Frequently Asked Questions

Our vaccination protocol is simple. For kittens or puppies vaccinations start between 6-8 weeks of age and continues every 3-4 weeks until two vaccine sessions have occurred past the age of 12 weeks. So older puppies and kittens may not need as many. However, younger puppies and kittens are more vulnerable to many of the diseases we vaccinate against. Therefore, it is very important to start vaccinating as close to 6-8 weeks of age. Our vaccines are safe, effective, and approved by the FDA. Multivalent vaccines are used when appropriate.

We recommend the following vaccinations for puppies*:

1. Distemper virus (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
2. Adenovirus (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
3. Parainfluenza virus (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
4. Parvo virus (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
5. Leptospirosis (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
6. Corona virus (12 weeks)
7. Bordetella (12 & 15 weeks)
8. Canine Influenza H3N2 & H3N8 (12 & 15 weeks)
9. Rabies virus 1 year (12 weeks or older)

We recommend the following vaccinations for kittens*:

1. Feline rhinotracheitis (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
2. Panleukopenia (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
3. Calici virus (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
4. Chlamydia psittaci (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
5. Feline leukemia virus (Beginning at 6-8 weeks)
6. Rabies virus 1 year (12 weeks or older)
*Modifications of the above protocol may be made at veterinarian’s discretion.

Spaying and neutering refer to the removal of reproductive organs such as the uterus, ovaries, and testicles. Female cats and dogs are spayed. Male cats and dogs are neutered. The purpose of spaying and neutering is to prevent reproduction, medical complications in later years such as uterine infection, testicular and prostate cancer, and reduce pet overpopulation.

We prefer to spay and neuter pets between 4 and 6 months of age. Larger breed dogs such as Labradors should be spayed and neutered closer to 6 months. All female pets should be spayed prior to their first heat cycle to reduce the incidence of mammary cancer in later years and prevent pet overpopulation. Some pets such as rescue animals may be spayed and neutered any time after 8 weeks of age.

The typical time to spay and neuter is 3-4 weeks after the pets last distemper vaccination. At that same time, we prefer to microchip the animal as a form of permanent identification, remove any baby teeth that have not fallen out, and perform pre-anesthetic bloodwork to ensure a smooth anesthetic event and serve as a baseline for future health concerns. Pain medication is routinely prescribed for the comfort of your pet. Your pet may go home the same day or spend a night in quiet comfort recuperating.

If you have any questions, please ask one of our doctors. They have performed thousands of spays and neuters and are well versed in the subject.


Parasites such as round worms, fleas, ticks, ear mites, skin mites and other parasites are often present in a new puppy or kitten. Many of these parasites may be able to infect humans and therefore require treatment to eliminate them. Routine deworming is always performed at our hospital. We deworm puppies and kittens at least twice beginning at age 6-8 weeks. We use a broad-spectrum deworming agent that helps to eliminate roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. Routine elimination and prevention of fleas and ticks is easily performed using a topical or oral monthly medication such as Bravecto, Simparica, or Nexguard.

Heartworm disease is not typically a problem in pets under 3 months of age. The young pet must have exposure to a biting infective mosquito carrying the heartworm parasite. Starting your pet on monthly heartworm prevention such as Triheart or Revolution (cats) will prevent the disease. An alternative to monthly prevention is Proheart. Proheart protects your dog for 6 months against heartworm infection from a single injection. Proheart needs to be given to pets 6 months of age or older. We even remind you in six months when your dog is due for another Proheart injection to ensure your dog is protected all year long.

While Prevention of heartworm disease is easy and relatively inexpensive when compared to treatment, it still must be done. We routinely dispense an age/weight appropriate preventative for your pet. If you have any questions please ask any St. Francis Team member.

Payment in full is always expected at the end of your appointment or when your pet is discharged from our hospital. We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card, personal checks with valid I.D. and Care Credit. We do not offer any billing through our office.

We are proud to offer our Premier Pet Wellness Plans! Pet Wellness Plans allow you to keep a budget and keep you pet on year round preventative for a low price. We also offer a 10% discount on all other products and services (except grooming and diets).

We are constantly trying to expand our payment options and new vehicles may be introduced in the future.

As a new owner, we strongly encourage the use of Pet Insurance to keep your pet healthy and not a financial burden. We recommend Nationwide Pet Insurance for your pet. It’s easy to get reimbursed and just like home or auto insurance, it can pay off if your pet has an unexpected health problem.

We are open Monday through Thursday from 8am-6pm, Friday 8am-5pm and Saturday 8am-12pm. We welcome walk-ins but cannot guarantee being seen right away. Emergencies are accepted at all hours of operation when a veterinarian is on premises. All other emergencies are referred to our afterhours partners Med-Vet or Dogwood. Call our office first! Our phones will connect you directly to your choice of emergency hospitals with the touch of a button.