Frequently Asked Questions for Veterinarians in Miami
How often should my pet have an exam?
Kind Animal Hospital recommends yearly visits for most pets and older pets coming in more frequently – at least every 6 months. Yearly exams include physical examinations by our veterinarians plus annual vaccinations or booster vaccinations, parasite screening & prevention and various lab tests performed.
For puppies and kittens, we need to see them on a more frequent schedule during their first year of life. For pets over age 7, we recommend exams and blood work every 6 months to help us detect diseases and issues before they become a problem.
How safe is my pet’s procedure?
Our veterinarians take every precaution to make sure your pet comes out of any procedure, whether major or minor, on the way to a swift recovery. To ensure your pet’s safety, we provide round-the-clock care and monitoring for all surgical patients during business hours. We perform all pet surgeries under anesthesia and advocate the use of pre-anesthetic blood work to detect any underlying disease that may affect the response to anesthesia.
With your pet’s comfort and safety at the forefront, we utilize pain management protocols before, during, and after surgery until they are completely recovered. This includes monitoring of vital signs, assessing your pet for pain indicators and keeping them well fed, warm and comfortable in their surroundings.
Why does my pet need a dental cleaning?
Besides just BAD BREATH, dental disease:
- Releases bacteria into the bloodstream
- Increases risk for heart, liver and kidney disease
- Can cause severe pain and problems for your pet
Pets need regular dental cleanings to increase quality and length of life and:
- Allows us to chart dental disease over time
- Means less time under anesthesia
- Reduces the need for more advanced and expensive treatment in the future such as teeth extractions and oral surgery
Dental disease is THE most common disease in dogs. Recent studies show that 85% of cats and 92% of dogs over age 3 have periodontal disease.
What happens during my pet’s dental cleaning?
A thorough dental cleaning can only be accomplished while the pet is under general anesthesia. The anesthesia we use is safe for all animals and your pet is constantly monitored during the dental procedure. Prior to anesthesia, blood tests are performed to help uncover any hidden illnesses.
A professional cleaning (sometimes called a prophylaxis) removes plaque and tartar from the teeth. Your pet's entire mouth health (teeth, tongue, gums, and lips) will be examined and assessed.
I noticed a change in my pet’s behavior. Should I see a veterinarian?
Pets cannot tell us how they feel and are able to hide their pain from us (especially cats). Changes in behavior such as appetite change, lethargy, energy level, aggressiveness, inappropriate elimination and vocalization (barking/meowing) can be symptoms of behavior or health issues. Contact our vet hospital for an exam appointment right away.
What should I do if I notice fleas or ticks on my pet?
Isolate your pet from other animals and small children to prevent the spread of the parasite to them. Bring your pet to our vet clinic for a thorough testing for parasites. Parasites can most often be easily treated, but parasite preventative measures are best for your pet and your wallet. We have safe and effective parasite prevention products available.
At what age should I have my pet spayed or neutered?
Kind Animal Hospital recommends waiting until your pet is at least 4-6 months of age before seeking a spay or neuter procedure. Contact us to discuss specific details based on species, breed, and size. Spaying/neutering has health and behavior benefits to your pet and of course helps prevent overpopulation.
What are heartworms? How can I prevent my pet from getting heartworms?
One infected mosquito is all it takes to infect your dog with the baby form (larval stage) of the heartworm parasite.
Heartworms are a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. Twelve-inch-long worms (looks like spaghetti) live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of infected pets, causing lung disease, heart failure, organ damage and can be fatal if untreated.
How does my pet get heartworms? Heartworms living in an infected dog, cat or wildlife produce baby worms that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up these worms and when it bites another animal, the worms enter through the bite wound. Heartworms can grow and live for 5 - 7 years in dogs and 3 years in cats.
What can I do to protect my pet? Heartworm disease is preventable! Dogs should be tested annually and before starting prevention. Provide heartworm prevention 12 months of the year. Prevention is the safest and most cost-effective option, but treatment is available for dogs (although costly and lengthy). Cats should be tested before starting prevention and re-tested as the veterinarian deems appropriate. There is NO treatment in cats, so prevention is critical and the only means of protection.
Kind Animal Hospital has safe, effective products available that cater to you and your pet's lifestyle and your budget. Heartworm prevention should be provided 12 months of the year.
Not all facilities provide the same level of anesthetic care and monitoring. Kind Animal Hospital encourages being educated in the process to allow for the best care possible for your pets.
What does anesthesia do?
- It brings about a state of unconsciousness so that a patient is not aware of what is occurring.
- It blocks pain sensation over the entire body
- It suppresses muscle reflex and allows for muscle relaxation
- It reduces stress and anxiety to the patient.
Which procedures may require anesthesia?
Surgeries, Dental work, Diagnostics ( X-ray, Ultrasound, EKG, Echocardiogram, Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, CT scan, MRI), sometimes physical exam assessment, and many others.
What are some things your veterinarian can do to minimize risks of anesthesia?
- Review all medical history and perform thorough physical exams
- Perform lab tests that provide liver, kidney and heart parameters to aid in determining the best anesthetic protocol for your pet.
- Monitoring and constantly assessing and documenting your pet’s vital signs before, during and after anesthesia.
- Recognizing and responding to any abnormalities rapidly and appropriately.
- Adequate post-anesthesia monitoring in the hospital until your pet is discharged to go home
- Providing appropriate home care instruction to pet owners after any anesthetic procedure.
What can pet owners do to minimize the risk of anesthesia?
- Follow pre-anesthetic or surgery feeding instructions carefully. It is extremely important that pets not eat and have an empty stomach prior to anesthesia or surgery as to not vomit and aspirate food into the lungs
- Carefully follow homecare and discharge instructions.
- Confine pets to a safe place in the house that allows for restricted area of movement. Many pets are still not 100% recovered from the effects of anesthesia and may need to be monitored by pet owners for 24 hours.
- Do not leave your pet unattended or with other pets or small children as behavior changes can occur and temporarily cause your pet’s mood to swing a bit unpredictably.
- Contact the veterinarian if you feel that your pet is still not acting right the next day.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY, STAY ENGAGED WITH YOUR PETS RECOVERY AND ASK QUESTIONS. WE AT KIND ANIMAL HOSPITAL ARE HERE TO HELP!
What is your the anesthesia protocol?
At Kind Animal Hospital we have a systematic protocol in place that is widely used at the university teaching hospitals in North America.
Patients undergoing anesthesia or surgery are assessed on many levels and careful consideration is taken with respect to the following:
- The age, species medical history and overall health, body condition, Physical Exam findings, and Pre-anesthetic blood and X-ray results.
- Any concurrent medical conditions that warrant advanced prescreening such as EKG, Ultrasound, CT, or MRI.
- Length and nature of anesthetic procedure
- Elective procedure vs. Necessary procedure
- Type of anesthesia and pain management that is best suited for a particular procedure. This is very important because not all procedures require the same types of anesthesia and pain management. Having this in mind allows for custom tailored anesthesia for individual patients and procedures. This makes for the best anesthetic choices and safer maintenance and recovery for individual patients.
- Potential for complications and estimated recovery time.
After an initial pre-anesthetic evaluation and thorough assessment of overall patient health, the anesthetic choices are made unique to the individual patient.
All our patients have a minimum pre-anesthetic requirement of a complete physical exam and blood work. Some patients may require more diagnostic work ups such as X-ray, ultrasound, EKG, or echocardiogram.
All patients undergoing anesthesia have exclusive personnel specially trained and experienced in anesthesia and surgery dedicated to your pet’s safety and recovery.
The reality is that general anesthesia is performed safely on thousands of animals daily. The benefit of a necessary procedure requiring anesthesia far outweighs the risks associated. The correct veterinarian, facility, and staff are integral in the safety and wellbeing of your pets.
“My husband and I have been taking our two dogs (jack russell and yorkie) to Dr. Basta for a couple of years. We could not have had a better experience! Dr. Basta and his staff are knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. I highly recommend Kind Animal Hospital.”