Parrish Creek Veterinary Clinic

86 North 70 West
Centerville, UT 84014-1821


Preventative Care

Vaccinations in puppies and kittens should start between 6 and 8 weeks. The question of which vaccines to give is a little more complicated. It depends on many factors and is best decided during the first visit. Such variables as house pet versus outdoor animal determine which vaccines are needed.

While it is technically not difficult to administer vaccinations and vaccines are readily available at feed stores and pharmacies, there are many reasons why it is not recommended that owners vaccinate their pets. Vaccine recommendations are constantly changing and labels on the package often are outdated. We strive to stay current in our recommendations. There are also differences in the quality of vaccines and how the product is handled and stored. For example, storage temperature of the vaccine can affect its effectiveness. Most vaccine producers will not guarantee their product if not administered by a professional. Additionally, although rare, vaccine reactions do occur and having a veterinarian close by, if that should occur, can be lifesaving.

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasite that lives in the heart of dogs and cats. It is passed by mosquitos and may take months to years to cause damage to the heart. We recommend that dogs and cats are on preventative medication year round. Options include a monthly oral pill or an injection given every 6 months. It is also important, as part of an effective prevention program, to periodically do a blood test for heartworms.

Parasites tend to be more common in young animals as opposed to adults. Not only can they make the animal unthrifty, but some parasites can be communicated to people from their pets and can cause serious disease in humans. Children are most commonly affected. For that reason, the Centers for Disease Control recommend all pets be on a regular worming program. The heartworm preventatives we use also help to prevent intestinal parasites. We also recommend a yearly fecal parasite exam as part of an effective prevention program.

We have found that regular blood screens are helpful in identifying early disease. Because your pet cannot tell you when he or she is ill, often disease goes unnoticed for a period of time. The blood screening allows us to see passed the surface to identify problems in their infancy. It is also valuable to give peace of mind before anesthesia procedures to know all is well.

The teeth and mouth is where the most common infections are found. Most animals by age 3 have signs of dental infection. Left untreated, mouth infection or periodontal disease can cause pain and generalized decreased health. We recommend teeth brushing and regular professional teeth cleaning to promote dental health. Please ask us for more information about dental preventative care.

While collars and tags provide the most visible identification, they may become lost, stolen, or unreadable. Therefore, the most reliable way to identify your pet is with a microchip, a tiny implant which is placed under your pet's skin and carries a unique number which can be read with a handheld scanner. So, if your pet is lost or stolen and ends up at an animal shelter or a veterinary clinic, the staff would scan your pet, find the microchip number, then, through the microchip company's database, trace your pet back to you. It only takes moments to place the chip and is no more painful than a vaccination. A microchip provides safe, inexpensive, permanent identification for the life of your pet. Countless lost pets have been returned their families thanks to their microchips.

Determining when an animal is experiencing pain can be a challenge. We know animals experience pain just like humans but often their response to pain is different. Signs include: decreased activity, pacing or unable to lay comfortably, loss of function such as limping, decreased appetite, reluctance to engage in normal activities, changes in disposition and licking a particular part of the body, especially a sore joint. Interestingly, crying or whining is not a commonly seen sign especially with chronic pain. Acute pain will often cause the animal to cry out but that subsides quickly. Studies show that controlling pain not only makes the animal more comfortable but also speeds the healing process. 

Surgery and Anesthesia

Neutering refers to the surgical alteration of an animal in order to prevent unwanted reproductive activity. The word neuter most commonly refers to the surgical removal of the testicles from a male animal. This not only prevents unwanted, homeless litters of puppies and kittens, but also protects your pet from testicular cancer and prostate disease, and can help avoid many undesirable behaviors such as roaming, fighting, and urine marking. The best time for neutering is between 5 and 6 months of age.

A spay, or ovariohysterectomy, refers to the surgical removal of a female animal's ovaries and uterus in order to prevent unwanted reproductive activity. This not only prevents unwanted, homeless litters of puppies and kittens, but also protects your pet from uterine and ovarian cancer, as well as pyometra (a life-threatening infection of the uterus). In addition, spaying your pet young (before her first heat cycle) will minimize her risk of mammary cancer later in life. The best time for spaying is between 5 and 6 months of age.

Spaying and neutering will make my pet fat and lazy- Only feeding too many calories will cause your pet to become over weight. The laziness often perceived after spaying or neutering is most often related to obesity. Careful monitoring of food intake following the procedure will prevent these problems

It is best to allow a heat cycle or have a litter of puppies or kittens before spaying.- There is no evidence these practices will have any beneficial effect and, in fact, will increase the risk of mammary cancer.

Neutering or spaying will change my pet's personality.- There is no evidence for this. Personality change is more likely due to passage from puppyhood or kittenhood to adult.

While there is always a minor risk when an animal goes under anesthesia, modern anesthetics and techniques are very safe. We take great care when anesthetizing any animal because we know how much they mean to their owners. We use the most current techniques and dedicate trained staff to carefully monitoring your pet under anesthesia. In addition, we strongly recommend every animal have pre-anesthesia blood screening done to detect any potential underlying health problem that could complicate the procedure. The incidence of adverse anesthesia events is very low at Parrish Creek Veterinary Clinic because of the precautions we take.

We are equipped to perform most procedures at the clinic by our doctors. We have successfully performed surgery on animals as small as a one half ounce finch to a 200 pound ostrich. There are a few procedures for which we bring in surgical specialists.

We have the skill and are equipped to perform most dental procedures including professional teeth cleaning, extractions, root canals and dental x-rays. Our staff has had considerable training in dentistry. We also concentrate on teaching you how to care for your pet?s teeth.

While surgical and anesthetic risks increase with age, complications are directly related to underlying disease conditions associated with age rather than age itself. In other words, if your senior animal is free of complicating conditions, he/she is at no more risk than a younger animal. We recommend pre-surgical screening including blood testing, electrocardiogram and a complete exam to rule out underlying conditions before administering anesthesia.

We understand that good veterinary care and customer service can be expensive especially when unexpected events occur. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer in-house financing. However, we do offer Carecredit, an outside financing company that can assist you by providing interest-free financing. One of our care staff can help you in applying. It is actually a line of credit you can obtain before you need it, then if an emergency occurs, you have peace of mind knowing you can afford the necessary care. Carecredit is also accepted at many human medical facilities.

We accept Cash, Visa, Mastercard, Discover card, American Express and Carecredit. We require payment at the time services are provided.

Yes you can visit your hospitalized pet and in-fact we encourage it in most cases. We do ask that you call first before visiting.