One of the most important things you can do you for your dog to ensure a long and healthy life is to vaccinate them. Puppies are vaccinated against Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis and Parainfluenza and the vaccinations are started from 7-8 weeks of age in puppies and until your pup has its full primary course of vaccinations, it will be at risk from these diseases.
We recommend annual booster vaccinations for adult dogs to maintain immunity and protection against these diseases. Not every dog needs every vaccination, but all pets need some vaccinations. We will perform a full health check of your dog and vaccinate accordingly. This is an ideal opportunity to ask any questions concerning the health and welfare of your companion.
Kennel Cough, also known as Infectious Bronchitis is an increasingly common disease in dogs in our area. The annual booster vaccination does not ordinarily include full protection against Kennel Cough but due to the now common nature of the disease in the dog population, we will usually recommend vaccination against this highly infectious and often distressing disease. This vaccine is included in our Pet Health Club. Dogs going into boarding kennels or attending dog shows will be at even higher risk of contracting Kennel Cough. The intranasal vaccine can be given at the same time as the booster. We also have an oral vaccine which neededto be given at least two weeks before or after the booster vaccination.
Roundworms and tapeworms commonly affect puppies and adult dogs. Roundworms pose a Public Health threat in that they can infect your family; young children in particular are at risk from the migrating larval stages of the roundworm which can in rare circumstances result in blindness. The very nature of dogs to have their nose into everything, as well as the common existence of fleas on most pets makes routine worming an important health consideration for your pet and your family.
Puppies - need treatment from a very early age, usually from 2 weeks old. Often the breeder will have wormed your new puppy from a young age however it is always advisable to ask the breeder when they last wormed the puppy and with what type of wormer. Once you have brought your new pup home we advise worming every 2-4 weeks depending on the treatment used up to 12 weeks of age, and then monthly up to 6 months of age.
Adult dogs - The frequency with which an adult dog should be wormed varies depending on the age of the dog, the frequency with which it contacts other dogs or is walked where other dogs are walked, and the presence of children in the household. Treatment for roundworms commonly comes as either a tablet given orally or a liquid spot-on treatment that can be put onto the skin and which then gets absorbed into the body to kill the worm.
If you are in doubt about how often you should be worming your pet, do speak to the vet, nurse or receptionist so that we can risk assess your household to determine a worming frequency that is appropriate to your circumstances.
Neutering your dog
The vets at this practice believe that neutering (spaying or castrating) your pet not only will reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in the dog population, but also makes for a calmer better behaved dog with less tendency for male dogs to roam in search of a bitch in season, and eliminates the inconvenience that comes with having a bitch come in season every 6 months or so. It markedly reduces the risks of cancers of the mammary glands and reproductive tract of a female dog, as well as eliminating the risk of uterine infection (pyometra). In male dogs castration reduces the risk of prostate disease and testicular tumours.
Spaying involves removal of the uterus and ovaries via an incision on the underside of the abdomen in female dogs from the age of 6 months. Very occasionally a bitch may have a medical or anatomical reason for delaying a spay until after its first season. We perform a health check and physical examination on your bitch before admission for the spay and any problems will be identified at this examination. A spay is a major surgical procedure, but is a common operation that carries very few complications and most bitches will be home the same day.
Castration is performed under a general anaesthetic from the age of 6 months. Prior to admitting your dog for castration we will perform a health check and physical examination, particularly to ensure that your dog's testes have descended. The procedure involves removal of the testes from an incision just in front of the scrotum and carries very few risks and recovery is quick. We may delay the timing of castration depending on the breed. Please speak to the vet at your next visit for more information.
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