general pet care information page cover photo, older golden retriever with two kittens

Need some help? That is why we are here.

This page gives you an introduction to some of the most common concerns owners have about their pets.  Each of these brief descriptions has links to other pages on our site which can give you much more detailed information. There is also lots more general information through the links on our Services page.

Common Pet Emergencies

Sometimes it it difficult to determine if you have a real emergency with your pet. Our first suggestion is always "better safe than sorry". If you have a concern, give us a call and we can help you determine the urgency of your pet's health concern.  We also suggest that you "put yourself inside the furry suit."  If you were acting the way your pet is acting, or sustained a similar injury, would you go to the emergency ward or wait to call your doctor in the morning.  Many true emergencies may not appear on the surface to be major problems, especially when the ingestion of toxins is involved. Follow this link to read a list of common pet emergencies needing our immediate attention. Early intervention can be life saving!

Vaccines - Which Ones Are Important for My Pet?

What vaccinations are really necessary? Why are some more important than others? Why do some vaccines last for only a year while others for longer? It can be a lot to absorb at one time, especially when being bombarded with all the information you typically receive while visiting the veterinarian. To help simplify the topic of your pets and their vaccines we have provided a quick refresher course on Vaccinations. Find out what vaccines are available and why they are an integral part in keeping your pets healthy.

Parasites Creepy and Crawly

They creep us out, make our skin crawl and some are just plain disgusting. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the most common parasites that could affect the health of your pets and possibly even you! They attack your pet's skin, their digestive system and even their hearts. Read much more on our Common Parasites page.

Spay and Neuter - What Is Involved?

There is new information about  the health effects of spaying and neutering certain breeds of dogs earlier or later than 6 months of age. Please be aware that our doctors are following this information very carefully.  To date, studies have only involved a few breeds of pure bred dogs. Each breed appears to be unique in how they respond to the age of spaying and neutering. Some problems common to these studied breeds may occur more or less frequently when shifting the spay/neuter age.  Please ask us about any concerns you have about the appropriate age for your pet’s surgery.

At present, the doctors at the Animal Clinic at Thorndale recommend that all pets not intentionally destined for a breeding program be spayed or neutered at about 6 months of age. As soon as your new pet first arrives in your home it is the time to start discussing this among family members. Older female dogs and cats that were not spayed prior to their first estrus (heat) cycle are more predisposed to develop breast cancer. Uterine infections, which can potentially be fatal, can also develop in older unspayed dogs and cats. Neutering males helps prevent medical problems such as prostate gland enlargement and curtails behavioral problems such as urine marking.

For a detailed discussion about what is involved pre-surgery, during surgery, after surgery and during at home recovery, please read our Spay and Neuter Procedures page.

Dental Care for Your Pet at Home and In Hospital

What can you do at home to help prevent the build up of tartar, periodontal disease and bad breath?  Read our Home Dental Care Guide.  Want to learn even more about the dental services we offer at the Animal Clinic at Thorndale? Worried about anesthesia for your pet being needed to have their teeth properly cleaned? Find out  what is involved in a professional dental cleaning and treatments for dental problems by reading our Dental Care Services page.


Have you have ever had a pet escape or go missing? If so, you know the terrible fear that they may never be found and returned home to you. Consider having your pet microchipped to provide a permanent identification that cannot be lost like tags and a collar.  Once the chip number is registered, when that chip read by a rescue, SPCA, or veterinary office, that number can be tracked back to you and your pet safely returned.  Microchips are well worth the additional peace of mind they provide. If you want to read more about what is involved in microchipping your pet and the differences between some of the types of microchips, read our Microchip Services page.