Archive for the ‘Pet Health’ Category

Pet Boarding Information

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

We provide dog boarding, cat boarding, and other exotic pet boarding facilities.  We have a general ward with small and medium kennels for small, quiet dogs and cats.  Birds and reptiles are kept in a separate ward that is warmed for their specific needs.  Two wards in the back have runs for larger dogs.  All dogs are walked outside four times a day and fed according to their home schedule.  Cats have their litter box check and cleaned if needed four times daily and fed according to their home schedule.  We encourage owners to bring their pet’s usual diet to prevent any intestinal upset from a change in diet.  If a diet is not brought, we feed Hills Science Diet adult dog/cat food.  And because we are a 24-hour animal hospital we are able to continue to administer any medications your pet may have been taking and monitor them for any health problems.

Here’s a look at some of our Pet Boarding facilities, located at St. Francis 24 Hour Animal Hospital, in Vancouver WA

Our dog boarding room



Our small (quiet) dog and cat boarding room


A contented cat boarder






A boarder enjoying a chew treat from home.







Our dog runs are 3 ft x 5 ft




Boarding dogs are walked at least four times a day
























Puppy Biting

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Puppies bite.  This is not a form of aggression, but a form of play and communication.  It’s important to train a puppy not to bite in play or to communicate, as this puppy biting behavior can become unacceptable and even dangerous in an adult dog.  This is a very important lesson for a puppy to learn.

for many puppies, all it takes is the owner “yipping” when puppy teeth tough human skin for them to stop this behavior.  Give a high-pitched “Yipe” and stop the game for about 15 minutes after you’ve had to yipe to get pup to take teeth off you.  That’s what another puppy would od, and it helps your puppy to understand,  this sound needs to be what a puppy would do when the idea is “Ouch, that hurts!  Stop right now”

In the litter, that offended puppy would then retaliate in some way, or refuse to play with the rough puppy for a while.  Some puppies have strong predatory instincts that are overstimulated when a person yipes, and for these puppies this would then not be an appropriate method.

Also, make sure no one is playing “mouth games” with the puppy, encouraging it to put teeth on humans for any reason.  You need to react with your “yipe” or other intervention every time teeth touch a human, whether it hurts or not, so the puppy will understand this vital concept:  no teeth on people.  Even a gentle tough could get someone hurt if they jerk their hand away, and people will do that, especially  kids.

My favorite intervention for a dog putting teeth on people in play is not a quick fix, but it has nice benefits and is very safe to do with most dogs.  I simply hold the mouth closed for 15 seconds (work up to this time – at first it might frighten the dog to hold for more than about 5 seconds), while praising the dog.  I say “Bella, close your mouth.  GOOD close your mouth!”

This teaches the dog the words for the behavior I want – and eventually you can remind the dog about the mouth by just saying those words.  But that stage won’t last long, because if you are very consistent about doing this intervention every time the puppy puts teeth on people, eventually the puppy will never do so at all.

By handling the mouthing from a positive point of view with praise – although it is still a correction:  done every time the dog mouths a person’s skin, it shows the dog the correct behavior of keeping teeth off people and praises the dog for doing it – you gain other benefits, such as accustoming your dog to being comfortable having someone control its mouth.

You do have to be consistent and stay with this over a period of time to get really solid results.  Dogs not taught about teeth on people do not automatically outgrow it, so this is time very well spent training your dog.  This method works on adult dogs as well as puppies, and is much safer for both you and the dog than harsh corrections.

In the early stages of working on mouthing behavior with a puppy or new dog, keep in mind that you want to teach any new behavior/command in a quiet situation with minimal distractions.  So start teaching “Close your mouth” with the praise at times when the dog is quiet.  Soon you can do it quickly and smoothly whenever mouthing occurs, even if the dog is excited.  But you will in the process be bringing the dog’s excitement level down and helping your dog develop self-control.

The praise is important to helping the puppy or dog learn to have no fear of a human taking control of its mouth.  You are praising the puppy for accepting the restraint at that instant, not for the mouthing done 3 seconds ago.

and be sure you don’t cause your dog to bite its lips or tongue when you restrain the mouth – it should be comfortable for the dog, as it should be any time you require your dog to obey any command of yours.

Kathy Diamond Davis is the author of the book  Therapy Dogs: Training Your Dog to Reach Others.


Why Spay Your Dog?

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Surgical sterilization of the female dog, commonly referred to as dog spaying, is one of the most significant aspects of female dog care an owner can provide.  The benefits to the dog FAR outweigh simply not having puppies, although pet overpopulation is a problem and it is important to be part of the solution.

Spaying involves removal of the uterus and ovaries.  It is a major abdominal surgery, but also a commonly performed one and is ideally conducted prior to the female dog’s first heat cycle.


Mammary Cancer Prevention:  A female dog spayed before her first heat will have a near zero chance of developing mammary cancer.  After the first heat the incidence increases to 7% and after the second heat the risk is 25%!

Pyometra Prevention:  Pyometra is a life-threatening infection of the uterus that generally occurs in middle-aged to older female dogs.  The uterus can swell with pus and dying tissue and without treatment the dog will die.  This is an extremely common disease of unspayed female dogs.

Convenience:  The female dog comes into heat every 8 months or so.  There is a bloody vaginal discharge and local male dogs are attracted.  Often there is also an unpleasant odor that accompanies this.

Please call us at the St. Francis 24 Hr. Animal Hospital if you have any questions about spaying your female dog.  We would be happy to discuss the procedure or make an appointment to have your dog spayed.


Male Cat Neutering

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Neutering a male cat is an excellent step to help your young man grow into a loving, well adapted household member.  Male Cat Neutering is a great step in reducing cat overpopulation.  However, there are a few other reasons to neuter a male cat.  Neutering reduces the incidence of objectionable behaviors that are normal in the feline world but unacceptable to humans.

  • Roaming:  More than 90% will reduce this behavior with neutering.  Approximately 60% reduce this behavior right away.
  • Fighting:  More than 90% will reduce this behavior with neutering.  Approximately 60% reduce this behavior right away.
  • Urine marking:  More than 90% will reduce this behavior with neutering.  Approximately 80% reduce this behavior right away.

The cat neuter is a simple surgical procedure.  The cat is fasted so the anesthesia is given on an empty stomach.  The cat is anesthetized and the surgical area is cleaned and scrubbed.  The scrotum is opened with a small incision and the testicles are brought out.  Each cord is tied separately with a suture and the testicle is cut free.  The skin incision on the scrotum is small enough so as not to require sutures.

There is minimal recovery with this procedure and usually your cat is back to normal by the next day.  There should be no bleeding or swelling at the incision site.  It is a good idea not to bathe your kitty until the incisions have healed; about 14 days from the time of surgery.

Have more questions about cat neuters?  Give St. Francis 24 Hr. Animal Hospital a call and we would be happy to answer your questions or schedule an appointment to have your kitty neutered.



Pet Microchipping

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

A microchip creates a forever bond between you and the pet you love.  The size of a grain of rice, the microchip is injected under your pet’s skin.  On dogs and cats a pet microchip is placed between the shoulder blades.  Each Pet Microchipping piece contains a unique number.  When scanned by a microchip reader, this number can be traced back to you if your pet should ever become lost.

It is a fact that 1 in 3 pets goes missing in its lifetime, without proper identification 90% never return home.  Pet microchipping gives the best protection, with permanent identification that can never by removed or difficult to read.

At St. Francis 24 Hr Animal Hospital, we celebrate the bond between humans and their pets.  This is why we recommend a microchip for all pets.  It takes just seconds at the veterinary hospital to implant the microchip, and then your pet has a permanent ID that will last its lifetime.  Registering your pet’s microchip number in the national database will help to ensure your pet will be returned to you if they should ever become lost.

Call us today about microchipping your pet.

Intestinal Parasite Prevention Recommendations

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

That one thing nobody wants to think about. A dreaded parasite. We certainly wouldn’t want our pets to have to suffer with something as horrific as having worms or other parasites living inside of them. Here are some ideas and recommendations to help with Parasite Prevention to help protect our beloved animals.

For optimal intestinal parasite prevention:

All puppies and kittens should receive Strongid at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks of age.  This dewormer treats roundworms, the parasite we are most concerned with in very young pups.

At 8 weeks of age all puppies should be started on Heartgard Plus, which contains a dewormer.

At 8-10 weeks of age all kittens should receive Drontal and all puppies not starting Heartgard Plus should receive Drontal Plus.  Drontal and Drontal Plus treat roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.

We recommend a fecal test at 12 weeks of age to ensure the intestinal parasites have been cleared.

All dogs and cats should have a fecal test annually and treated with Drontal (cats) or Drontal Plus (dogs) as appropriate based on fecal results.

If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment to have your animal checked or treated for parasites, Contact Us today!




Flea Control Recommendations

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Let’s face it. Fleas are just terrible. Nobody wants to be bitten by blood thirsty fleas, and we don’t want our pets to suffer from them either. And considering the rate at which they can spread, Flea Control is very important for your family and your pets. Not to mention fleas can carry other parasites and diseases, which just makes matters worse.

Here’s a few tips to help you with Flea Control: 

  • Flea control can be individually specified to the area in which the pet lives.
  • We recommend Frontline Plus for dogs and cats.  It controls both fleas and ticks.
  • We recommend applying it once a month, as needed to control external parasites.
  • Pets allergic to fleas should be on Frontline Plus year-round, as a single flea bite can cause an allergic reaction.
  • Year-round flea control also helps in the prevention of tapeworm infestation, as tapeworms can be carried by fleas.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding how to prevent or eliminate fleas in your home, feel free to Contact Us today!

Heartworm Prevention Recommendations

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Heartworm Prevention is a very important problem for dogs, but one that can be prevented if the right steps are taken. At St. Francis 24 Hr. Animal Hospital, we recommend year-round protection for heartworms with Heartgard Plus for dogs.  Not only does this once-a-month medication protect your pet from heartworms, a very serious infection, it also prevents roundworms and hookworms, the common intestinal parasites in dogs.

These are the Heartworm Prevention recommendations from the American Heartworm Society:

  • All puppies should be started on Heartgard Plus at 8 weeks of age.
  • Puppies started on Heartgard after 8 weeks of age should have a blood test 6  months after the initial dose to confirm they are heartworm negative, then tested annually thereafter.
  • Dogs 7 months of age or older should have  a blood test before starting on Heartgard, then tested annually thereafter.
  • Dogs should remain on Heartgard year-round.

Pet Vaccination Recommendations

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Pet Vaccination Recommendations  at St. Francis 24 Hr Animal Hospital


DHLPPC – Distemper combination

            Distemper – eye/nose discharge progressing to neurologic disease

            Hepatitis – liver infection

            Leptospirosis – kidney infection

            Parainfluenza – respiratory infection

            Parvo – intestinal infection

            Corona – intestinal infection

Bordatella – kennel cough, upper respiratory infection

Rabies – neurologic disease

Dogs under 16 weeks:

            DHLPPC every 3 weeks starting at 6 weeks, until at least 16 weeks old.

            Bordetella – intranasal at 12-16 weeks old, good for 6 mo.

            Rabies – at 12-16 weeks.  1st vaccine good for a year.

Dogs over 16 weeks with inadequate vaccine history

            DHLPPC now and repeat in 3 weeks.

            Bordetella – intranasal good for 6 mo.

            Rabies – 1st vaccine good for a year.

Dogs over 16 weeks due for yearly vaccinations

            DHLPPC – once yearly.

            Bordetella – intranasal every 6 months or annually if SQ

            Rabies – after 1st vaccine, once every 3 years.



FVRCPC – Feline distemper combination

            Feline viral rhinotracheitis – upper respiratory infection

            Calici virus – upper respiratory infection

            Panleukopenia – multiple signs related to suppression of all blood cells

            Chlamydia – upper respiratory and ocular signs

FeLV – Feline leukemia – immune system suppression

Rabies – neurologic disease

Cats under 16 weeks:

            Feline Leukemia blood test recommended for all kittens.

            FVRCP every 3 weeks starting at 6 weeks until at least 15 weeks old.

            FeLV starting at 12 weeks, for a series of two vaccines 3 weeks apart.

            Rabies at 12-16 weeks old.  1st vaccine good for a year.

Cats over 16 weeks with inadequate vaccine history:

            Feline Leukemia blood test recommended.

            FVRCP now and repeat in 3 weeks.

            FeLV now and repeat in 3 weeks.

            Rabies now, 1st vaccine good for a year.

Cats over 16 weeks due for yearly vaccines:

            FVRCP once yearly

            FeLV once yearly if an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat.

            Rabies – after 1st year, once every 3 years.

4 tips for bringing your cat to the veterinarian

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012


We know it can be tough to wrangle your cat for a trip to the veterinarian’s office. Many cats dislike the cat carrier as well as riding in the car, so heading in for an annual checkup can sometimes be a stressful proposition. In order to reduce your cat’s stress and make for a calmer car ride, we’ve provided a few ideas to make your next trip to the veterinarian a little bit easier.

 Tips to Simplify Taking Your Cat to the Veterinarian:    

 1.   Make the carrier your cat’s second home.

Cat carriers are typically associated with many unpleasant things. Many cat owners keep the carrier in a closet or in the garage, so the cat hasn’t rubbed on it or slept inside it. Cats who haven’t transferred their scent to the carrier, therefore, see it as a foreign object. So give your cat time to mark the carrier with facial rubbing—she’ll feel like it belongs to her, and you may find it easier to place her inside. If you have room, make the carrier a part of your family room furniture. That means leaving it out all the time with the door open. Place a soft towel inside to make it a little more cozy. Pretty soon, your cat won’t think twice about entering the carrier.

2.   Turn the carrier into a meal center.  

Put part of your cat’s daily food in the carrier to help your cat associate something good with the carrier. Even better: Use a bit of especially yummy food, like canned food or even a little tuna. Or try tossing your cat’s favorite treat in the carrier when she wants to be left alone. This will reward her for seeking solitude in the carrier and continue to reinforce the notion that the carrier isn’t so bad after all.

3.    Try a different kind of carrier.

If you have an emergency and don’t have time to let your cat adjust to the carrier, try using a pillowcase as a carrier. With the cat on your lap, slip the pillowcase over her body, head first. Knot the top of the case and support the bottom when holding your cat. Alternately, you can use any type of item your cat likes to nap in—two laundry baskets connected together could also work. These items aren’t a trigger for fear like your standard carrier might be.

4.   Consider using a synthetic product.

Using a product that contains a feline facial pheromone can help calm cats during stressful events. These products can be sprayed on blankets, towels, or bandanas before you head to the veterinarian. Many cats become less agitated when their owners use these sprays, so purchasing one could make your life easier when it’s time to take your cat for a car ride.
Regular wellness exams are crucial for keeping your cat happy and healthy. Use these tips the next time you head to your veterinarian to make it much easier on both you.