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Answers to some of your most common questions:

No, we do not but we trust the wonderful volunteers at our local animal shelters. Some are government funded and some rely on donations neither of which we have at our clinic. You can find more info on local shelters here >

You can find out more about the emergency clinics that we refer to here >

Is the anesthetic safe? Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. We perform a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that an underlying health condition, fever, or other illness won't be a problem.

Preanesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected.

It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least eight hours before surgery for adult dogs and cats. Very small puppies and kittens may not need to be fasted for that many hours and this will be discussed with you prior to the evening before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.

For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.

Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do, but you can be sure they feel it. Be assured that we provide all pets with comprehensive pain management as their comfort and health are our first priority. When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out the paperwork. When you pick up your pet after surgery you should also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs with a veterinary technician.

In the early stages, a dog that is bloating will feel uncomfortable and edgy, and it won't know why. In no particular order, without treatment, an affected dog will become increasingly restless, painful, weak, and depressed, and it will deteriorate rapidly. Its abdomen will become swollen, firm, and excruciatingly painful from accumulating gasses and fluids in the stomach. It may retch and try to vomit, but those attempts won't be productive, because its stomach has been cut off from the esophagus on the one end, and the small intestine on the other end (the tube taking digestive contents from the stomach to the end of the digestive tract). The dog's breathing will become rapid, shallow, and difficult. It will drool profusely. The dog's pulse will become thready while its heart rate races. It will become weak, wobbly, uncoordinated, and disoriented. Ultimately, without surgical intervention, the dog will die.

Clinical signs of bloat are not always easy to distinguish from signs of other types of gastrointestinal distress. A dog that stands uncomfortably and seems to have abdominal pain for no apparent reason may be suffering from bloat or from a number of unrelated conditions. Unfortunately, bloat is always a medical emergency. It is extremely important for all dog owners to recognize the signs of bloat. The first thing that most owners notice is a firm, hard, swollen abdomen, and signs of obvious abdominal discomfort that come on suddenly. Retching and non-productive attempts to vomit are also common.

Key signs may include one or more of the following:

  • Distended belly
  • Non-productive attempts to vomit
  • Retching
  • Restlessness; pacing
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain (looking at and biting at the belly; whimpering; abnormal peg-legged stance)
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Rapid shallow breathing (tachypnea); difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
  • Profuse drooling/salivation (Frothing at the mouth; usually indicates severe pain)
  • Pale to blue mucous membranes (gums; others)
  • Weak pulse
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Abnormal heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias)
  • Collapse
  • Death

When a large, deep-chested dog is retching, restless, trying to vomit unproductively, painful, and drooling, with a distended belly, he should be rushed to the closest veterinary hospital.

Dogs at Increased Risk: Middle-aged to older, large, and giant breed dogs with deep chests and of either gender are at the greatest risk of bloating, although any dog can be affected by this deadly condition. Purebred dogs seem to be at increased risk and having a parent or sibling who has bloated also is associated with an increased chance of developing the disorder. Other predisposing factors include dogs with deep narrow chests, once-daily feeding, rapid eating, exercise soon after eating, and consumption of large amounts of food or water in one sitting, stress, low body weight, and fearful or timid temperaments.

Breeds commonly affected include the Great Dane, Weimaraner, Saint Bernard, German Shepherd Dog, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Doberman Pinscher, Old English Sheepdog, Labrador Retriever, Irish Wolfhound, Great Pyrenees, Boxer, Collie, Bloodhound, Standard Poodle, Chinese Shar-Pei, Bassett Hound, Dachshund, and Pekingese.

Vaccines help prepare the body's immune system to fight the invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don't cause the disease. When the vaccine is introduced to the body, the immune system is mildly stimulated. If a dog is ever exposed to a real disease, his immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight it off entirely or reduce the severity of the illness.

If the mother has a healthy immune system, a puppy or kitten will most likely receive antibodies in the mother's milk while nursing. Puppies and kittens should receive a series of vaccinations starting at 8 weeks of age. We administer four sets of vaccinations at three-week intervals. The final dose should be administered around 16 weeks of age. Under our forms tab, you can print our price sheets including our puppy and kitten package information.



Canine Semen Freezing And Storage

We are proud to be an AKC-approved Freezing Center.  Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding canine semen freezing:

Long-Term Storage: To ensure breeding availability for future generations, you should have his semen frozen if your stud has qualities that are valuable.

For Breeding When the Stud is Not Available: Live breeding can be limited by the stud’s show or trial schedule, overbooking for the stud’s service, or other scheduling conflicts. The use of frozen semen allows availability during the bitch’s fertile time.

Long-Distance and International Breeding: Long-distance breedings may be accomplished using semen that has been either fresh-extended or frozen and eliminates the need to transport the bitch or stud dog.

Fresh semen is semen that has been collected for immediate insemination.

Fresh chilled extended is semen that has been collected for overnight shipment to a destination to be used for insemination. An extender is a special nutrient liquid added to the sperm cells to keep them alive during cooling and transport. The sperm cells are then shipped overnight in special packaging with ice packs to be used for insemination within 1-2 days. 

Frozen semen is semen that has been specially processed with a cryoprotectant formula and frozen in liquid nitrogen. The semen must remain stored in liquid nitrogen. It cannot be stored in a regular freezer. Once in liquid nitrogen, the semen can be preserved indefinitely, as long as the storage tank is kept filled with liquid nitrogen.

Shipping frozen semen requires a special shipping tank that holds liquid nitrogen and keeps the semen frozen until it reaches its destination. Once it is thawed, frozen semen must be used immediately. It cannot be refrigerated or refrozen. Frozen semen does not live as long in the female’s reproductive tract as fresh and fresh chilled extended semen does. Frozen semen requires the female to have a surgical implant performed.

Semen is collected from the stud dog by manual stimulation; the different parts or fractions of the ejaculation are collected separately so that good quality sperm-rich semen is frozen and stored. In general, semen of better quality with higher sperm count is collected when the dog’s libido is high.

  • A copy of the stud’s individual registration papers.
  • Positive identification such as a tattoo or microchip.
  • Completed Semen Freeze Agreement which can be emailed to you.
  • Completed Semen Freeze Authorization which can be emailed to you.
  • A copy of the DNA Profile for your dog (which is required by AKC). If you do not have a DNA Profile on your dog, we will submit a cheek swab sample to the AKC.
  • A copy of a negative Brucellosis test. If your stud has not had a Brucellosis test performed, then we can have the test performed the same day as the collect and freeze. This test is a MUST in order for your male’s semen to be stored in our liquid nitrogen tanks.

Semen freezing is a multi-step process utilizing a variety of equipment and materials. Please see our Reproduction price sheet in the "Client Forms" section of our website for detailed information.

Once you have reviewed the information, please call us at (281) 443-2362 or email us at ask.jennifer@suburbiavet.com to set up an appointment. The receptionist will take your information and Jenny will return your call or email. They will then discuss the process and set up an appointment with you. We are only able to do collect and freezing on days Dr. McGuire is not booked already with appointments which is why we suggest you schedule far in advance. The collection part is easy it is the freezing that is very long and tedious.

Scheduled freezes that do not show up will not be allowed to schedule again. Also, if your dog is unable to be collected or his semen is not viable and cannot be frozen there is still a charge for time and supplies used which is $100.

Semen is collected from the stud dog by manual stimulation; the different parts or fractions of the ejaculation are collected separately so that good quality sperm-rich semen is frozen and stored. In general, semen of better quality with higher sperm count is collected when the dog’s libido is high.

The semen collection process is painless and will hopefully be a positive experience for your dog. No sedation is used. The procedure usually takes about fifteen minutes to complete, but if your dog is inexperienced, collection time may take longer. A female in estrus (in season/in heat) is not necessary to collect a dog, but if you have one available, we recommend that you bring her to help encourage your dog, especially if he is inexperienced.

You can take your dog home immediately after the collection is completed. We will call you later the same day with the number of inseminating doses obtained from the collection.

Your dog’s semen will be processed and frozen in pellets. After it is frozen, one pellet is thawed and tested to ensure that the post-thaw semen quality is satisfactory. The frozen semen pellets are then packaged into individual inseminating doses, based on your dog’s sperm count, sperm morphology, and post-thaw motility. The number of inseminating doses that each dog produces varies and is dependent on the animal’s health, age, breed, and other factors.


Any questions? Please email Jenny at ask.jennifer@suburbiavet.com

Suburbia North Animal Hospital