Tavares Animal Hospital

418 East Alfred Street, Tavares, FL 32778
Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm

Office: (352) 343-7793 Emergency: (407) 644-4449

Dog & Cat -Medical

– Which vaccinations does my dog need?
The vaccinations needed for your dog’s health are: Rabies,  Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Bordatella, Lyme, Leptosporosis and Corona. It’s likely your dog does not need all of these vaccines. Your dog´s vaccination program should be taylored for your pet’s particular needs.

– Which vaccinations does my cat need?
The vaccinations needed for your cat´s health are: Rabies, feline distemper, feline calcifivirus, feline rhinotracheitis and leukemia. Not all cats will require every vaccine.

– I know my dog should be neutered. I am curious as to whether his testicles will be removed during the surgery?
When a male dog is neutered a small incision is made above the testicles and the testicles are removed.

– How would I know if my pet has an ear infection?
Ear infections can cause your pet a great deal of pain. Look for signs of head shaking, scratching and smelly discharge or dark colored earwax. These are all possible symptoms of an ear infection. If you suspect a problem, bring your pet in for proper medical care.

– My pet seems to have a lot of gas. What can I do to prevent this?
Many pets suffer from flatulence also know as gas. He should be checked for intestinal parasites. If that proves negative, try changing his diet. Also try cutting back on the amount of canned food as it may be contributing to the gas problem.

– Is it normal for my cat to vomit hair?
It is normal for a cat to vomit hair. This is called a hairball and is especially common in cats that have long hair. Several companies make foods formulated to help with hairballs. Laxative products may also help with this problem. If nothing seems to work, it would be wise to consult your veterinarian.

– At what age does my pet need to be protected from heartworms?
Heartworm preventative treatment should be started at our pet’s first vaccination appointment at 8 weeks of age. Adult dogs should be tested for the presence of heartworms before prevention is started.

– How is my pet tested for heartworms?
The way your veterinarian checks for heartworm is by taking a blood sample from your pet. It is mixed with a special solution and incubated with tracer molecules that bind with any signs of heartworm in your pet, producing a positive color change. A drop of blood is also examined under the microscope to look for larvae in the dogs blood stream.

– Should I have my new puppy checked for heartworm?
If your puppy is less than 4 months old, you don´t need to check him for heartworm before starting prevention.

– How does a mosquito pick up the heartworm larvae?
A mosquito picks up heartworm larvae by drawing blood from an infected dog. When the mosquito bites another dog, it passes on the immature heartworm know as microfilaria to that pet.

– What are heartworms?
Heartworms are worm-like parasites that grow to be about 14 inches long and live in the right side of a dog´s heart. The larvae of the parasite are transmitted to dogs through mosquitoes. The growth of the heartworms can block the flow of blood to your pet´s heart and eventually cause death. It is important to have your pet tested for this disease if you suspect he may have it. Cats can also get heartworms. Ask the doctor for preventative. medication.

– Is it possible to get hookworm from my pets?
Humans usually don´t get intestinal hookworm from their pets. However, the small canine hookworm larvae may penetrate a person´s skin and cause skin sores. Checking your pet for worms periodically and giving monthly preventative reduce spreading of worms.

– How can I tell if my pet has mange?
To tell if your pet has mange, a microscopic examination of the skin specimen is required. Because of this, you should bring your pet in for an examination by the veterinarian.

– What is the best way to put medicine in my pet´s eyes?
The best way to put medicine in your pet´s eye is to hold the eye drops above the eye while holding the eyelid up. Be sure not to touch the bottle or dropper to your pet´s eye. Ointment can be applied under the lower eyelid.

– Is it really true that a cold wet nose means my pet is healthy?
A cold, wet nose is not necessarily a sign that your pet is healthy. The idea is misleading. Animals sweat on their noses and footpads. Your pets may be wet with perspiration. Wet noses may be normal or they can indicate that your pet has a respiratory disorder.

– Is being overweight a serious health problem in pets?
Obesity is a serious problem for animals. Being overweight can cause liver disease, pancreatitis, back and heart problems. He may become overheated more easily causing heat stroke. Difficulty in breathing is also apparent in overweight animals.

– Is it true that houseplants can be poisonous to pets?
Houseplants in general can be poisonous to cats. Many common plants are toxic to your cat if she chews or ingests them. These include Jade plants, Philodendron, Easter Lilies, Poinsettia, Iris, Mistletoe, and English Ivy.

– Just exactly what are roundworms?
Roundworms are 4 to 5 inch long parasites that attack the small intestines and respiratory tract of dogs. They are most prevalent in puppies. The worms can be transmitted from the mother to the pups in the womb. Symptoms are: mucus – stained stools, dull coat, vomited roundworm segments that look like coiled spaghetti. Pups may have a potbelly. The best treatment is to see your veterinarian for deworming. Children can contact roundworms and cause serious health problems. All puppies and kittens should be checked and treated for worms several times.

– What does it mean if my pet´s stool is like black tar?
A black tar-like stool may indicate worms or another problem. Bring your pet in for an examination. Oxydized blood in stool appears tar-like.

– What does it mean if my pet has a light-colored, chalky stool?
If your pet has a light-colored, chalky stool it may be a problem with his pancreas. If you have been feeding him bones other than rawhide, this may be the cause. It is important not to feed your pet any bones, for while they seem harmless, they can splinter and cause serious problems.

– What does it mean if my pet has blood in her stool?
Blood in a pet´s stool may indicate several things. Perhaps it is a minor irritation in the large intestine that could clear up in a day or Canine parvovirus or poisoning. It is a good idea to bring the pet in for an examination to determine the actual cause and appropriate treatment.

– Should I give my pet medicine for heartworms?
Before any medication can be given for heartworms, a pet must be tested to insure that active infection does not exist. Both dogs and cats can develop heartworm disease.

– How can I safely remove a tick from my pet?
If you treat your pet with flea and tick medicine, don´t worry if you should see a tick on his coat. It will die and fall off. If you must remove it, place a tissue between your thumb and forefinger and grab the tick as close as possible. Pull the tick out straight and slowly. Never use a match or gasoline to remove ticks. This is very dangerous!!

– What exactly are tapeworms?
If your pet has tapeworms, your veterinarian may suggest an injection or tablets to eliminate them. He may also suggest using veterinarian approved products to rid your dog and home of fleas.

– My pet drinks a lot of water then seems to urinate a lot. Is something wrong with him?
Some pets drink a great deal of water then urinate excessively. The condition that may cause this kind of behavior is fairly complicated. It is best to bring your pet in for an examination.

– How do animals get tapeworm?
Animals get tapeworms by ingesting fleas that carry tapeworm eggs. They may also eat rodents that have been infected with tapeworms

– How often should my pet be checked for worms?
Your pet should be checked once a year for worms. If he has problems with worms than a checkup every 6 months is advisable. Anytime your pet has vomiting or diarrhea a worm check is indicated.

What are the signs of whipworm?
Signs of whipworm are: anemia, and diarrhea with mucus. Whipworms often fail to show up in stool samples. Your veterinarian may treat your dog with an oral or injectable medication and then a follow-up dosage in 3 months. Dogs pick up the eggs when they groom their feet and hair, so try to keep your dog away from areas heavily used by other dogs.

– How long is a cat pregnant before she has her kittens?
The normal gestation period for a cat is 61 to 69 days. Siamese may carry for as many as 71 days. The average is about 9 – 10 weeks.

– What are the signs that my pet is ready to give birth?
Symptoms of an impending birth are: mothers loss of appetite, restlessness and ²²nesting²². Her body temperature will drop to about 99 degrees Fahrenheit.


What is the normal time to wait between each delivery?

The normal time between each delivery is 1/2 to 2 hours for the mother to rest. Be aware, however, that the break should not exceed 4 hours.

– After my pet gives birth, should I bring her in for an examination?
After whelping, bring the mother and her litter in the day after or within the week for a checkup.

– What should I do for my pet if he is having a convulsion?
Sometimes animals will have convulsions that can be quite frightening. Look for signs of muscle twitching, collapse, uncontrolled shivering and thrashing about, uncontrolled urination and defecation. The best medicine is to keep the environment quiet and prevent the animal from hurting itself. When coming out of a seizure or convulsion, sometimes a pet is disoriented and may bark at you or members of your family out of fear. Speak to him in a quite, reassuring voice and allow the event to pass. Consult your veterinarian to decide if your pet needs to be on medication to prevent further episodes. This is very treatable and veterinarians can alleviate your concerns.

– My puppy is eating his own stool! How can I stop this behavior?
Many puppies will eat their own stool. To stop this habit sprinkle Adolph´s Meat Tenderizer on the stool. This should end the problem, if not call the office for other recommendations.

latest news

Welcome Dr. Blackwell!

      Dr. Jonathan Blackwell has joined the Tavares Animal Hospital staff! ...