Fayette Veterinary Hospital offers professional care for all of your pets and large animals.

Frequently Asked Questions – Veterinary
Animal Care in Washington Court House, OH

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At Fayette Veterinary Hospital, Washington Court House, educating our clients is a top priority. Here are answers to some common animal care questions.

Immunization Questions

How old does my pet have to be for a rabies shot?
The doctor normally gives the rabies shot at 4 months of age. We recommend vaccinating against canine distemper and parvovirus (feline distemper and feline leukemia).

How old should my puppy (or kitten) be to start its shots?
We recommend starting the vaccinations at 6 weeks of age.  We give them in a series 3 weeks apart so that your pet will have good immunity.

Why does my dog need shots other than the rabies shot?
There are several highly contagious diseases that we can protect your dog from through vaccination.  Because most of these diseases are fatal, we want to give your pet the best protection.

Can I catch Lyme disease from my dog?
Studies show that the disease is not directly transmitted from dogs to humans.  Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks. If your dog has ticks, you may run a risk of being bitten by one, too.  You can catch Lyme disease from a tick only, not from your dog.

Can I catch feline leukemia from my cat?
To date there have been no documented cases of feline leukemia being transmitted to people, nor any higher incidence of leukemia in people with cats.  However, if your cat tests positive for feline leukemia, we recommend that you talk with the veterinarian.

We adopted a stray cat. Should I do anything special before I let it play with my other cats?
You should have the new cat examined by the veterinarian before exposing it to your other cats.  The new cat should be tested for FIV and feline leukemia – two deadly diseases that could be transmitted to your cats. Also, we strongly recommend that you have your new cat vaccinated as soon as possible.

Internal Parasite Questions

What is a Parasite?
A parasite is an organism that lives at the expense of another living being.  In our pets, these usually take the form of intestinal worms (internal parasites) and fleas and ticks (external parasites).

How can I tell if my pet has worms?
Some parasites, such as tapeworms, are visible to the naked eye, but others must be detected under the microscope.  If you will bring in a stool specimen, we will be glad to examine it microscopically to see if your pet has worms.

What are heartworms, and how do I tell if my pet has them?
Heartworms are parasites that live in the animal’s heart or in the large blood vessels on the lungs.  To test for heartworms, we draw a small blood sample and examine it under the microscope or run a special test.  (Ask your doctor about your clinic’s protocol.)  Heartworms can be prevented easily using medication, but we have to be sure your pet tests negative before beginning the prevention.

What causes heartworms?
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. If a mosquito bites a dog thats infected with heartworms and then bites your cat or dog, your pet could become infected with heartworms.  We highly recommend that all dogs take medication for heartworm prevention to keep this from happening.  Heartworm preventive medications are also available for cats.

Can I catch anything by cleaning out my cat's litter box?
Toxoplasma oocysts pass out in the feces of cats and can cause problems if transmitted to pregnant women. That’s why pregnant women and immunosuppressed individuals should not clean out litter boxes.  With normal sanitary precautions, litter boxes pose no problem for the other people.

Where do adult pets get worms?
Most intestinal parasites are transmitted in the pet’s stool.  When a dog steps in contaminated stool or ingests the egg, the parasite enters his body.  Keeping the yard clean and having your pet checked for worms regularly will prevent most parasites infestation. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes.  Testing your dog for heartworm infection and keeping him on heartworm prevention will prevent heartworms from becoming a problem.

My dog has been scooting its behind on the floor. Does that mean it has worms?
Scooting can be a sign of tapeworms. We recommend that you examine your pet closely for signs of tapeworm infection.  Tapeworm segments pass out of the pet’s rectum and often catch in the fur on the legs and tail.  If tapeworms are not the problem, the doctor will look for another cause, such as impacted or infected anal glands.

What are these little white segments I've been noticing on the fur on my pet's legs and tail?
You are most likely seeing tapeworm segments that are becoming stuck in the hair when they pass out in the bowel movement.  We recommend that you bring us a sample segment, if possible, so we can determine which kind of tapeworm your pet has.  We can then deworm your pet and help you prevent them from getting them again.

External Parasite Questions

My pet scratches constantly. Does it have fleas?
Constant scratching can be a sign of flea infestation, but it might also mean your pet has dry skin or possibly even a medical problem, such as an allergy. If the scratching continues in spite of careful flea control, we recommend a visit to the doctor to determine the cause of the itching.

Can I catch ringworm from my cat? And how should I cure my cat of ringworm?
Ringworm is not really a worm at all—it’s a fungus. And, yes, it is contagious to humans.  At the first sign of ringworm in your cat, bring it in so the doctor can prescribe medicine, shampoo, or ointment.  Call your family doctor to ask how to prevent or cure the problem in yourself.

Reproduction Questions

Won't my pet get fat and lazy if I spay her?
If you watch her diet and give her plenty of opportunity for exercise, you shouldn’t have a problem.

At what age can I have my pet spayed?
The doctor recommends spaying your female at 6 months of age.

Will my female still come into heat after spaying?
No. The spaying operation will eliminate heat cycles.

Will she be able to get pregnant after spaying?
No. The spaying operation removes the ovaries and uterus. Therefore she will be infertile and won’t be able to get pregnant.

How soon after my dog/cat has puppies/kittens do you recommend that she be spayed?
As soon as the puppies or kittens are weaned and the mother’s milk has dried up, she can be spayed.

Why should I have my pet spayed?
Spaying is the best form of pet population control.  In addition, it eliminates messy heat cycles and prevents unwanted litters.  Other important reasons to spay your pet are that spaying lowers the chance of breast cancer later in life and eliminates the chance of pyometra, a life-threatening uterine infection.

How often does a female dog come in heat?
Female dogs usually come in heat twice a year.

How long does a female dog stay in heat
The heat cycle usually takes about three weeks to complete.

How often does a female cat come in heat?
Cats come into heat seasonally. They cycle at approximately 21-day intervals during the spring, summer, and fall

When can I first breed my female dog?
For a planned breeding, we recommend you wait until the second or third heat cycle.

How long does a female dog stay pregnant?
The gestation period for a female dog is about 62 to 63 days.

How long does a female cat stay pregnant?
The gestation period for a female cat can be from 59 to 68 days but is usually about 60 days.

How soon does a cat come back in heat after she's had a litter of kittens?
Cats can sometimes come back into heat while nursing a litter, so it’s important to keep them away from male cats until they can be spayed.

If my registered female dog is bred by a stray dog, will this affect her future litters?
No, each litter is separate and there is no carry-over between litters.  However, care should always be taken to prevent unwanted puppies.

How long will it take my dog (or cat) to give birth to her litter?
The length of time varies from animal to animal, but if your pet is in hard labor for an hour with no sign of a puppy (or kitten) being born, she may be having a problem.  Call the doctor if this happens.

Is it possible for a litter to have different fathers?
Yes, if there are five offspring, it is possible there could be five different fathers.

What is false pregnancy?
False pregnancies occur in dogs, usually after a normal heat cycle.  The dog’s hormones trick her into thinking she is pregnant when actually she is not.  A female with a false pregnancy will often make a nest in which to have puppies, carry stuffed animals in her mouth, and even produce milk.  False pregnancy can be treated during an office visit, and the doctor will explain more about it at that time.

Questions About Males

At what age should I have my pet neutered?
The doctor recommends neutering at 6 months of age.

Why should I have my pet neutered? Do you recommend neutering?
Yes, we do recommend it. Neutering the male helps control pet overpopulation.  Neutering also helps prevent your pet from fighting with other males, decreases his aggressiveness, may help decrease his territorial marking behavior, helps keep him at home, stops unwanted sexual activity, and decreases the incidence of health problems related to the reproductive organs.

My dog has become aggressive and rough. Will neutering help stop that?
Neutering has been shown to decrease aggressiveness in dogs and make them better pets.

If I neuter my cat, will he stop spraying my furniture?
When a cat sprays, he is exhibiting the male tendency to mark his territory with urine.  Neutering decreases his male hormones and makes him much less likely to exhibit this undesirable trait.

How old does my dog have to be to be used for stud?
Dogs vary in the length of time it takes them to reach sexual maturity.  Generally a dog that is 1 ½ to 2 years old is ready to be used for stud.

Medical Questions

What is a dog's normal temperature?
A dog’s normal temperature sometimes varies but is usually about 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is a cat's normal temperature?
A cat’s normal temperature sometimes varies but is usually about 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

My pet's teeth are falling out. Is that normal?
Puppies and kittens have “baby teeth” just like humans.  It is normal for them to lose these first teeth when they are about 3 ½ months old to make room for their adult teeth.  Look inside your pet’s mouth and be sure a baby tooth has fallen out wherever you see a new tooth coming in.  If the baby teeth don’t fall out, they may have to be pulled.

It's going to be extremely cold tonight, and my dog stays outside. Is there anything special I should do for him?
Dogs need protection from extremely cold nights.  Shorthaired dogs need more protection than double-coated or longhaired dogs.  Light bulbs can be hung in the dog house for heat, or you may want to bring your dog into the garage, basement, or laundry room for the night.

Why is my dog scooting its rear end on the floor?
Scooting can be a sign of anal-gland problems, or it may mean that your dog has tapeworms.

Why does my dog have such bad breath?
Bad breath can be a sign of gum infection and teeth problems.

My pet has runny eyes, but I don't see anything in the eye. Do I need to bring him in?
Yes. Runny eyes can be caused by allergies, illness, injury, and infection.  The doctor must examine your pet to determine the cause.

Emergency Questions

My pet has licked up some antifreeze. Will this hurt him?
Antifreeze is extremely poisonous to dogs and cats.  Please bring him to the clinic immediately for treatment.

My pet has gotten into rat poison. Will it hurt him?
Rat poison can cause serious blood-clotting problems in dogs and cats.  He should be brought in as soon as possible.

My pet was just hit by a car. What should I do?
Make sure it has an open airway and can breathe.  If your pet is a dog, secure its mouth to prevent biting—a stocking works well as a temporary muzzle—and transport it to the clinic on a board to control its movements and prevent further injury.  If it is a cat, put it in a box.  Bring the pet to the clinic as soon as you can, even if you think it is fine.  Sometimes an injury can cause internal problems that aren’t readily apparent.

My cat goes to the litter box constantly, but little or no urine comes out. What should I do?
Your cat may have a urinary tract infection or may have a blockage that’s preventing it from urinating. You should bring him to the clinic immediately.

Hours and Services

Surgery patients are normally admitted Mon-Fri. from 9-11 a.m.

Grooming appointment drop-offs are from 8-11 a.m. as scheduled.

Boarding animals may be dropped off during normal business hours or by appointment during non-business hours.

If you have questions or need to discuss other options concerning admissions, call the office at (740) 335-6161.

  • Equine & Large Animals
  • Pet Dental Care
  • Dog Dental
  • Exotic Animal Care
  • Geriatric Pets, Pet Diagnostics
  • Animal Anesthesia
  • Animal Laser Surgery
  • Pet Surgery
  • Pet Laser Therapy
  • Farm Animal Care

Areas Served

Hillsboro, Wilmington, Washington Court House, Greenfield, Chillicothe, Blanchester, Belfast, Buford, Jeffersonville, Mowrystown, Sabina, Leesburg, Lynchburg, New Vienna, New Holland, Martinsville, Clarksville, Danville, New Washington, Bloomington and Marshall.