Q: Why does my pet need a dental procedure?
Periodontal disease (disease of the structures around the tooth--the gums, bone, and connective tissue) is one of the most common problems that we deal with on a daily basis at Lee’s Veterinary Hospital in Cullman, AL. Periodontal infections, tooth fractures, and oral masses can be sources of serious discomfort for your pet. Additionally, untreated periodontal infections can cause damage to major organs of the body including the heart, liver, and kidneys. Proper veterinary dental care can help prevent your pet from developing painful dental conditions, and can extend their life expectancy as well.
Q: What should I do if I notice visible parasites on my pet?
If you notice visible parasites on your pet, call us today and schedule an appointment so that our veterinarians can recommend the appropriate treatment for your pet. Flea and tick preventatives have improved greatly in recent years. These preventatives are safe and effective and come in a wide variety of forms. At Lee’s Veterinary Hospital, we fit the preventative product to the pet's problem and environment.
Q: What if my pet has an after-hours problem?
If your pet is hurt or sick after hours, or on the weekend, Lee’s Veterinary Hospital in Cullman, AL offers emergency services around-the-clock. We understand that not all pet emergencies occur during regular business hours.
If your pet experiences an injury or illness after hours or on the weekend, call 256-737-2000 for emergency veterinary care.
Q: What are heartworms, and how can I prevent my pet from getting them?
Heartworms are a serious, year-round parasitic threat to your pet’s health. After an infection occurs, treatment is not only very expensive, but can also be life threatening.
Heartworms are extremely common in the warm, humid environment in Cullman, Alabama, and can infect both our canine and feline companions. Heartworms are spread when a mosquito bites an infected animal and then transfers the juvenile worms when it bites a healthy animal. Unless your pet is taking a heartworm preventative, these immature worms can grow into adults that can cause serious damage to your pet’s blood vessels, lungs and heart, and may even cause death.
There are several options available for prevention of this potentially life threatening disease. A monthly preventative can keep your dog or cat healthy and is much less expensive than having to treat adult heartworms. Our veterinarians at Lee’s Veterinary Hospital will determine which preventative is right for your pet, based on needs and lifestyle.
Q: What financing options do you offer (ex. Care Credit), or is payment expected at the time of service?
Payment is expected when services are rendered. We will accept cash, checks and major credit cards as payment. We understand that sometimes an unexpected emergency occurs with our pets that is not within our immediate budget. If you would like the option of financing unanticipated expenses in order to provide the best care for your pet, we are partnered with Care Credit. You can find more information at www.carecreditpay.com.
Q: How safe is my pet’s procedure?
At Lee’s Veterinary Hospital in Cullman, AL, we only recommend those surgical procedures that are in the best interest of your pet. Each individual procedure varies from pet to pet and condition to condition. Typically, a physical examination, review of the patient’s medical history, and blood work are recommended for older pets that may have to be subjected to sedation or anesthesia. Our veterinarians will use this information to screen your pet for potential issues before beginning any procedure to help ensure the safety of your pet. As with humans, the older the pet, the more precautions need to be taken.
Although there will always be a minimal amount of risk associated with anesthetizing your pet, we take every precaution available to ensure that those risks are minimized. We also monitor vital signs throughout all stages of surgery and recovery.
Q: How often should my pet have an exam and blood work?
At Lee’s Veterinary Hospital in Cullman, AL, we believe that the best way to prolong the relationship you share with your pet is to identify disease processes early and prevent the progression of chronic illness, before it becomes a problem. To keep tabs on your pet’s overall health, it is important to maintain annual exams and blood work. We recommend an examination by your veterinarian every 12 months for healthy pets under the age of 7, and every 6 months for healthy senior patients. Those pets with chronic disease or mobility issues may require examination on a more frequent basis. We also recommend annual blood work profiles to provide a continuous record for our veterinarian to identify trends and specific areas to focus on in an effort to prolong the duration and quality of life of our patients.
Q: How important is nutrition for my pet?
Pets, like people, are unique and individual; they have different needs based on their size, age, and health issues. But no matter what their individual needs are, it is important that pets maintain a healthy weight, eat a nutritious diet, and receive adequate exercise to promote living longer with fewer health issues.
When pets are overweight, it creates a tendency towards diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, and other chronic health conditions. Using our nutritional counseling services at Lee’s Veterinary Hospital will help simplify just what your pet should be eating and how much.
Q: How long should I wait to bring my pet to the veterinarian if I notice a change in their behavior?
If you notice your pet acting strangely, including loss of appetite or energy, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible for an examination by our doctors at Lee’s Veterinary Hospital in Cullman, AL. Pets have an instinctive tendency to hide pain and illness so that they do not show any weaknesses that might attract predators. As pet owners, by the time we notice a change in behavior, the animal may have been suffering for several days already.
Changes in behavior can be one of the first warning signs that your pet may be sick or in pain. Generally, the sooner we can identify a problem and start treatment, the better the outcome. If you notice a significant change, please give us a call. Further evaluation may be necessary based on your pet's symptoms.
Q: When should new puppies and kittens come in for their first visit?
Puppies should have their initial examination around 6-8 weeks and kittens around 9 weeks of age if there are no signs of any problems or concerns. Multiple immunizations at different visits will be required to get your new pet’s immune system ready for exposure to the environment outside your home. Puppies and kittens are highly susceptible to viruses, infections, and/or parasites, and proper early care and screening help to give your new baby the best start in life.