Why are annual exams important for my pet?

The most crucial foundation for your pet’s long-term well-being is regular, routine physical examinations by a veterinarian. Because pets age so much faster than humans, when health issues go undetected and untreated, the impacts can be much more severe and costly.

At what age do I need to bring my puppy/kitten in for it's first vaccinations?

Vaccines should be started at 8 weeks of age. During the first initial visit, we will go over the typical vaccine schedule from there on out.

Does my pet really need vaccinations?

YES!!! Vaccines protect your pet!

Vaccines are one of our most important weapons against infectious diseases. Some diseases, such as “kennel cough” in dogs and Rhinotracheitis in cats can be transmitted directly from pet to pet. If your pet is ever around other animals, such as at a dog park, kennel, grooming facility or daycare facility, exposure to infectious disease is possible. Even pets that look healthy on the outside can be sick, so keeping your pet’s vaccines up-to-date is a good way to help prevent illnesses.

Even primarily indoor pets can be exposed to diseases

Even if your pet does not have direct contact with other animals, some diseases can be transmitted indirectly. For example, parvovirus, which is potentially fatal. It is spread through contact with feces from an infected dog. Even if your dog never has contact with a dog infected with parvovirus, exposure to the virus can occur through contact with feces from an infected dog, such as in a park or on a beach. Lyme disease—a dangerous infection that is carried by ticks—is another disease that your dog can be exposed to without coming into contact with other dogs.

In cats, panleukopenia infection is potentially fatal and spread through contact with body fluids (mostly urine and feces) from an infected cat. Once a cat is infected with panleukopenia, it may shed the virus in body fluids for a few days or up to six weeks. Panleukopenia can live in the environment (such as on contaminated bedding, food bowls, litter boxes, and other items) for a very long time, so contact with contaminated objects can spread the infection to other cats. Additionally, if a pet owner is handling an infected cat, failure to change clothes and wash hands thoroughly with the correct disinfectant can expose other cats to the disease.

So, even pets that spend most of their lives indoors or have very limited contact with other animals are not completely safe from exposure to infectious diseases.

Vaccines protect your family and community?

Some infectious diseases, such as leptospirosis in dogs and rabies in dogs and cats, are zoonotic diseases. That means humans also can become infected. In the case of rabies and leptospirosis, both diseases can cause serious illness and death in infected individuals – including humans. Protecting your pets against these diseases also protects the rest of your family members, as well as other pets and people in your community.

When do I start heartworm prevention and do I need to give it all year long?

Heartworm prevention should be started when your puppy/kitten is 8 weeks old. Any dog over 6 months of age will need to have a heartworm test prior to starting prevention. This ensures the patient does not have them prior to starting the prevention. It is recommended by the American Heartworm Society to give prevention year round due to our geographic region.

My dog/cat never goes outside, do I need flea prevention?

Yes, fleas can be present without you knowing because the flea eggs are the size of a grain of sand. Fleas can lay 2000 eggs during their life. Also, we consider fleas to be “hijackers” because they use us to get inside and with a reproduction rate so efficient, fleas will infest your house before you even know that you have them.


Why is dental care so important for my pet?

With 70 – 80% of pets showing some form of dental disease by age 3, Tram Road Animal Hospital knows how important good dental care is to the life of your pet. Untreated, dental problems can lead to life-threatening organ damage and tooth loss.

When do I spay or neuter my dog?

We highly recommend spaying or neutering your dog at around 5-6 months of age. Performing the procedure at this time makes it easier for the veterinarian and most of all, safer for the patient. It also can help prevent unwanted behaviors such as running away, territorial urination, and aggression.

When do I spay or neuter my cat?

We highly recommend spaying and neutering your cat at or near 5-6 months of age. If you have a kitten and you choose to declaw him/her, then we prefer to neuter/spay and declaw at the same time. Performing the procedure at this time makes it easier for the veterinarian and most of all, safer for the patient. It also can help prevent unwanted behaviors such as running away, territorial urination, and aggression. We, by no means, require that your cat be declawed, it is your choice. If you elect not to declaw, we do recommend “Soft Claws” which are rubber tips that are applied to the nails and help protect furniture, etc. We can even help you apply them!

Do I need to make an appointment?

We encourage our clients to make appointments. With appointments, we are able to be sure we have the staff and equipment especially for your needs. Plus, clients with appointments will generally be serviced more quickly than others. We work hard to hold to our appointment schedule.

That being said, medical emergencies happen, and we are committed to helping pet owners in these stressful times.

To make an appointment, simply call us at 910-592-3102, where our friendly staff will help you schedule your visit.


Online appointment requests must be made a minimum of 72 hours in advance of requested appointment time.

If this is an emergency or your pet requires immediate attention, please call us.

If you are not sure whether this is an emergency, call us.