Information Pages

Vaccinations

For puppies, we recommend vaccinating against Parvovirus, Distemper and Hepatitis at 6-8,10-12 and 16 weeks of age, which is the protocol recommended by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. If the dog will be risk from canine cough this is also done at the second vaccination. We use  Nobivac high titre vaccinations which means only protection should be stronger and longer lasting. After their puppy injections, dogs are given a booster 1 year after their final puppy vaccination after which boosters are only necessary every 3 years. We recommend an annual health check and physical between boosters, much as you would have yourself. If the dog has kennel cough vaccinations, these still require boosint annually as the protection given by the vaccination is not as strong as for parvo, distemper and hepatitis.

Kittens are vaccinated against  calicivirus and rhinovirus ( the “cat flu” viruses) and feline enteritis at 6-8, 12-14 and 16-18 weeks of age. Other diseases such as Feline Leukaemia and Feline AIDs virus can also be vaccinated against, if the kitten will be at risk later on. Annual booster vaccinations are recommended but if the cat is at low risk, such as being indoor only, less frequent boosters may be appropriate- our vets will help to advise you in these cases.

Because these diseases are contagious, never take your puppy or kitten out of the house or yard until they are fully protected.
Horses are vaccinated against Tetanus and Strangles. A combined vaccination is given from 12 weeks old, then a strangles vacc 2 weeks later and  another combined Tetanus –Strangles 2 weeks after that. Horses at risk from Strangles need annual boosters and Tetanus is boosted every 3 years. We can also vaccinate at risk horses against Equine Herpes Virus, which causes a respiratory infection in all horses and abortion in pregnant mares. Vaccination protocols vary between individual horses, so it is best to get some veterinary advice for this vaccination.

Desexing

We recommend desexing for all pets which are not going to be used for breeding purposes. This is a surgical procedure, but pets only stay in hospital for the day. It is a complete ovariohysterectomy in females, with both the ovaries and uterus being removed, and in males is castration with removal of the testicles. The procedure can be done from 6 months of age, and animals generally recover much more quickly than humans!

Besides removing the ability to produce or have babies, desexing has some other benefits.
If desexed early, there is a much lower chance of mammary cancer in females, they will not come into season so will not wander as much or attract males. Older female cats and dogs can also suffer from a life threatening condition called pyometra, where the uterus fills with pus, which can not occur if they are desexed. Desexed males tend not to wander as much, and cannot get testicular cancer if desexed. Some behavioural problems can be lessened , such as intermale aggression. Male cats will not wander or fight as much, so tend to live longer as they are less likely to get run over or contract feline AIDS. Female cats will no longer call or attract toms, which is great for neighbourhood peace!

Microchipping

We recommend microchipping your pets. It is the only way to permanently identify a pet and involves implanting a tiny electronic chip under the skin. It can be done awake or whilst under an anaesthetic but doesn’t hurt much at all. Rangers, animal shelters and vets all have scanners to read the chips and many pets are reunited with their owners in this way.

Anaesthetics

All anaesthetics performed in our hospital use the safest possible agents both to reduce risk associated with anaesthesia and to ensure the fastest, smoothest recovery afterwards. We encourage the use of pain relieving drugs intra- and postoperatively to make pets more comfortable and help recovery and also pre operative blood screening tests, especially in older pets, to detect abnormalities which may make the anaesthetic more of a risk.

Flea Treatments (Cats)

Never treat cats with dog flea products, they are extremely toxic to cats. If this does accidentally happen, wash the cat all over with  warm water as soon as possible. If signs such as shaking and salivating occur, seek medical attention.

Rat Poison

Rat poison ingestion will not cause any immediate illness. It takes 2-3 days to stop the blood’s clotting ability, and they then begin bleeding internally, which will cause death if left untreated. If you see them eating the bait, inducing vomiting can sometimes remove the poison before it is absorbed. Otherwise, a blood test after 2 days will show if the blood is clotting or not and treatment can be begun. The length of time they need treatment varies with the brand of bait, so it is important to know this for the vet’s information.

Snail Pellets

There are no “pet safe” snail pellets! NEVER use them if you have pets. They cause shaking, fitting, salivation and diarrhea, among other signs, and can easily kill a dog or cat. If your pet is affected, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Snake bites

Snakes bites are quite common in our region from spring to autumn, mainly from Dugites (brown snakes) and Tigersnakes. Animals show a range of signs after being bitten, mainly signs of weakness and collapse, but dogs especially will die very quickly if not treated . If you see your pet get bitten or suspect they may have, immediate veterinary treatment is necessary. If the snake is dead it can be brought too, but do not try to kill it as many human bites have occurred in this way.

Mating (Dogs)

When dogs mate they can get “stuck together” or “tie” for about 20 minutes. This is normal and severe damage to both can occur if they are pulled apart. Conversely, dogs do not need to tie to fall pregnant.

Common toxic/ poisonous risks to pets

– onions ( cause an anaemia due to red blood cell destruction)
– lilies  in cats ( eating any part of the plant causes irreversible kidney failure)
– chocolate (especially dark and cooking chocolate)
– rat poison (causes uncontrolled bleeding)
– snail pellets
– mouldy food
– insecticides, in particular, dog flea products should never be used on cats.
– antifreeze/radiator coolant
– petroleum products
– household cleaning products
– 1080 (“fox”) baits ( never allow your dog to eat ANYTHING in national parks or farmland)
– blowfish