Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to know when flying with my pet?

Most airline carriers require a health certificate for your pet. Please be sure to verify this with your carrier and schedule an appointment within 10 days of departure. Please be prepared to show your Rabies Certificate.

What is OFA Certification and why would my pet need it?

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is an organization that was formed in order to help reduce the incidence of genetic diseases. The most commonly requested certifications are for hip and elbow conformation. Large breed dogs that are going to be bred are highly encouraged to have their hips and elbows certified. Radiographs will be taken and submitted to OFA for evaluation. A permanent form of identification such as a tattoo or microchip is required. A form will need to be filled out that includes the dog’s AKC registration number for more information, contact our office or visit the OFA website.

Can dogs be allowed to chew on bones?

Bones are controversial. Most dogs love them but they can cause problems. Bones that are small, like chicken and turkey bones, can cause obstructions and perforations in the stomach or intestines. Larger, harder bones break teeth. Since there are so many problems with bones, it is generally not recommended dogs be allowed to chew on them.


Do you have any advice on urine smell and stain removal?

Animal Clinic proudly carries “ZERO ODOR”. This product is guaranteed to completely and permanently eliminate odor. Zero Odor leaves behind no scent whatsoever.

Is there an easy way to give my pet's medications?

“Pill Pockets” are 100% natural tasty treats with a built in pouch – ideal for hiding a tablet or capsule so that cats and dogs don’t even notice there’s medicine inside. They are our #1 choice for giving pills.

Why does my pet scoot?

When dogs and cats scoot their bottoms along the ground it can be amusing but may indicate more serious problems. Itching or irritation to the perianal region usually causes scooting. Dogs and cats have scent glands called anal glands located just inside their anus. When these glands fill they sometimes become impacted or infected. Other causes of scooting include skin infections, allergic dermatitis, and parasites. If your pet is scooting, you should schedule an appointment to determine the cause.

How often does my pet’s teeth need to be cleaned?

This varies from animal to animal. During your pet’s annual exam, the teeth will be examined. If there is significant tartar or periodontal disease present, a dental cleaning will be recommended. Some animals require this very seldomly and some require cleanings every 4-6 months.


How cold is too cold for outdoor pets?

There is no good way to answer this question because of the variable size and breeds of dogs and cats. In general of course, thick coated breeds like Huskies and Malamutes do quite well even in subzero weather while a Chihuahua can become hypothermic in temperatures around 50 degrees. Staying warm requires energy so outdoor pets should have access to plenty of fresh water and their food requirements will increase. Shelter is important also. An enclosed structure that has clean bedding and prevents exposure to wind, snow, and rain will help immensely. Remember, if there is any doubt, err on the side of safety and bring your pet indoors or provide a safe heat source.

Are there things in my house that can be toxic to my pet?

GRAPE TOXICITY: Ingestion of grapes or raisins has been associated with acute kidney failure in dogs and possibly cats. For some reason, not every dog is susceptible and some dogs can tolerate large quantities of grapes or raisins. Due to the uncertainty of toxicity, it is not recommended to give your dog or cat grapes or any grape products.

LILY TOXICITY: Ingestion of lilies by cats causes acute kidney failure. This condition is quite serious and often results in death. It is not recommended for cats to be allowed exposure to any type of Lily.

CHOCOLATE TOXICITY: Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Baking chocolate contains the most theobromine followed by semi-sweet and dark chocolate, then milk chocolate, then cakes and cookies. Chocolate toxicity can result in death and a veterinarian should see a dog that ingests chocolate immediately.

RODENTICIDE TOXICITY: Mouse and Rat poisons work by causing what is called a coagulopathy in the body. This prevents blood from clotting and the animal dies because of hemorrhaging or bleeding. Dogs will readily eat the poison if it is left out and cats will often ingest the dying rodents. These poisons do not work immediately and the pet often seems perfectly fine for 2-3 days. If your pet ingests any rodenticide, immediately get him to the veterinarian and if possible, bring the box the rodenticide came in so the list of ingredients is known.

CHEWING GUM TOXICITY: Certain brands of chewing gum contain a substance called Xylitol. It has no effect on people but is toxic to dogs. Xylitol causes life threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as well as potassium imbalances and liver damage

What hazards should I be aware of during the holidays?

Make sure your holiday isn’t marred by an emergency trip to your veterinarian by keeping an eye out for these common holiday hazards.

RIBBONS &TINSEL: These are of special interest to playful cats and kittens that see these materials as toys (or prey) to be chased, pounced upon, chewed or swallowed. While chasing and pouncing pose no health threats, chewing and swallowing do, as these strings or “linear foreign bodies” can catch in the GI tract, leading to bunching of intestine as the body tries in vain to move the string or ribbon through. This is a life-threatening condition requiring surgery for correction.

ELECTRIC LIGHT CORDS: These are also tempting to cats who like to play with string as well as puppies who are teething and interested in chewing. If a pet bites through an electrical cord, it could result in burns and electrical shock or create a fire hazard.

CHOCOLATE: Unsweetened baking chocolate carries a much higher dose of the toxin theobromine than does milk chocolate, but even normal milk chocolate can be dangerous; a small dog sharing candy can wind up in big trouble. Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning include hyperexcitability, nervousness, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you think your pet has consumed chocolate, try to determine how much, what type, and how long ago and call your veterinarian.

POINTSETTIA: Consuming this festive-looking plant can be irritating to the mouth and stomach of the dog or cat that chews on or eats it. Contrary to popular belief, Poinsettia is not specifically toxic.

MISTLETOE: The fact that there are several types of mistletoe makes it difficult to predict the clinical signs of poisoning. Some mistletoes produce only upset stomach while others may lead to liver failure or seizures. Consider mistletoe to be a hazardous substance and keep it inaccessible to pets and children.

Dietary Indiscretion: We all like to include our pets in Holiday meals along with the rest of the family, but try to keep in mind that sudden rich diet changes are likely to upset a pet’s stomach. Vomiting and diarrhea are not uncommon. If leftovers are of an especially fatty nature, the pancreas may become inflamed and overloaded. This condition is serious and may require hospitalization.

We're Here for Your Pets




Open Hours

Mon - 9am to 5pm
Tues - 9am to 5pm
Wed - 9am to 5pm
Thurs - 9am to 5pm
Fri - 9am to 5pm
Sat - Closed
Sunday - Closed


920 SW Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59803