How safe is my pet’s procedure?

The difficulty level of a surgical procedure varies based on how invasive the surgery is, as well as the age and overall health of the pet. For example, the neuter of a healthy puppy or kitten has less inherit risk than a foreign-body removal in an older or sick pet. Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center takes every precaution available to ensure your pet experiences a stress-free and pain-free procedure, whether it is a minor biopsy or major surgery. If your constant companion is facing a surgery, our caring veterinarians will communicate the precautions we will take prior to the surgical event.

How often should my pet have an exam and blood work?

Healthy domestic animals should visit Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center at least once a year to have a general exam and receive any necessary vaccination boosters. Younger puppies and kittens, as well as senior pets may require more frequent visits due to the nature of vaccinations and age-related health issues. Blood work will be done in any situation that calls for further investigation by our veterinary staff.

Why does my pet need a dental procedure?

Veterinary dental procedures are extremely important when owners are unable to brush or care for their pet’s teeth at home. Studies indicate that approximately 80% of pets three years of age have some form of early oral disease. The vets at Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center will begin with a physical examination and then explain in thorough detail why your pet should undergo a dental procedure such as tooth extraction or cleaning. The most common reason for dental procedures in animals is to prevent or treat sepsis from untreated abscesses and infections.

How important is nutrition for my pet?

Proper nutrition is the cornerstone for all animal health. Animals should eat properly formulated-food and correct portions in order to have a great quality of life. Animals do not possess the same digestive enzymes as humans, therefore a great deal of table food is not conducive to healthy pets. Over feeding pets with dog treats and bones is also a culprit of obesity in pets. Our experienced veterinarians can develop a dietary plan that fits the individual needs of your pet and determine the proper food portions to maintain a healthy weight.

How long should I wait to bring my pet in if I notice a change in behavior?

A change in your pet’s normal behavior may be indicative of a variety of issues, ranging from insignificant to severe problems. At Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center, we see pets each day where their owners tell us that they are not their usual, playful selves. Our veterinarians have the experience and the tools to help determine why your pet is behaving differently. If you notice a change in your pet’s behavior, do not wait. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced doctors to help determine whether this may be a sign of a problem for your furry family member.

What should I do if I notice visible parasites on my pet?

If you notice worms, fleas, ticks or lice on your pet, you should immediately isolate them from other animals and small children. Next, contact Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center to bring your pet in for an examination. Many parasitical infestations can be treated here in our clinic. It is also suggested to wash all bedding that the animal has come in contact with to keep re-infestation from occurring.

What if my pet has an after-hours problem?

Not all illnesses and injuries occur during normal business hours. At Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center, our caring veterinarians are on-call after our normal business hours to address any acute needs for our current clients. Please call 540-980-0186 in the event your pet is facing an emergency medical condition after our normal working hours.

At what age should I have my pet spayed/neutered?

Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center recommends sterilization of pets at approximately six months of age. This allows for your pet to mature adequately before having surgery. Our veterinarians highly recommend sterilizing your pets to avoid over-population and to prevent certain health issues that arise with pregnancy and with age.

What are heartworms and how can I prevent my pet from getting them?

Heartworms are an internal parasite that can affect the heart, lungs and other organs of both dogs and cats. These parasites have been diagnosed in all fifty states, but are especially prevalent in western Virginia. Heartworms are transmitted when an animal is bitten by an infected mosquito, which transmits immature heartworms to the pet. If not prevented or if left untreated, heartworms can cause severe coughing, exercise intolerance, and even heart failure. Heartworm disease is much easier and less expensive to prevent than it is to treat. Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center offers heartworm products proven to be safe and effective for pets in our care. For your convenience, these products are affordable and available at our clinic. Please call one of our caring team members at 540-980-0186 to schedule an appointment to begin your precious pet on a heartworm preventative medication.

When is pain management recommended for my pet?

Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center recommends pain management for pets who suffer from chronic and age-related illness such as joint disease, cancer, kidney failure and a variety of orthopedic injuries. Acute pain associated with trauma or surgery will be treated accordingly until your pet shows signs of being pain-free.

What financing options do you offer? Is payment required at time of service?

Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center requires all visits and surgeries be paid in full at time of service. If your precious pet is facing an unforeseen issue that you have not accounted for in your budget, our clinic accepts Care Credit for services for your pet. You will find more information about Care Credit at www.carecredit.com.

Do I need heartworm prevention and flea protection all year, or only during the warmer months?

The experienced veterinarians at Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical center adhere to the guidelines set forth by the American Heartworm Society, and recommend administering heartworm prevention to your dog as well as your cat. Heartworm prevention is recommended during the winter, as our winters can be mild at times in western Virginia, and mosquitoes carrying heartworms can always be a danger to your precious pet.

Flea control is highly recommended for year-round administration as well. Fleas can hibernate in the pupa stage, and emerge immediately in the right conditions. A warm spell during the winter can bring a flea infestation to your pet as well as your home. Please remember that prevention is always more effective and less costly than treatment of a condition, and this holds true with both heartworm disease and fleas.

The heartworm and flea preventatives found in our pharmacy at Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center are often priced the same as or less than online pharmacies and big-box stores. Contact one of our caring professionals at 540-980-0186 to begin your precious pet on heartworm and flea prevention.

Shouldn’t I let my female have at least 1 litter? Shouldn’t she have at least one heat cycle before being sterilized?

Unless you are planning to breed your female dog or cat, there is no medical reason for them to have a litter of puppies or complete a heat cycle. Our experienced veterinarians recommend spaying all females beginning as young as 4-6 months of age. Not only will sterilization prevent unwanted litters, they are also a health benefit for the female as she begins to age. Please call Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center at 540-980-0186 to set an appointment for your constant companion.

Can’t dogs only get Bordetella in a professional kennel environment?

“Kennel cough” is the term most often used when describing the respiratory disease known as bordetella. Based on the term alone, pet owners often confuse how this disease may be acquired. Bordetella is an infectious form of bronchitis that can be transmitted from pet to pet through pet toys, food bowls, and inhaled airborne particles from an infected dog. While these conditions can occur in a kennel setting, infection can also occur from casual contact with other dogs in the neighborhood and parks, as well as from sharing toys, food and water bowls with other dogs. For these reasons, the experienced veterinarians at Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center recommend vaccinating against bordetella for all dogs to prevent this highly contagious disease.

Why do adult dogs needs vaccines other than rabies?

Vaccinations are one of the most important forms of protection against many common diseases for people and our furry family members. At Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center, our experienced veterinarians recommend vaccinations as necessary and according to the manufacturer over the lifetime of your pet. The duration of immunity afforded by vaccinations can vary based on the disease. Even mature adult pets need to maintain immunity against many common diseases, some of which can be fatal. For example, Lyme disease and leptospirosis are two deadly diseases that can infect our pets at any age.

In recent years, veterinarians and pet owners alike have become concerned about the possibility of over-vaccination, or administering a vaccine when an animal is still protected by their previous vaccination. In these instances, a blood test know as a titer test can measure the amount of antibody your pet currently has to determine the level of protection remaining from their last vaccination. The caring doctors at Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center recommend titer testing any time there is a question of whether a pet is properly protected.

How frequent are canine/feline heat cycles?

There are a number of differences in the heat cycles of canines and felines. Female felines begin heat cycles when they reach puberty at approximately six months of age. The heat cycle in cats is based on the season; therefore cats are known to be "seasonally polyestrus." Heat cycles for cats normally begin in January and lasts through October, with the cat returning to heat every seven to ten days. Indoor cats with artificial lighting may cycle all year.

Like felines, our canine companions normally begin heat cycles at approximately six months of age. Depending of the breed and size of the dog, most female canines come in heat twice per year. Heat cycles typically last for 2-3 weeks. Unless a female dog or cat is going to be used for breeding purposes, it is recommended that they be spayed between 4 and 6 months of age. Please call one of our caring staff members to have your precious pet sterilized to prevent unwanted litters.