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Ruskin Animal Hospital

Family playing with dog on the beach


What if my pet has a medical emergency after regular office hours?

We are open 60 hours a week, but unfortunately emergencies occur when we are closed on nights or weekends. After hours, our office phone calls are forwarded to the Brandon Blue Pearl Veterinary Specialists. Their practice is also staffed with professionals who specialize in emergency & critical care. There is always a veterinarian with staff ready to help you. If necessary, your pet can remain hospitalized overnight. They provide continuous veterinary care and monitoring throughout the night. The next morning, your pet is discharged and returns to our care.

What is the best way to prevent fleas on my pet?

There are several excellent safe prescription products available at our hospital for flea control. The choice of which product you should use, should be made with the help of our trained staff. Over the counter flea products are usually not strong enough to do the job and some have potentially harmful side effects.

My pet has bad breath! What does a Dental Prophylaxis involve?

Since dogs and cats can't brush their teeth, it is common for them to have periodontal disease as early as 3 years of age. Once this inflammation begins, it not only causes bad breath, but tooth and gum disease leading to infections in the blood and other organs. Pet's teeth should be cleaned and they must be anesthetized to properly scale, clean and polish their teeth. Prior to anesthesia, their overall health status is evaluated-including a blood test to "look" at their internal organ function. It is like lifting the hood of your car to see inside to evaluate the engine. If all looks good, your pet is admitted one morning and discharged in the afternoon with healthy gums, pretty white teeth, and sweet breath.

How often should my pet be examined by a veterinarian?

Puppies and kittens should be seen at birth, at 3 weeks, and at 6 weeks to start their scheduled immunizations. Adult dogs and cats should be seen at least once a year. Remember that pet’s age 5-7 times faster than we do.

What are some signs that my pet is sick?

Some animals tend to hide their pain and sickness to avoid appearing weak or vulnerable to other animals. Symptoms may be vague or very subtle. Some symptoms that should make you suspicious of illness include:

  • weight loss

  • vomiting/regurgitation

  • loss of appetite

  • changes in bowel movements or urination

  • changes in sleep habits

  • less playfulness or unusual behavior

  • loss of hair or change in appearance of coat

What and how often should my pet eat?

We strongly recommend feeding premium pet foods, although premium pet foods cost more per pound, pets consume less. Therefore, the real cost per week is not much more than a grocery store variety of food. Plus, you will be proud of your pet's beautiful hair coat and their vitality when they eat premium foods. Premium (prescription) diets have less "filler" so there are fewer stools left in the yard. Feed once or twice a day depending on your pet's preference.

What vaccines does my cat or dog need?

We believe that a vaccination program should be tailored to meet each individual pet's needs. You and Dr. Ott, Dr. Waldy, Dr. Heaton or Dr. Langston will decide which vaccines are necessary for each pet, and how frequently the vaccines are needed.