart with medication and lifestyle changes.

How often should my adult pet be vaccinated? 

Adult animals should receive vaccination boosters and a doctor exam every year. This not only keeps there vaccine protection up-to-date, it also keeps a valid relationship with their doctor. It is that relationship that allows the doctor to prescribe medications including flea and tick preventatives.

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Some grooming and boarding facilities require more frequent boosters with  proof of vaccination. We are more than happy to advise you in such circumstances and vaccinate your animal as appropriate. We can also provide documentation as necessary!

Are vaccinations safe for my pet?

Vaccination reactions do occur however they are relatively rare in our furry friends. We always keep an eye on new pets during their first vaccinations to see if they will have a reaction. If they do, we can give them medication to combat the symptoms. Then we can design a plan to best minimize their risk while keeping them protecting that we tailor to your individual pet.

I’m not sure if I need to bring my pet to see a vet. What should I do?

If you are not sure if your pet needs to see the vet, give us a call! Usually your first instinct is correct and we will tell you to come on in however, we are more than happy to discuss your options with you. If we are unavailable, Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists & Animal Emergency Center in Tulsa, OK both have 24-7 answering services.

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I want to train my dog to sit/stay/etc. Do you have a local trainer that you recommend?

There are a lot of great trainers in our area! We highly recommend Tulsa Dog Training Club. They are in Tulsa and welcome all ages and breeds! The are American Kennel Club (AKC) sanctioned and teach more advanced topics such as nosework and agility! Find their contact info below:


We also recommend the training classes at your local Petsmart & Petco. These have the advantage of occurring in multiple locations multiple times a week. They have group training, individual training, obedience training, tricks, and much more! Please find their contact info below:


What is a “microchip” and why would my pet need one? 

A microchip is a small computer chip that is inserted under the skin above the shoulder blades of your pet, just like a vaccine. Once it is inserted and registered, any shelter or vet that finds your missing pet can simply scan it (using a scanner like the ones at the store), search an online database using the ID number, and PRESTO they can contact you and reunite you with your furry friend!

This safe and inexpensive technology has reunited MILLIONS of lost pets with their owners. They are permanent so you only have to get it inserted once and it goes in just like a vaccine! They are extremely safe and easy to apply. They do NOT work like a GPS and they do NOT contain your personal information so they are completely secure! We can microchip your pet at any appointment with no fuss!


Do you have a question we missed? Please feel free to contact us!