The practice offers a free puppy check for everyone who finds themselves with a new little furry friend. This is a good time to get advice on how to feed and look after your new pet. The most important things to know about are vaccinations, feeding, insurance, identichipping and worming
We routinely vaccinate against 5 infectious diseases. Canine Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis. Puppies should receive their first vaccination as soon as possible after 6-7 weeks then the 2nd at 10 weeks (at least 2 weeks later). Annual boosters are then required. This vaccination schedule should keep your dog fully protected and most kennels insist upon full protection before any dog is admitted.
A pet in poor health will not respond reliably to vaccination so we make sure that every dog is given a full clinical examination as part of their vaccination appointment. All diseases are best picked up as early as possible so the yearly health check is just as important as the actual vaccination injection.
The consultations are an ideal chance to discuss and problems regarding not just the health but also diet, behaviour and training.
This virus causes a rapidly fatal disease. The symptoms are terrible diarrhoea, vomiting and marked dehydration. Puppies in particular can die within a few days after infection due to the rapid fluid loss.
Thanks to vaccination it is now a disease that we do not see often but it has been found in several dogs locally this year. As such, we are currently recommending a course of vaccinations that include a 3rd vaccination solely against Parvovirus at 16 weeks of age.
There are 2 types of adenovirus, one contributes to kennel cough and the other causes canine viral hepatitis. The latter form attacks the liver producing diarrhoea vomiting, a painful belly and often death. The vaccination protects well against both types of adenovirus.
This is another virus which forms part of kennel cough. Viral infection can cause anything from a mild to a deep hacking cough which sometimes persists for weeks. Occasionally infection can also lead to pneumonia.
This is a disease carried commonly by rats and found in river water. It causes Weil's disease in humans and can be passed from dogs to us. In dogs is normally presents as severe acute kidney failure or sometimes as a severe anaemia. The symptoms are collapse, fever, vomiting jaundice and diarrhoea.
This viral infection is caused by a herpesvirus. It is one of the agents causing kennel cough and it can also cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting also often with pus-like discharges from the eyes and nose. Brain damage and fitting can also occur and the disease is often fatal. Vaccination has fortunately made this disease quite rare now.
Kennel Cough (Bordetella Bronchiseptica)
As you can see from the diseases above, kennel cough is caused by a variety of organisms. In the routine vaccine, protection is given against parainfluenza, canine distemper and the adenovirus. There is however also a bacteria which is commonly implicated and this is Bordetella Bronchiseptica. A vaccination is available for this bacterium and it can be given up to a week before taking your dog into a high risk environment such as kennels. The immunity only lasts 6 months so the vaccine is best given just before your dog will be at risk.
Rabies is not present in the UK at the moment and there is no need for the routine vaccination of cats and dogs. For those who which to take their pet to any of those countries participating in the Pet Travel Scheme, rabies vaccination is mandatory.
We recommend that all puppies are wormed every month until they are 6 months old. This very important because puppies are sometimes born with a large number of worm larvae. These can cause serious problems as they mature into adult worms. Dogs from the age of 6 months should then be wormed every 3 months throughout their life. Not only is it beneficial to the dog to have no worms, but it is also the duty of every responsible dog owner to reduce the risk to human health from the worm larvae. It is advisable to use Drontal Plus worm tablets which you can purchase from the Clinic.
Puppies should be fed a proprietary puppy food from weaning to the age of 6 months. After this a dog should receive an adult dog food. There are special dietary considerations for older or overweight dogs and large breed puppies. Please contact the surgery for more information if needed.
We recommend that all dogs are microchipped. This involves a tiny electronic chip being placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. The chip is read by a special scanner and it means that your pet is permanently identified. If your dog escapes from the garden and is brought to us or any of the other rescue charities then he/she can quickly be returned to you.
We would recommend that every dog is insured if possible. Due to the recent advances in veterinary medicine we have more and more specialised equipment and treatments available for ill pets. This is great for your pet because we have more ways of keeping her/him healthy for longer. Unfortunately this modern veterinary medicine comes at a cost and if an animal becomes ill many people struggle to afford the best treatment. If your dog is insured then you have peace of mind knowing that you can pay for the very best of treatment when it is needed. Please contact the surgery for more information.
If you would like to have a budgeted plan for the yearly care of your dog then visit our Pet Health Club page.