Common Questions and Answers
This is one of the most common questions asked by clients.
The simple answer is that there are still many diseases that can threaten the life of a pet or cause serious illnesses – and can be prevented through vaccination.
Anyone who has seen a puppy suffering from parvo virus or a kitten with cat flu will tell you that 'suffering' is the right word to use.
These horrible diseases are extremely distressing both for the pet and any owner who has to watch them suffer – and they can be killers.
Young animals gain a certain degree of immunity from their mother's milk but this does not last long and we recommend that puppies and kittens should receive their first set of vaccinations from the age of eight to ten weeks.
Fortunately, there is now a wide range of vaccinations to protect against diseases such a flu, enteritis, distemper, kennel cough, parvo virus, rabies and feline leukaemia virus.
The length of time they remain effective varies greatly, but is usually about 12 months.
We send out vaccine reminders to all clients as part of our service and our practice has a policy of heavily discounting all vaccinations because we believe in making preventative medicine as affordable as possible.
Your annual vaccination consultation also includes a full head-to-tail health check up and offers clients the opportunity to chat about any concerns they have with their pet.
Why worm your pet?
Many owners think that it is not necessary to worm healthy animals, but even the healthiest-looking cat or dog can be harbouring these parasites.
Unfortunately, while worms may not cause your pet too many problems, certain varieties, such as roundworms, are transmissible to humans and can lead to serious illnesses.
According to research by the British Medical Association, as many as 10,000 children a year are affected to some degree by the roundworm toxocara, the eggs of which are found in contaminated soil and can be spread by saliva from your pet.
While only small numbers of children develop the most serious side effect, blindness, an infestation can cause anything from chronic headaches and flu-like symptoms to nausea and vomiting.
Despite this, pet surveys have found that only 10% of owners regularly worm their animals.
Most young animals are often born with the parasites already in their bodies so it's important begin worming at an early age. Worming takes only seconds using one of the latest treatments that are simply applied to a pet's skin. It is usual to treat for tapeworm and roundworms – and a new threat in this area, the lungworm.
Lungworms are transmitted from slugs and snails and can cause serious circulatory problems.
Do not rely on supermarket or pet shop worming tablets. To be sure of ridding your pet of worms you need a veterinary-approved product.
Why treat your pet for fleas?
Unless you want your house to become infested with fleas then it is essential to give your cat or dog regular flea treatments.
Fleas have a complicated life cycle and can be difficult to kill so it's vital to tackle the problem with veterinary-approved products that guarantee to rid you of these parasites.
Although animal fleas prefer to feed on your cat or dog they will also bite humans, another good reason to keep on top of the problem.
In its lifetime a single adult female flea can lay up to 2,000 eggs in your pet's coat. These can detach themselves and lodge in carpets, cracks in floorboards, bedding and soft furnishings.
In warmer weather, or when central heating has been in constant use, the flea can complete its life cycle, from egg to adult, in just two or three weeks.
If your pet seems to be scratching a lot, or you've seen small red, itchy marks on your own skin, then you need to take urgent action. Left untreated, not only will the fleas multiply but your pet could develop distressing and difficult-to-treat skin conditions.
An approved veterinary spot-on treatment will kill the fleas and keep working for up to four weeks. Do not be tempted to rely on pet shop and supermarket flea treatments as we find these are not effective.
For severe infestations it may still be necessary to spray furnishings and carpets.
When to call the vet
This practice offers 24-hour care and uses a dedicated on-call service outside normal surgery hour for advice or treatment.
You should call us if your pet is experiencing any of the following:
- Any uncontrolled bleeding
- Sudden-onset difficulty breathing – eg. asthmatic-type attacks
- Anything causing severe, unmanageable pain
- Any neurological changes such as loss of ability to walk, as in a stroke
- Any condition causing collapse.