3626 North Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27455
Open Mon-Fri: 7:30 am - 6 pm,
Sat: 8 am to 12 pm
Closed Sun

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the questions below to view the answers.

Puppy

Puppies should begin their visits to the veterinarian's office at 6 to 7 weeks of age. They are given vaccines every 3 to 4 weeks until puppies are 16 weeks old. Your doctor will thoroughly examine your new family member and answer your questions about its care. Your puppy will also be tested and treated for parasites and begin flea and heartworm prevention.

6 weeks old:

  • Physical examination
  • Distemper/Parvo vaccination - DHPP
  • Fecal examination
  • Deworming
  • Begin flea medicine and heartworm preventative

 

8-9 weeks old: 

  • Physical examination
  • Distemper/Parvo vaccination - DHPP
  • Fecal examination - if parasites present last visit
  • Continue flea medicine and heartworm preventative

 

12 weeks old:

  • Physical examination
  • Distemper/Parvo vaccination - DHLPP
  • Fecal examination - possible
  • Bordatella (Kennel cough) vaccine
  • Continue flea medicine and heartworm preventative

 

16 weeks old: 

  • Physical examination
  • Distemper/Parvo vaccination - DHLPP
  • Fecal examination - possible
  • Rabies Vaccine
  • Continue flea medicine and heartworm preventative

Puppies should begin their visits to the veterinarian’s office at 6 to 7 weeks of age. They are given vaccines every 3 to 4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Your doctor will thoroughly examine your new family member and answer your questions about their care. They will also be tested and treated for parasites and begin flea and heartworm prevention.

In most cases, dogs should begin eating adult food at 1 year of age. The transition should be made over 7 to 10 days so your pet does not develop an upset stomach or diarrhea.

  • Puppy's First Steps: The Whole Dog Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, Well-Behaved Puppyby the Faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
  • Before and After Getting Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar
  • Puppies for Dummies by Sarah Hodgson
  • ASPCA Complete Dog Training Manual by Bruce Fogle

Kitten

  • Training Your Cat by Kersti Seksel

Kittens should begin their visits to the veterinarian's office at 6 to 7 weeks of age. They are given vaccines every 3 to 4 weeks until they are 13 weeks old. Your doctor will thoroughly examine your new family member and answer your questions about its care. They will also be tested and treated for parasites and begin flea and heartworm prevention.

In most cases, cats should begin eating adult food at 1 year of age. The transition should be made over 7 to 10 days, so your pet does not develop an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Declawing kittens when they are young leads to smoother and quicker recoveries. We feel the best age for declawing is 10-12 weeks of age, but can be done up to 6 months of age. Your kitten will receive pain medication with their anesthesia as well as local anesthetic to each paw. Padded bandages will be placed for the first night of recovery. The morning after surgery, the bandages will be removed and your kitten will go home with pain relief medication that afternoon.

Kittens should be spayed or neutered at six months of age. Not only does spaying and neutering your pets help control the pet population, but it stops some behavioral problems from developing and prevents a range of medical issues such as certain cancers and serious infections.

8 weeks old (or when first adopted):

  • Physical examination
  • Feline distemper vaccine - FVRCP
  • Fecal examination
  • Deworming
  • Begin flea medicine/heartworm preventative

 

12 weeks old:

  • Physical examination
  • Feline distemper vaccine - FVRCP
  • Fecal examination - if parasites present last time
  • Feline Leukemia/FIV test - if not performed last time
  • Feline Leukemia vaccine if kitten will go outdoors

 

16 weeks old:

  • Physical examination
  • Feline distemper - FVRCP
  • Fecal examination - if parasites present last time
  • Feline Leukemia/FIV test - if not performed last time
  • Feline Leukemia vaccine if kitten will go outdoors
  • Rabies vaccination

Microchip

A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a cylinder that is about the same size as a small grain of rice. The microchip is activated when a scanner is passed over the area. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner and the number is displayed on a screen. This identification number is permanently registered to the pet owner.

No, microchips don’t act as an animal “lo-jack”. Microchips do not emit a signal all the time; they are only activated when a scanner is passed over the chip.

A microchip is injected under the skin using a hypodermic needle. It is no more painful than a typical injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for injection. The chip can be implanted during a routine office visit. While no surgery or anesthesia is required, many people choose to have a chip implanted at the time of their pet's spay or neuter.

When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find a microchip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal’s owner. The pet’s owner must keep the registration information up-to-date.

Boarding

You can bring your pet’s own food, or we will feed him Science Diet® while he’s staying with us. Please be sure to bring any medications that he needs to take. You can also bring toys, beds, and treats that will make your pet feel more at home, but no TVs please! You may download a Boarding Admission Form to expedite your check-in.

Cat

Pet insurance is great for many owners. Depending on the policy, insurance can help with kitty visits, routine and sick examinations as well as emergencies and diseases. When you are faced with an emergency or serious illness, it’s nice to not have to consider the financial implications when considering the best treatment for your companion. We recommend Trupanion insurance, as it covers illnesses, injuries, and surgeries.

North Carolina state law requires all cats and dogs over 4 months of age to be current on their rabies vaccinations. The law is strict due to the fatal and zoonotic (able to be spread from animals to humans) nature of the disease. In North Carolina, rabies is primarily carried by raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes.

Animals by their very nature try to “hide” their illnesses. Therefore, we strongly recommend annual physical exams which include parasite control and health screening through blood, urine, and fecal tests. These are important components designed to prevent and diagnose diseases early in order to keep your pet living longer.

It is a good idea, and the feline heartworm preventatives also control intestinal parasites. Even indoor cats are at risk. In a recent study, 28 percent of the cats diagnosed with heartworm were inside-only cats.

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos, so even indoor cats can be at risk. Cats are infected with adult heartworms at about 10 to 15% of the dog rate as they are not the natural host for this parasite. In many highly endemic areas like the Florida and Texas Gulf Coast, the adult heartworm infection rate is equal to or HIGHER than the FeLV and FIV infection rates.

Heartworms affect cats differently than dogs, but the disease they cause is equally serious. Cats do not need an adult heartworm to exhibit clinical signs; in fact, larvae are a main cause of the problems. The name "heartworm disease" is a misnomer, as it mostly affects the lungs in cats. Signs that can be seen in cats include loss of appetite, blindness, collapse, convulsions, coughing, difficulty breathing, vomiting/diarrhea, lethargy, weight loss, and even sudden death.

Diagnosis is difficult in cats, but prevention is easy. Cats can be treated with either an oral or topical monthly preventative. Ask your doctor about new preventatives for cats.

The retina is the inside surface of the back of the eye where the brain receives signals from the outside world. The retina contains 2 types of cells – rods and cones. Cats have rods and cones in their retinas, but in different proportion than in the human retina. Although they can differentiate colors, what they see is likely a more muted version of what we see. Cats, by the way, can concentrate small amounts of light in their eyes, which allows them to see at night when the rest of us have difficulty. This special talent gives them their extraordinary night hunting vision.

Vaccinations work by triggering a body to react to an infectious agent. If a patient is ill at the time of vaccination, the vaccine may not work. Also as animals age much more quickly than humans, an annual examination is important to check the health of your pets as they pass through the various stages of life. During the physical exam, your pet will be thoroughly examined to check all body systems.

  • Keep the litter box clean, which means cleaning once or twice a day.
  • Use a litter box that is at least one and a half times the length of the cat from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail.
  • Avoid covered litterboxes, if possible. If a cover must be used and there are multiple pets in the household, cut a second entrance in the cover.
  • Avoid having the litterbox in noisy, drafty, high-traffic, or otherwise undesirable areas. Washers and dryers sometimes scare cats away to other locations.
  • If the cat is very young, old, or disabled, cut a low entrance into the litterbox.
  • If the cat does not dig in the litter and cover its excrement, simultaneously offer two or more kinds of litter in separate litterboxes and keep a log of the cat’s preference. A number of different litters may need to be tried before the owner can identify one that the cat prefers.
  • If there are multiple cats in the house, provide as many litterboxes as there are cats, plus one more litterbox.
  • Place litterboxes in multiple sites.
  • Use unscented litter if possible – cats can have sensitive noses.

Dog

The retina is the inside surface of the back of the eye where the brain receives signals from the outside world. The retina contains 2 types of cells – rods and cones. Dogs have rods and cones in their retinas, but in different proportion than in the human retina. Although they can differentiate colors, what they see is likely a more muted version of what we see. Dogs, especially, probably see more shades of gray than they do all of the other colors.

Separation anxiety is fairly common in dogs, and there are behavior modification protocols as well as medications that can help your pet. Set up an appointment to get help with this frustrating problem.

Currently we do not recommend vaccinating all dogs against Lyme disease. Lyme disease vaccines are given to dogs that we feel are at high risk for the disease. Lyme disease is transmitted via ticks, so tick prevention is very important in reducing the chance of the disease. Many other diseases are also transmitted by ticks, so keep on those preventatives. 

Heartworms are spread by mosquito bites. Dogs living in North Carolina that are not on heartworm preventions have a very high risk of developing heartworms. Monthly preventions control these worms, as well as intestinal worms that can be hazards to humans.

(From ASPCA Animal Poison Control)
Chocolate can contain high amounts of fat and caffeine-like stimulants known as methylxanthines. If ingested in significant amounts, chocolate can potentially produce effects ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures and even death in severe cases. Milk chocolate is less toxic than dark chocolate or baking chocolate because the methylxanthine concentration is lower. Always call us if your pet has helped itself to choclate.

Also the high fat content of chocolates (white, milk, and dark) could still lead to vomiting and diarrhea, as well as the possible development of life threatening pancreatitis, an inflammatory condition of the pancreas.

Watch out for Xylitol – a non-sugar sweetener in gums, mints, among other things.

While human blood sugar remains stable when we eat treats sweetened with xylitol, dogs can potentially have a sharp drop in their blood sugar. This can result in depression, loss of coordination and seizures, and in some cases, liver damage. Other toxic items: raisins, grapes, onions, anti-freeze, pennies (zinc), rat poisons, and human drugs.

Vaccinations work by triggering a body to react to an infectious agent. If a patient is ill at the time of vaccination, the vaccine may not work. Also, as animals age much more quickly than humans, an annual examination is important to check the health of your pets as they pass through the various stages of life. During the physical exam, your pet will be thoroughly examined to check all body systems.

Pet insurance is great for many owners. Depending on the policy, insurance can help with puppy visits, routine, and sick examinations as well as emergencies and diseases. When you are faced with an emergency or serious illness, it’s nice to not have to consider the financial implications when considering the best treatment for your companion. We recommend Trupanion insurance, as it covers illnesses, injuries, and surgeries.

Animals by their very nature try to “hide” their illnesses. Therefore we strongly recommend annual physical exams which include parasite control and health screening through blood, urine, and fecal tests. These are important components designed to prevent and diagnose diseases early in order to keep your pet living longer.

A cold, wet nose is one sign of good health in dogs. However, even a healthy pet can have a warm, dry nose on occasion. On the other hand, really sick pets can also have cold, wet noses. What does all this mean? Simply that any one indicator of health is not 100% accurate all the time. Sick pets with cold noses should be seen by your veterinarian. And by the same token, pets with warm, dry noses should be seen by a doctor if they are showing other symptoms such as lethargy or not eating.

Poison

These are the most common food hazards according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate (all forms)
  • Coffee (all forms)
  • Fatty foods
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough
  • Garlic
  • Products sweetened wtih xylitol

These are the most common poisonous plants according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control:

  • Lilies
  • Marijuana
  • Sago palm
  • Tulip/narcissus bulbs
  • Azalea/Rhododendron
  • Oleander
  • Castor bean
  • Cyclamen
  • Kalanchoe
  • Yew
  • Amaryllis
  • Autumn Crocous
  • Chrysanthemum
  • English Ivy
  • Peace Lily
  • Pothos
  • Schefflera

Click here for a full list of toxic plants.

Surgery

Cats and dogs should be spayed at 5 to 6 months of age. At this time all baby teeth should have fallen out, and any retained baby teeth will need to be extracted.

Please take up your pet’s food after dinner the night before surgery. A little water can be left with him during the night, but please be sure not to feed him the morning of the scheduled surgery. Plan to arrive at the hospital between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. You may download an Anesthesia and Surgical Consent Form to help expedite your check-in.

Medication

Most likely, No.

•Ibuprofen (aka Advil or Motrin) can definitely be toxic to dogs, cats, and other pets–even in small amounts. Depending on the dose ingested, significant gastrointestinal damage or even kidney damage could result.

•Tylenol can also be toxic to dogs and especially cats.

•If you feel that your pet needs pain relief for any reason, we highly recommend that you get in touch with your veterinarian–even if you have not already. NEAH can direct you regarding the best dose to use or, if necessary, can prescribe a pain reliever.

Fleas

•Make certain ALL animals in the house are on a monthly flea medicine - indoor and outdoor cats, dogs, etc.

•Vacuuming is very effective in picking up adults and stimulating preemerged adults to leave their cocoons. Flea eggs can survive and develop inside vacuum bags and adults may be able to escape to the outside, so immediately destroy bags by sealing them in a plastic trash bag and placing them in a covered trash container.

•Launder pet bedding in hot, soapy water at least once a week.

If your home is heavily infested with fleas, take these steps to get the situation under control.

 

Inside the Home

  • Locate heavily infested areas and concentrate efforts on these areas.
  • Wash throw rugs and the pet’s bedding.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture. Remove and vacuum under cushions and in cracks and crevices of furniture.
  • Vacuum carpets, especially beneath furniture and in areas frequented by pets. Use a hand sprayer to treat all carpets with an insecticide that contains an insect growth regulator.
  • Allow carpet to dry and vacuum a second time to remove additional fleas that were induced to emerge.
  • Continue to vacuum for 10 days to 2 weeks to kill adult fleas that continue to emerge from pupal cocoons.

 

On the Pet

  • Use a spot-on treatment or a systemic oral treatment, which can be purchased at North Elm Animal Hospital. Make sure the product is species- friendly.

 

Outside the Home

  • Sprays are only necessary outdoors if you detect lots of fleas.
  • Locate and remove debris in heavily infested areas, especially where pets rest. Concentrate treatment in these areas with a spray containing a residual insecticide and the insect growth regulator pyriproxyfen. Open areas to sunlight by removing low hanging vegetation.