4410 Swisher Rd, West Lafayette, IN - Give us a call: (765) 742-2587


There are so many plants, how do I know which are dangerous for my pet?

By Dr. InoueAugust 6th, 2012

While we call these plants poisonous, very few can cause death in dogs and cats.  The most common symptom is stomach upset.  The exception to this would be foxglove and yew, which can cause fatal heart arrhythmias.

If you have a specific plant in question, please ask for more details, either by calling us or leaving a comment below.

  • Aloe
  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Azalea
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Buckeye
  • Buddhist Pine
  • Caladium
  • Calla Lilly
  • Castor Bean
  • Ceriman
  • Cherry
  • Christmas Rose
  • Cineraria
  • Cordatum
  • Corn Plant
  • Cornstalk Plant
  • Crocuses
  • Crotons
  • Cycads
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Dracaena
  • Dracaena Palm
  • Dragon Tree
  • Dumb Cane
  • Elaine
  • Elephant Ears
  • Emerald Feather
  • English Ivy
  • Exotica perfection
  • Fiddle Leaf
  • Florida Beauty
  • Foxglove
  • Fruit Salad Plant
  • German Ivy
  • Giant Dumb Cane
  • Golden Pothos
  • Holly
  • Hurricane Plant
  • Indian Rubber Plant
  • Ivy (most varieties)
  • Japanese Yew
  • Jerusalem Cherry
  • Kalanchoe
  • Laurel
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Madagascar Dragon Tree
  • Marble Queen
  • Marijuana
  • Medicine Plant
  • Mexican Breadfruit
  • Mistletoe
  • Morning Glory
  • Mother-in-Laws tongue
  • Narcissus
  • Nephthysis
  • Nightshade
  • Oleander
  • Onion
  • Panda
  • Peace Lily
  • Peach
  • Pencil Cactus
  • Philodendron (most varieties)
  • Plumosa Fern
  • Poinsettia
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Pothos
  • Precatory Bean
  • Primula
  • Red Emerald
  • Rhododendron
  • Ribbon Plant
  • Rubber Plant
  • Sago Plant
  • Schefflera
  • String of Pearls/Beads
  • Swiss Cheese Plant
  • Taro Vine
  • Tomato Plant
  • Weeping Fig
  • Yew

My pet was diagnosed with ringworm. How do I clean my house?

By Dr. InoueJune 5th, 2012

Ringworm is a fungal infection that is easily transmissible from animal to animal (or human) either by direct contact, contact from human to animal, or contact with infected surfaces. There are multiple treatment options for ringworm which you should discuss with your veterinarian.

Ideally, the infected animal should be shaved down to reduce the amount of surface area the spores can attach to and thus transmit the disease to others. All hard surfaces, including floors, baseboards, heating registers and auto interiors should be cleaned thoroughly with disinfectant cleaner, then wiped down with a 1:10 bleach solution.

This is also true for cages, litter pans, carriers, food and water dishes. All bedding, sheets, fabric surfaces should be washed in hot water with detergent and a 1:32 bleach solution. Color safe bleach may also be used. Carpets, furniture and drapes should be vacuumed and steam cleaned frequently throughout the course of the treatment. Forced air furnace filters should be changed weekly since the spores are taken in through the intake vent and can escape through the outflow vents leading to continued re-infection.

Find out more about ringworm and other health issues on our Client Education page.

Why is it so important to give puppies and kittens vaccines at certain ages AND certain intervals?

By Dr. WittkeMarch 19th, 2012

Puppy and kitten wellness examinations are performed every 3-4 weeks to evaluate the growth and overall health of the animal.  At each visit, we will also be giving booster vaccinations which generally start at 6-8 weeks of age and continue to approximately 16 weeks of age.

Why is this necessary?

Natural Immunity

Puppies and kittens are born with a natural immunity that they receive from their mother in utero. This natural immunity occurs because the mother passes some of her antibodies (immunity) through the placenta to the babies.  When the animals are finally born, they continue to receive some antibodies from the mother’s milk, on top of the antibodies that they’ve already received.

Levels of Immunity Vary

We start vaccinations at an early age because some puppies or kittens don’t receive any or as many antibodies from the mother, and those puppies or kittens need to be protected.

The boosters must continue for a minimum of 12 weeks because some puppies or kittens retain their mother’s antibodies for a longer period of time, and vaccinations will not be viable in them. (Their natural immunity protects them from our own vaccinations as well as certain viruses.)

Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing which category a particular puppy or kitten fits into. Thus, to be certain that each one is protected, we vaccinate all of them in the same manner.

Photo courtesy of Jim Mead on Flickr

Why do I need to give heartworm prevention in winter?

By Dr. InoueMarch 12th, 2012

Many people know that heartworm prevention is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health.  For residents of Indiana, however, few realize the necessity of giving their pet heartworm prevention every month throughout the year.

The reason is one that every Hoosier should be familiar with: Indiana has sporadic weather patterns. While we do get snow and frost in the winter, we also have some occasional warm winter days.

These warm days provide opportunities for gastrointestinal parasites (such as roundworms and hookworms) to infest our pets. Warm days may also allow for young, pupated mosquitoes to hatch and spread heartworm larvae to our pets.

All of this is preventable. By giving your pets the monthly tablet or chewable, you can keep their hearts free from heartworms.

Photo courtesy of jpctalbot on Flickr

Pre-anesthetic Monitoring for Your Pet

By Dr. InoueFebruary 21st, 2012

Generally, our pets undergo anesthesia only a few times in their lives.  The first is for their “routine” spay/neuter followed by either periodic dental cleanings or even removal of various masses.  We recommend that pre-anesthetic blood testing be performed to assure that our patients are in good health prior to undergoing the anesthesia and surgery.  Often, animals can look healthy on physical examination but have underlying disease processes occurring that could be worsened with the stresses of anesthesia.  This even happens in puppies/kittens that come in for routine surgeries.  Young animals can have genetic or congenital conditions that have not fully come to the surface and thus they appear very healthy even when they are not.  Older and geriatric patients are even more prone to having some underlying disease such as kidney or liver insufficiency.  These types of conditions can be worsened or exacerbated by the physiologic changes that occur under anesthesia.  Fortunately, the risks of anesthesia are very low and having all the information, including bloodwork values, available prior to surgery even further lowers that risk.  Animals are biologic creatures and there are no guarantees in the world of medicine, but the better informed we are the less risk there is to your pet.

How toxic is chocolate for pets, really?

By Dr. WittkeDecember 26th, 2011

Now is the season for chocolate poisoning in dogs.

We have all heard that chocolate is toxic to our canine companions, but how toxic is it really? And what happens if it’s ingested? These questions are both frequently asked by our clients.

The actual toxic components of chocolate are called theobromines, a type of CNS stimulant. They stimulate the brain to a point that initially causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This is followed by vomiting/diarrhea, and then tremors or seizures. This can eventually lead to death.

Levels of Toxicity

The toxicity of chocolate for dogs depends greatly on the type of chocolate ingested.  The purer the chocolate (higher percentage of cocoa), the more toxic it is.  Chocolate products can be ordered as follows, from most toxic to least toxic:

  1. Cocoa powder (more toxic)
  2. Dark chocolate
  3. Semi-sweet chocolate
  4. Milk chocolate
  5. White chocolate (less toxic)

So, if your 85-pound German Shepherd eats a Hershey bar, it is not likely going to cause any problems. But if your 10-pound Chihuahua eats the same bar, some significant reaction may occur. It is important to call your veterinarian if your pet has eaten toxic doses of chocolate — especially the darker chocolates.


Treatment for chocolate toxicity involves inducing vomiting if eaten within 2-4 hours, followed by administration of activated charcoal with cathartics to prevent further absorption and to help pass any residual chocolate through the GI tract faster. Hospitalization with IV fluid therapy for diuresis may also be indicated. In severely affected animals, a urinary catheter may be necessary to help prevent any absorption from the urine.

Image courtesy of ScienceDaily.com