New puppy or kitten?

The arrival of your new pet is an exciting time but there is so much to think about during those first few weeks it can often be a little overwhelming. Here’s how we can help…

Vaccinations

Vaccinating your pet is a key step in protecting your pet against life threatening diseases. The diseases it aims to protect your pet against are still seen and thus still pose a constant danger to any unvaccinated animal. We also offer a travel scheme to keep your pet safe oversees.

DOGS

Puppies get protection initially in life from their mother’s milk and then as they are weaned this protection wanes and thus vaccinations are required to maintain it. Typically we vaccinate puppies at 8 and 10 weeks old (though can be from as young as 7 weeks old) and then annual boosters afterwards. The primary puppy course acts to stimulate the body’s immune system to produce a protective response then the yearly booster afterwards maintains this immunity.
Parvo virus 
We still see this viral infection commonly in puppies and it can often be fatal. The virus attacks the intestines which results in severe diarrhoea and vomiting. This virus is particularly a concern in young puppies
Leptospirosis 

This bacteria is spread in the urine of rats and infected dogs and thus water sources such as rivers/lakes can be a source of infection. It locates in the liver/kidneys of dogs often causing irreversible damage and thus organ failure

Distemper
Viral infection that attacks the gut, lungs and nervous system. Typically proves fatal

Infectious Canine Hepatitis 
A viral infection that attacks liver, kidney, lungs and eyes. Many cases are fatal although occasionally dogs can recover

Parainfluenza 
One component of the very infectious condition of Kennel Cough
Kennel Cough 
The Kennel Cough vaccine is a single intranasal vaccine against the bacteria Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Parainfluenza Virus. Most kennels will request this vaccine as the condition is highly contagious.

CATS

Vaccinating your cat is very important for their health and for the control of infectious disease, not only for your cat but for the cat population as a whole. The greater the proportion of the population that is vaccinated the lower the risk for your cat, even when they themselves are vaccinated. Kittens are typically vaccinated at 9 and 12 weeks of age and then annual boosters afterwards.

Cat Flu
Feline herpes virus and feline calici virus. Cat flu symptoms can range from mild to severe with sneezing, nasal discharge, mouth ulcers, sore eyes and reduced appetite. Cat flu is usually acquired via close contact with affected cats.

Feline Infectious Enteritis 

(Cat parvo virus) this causes usually severe vomiting and diarrhoea, but can cause neurological signs especially in kittens infected before or soon after birth. It can also be rapidly fatal.

​Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)
Infection with FeLV usually results in persistent, lifelong infection. Most cats will develop disease and die within 3 years of being diagnosed with the infection. It is usually transmitted via close contact and mainly via the exchange of saliva –usually prolonged close contact is required for infection to occur.

RABBITS

Rabbit vaccination is available against two fatal diseases –

Myxomatosis 
and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. These are mainly transmitted from wild rabbits although insects can carry both diseases, so even house rabbits are still at risk. We strongly recommend that all pet rabbits be vaccinated on an annual basis with the combined vaccination for Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease.


Yearly booster vaccinations after an initial course is necessary to maintain immunity.

Microchipping

Microchipping has become a routine procedure these days and is often carried out at the time of vaccination, but can be done at any time or age. A tiny chip (approximately the size of a grain of rice) is injected under the skin where it will remain and act as a ‘barcode’ for your pet’s identity. In the unfortunate event of your pet getting lost or stolen, or if they end up in a rescue shelter or a vet practice, they will be scanned with a microchip reader which will enable the organisation to identify you as their owner and reunite you with your pet.

Your pet’s microchip will be registered on a nationwide database allowing them to be reunited with you from anywhere in the country. It will soon become a legal requirement for all dogs to be micro-chipped, but in the meantime it is an invaluable resource for your pet’s safety.

Contact us today to book an appointment for your pet’s microchip!

Neutering

Spaying female cats
The main advantages of spaying your cat include:
• Stops your cat having unwanted pregnancies
• Stops the development of cancer of the ovaries and uterus
• Stops her from coming into ‘season’ frequently
Cats can be spayed from four months of age – prior to spaying your cat should have a health check with the vet to ensure she is healthy and they are happy for the procedure to go ahead. There is no benefit to your cat of having a litter before she is spayed.
Castrating male cats:
The advantages of castration:
• Prevents him from fathering unwanted kittens
• Makes him less likely to fight with other cats and therefore reduces his chance of getting feline AIDs (FIV) which isspread by bites.
• Less likely to spray urine in the house
Cats can be castrated from four months of age – prior to castration your cat should have a health check with the vet to ensure he is healthy and they are happy for the procedure to go ahead.

Spaying female dogs
Advantages of spaying your dog:
• Stops her from having unwanted puppies
• Reduces her chances of developing breast cancer
• Prevents pyometra – a life threatening infection in the uterus.
Your bitch can be spayed three months after her first season, some animals are spayed before their first season but please discuss the advantages and disadvantages of doing this with your vet. Prior to being spayed your dog should undergo a routinehealth check with the vet.
Castrating male dogs:
The advantages of castrating your dog:
• Prevents him wandering off to find females in season
• Prevents testicular cancer
• Reduces the risk of prostate cancer
• In some cases then it can help reduce aggression
• Prevents him from fathering unwanted puppies
Your dog can be castrated anytime from six months of age. Prior to being castrated your dog should undergo a routine health check with the vet.

Spaying female rabbits:
The advantages of spaying your rabbit:
• Prevents uterine and ovarian cancer
• Stops your rabbit having unwanted litters and allows her to live with other rabbits
Female rabbits can be spayed from four months of age. Prior to spaying, your rabbit shouldhave a health check with your vet.
Castrating male rabbits:
• Help to reduce urine spraying and aggression
• Allows your rabbit to live with other rabbits without unwanted pregnancies
Male rabbits can be castrated from around three months of age. Prior to castrating your rabbit should have a health check with your vet.
For more information on neutering please contact the practice.

Puppy & Kitten Classes

Why not book an appointment to make sure your new family member is fit and healthy and we will give you as much help and advice as you need with your new arrival.

At your puppy’s or kitten’s first visit they will receive a full health check and we will discuss with you their individual needs with regard to vaccinations, microchipping, feeding, parasite control and behaviour. They will also receive a free flea and worm treatment. Any other questions you have can also be answered at this time, or please feel free to telephone us before or after your visit with any questions or worries you may have.