Frequently asked

You ask, we answer...

Should I have my dog/cat vaccinated?
Yes, deadly viral infections can be prevented with vaccinations. By law all animals must be vaccinated yearly against Rabies.

Puppies need a series of vaccinations given at 6, 10, 14 and 18 weeks. Vaccination is then repeated annually. The most important diseases in dogs prevented by vaccination are: Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Corona virus and Rabies. Kennel cough can also be prevented by giving a separate vaccination annually.

Cats also need a series of vaccinations when they are young (6, 10, 14 and 18 weeks); this is repeated annually. Viral diseases prevented by these vaccinations are: Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calici virus, Panleukopaenia and Rabies.

When and how often does my dog come on heat?
Unsterilized bitches will come on heat for the first time between 6 and 9 months of age depending on breed.

Larger breeds generally come on heat a little later whereas it occurs a little sooner in smaller breeds.

Thereafter a bitch will come on heat every 9 to 11 months with a cycle lasting approximately 3 weeks. This will occur throughout her life until she is about 10 to 12 years old.

Should I sterilize my dog/cat?
Unless your pet is intended for breeding it is best to have it spayed/castrated.

Benefits of spaying your dog/cat include: decreased incidence of mammary tumours, uterine infections and ovarian cancer. In males the risk of prostatic and testicular cancer can be dramatically reduced by castration. They also tend to be less aggressive (hormonal aggression) towards other male dogs.

At what age should I sterilize my dog/cat?
It is advisable to sterilize a bitch at 6 months of age before she comes on heat.

This dramatically reduces the risk of mammary tumors and uterine infections.

Males can be castrated at the same age, before hormonal aggression towards other dogs sets in.

How often should I de-worm my pets?
Intestinal parasites occur throughout the year. Depending on the type of worm and time of year worm eggs can hatch every 3 weeks.

Once-off deworming is therefore not enough to prevent re-infection. We advise that all pets should be dewormed 3 to 4 times a year.

My dog is scratching; can I get medicine (cortisone) over the counter?
There are many causes of itching in dogs/cats. Ectoparasites (ticks/fleas/lice/mites), allergies (grass, food), and certain mineral deficiencies can all cause your dog/cat to scratch.

We recommend bringing your animal for a consultation with one of our vets as a full clinical examination needs to be performed along with possible diagnostic tests to help determine the cause of the problem. Cortisone is a scheduled drug that can not be sold without consultation.

Tick/flea treatment – how often? What should I use?
We recommend that all pets should be treated once a month with a spot-on formulation available from us over the counter. These products are formulated to kill adult fleas as well as prevent flea eggs from hatching.

They are also highly effective against ticks therefore preventing transmission of the deadly disease Biliary. There are various products available depending on your specific needs. Please ask our trained reception staff for advice on which one to use.

What food should I feed my dog/cat?
There are various pet foods available these days. The general rule is that you get what you pay for. With cheap foods, your pet actually has to eat more to get the same amount of nutrition available from premium foods. Just have a look at the size of your dog’s poops – the bigger the poop the fewer nutrients are absorbed from the food.

The best way to compare foods is to calculate price per day according to amount fed. Dog and cat foods recommended by our practice includes: Eukanuba, Iams, Hills, Royal Canin, Vets Choice and Ultradog. Please ask our trained reception staff or any of our vets for more information about which food will suit your pet’s specific needs.

My dog/cat is overweight – what can I do?
Approximately 40% of dogs/cats that visit vets are overweight. Obesity reduces a pet’s lifespan and increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, arthritis, cancer and several other serious diseases.

The good news is we are here to help you get your pet in great shape. Our weight loss clinic works out a tailor-made program for your pet with 2 weekly weigh-ins, feeding and exercise guidelines and lots of advice.

What happens when my pet is euthanased?
To euthanase is pet is often a very difficult/emotional decision and should be discussed with the vet and all family members. Should you wish to be present during the procedure please let the vet know.

The drug used to euthanase an animal is a very strong anaesthetic. The procedure is painless. An area on one of the forelegs is clipped and a catheter is inserted in the vein to administer the drug. As soon as the injection is given your pet looses consciousness and goes to sleep; the heart will stop and your pet will stop breathing. As the muscles relax your pet may empty its bladder and bowel, there might be gasping and muscle spasms.

We use Envirocin, a dedicated pet cremation company, to cremate your pet. If you would like to receive your pet’s ashes back, let us know at the time of the euthanasia and we will arrange this for you.

Is my pet too old for surgery?
Pets should not be denied surgery on the basis of old age. With medical advances in anaesthetics, support and monitoring we can ensure safer operations for pets of all ages.

Many senior pets require surgery such as tumour removal or dental work. Denying these pets surgery will often lead to the disease worsening causing pain and suffering.

Can I give my dog a bone? What about human food?
NO! Bones have only one function when given to dogs: they stimulate salivation which keeps plaque build-up limited. Unfortunately bones have more detrimental than beneficial effects: teeth can fracture, bones can become stuck anywhere along the gastro-intestinal tract requiring surgery to remove them, or they can cause constipation.

Human diets are generally too high in salt and fat which are detrimental to your pet’s health. The following foods should always be avoided: garlic/onions (causes anaemia), chocolate (effects the nervous system), raisins/grapes (causes kidney failure), macadamia nuts (affects the nervous system) and fatty foods e.g. oxtail (causes pancreatitis).

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