Identifying your pet so that you can be reunited if it should get lost is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Many pets go missing every year, sadly some are never found. However, if you give your pet some form of identification, a microchip or an identity collar, the chances of you being reunited are much greater.
Microchip implantation is a very common procedure. A small device about the size of a large grain of rice is implanted under the skin of the neck. This has a unique code detected by a scanner. The puppy's details and your contact information are stored on a central computer for life. For pets undergoing the Pet Passport scheme, it is a prerequisite to have had a microchip implanted.
IMPORTANT: Always remember to inform the microchip database about a change of address or a new owner.
Neutering is a routinely performed operation, which stops dogs and cats producing off spring by surgically removing their reproductive organs under general anaesthetic.
There are many myths associated with neutering. One is that a female pet should have one litter before spaying, but in fact it is better to have a pet neutered before this. Another myth is that neutered pets gain weight after the operation. A pet generally gains weight because it consumes more calories than it expends. Neutered dogs actually need about a fifth less food than those that have not been neutered, so making sure that a pet gets the right amount of food and exercise will keep it in shape.
Neutering female animals - Spays:
- Stops them having puppies and kittens helping to reduce the number of unwanted and stray animals. Neutered queens and bitches will not come into season and will not be attractive to male animals.
- Eliminates problems associated with pregnancy and diseases of the womb or ovaries. All these disease are potentially serious, but the main life-threatening one is called pyometra. In this condition, infection accumulates in the womb and usually needs urgent surgery.
- Decreased incidence of mammary (breast) tumours and problems associated with false pregnancies.
Neutering male animals - Castrations:
- Prevents unwanted puppies and kittens.
- Reduces hormone-induced rovings, sexual urges and aggression.
- Castrated dogs generally tend to get on better with other dogs.
- Prevents testicular cancer and other diseases, such as prostate problems, are greatly reduced.
- Neutering of ferrets and rabbits is also recommended.
Should be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age.
The primary vaccination course consists of 2 injections given 2 weeks apart. The puppy is not safe to socialise or be taken for walks in public places until 1 week after the second vaccine. This is then followed up with annual booster vaccinations and we will post out reminders of these to your home.
We routinely vaccinate against 5 diseases, several of which are often fatal.
- Distemper: Although less common now due to vaccination, this is still a serious disease of puppies. It causes gastroenteritis and respiratory signs.
- Parvovirus: Causes devastating gastroenteritis in puppies with a very unpleasant bloody diarrhoea and severe discomfort. The great majority of affected puppies will die. The virus is very unpleasant and may last for up to six months in the environment.
- Hepatitis: A viral liver disease causing vomiting and diarrhoea with a painful belly due to inflammation of the liver (hepatitis).
- Leptospirosis: A bacterial disease damaging the liver and kidneys. The infection is often caught from rats urine (eg in contaminated ditch water). The disease is a zoonosis meaning that it can be passed to people.
- Parainfluenza: A virus causing respiratory disease. This is an important part of the kennel cough syndrome.
Additional vaccines given on a separate occasion include:
- Kennel cough: Highly infectious to other dogs and causes a nasty hacking cough. Many kennels now insist boarding dogs to have this vaccination in advance of their stay.
- Rabies: This vaccination is normally only used in animals on the Pet Passport scheme or being exported as Britain is currently rabies free.
Should be vaccinated from 9 weeks of age.
The primary vaccination course consists of 2 injections given 3 weeks apart. This is then followed up with annual booster vaccinations and reminders of these will be posted to your home.
We routinely vaccinate against 5 diseases:
- Feline Panleukopaenia virus
- Feline Calicivirus
- Feline Rhinotracheitis virus
- Leukaemia virus
Obesity is now as common in dogs and cats as it is in people. An estimated 60% in the UK are overweight and whilst this is occasionally related to a medical disorder, it is usually due to overfeeding.
Obesity increases the risk of:
- Heart Disease
- Breathing Problems
- Aggravation existing problems such as arthritis and urinary disease
Overfeeding and under exercising are the two most common reasons for overweight animals. If you think your pet may be overweight then please feel free to contact the surgery for an obesity consult.
Worms are intestinal parasites. There are many different types of worms that can affect dogs and cats. The most common are round worms and tapeworms. Roundworms can be passed out in the faeces or they can be vomited up. They look like spaghetti and in heavy infections they can cause a poor coat and regular bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting. In young dogs roundworms can also cause fatal blockage of the intestines.
There is a type of roundworm that can pose a danger to humans. If a person eats a roundworm egg, it can develop internally and migrate as larva through the body. Children are most at risk and the larva can cause blindness.
Tapeworms can cause animals to have an irritated bottom and tapeworm segments can be seen moving around the tail area as small, white objects that look like grains of rice. They may not produce any symptoms, but heavy infections can cause anaemia, indigestion and constipation.
It is therefore very important to worm cats and dogs regularly
It is never too soon to start a flea control programme and fleas are far easier to prevent than eliminate. These days fleas are an all year problem as they appreciate centrally heated houses.
Fleas can cause your pet many problems such as:
- Intense itching and scratching resulting in hair loss
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis
We have a choice of safe, easy to use and effective products. Some will even treat worms, ticks, lice and mites as well.
Diet and Nutrition
Nutrition is an important part of puppy and kitten health care. A correct diet will ensure a good rate of growth, a strong skeleton and teeth and an effective immune system. A good start in life will pay dividends later in your pet's life. At our practice we offer over-the-counter and prescription food from one of the leading dog and cat food companies- Royal Canin.
Five top tips:
- A balanced diet with a constant provision of fresh water is essential for good health.
- Avoid sugary treats- not only are these calorific, they cause problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
- Correct nutrition helps a pet in many ways and an animal maintained at its optimum weight will have less strain on its joints alleviating any arthritis.
- Diet should be appropriate for a pet's stage of life- older pets may need fewer calories than they did when they were younger and perhaps more active.
- Choose a diet and a feeding habit that are appropriate for your breed of animal.
Veterinary medicine has advanced at an almost unbelievable rate in recent years and within our practice we can conduct:
- Laboratory work
- Ultrasound investigations
- A range of dental procedures
- A very wide and specialised range of surgical procedures.
Pets now have a greatly increased lifespan and enjoy better health during their lives as the result of many preventative veterinary services. Such services are expensive to provide and this will inevitably be reflected in veterinary bills for unusual or complicated cases. We believe that the cost of veterinary treatment reflects very good value for money but it may well place a strain on the pocket especially when the unexpected happens (e.g. Road traffic accident).
Early socialisation involves teaching your puppy to relate properly to other dogs, humans, other pets and situations at a very young age. There is a golden period for puppies to learn about interacting with other dogs and people and to learn to cope with unusual and possible stressful experiences. This period extends up until 16 weeks of age for puppies.
Without systematic early socialisation your puppy may grow up to be fearful of strangers (whether human or animal) and can even become dangerously aggressive. This is why socialisation classes are so important and we strongly advise participation in puppy classes. They are a means of ensuring your puppy gets the best possible start in life. You can contact the clinic to book into the next available class.