Frequently Asked Questions

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery—it is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radiowaves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen. The microchip itself is also called a transponder.

How does a microchip help reunite a lost animal with its owner?

When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find a microchip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal's owner.

Why should I have my animals microchipped?

The best reason to have your animals microchipped is the improved chance that you'll get your animal back if it becomes lost or stolen.

What is Kennel Cough?

If your dog is hacking away or constantly making noises that make it sound like he's choking on something, he may have a case of kennel cough, or canine infectious tracheobronchitis.

Just as human colds may be caused by many different viruses, kennel cough can have multiple causes. One of the most common culprits is a bacterium called Bordetella bronchiseptica m-- which is why kennel cough is often called Bordetella.

Dogs become infected with kennel cough when they inhale bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract. This tract is normally lined with a coating of mucus that traps infectious particles, but there are a number of factors that can weaken this protection and make dogs prone to kennel cough infection, which results in inflammation of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe).

These factors include:

  • Exposure to crowded and/or poorly ventilated conditions, such as are found in many kennels and shelters
  • Cold temperatures
  • Exposure to dust and/or cigarette smoke (see why smoking harms pets on our News and Events page)
  • Travel-induced stress
Symptoms of Kennel Cough The classic symptom of kennel cough is a persistent, forceful cough. This is distinct from a cough-like sound made by some dogs, especially little ones, which is called a reverse sneeze. Reverse sneezes can be normal in certain dogs and breeds, and usually only indicates the presence of post-nasal drip or a slight irritation of the throat. Some dogs with kennel cough may show other symptoms of illness, including sneezing, a runny nose, or eye discharge. If your dog has kennel cough, he probably will not lose his appetite or have a decreased energy level. Treating and Preventing Kennel Cough Kennel cough is contagious. If you think your dog might have the condition, you should keep him away from other animals and contact us at Tumalo Animal Hospital. Although most cases of kennel cough may eventually resolve without treatment, medications can speed recovery or minimize symptoms during the course of infection. These include antibiotics that target Bordetella bacteria and cough medicines.

You may also find that keeping your dog in a well-humidified area and using a harness instead of a collar, especially for dogs that strain against a leash, will minimize the coughing.

Most dogs with kennel cough recover completely within three weeks, though it can take up to six weeks in older dogs or those with other medical conditions. Because serious, ongoing kennel cough infection can lead to pneumonia, be sure to follow up with us if your dog doesn't improve within the expected amount of time. Also, if your dog at any time has symptoms of rapid breathing, not eating, or listlessness, contact the clinic right away, as these could be signs of a more serious condition.

The best news is that Tumalo Animal Hospital now carries the new Bronchi-Shield Oral vaccine. This state-of-the-art innovation is safe, effective and best of all, easy and painless to administer!

How can I tell if my dog or cat has worms?

Certain parasites, such as tapeworms, are visible to the naked eye, but others must be detected under the microscope. If you will bring in a stool sample we will be glad to examine it microscopically to see if your pet has worms.

What is Parvo Virus?

Parvo virus is a disease that causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. This virus is deadly and can be contracted from any substance, such as the soil or walking in the same area as a dog which has been incubating the virus . We recommend vaccinating your dog once a year for adequate protection.

What can I do to make visiting the vet with my cat less of a battle?

At Tumalo Animal Hospital, we love cats! You can help your cat have a more productive, less stressful visit to our clinic by checking out the helpful information in the following short video:

How can I administer dewormer to my cat without a big fight?

We now stock Profender®, a topical dewormer for cats that is safe, effective, and best of all, easy to use! No more pills, no more shots, no more fights!

Which dogs should receive Rattlesnake Vaccine?

Any dog over four months of age that is exposed to rattlesnakes whether at home, walking, hiking, camping, hunting, or elsewhere might be a good candidate for rattlesnake vaccine.

How common are rattlesnake bites?

About 7,000 to 8,000 humans are bitten by venomous snakes in the United States every year. The best estimate of dogs and cats bitten by venomous snakes is about 150,000. Dogs and cats are about 300 times more likely to be bitten by venomous snakes than to get rabies.

How dangerous are rattlesnake bites to dogs?

Rattlesnake bites are about 25 times more fatal in dogs than in humans. Even dogs that survive the bite can be permanently damaged..Rattlesnake bites are about 25 times more fatal in dogs than in humans. Even dogs that survive the bite can be permanently damaged.

How safe is rattlesnake vaccine for pets?

Rattlesnake vaccine is laboratory tested, government approved, and has been used in over one hundred thousand dogs over many years. Thousands of veterinary clinics nationwide recommend this vaccine for dogs at risk. The side effects are rare and typically very mild. About 1% of dogs may get a temporary lump at the injection site that doesn’t bother the dog and goes away by its self in a few weeks. Temporary flu like symptoms are reported in about one in 3,000 vaccinations and other miscellaneous symptoms are reported in fewer than one in 15,000 vaccinations. These systemic symptoms are rare, and don’t appear to have any pattern, so it is possible that many are coincidental and unrelated to the vaccine use. Even the most severe side effect reasonably attributable to the vaccine is likely to be much easier for a veterinarian to treat than a moderate rattlesnake bite.

How well does the rattlesnake vaccine work?

The vaccine has been reported to both delay the effects and reduce the severity of rattlesnake bites and help dogs survive and recover more quickly with less pain and swelling. It is likely that many dog owners don’t even notice their vaccinated dogs are bitten by rattlesnakes. Other owners have reported seeing their dogs bitten but did not take them to the veterinarian because they were too far out in the back country and the dogs recovered quickly and completely without veterinary care. Note that it is always recommended that a rattlesnake bite be treated as a veterinary emergency-even in a vaccinated dog because of the complexity of a rattlesnake bite.