Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do you recommend an annual lab panel and what does it check for??
  • The annual lab panel (CBC Baseline panel and CBC Senior Panel) are recommended for each patient once yearly.  Both panels check your pets liver, kidney, and pancreatic values, as well as electrolytes, blood sugar, and blood cell counts.  In addition the senior panel adds a basic thyroid screen.  The annual lab panel can help us determine if your pet is "just right", sick, or starting to have early signs of a disease.  If your pet's lab panel is normal, it provides us with a healthy normal comparison when they may be sick or developing a chronic illness.  If your pet is 5 years of age or older, we may also recommend a urinalysis, which is more sensitive to the early signs of kidney disease and can help us to detect urinary crystals and stones before you even see any symptoms!

My pet takes heartworm prevention once each month, why do I need to test yearly??
  • Your pet should be tested each year for numerous reasons.  The manufacturers of Interceptor, Sentinel Spectrum, Interceptor Plus, and Heartgard Plus guarantee their products, but your pet must start with a negative heartworm test, have proof that you have purchased enough prevention from a veterinarian (not an online retailer or pet store) for year round use, and test each year.  No medication works 100% of the time, and there is the occasional "operator error" (your pet may vomit after you give the medication, spit the medication out when you are not looking, you give the prevention a little off schedule, etc..) and it is important to catch a problem early.

I want to get my pets medications through an online retailer, can you call it in for me??
  • As a general rule we do not recommend purchasing your medications from online and catalog pharmacies.  Some manufacturers of medications do not sell directly to them, so purchases of these products are generally made through a third party (and not the actual manufacturer).  The guarantee on some products may not be honored by the manufacturer if you do not make your purchase through a veterinary hospital.  If you would still like to make your purchase online, we ask that you call ahead for a written prescription from our doctor and pick it up from our office.  Once you pick it up you can mail or fax it to the pharmacy of your choice.  Please remember that we will not write prescriptions for medications not warranted for your pet, in refill quantities greater than we would normally fill in our hospital, or if your pet has not been recently examined by Dr. Sackman.  To fill heartworm preventatives your pet must also be up to date on their heartworm test or you must sign a waiver stating that you understand we recommend heartworm testing before starting a prevention.  If you are requesting a written prescription for a medication or prescription diet that we stock in the hospital you will be required to pick up a new written prescription each month.  We do not write prescriptions with additional refills and we do not fax or call prescriptions to online retailers.

Everyone in my household is sick...Can my pet get my illness??
  • In general most of our illnesses (and our pets too) are caused by viruses.  Most viruses are species specific, meaning that there are very few viruses that can be passed from humans to dogs or cats and vice versa.  This also means that your cat usually won't get your dog sick and your dog won't get your cat sick.  There are some exceptions to this rule, but most times when we are ill it is because of changes that make us less resistant to viruses.  This applies to our pets too!

What should my pet eat??
  • The answer to this question will vary based upon your pet's age, activity level, breed, and medical condition.  Ask one of our staff members at your next visit what your pet should be eating and if they have any special nutritional needs.  Food choices can be a personal preference, but we generally recommend feeding a high quality dry food diet.  We do not recommend changing your pet's diet frequently or without a gradual transition since many pets will experience GI upset (vomiting and diarrhea).  As a general rule, we do not recommend grain free diets.  Grain free diets can cause increase in kidney function enzymes by making the kidneys work harder to process the excess protein load that is often found in grain free diets. Table scraps and human food should be avoided, as it can cause GI upset, pancreatitis (which can be fatal), and a lack of interest in their regular diet.  Treats should be kept to a minimum (many biscuits and bones equate to us eating a candy bar and can lead to obesity!), but baby carrots can offer a healthy alternative.

Can my dog have rawhides, pig ears, bones, etc??
  • We usually do not recommend giving your pets this type of treat.  Many of these treats have high sodium levels, dyes, and chemical treatments.  Some pets do not digest rawhides well and can have GI upset and on occasion even foreign bodies (the bone or rawhide becomes lodged in the stomach or intestines, requiring surgical removal).  The sodium levels can also cause increased thirst and urination and occasionally urinary incontinence.  Even roundbones can cause problems (they often get caught behind the lower canines and wrap around the lower jaw). 

How many litterboxes should my cat(s) have??
  • As a rule, there should be at least one litterbox on every level of your house that your cat has access to.  You should also have one more litterbox than the total number of cats that you have.  Litterboxes should be placed in low stress places (not near loud or distracting areas) and should be cleaned daily to avoid out of the litterbox accidents.  You should also take care to avoid changing litter types since some cats can become used to a certain kind and deterred from using the box if it changes.  Cats are creatures of habit and often times do not respond well to change. 

How often does my pet need to be examined/vaccinated/etc...??
  • The answer to this will depend on many of your pets needs and risk factors.  We will discuss all of your options with you when we check you in for your appointment and determine, with you, what is best for your pet.  We recommend a complete examination every 6 months, annual lab panels once yearly, and vaccinations as warranted.  We send reminder cards in the mail approximately one month before your pet is due for vaccinations and appointments, so if you have a change of address please remember to notify us.

Surgery Questions Please Refer to the Surgery Page (click here)


If you have additional questions, please call our office at (815) 469-3346.

Frequently Asked Questions:
712 Center Road
Frankfort, Illinois 60423
(815) 469-3346
Fax: (815) 464-4706