Frequently Asked Questions


  1. When do I start vaccinating my pets?
    • With puppies you start at 6-8 weeks. There’s a series of 3 vaccines, given 3 weeks apart also known as “Boosters”. The Distemper (Parvo Virus), Bordetella (Kennel Cough), and Rabies, which is given after 3 months of age.( The first RV vaccine is usually given with final boosters.  * Boostering the vaccines stimulates the puppies own immune system against viruses*
    • With kittens you start 8-9 weeks of age. There’s a series of 3 vaccines, given 3 weeks apart. The FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinothracheitis), FeLV ( Feline Leukemia, and a rabies, which is given after 3 months of age. You usually get the kitten tested for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency) after 6-8 weeks of age. This is done by doing a blood test.
  2. What are the recommended vaccines?
    • When designing a vaccination program, veterinarians consider the pet’s lifestyle, related disease risks, and the characteristics of available vaccines. “Core vaccines” (e.g., rabies, feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus infection, canine distemper, canine parvovirus infection, and canine hepatitis) are recommended for most pets. Additional “non-core vaccines” (e.g., feline leukemia, canine kennel cough and other vaccines) may be appropriate based on the pet’s particular needs.
  3. When can I Spay/Neuter my pet?
    • Spaying can be done at any time after 5-6 months of age and it’s the best way to control the number of unwanted pets. The procedure also can be beneficial for your pet since it stops the attraction of males and she will be less likely to roam away looking for a “boyfriend.” If your pet is spayed before she first cycles, the risk of breast cancer is reduced by 90%. Additionally, spaying completely eliminates infections or cancer of the uterus and ovaries, not to mention messy heat cycles!
    • Neutering can also be done at any time after 5-6 months of age. It decreases behaviors associated with trying to find a mate, such as roaming and territorial marking. It may also diminish aggressive tendencies, especially towards other males. From a medical point of view, neutering is important  because it eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer and greatly reduces the chances of your pet developing prostate cancer.
  4. How much food should my pet eat?
    • Choose a high-quality food and look at the recommendations on the label. Remember, these feeding recommendations are simply guidelines, not absolutes. There is often a wide range listed and there is little consistency in feeding guidelines between brands. You must consider the following, and adjust the food amount accordingly:
      • The actual calorie content of the food
      • Your pet’s weight (and projected target weight if necessary). Ask your veterinarian if you’re not sure about an ideal weight for your pet
      • Your pet’s activity level
      • Other environmental variables (temperature)
      • Any additional calories from treats or table foods
      • Remember, most pets are overfed and under-exercised – so, if in doubt about how much to feed initially, feed a little less then what it says on the bag.
  5. How do my pets nails look?
    • A dog’s nail is constructed of a hard outer cover, which protects the quick which is the inner soft part containing blood vessels and tender nerve endings. In dogs with light colored nails, the quick can often been seen as being faintly pinkish in color and is thus easy to avoid cutting into.  In the more common black nailed variety, the quick it totally invisible.  Therefore, knowing exactly how to cut a dog’s nails in this case is imperative. In these cases, trimming off little nibbles instead of large slices is more advisable.
    • The cat claw is made up of keratin, a hard protein that makes up the sheath & in the centre of the claw is the quick which contains blood & nerves.  The claw is a scythe shaped appendage that is attached to the end bone of the toe.  The front feet have five toes & five claws per foot & the back feet have four toes & four claws per foot. Some cats (known as polydactyls) have more than the normal number of toes & claws.
  6. What are Dewclaws and should I get it removed?
    • A dewclaw is similar to a thumb, complete with a toenail, but it grow a little higher on the paw than the rest of the toenails on that paw and it never comes in contact with the ground. Majority of dogs have their dewclaws on the front paws, but some dogs also get it on the rear paws.
    • Most dogs with dewclaws do just fine without having to remove them. But sometimes the dew claws are not “properly attached”. They may also dangle or hang, or just get in the way during normal course of playing and walking. Not to mention dogs with dew claws who also love to dig a lot, will sometimes irritate the dew claw, or even break the dew claw bone. (Not all dew claws have bones). If the dew claws on your dogs front or rear paws seem to easy to get caught on things, then they could easily rip off, which would be very painful for the dog.
  7. How important is it to groom my pet and how often?
    • Grooming does more than make your pet look good. Regular brushing, bathing and trimming can help your pets skin, haircoat healthy. Regular grooming also helps you be aware of changes in your pets body, such as skin conditions. It can also strengthen the relationship between you and your pet. Depending on the type of breed you have it can very on when you will need to groom your pet. If your pet has long hair you should brush it at least twice a week. If you need the fur to be trimmed it should be no more then every 6-8 weeks.
  8. What does blood work encompass?
    • General Blood Work: Blood testing for your dog or cat is an important part of diagnosing disease and is also often done routinely to detect early signs of disease. Blood testing is frequently used as a first  step in diagnosing disease in an ill animal. It is also commonly used to screen apparently normal healthy animals for early signs of disease.
    • Pre-Anesthetic: Before your pet undergoes a procedure that requires sedation or anesthesia, it is ideal for him to have a complete physical examination by a veterinarian to determine his overall health. The veterinarian may also recommend blood tests such as a CBC and chemistry panels to check the health of some of the internal organs such as the kidneys and liver. Some types of anesthesia are eliminated from the body through these organs.
    • Heartworm Test: A heartworm test is a test to check for the evidence of the parasite Dirofilaria immitis, more commonly known as heartworm, in your dog’s bloodstream. The test should be performed on any dog showing signs of heartworm disease, e.g. exercise intolerance, coughing, loss of appetite, weight loss, labored breathing, or heart disease.  Antigens for the heartworm cannot be detected until seven months after initial infection. For this reason, testing animals less than 7 months of age is not indicated. Annual re-testing is recommended for dogs not receiving heartworm preventative year round. Testing every year is recommended for dogs on year-round preventative medication. Testing is also recommended when a pet owner switches between preventative medications.
  9. What are the signs of an ear infection?
    • Head shaking, if you see your pet shaking it’s head frequently it could mean that their uncomfortable.
    • Cocking the head in an unusual manner and angle, dogs will do anything to get rid of whatever is blocking their ear. In an ear infection case it would be an excessive amount of earwax.
    • Scratching, scratching excessively in the same area can mean that there could be an ear mite, bacterial infection, or it could be a skin infection.
    • When your pet has an ear infection the earwax will have a foul smell.
    • Inflammation, redness, and tenderness in the are can also mean that there’s a problem with the skin in your dogs ear.


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