(Frequently Asked Questions)

relaxing kitten
Q. Why do my pets need to be anesthetized to have their teeth cleaned?

Proper dental cleanings include scaling the teeth above and below the gum line, and then following up with polishing of the teeth. Animals will not allow this procedure without general anesthesia.

People who talk about anesthetic free dentals are actually doing more harm than good. They are scaling the teeth, but are unable to polish the teeth. This leaves the tooth surface rough, which allows for bacteria to penetrate the tooth and cause tooth decay. They also are unable to clean under the gum line (it is too painful without anesthesia), thus leaving bacteria under the gum line, which also leads to periodontal disease, tooth decay and bone loss.

It is in your pet’s best interest to have regular dental check ups and complete dental cleanings under anesthesia when necessary.

Q. What pet food do you suggest?

We like any quality name brand food that has the AAFCO seal that states that the food has undergone feeding trials. We tend to recommend Purina products or any food that is considered a premium food sold at pet stores.

Q. Can my animals eat people food?

It is not advisable to feed human food due to the imbalance of nutrients and the fact that it is not formulated to meet the needs of animals. Human food may also cause gastrointestinal upset or obesity.

Q. Is it a medical problem if my pet is overweight?

Obesity in pets can lead to disorders such as diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, and arthritis.

Q. Is it normal for a cat to vomit frequently?

It is not normal for a cat to vomit frequently. Cats may vomit hairballs. However, if they are vomiting fluid or food, it may be indicative of an underlying disease. We recommend a scheduled appointment to determine the cause of the vomiting.

Q. What should I do if my pet has diarrhea?

If your pet has diarrhea, but is eating and acting normally, you can try withholding food for 12 to 24 hours. If your pet continues to have diarrhea, is acting lethargic, not wanting to eat, or there is blood in the diarrhea, then your pet should be examined as soon as possible.

Q. Is it OK to let my cat outside?

It is OK to let your cat outside, however, you do need to be aware of the fact that outdoor cats are more prone to injuries from trauma and cat fights, and are more prone to exposure to infectious diseases. All outdoor cats need to be vaccinated for feline leukemia.

Q. Should I be concerned if my pet is panting a lot even if it is not hot outside?

Excessive panting could be normal. It could also be an indication of pain, an endocrine disorder, or a breathing disorder. We recommend an exam as soon as possible.

Q. What does it mean if my dog is scratching at his ears?

The most likely causes for scratching at ears are ear infections or allergies. The treatments are very different. So, it is best to bring your pet in for an examination.

Q. My animal is scratching a lot. What should I do?

Your pet may have allergies or some other skin disorder. We would need to examine your pet to determine the cause of the scratching and the proper treatment.

Q. What should I do if my cat is urinating out of the litter box?

Inappropriate urination can be an indication of a medical or behavioral problem. The first step is to bring your cat into the hospital for a complete physical examination and urinalysis. If it is a medical problem, we can provide appropriate treatments. If it is a behavioral problem, we can provide many suggestions to try and correct the problem.

Q. Why should my dog stay on year round heartworm prevention?

Heartworm disease is a potentially life-threatening disease that is spread by mosquito bites.

Dogs need to stay on year round heartworm prevention for two reasons. The first reason is because mosquitoes are in the environment when the ambient temperature is above 57 degrees. In the Denver area, we have the potential for mosquitoes in the environment year round.

The second reason is that the heartworm medication prevents the occurrence of some intestinal worms. These worms have a zoonotic potential (risk to humans). Two of these worms can penetrate human skin, and kids seem to be more prone to exposure due to their tendencies to run around barefoot. There have been documented cases where the worms have penetrated the skin from the feet and migrated to the eyes and brain, resulting in serious illness. The intestinal worms are not life threatening to dogs. However, we do not want to run the risk of human exposure, especially if there are kids in the household.

Q. Why does my dog need a heartworm test?

We require an annual heartworm test to make sure your dog has not been previously exposed to an infected mosquito. If your dog is on year round prevention, we still perform the test every year to ensure that the drug is working properly.

Q. If vaccines are good for 3 years, why do I need to bring my pets in annually?

The most important part of any preventive care plan for your pet is the annual physical examination. On average, dogs and cats age 6 to 7 years for every 1 human year. The annual exam allows us to examine all body systems, evaluate dental health, and determine the proper weight for your pet. We cannot overemphasize the need for annual preventive care examinations in order to prevent or catch diseases early.

Q. Why does my animal have to stay overnight for a neuter or spay surgery?

We prefer to hospitalize pets after a neuter or spay procedure to allow for complete recovery from anesthesia and to examine the incision the next day. We also feel that your pet will remain calmer in the cage overnight and minimize the risk of injury or damage to the surgical incision.

Q. Is it OK to get my pet’s medications online?

We do not recommend Internet pharmacies because they are not regulated by the government. Many of these pharmacies are purchasing illegal drugs from overseas. We also have no way of knowing if the drugs are stored properly. Many pharmacies are also prescribing medications without proper prescriptions from veterinarians.

Some of these pharmacies may be able to charge less for similar prescriptions at a veterinary hospital. However, part of the prescription cost includes client education and drug adjustments when needed. The Internet pharmacies are not capable or legally able to provide this type of service.

Contact Us
A healthy relationship starts here

Gentle Touch Animal Hospital is located in Denver, Colorado, and serves the surrounding area. We are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) which sets the gold standard in veterinary care. We look forward to providing high quality veterinary care in a fear-free environment for your pet.

Gentle Touch Animal Hospital
8941 E. Hampden Avenue
Denver, CO 80231

(303) 691-3720


(303) 759-5659

Our customers value quality care

Thanks for another great year of medical care and help for our babies.
- H.H.

We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Gentle Touch and will recommend you to everyone we know!
- Kerrie H.

We wanted to thank you for the extraordinary care, love and attention Yogi received from all of you.
- Mark & Kathy S.

Your vet practice has left an indelible stamp on us through your loving care for both Calliope and Sadie
- Jean & Jim S.

My heart felt thanks to all of you for the way you cared for my pets this past year. You all are the best!
- John M.

We have been nothing but impressed and amazed with their professionalism and true caring. I trust them with the members of our family
- Deb P.

I cannot adequately express my thanks for your care, concern and love Saturn and I feel from all of you.
- Carol G.

Dr. Tasky and crew you are such a blessing
- Scott S.

You are the best and we are lucky to have you
- Bob & Susan D.

We so appreciate all of the “gentle” care you provide for our animal kids.
- Robin & Tracy T.

Bless you all. You are definitely the best Denver Vets I have had the pleasure of working with.
- Carol B.

Boone was never afraid to come to Gentle Touch because he was given so much love from every single person there.
- The K. Family

Throughout Opus’ surgery and follow up visits, you all gave him great care. More importantly, you helped us through our anxiety in dealing with him
- Kerry and Andy Z.

We thank you for the service you provided us the last few years.
- Allen S.

You all do truly have a ‘gentle touch’ that will not be forgotten. Thanks again for your kindness.
- Cathy and Doug S

I know one of the reasons I was lucky enough to have him so many years is the care you took of him even though he wasn’t the most grateful of patients.
- Robin L.

Your pets are family. Get them the care they deserve.

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