Ask Lucy

Q. Can I buy my pet’s medications online?

A. There has been much controversy about online pharmacies. Some companies are reputable and others “unscrupulous and operating against the law.” It is important to understand why ordering medication from a reputable pharmacy is crucial. We strongly recommend that you read and understand the following article from FDA Consumer Health Information. “Purchasing Pet Drugs Online: Buyer Beware”. Should you then decide to get your pets’ medication(s) from a company not associated with our clinic; we do require that you sign a Waiver of Responsibility and Liability.

Q. I buy my puppy’s food at a grocery store. Is that okay?

A. Remember the old saying, “You are what you eat.”? Keep that in mind as you discuss food and nutrition with your veterinary staff. Food plays a very serious role in the health and well-being of your pet. The better the quality of food your pet eats, the better your pet’s body will function. A proper diet will lead to healthy skin and coat, stronger muscles and joints and a healthy digestive system. We carry a full line of Royal Canin and Purina foods. Our veterinarians will recommend a diet that is specific for your pet. Purchasing your pet food here at our clinic helps us to monitor his or her health. Some foods may be therapeutic for a specific health condition, so it is imperative that we be able to tell if the food is the correct course of action. (i.e. urinary or bladder stones, allergies, etc.) If cost is an issue, please discuss it with your veterinarian so we can help find alternative sources or foods. For more information, please visit our Learning Center.

Q. Why does my pet need a physical exam? How often is best?

A. A physical exam is an important tool to help evaluate your pet’s overall health and to detect any problems before they turn into a serious illness. There can be changes in your pet that may be too subtle for you to notice, but we can detect them during a physical exam. With the valuable information gathered from you and the physical exam, we hope to help you maintain the wellness of your pet. AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) currently recommends a physical exam with blood work annually on young, healthy pets. Because our pets age more rapidly than humans (on average, five to seven years for every human year), their senior years come more quickly. We recommend that our senior pets (6 years and over) have a physical exam and blood work every six months. If you have a pet that requires special care or with an illness, our veterinarians will recommend a physical exam schedule based on each individual pet. For more information on Physical Exams, please visit our Learning Center.

Q. If I want to look up more information on my pets’ condition, are there any web sites that you would recommend?

A. We have actually done some research, and we really like the new Healthy Pets section on WebMD. The web address is http://pets.webmd.com.

Q. Why do I need to bring a “poop sample” in every time my pet has a visit?

A. Typically, we ask for a fecal sample once a year during an annual visit. When we perform a fecal examination, we are looking for evidence of microscopic parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidian, tapeworms and Giardia. These parasites can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, straining, not eating or vomiting. Some parasites are zoonotic, which means that they can be transmitted from your pet to you and your family. When your new kitten or puppy comes in for a first visit, we want to see two “negative” fecal samples. We will ask you to bring in a sample at the first visit and then bring us another one at the second visit. Should there be a parasite seen in either sample, we will develop a treatment plan and then recheck a fecal sample in a few weeks.

Q. Where can I go in case of an emergency and I can’t get in contact with you?

A. If you have an emergency after hours and cannot contact us, we strongly recommend that youcall or go to MedVet or OSU Veterinary Hospital. MedVet Medical & Cancer Center for Pets 300 E. Wilson Bridge Rd. Worthington, OH 43085 Phone: (614) 846-5800 or (800) 891-9010 OSU Veterinary Hospital 601 Vernon L. Tharp Street Columbus, OH 43210 (614) 292-3551

Q. If my pet eats something that I think is poisonous, what should I do?

A. If you think your pet has gotten into something dangerous, you can call one of the following emergency numbers: ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. (There is a $65 consultation fee per phone call.) Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680. (There is a $35 per incident fee, payable by credit card. This fee covers the initial consultation as well as all follow up calls associated with the management of the case.)

Q. What is the rule of thumb for bringing my pet in if he or she is vomiting or has diarrhea?

A. If your pet has begun vomiting or you’ve noticed some diarrhea, please call us and ask to speak with a technician. They will ask a few questions and help you decide on a plan of action or if we should see your pet and when. Have a question? Send us an email.

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