We have compiled a list of the most frequent questions, with answers, that we get asked at the surgery. However even after reading the answer, to any of the questions, if you are still unsure or have any doubts about your pet’s health, don’t hesitate, give us a call. We are also happy to accept non urgent queries via email.
We regularly update our facebook site and produce frequent newsletters, emailed to registered clients, providing specific advice from seasonal threats to emerging diseases and some of the weird and wonderful things we see all the time at our surgery.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I give a simple injection to my dog? (video)
How do I give a simple injection to my cat? (video)
How do I apply spot on solution to my dog's skin? (video)
How do I apply spot on solution to my cat's skin? (video)
How do I administer ear drops to my dog? (video)
How do I administer ear drops to my cat? (video)
How do I brush or clean my dog’s teeth? (video)
How do I brush or clean my cat’s teeth? (video)
How do I apply eye treatment to my dog? (video)
How do I apply eye treatment to my cat? (video)
How do I give my dog a tablet? (video)
How do I give my cat a tablet? (video)
Should I neuter my pet?
Having your pet neutered prevents unwanted pregnancies and a number of diseases including, pyometra (infected womb) and testicular tumours. Having your pet neutered early may also help to reduce the occurrence of mammary cancer and prostate problems.
When should I neuter my pet?
We routinely recommend cats and male dogs are neutered from 6months of age. Cats can be neutered earlier, if requested, especially if owners have one of each sex. We recommend female dogs are neutered after they have had their first season. There are instances where we recommend certain breeds of dogs reach 12months of age before being neutered. Female dogs, when neutered, should be booked in midway between seasons. It is advised that rabbits are neutered from 3 months onwards. For advice on neutering other small mammals please contact our nursing staff.
My pet is coming in for a general anaesthetic and operation what will it entail?
Your pet will be assessed and examined prior to any procedure. In many instances, with your consent, pre-operative bloods will be taken and the results assessed in house before we proceed. In most instances cats and dogs will be separated into our respective cat and dog wards. This allows our cat inpatients to wake up out of sight of the dogs. Animals will be subject to a detailed assessment during the procedure and regular systematic assessments will be conducted during your pet’s recovery. All results from the regular assessments, during and after any procedure, are recorded to ensure the best possible care is given. Pain relief is provided at key times to ensure your pet is free of discomfort during the procedure, its recovery and at home. You may be issued, at discharge, further pain relief to give under instruction at home.
What does neutering entail?
Female dogs have both their ovary and uterus removed via a midline abdominal incision. Female cats have similar surgery but routinely this is conducted via an approach through the left flank. Male dogs have a smaller operating site immediately in front of their scrotum whilst male cats have two small incision sites on the scrotum. In most instances non-dissolvable sutures are placed, none in the male cat, which we recommend having removed after 10days. The incision site, including the shaved area surrounding can be irritable for a period after surgery. Your pet left, unchecked, will often lick at the stitches and surrounding area which may cause problems. We routinely offer, at discharge, an Elizabethan Collar for your pet to wear around their neck to significantly reduce their ability to get to the incision site.
When should I vaccinate my kitten?
It is advised that kittens are vaccinated from 8 weeks onwards, with the second injection given 3 weeks later. In addition to a vaccine for flu and enteritis there is also a recommended vaccine for feline leukaemia especially if you kitten is to go outside.
When should I vaccinate my puppy?
Puppies of any age can be vaccinated, it is advised, however, that puppies are given their first vaccine at 6-8weeks with a second at 10wks of age.
When should my dog or cat have its booster?
A booster vaccination and health check is recommended every 12months – following the initial course.
Do I need to vaccinate against Kennel Cough?
It is advised the vaccine is given to dogs in social contact with other dogs e.g. training classes, dog parks, dog walkers etc. Some kennels request all dogs who board receive the Kennel Cough vaccine in advance.
Should I feed my pet raw pet food?
Feeding raw pet food has gained popularity over recent years. There are a number of concerns with such a diet, including; the risk of bacterial infection (humans and pets); bones; nutritional imbalances in addition to the time and commitment involved. If you are intent on feeding raw food please consider:
1. Sourcing food from a reputable supplier. Many companies now produce pre-packaged raw diets, which reduces the need for handling/preparation
2. Avoid feeding bones in all forms
3. Wash preparation and storage equipment as well as your pets food and water bowls thoroughly. Ideally raw pet food should be stored in a separate fridge/freezer. Cats often lick their paws after eating, which can transfer bacteria onto surfaces they then walk on.
4. Regular worming treatment – monthly dosing against tape and roundworm is recommended for animals fed a raw diet.
5. Take into consideration if there are young children or immunocompromised adults in the household.
Should I vaccinate my rabbit?
There are two vaccines available, both recommended; one for myxomatosis and one for Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. Both diseases can be fatal, spreading between rabbits in the same group and can be contracted from wild rabbits.
Do I need to treat my pet regularly for ticks/fleas?
Yes, fleas are often irritable for pets, causing animals to scratch intensely sometimes leading to skin damage and the need for treatment. A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs in 1 day or up to 1,000 in a month. These eggs can be found in houses; carpets, bedding etc, leading eventually to humans being bitten. It is much easier to regularly treat your pet to prevent fleas than deal with a possible flea infestation, this can occur all too commonly. Yes, ticks are blood-sucking parasites that pierce your pet’s skin with their mouthparts and cement themselves into position to prevent easy removal. Due to the method of attachment and their blood-feeding process, ticks can cause several different problems.
Do I need to worm my pet? if so, how often?
It is advised that an adult dog, or cat, should be treated for worms four times a year. There may be specific instances however where more frequent worming treatment is desirable. These would include: worming of puppies, kittens, pregnant animals, cats that hunt and eat mice in addition to dogs and cats experiencing repeated flea problems. There are a number of worms, including roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms even heart and lungworms. Lungworm has become an increasing cause for concern in recent years and with dogs’ curious nature, in particular eating snails, slugs etc carriers of lungworm, we advise consideration is given to a monthly worming treatment. For more specific advice on the type of worm treatment and timing why not book an appointment with a nurse.
I have a rabbit and have been warned of ’fly strike’. What is it and how can I prevent it?
Fly strike, or blowfly strike, is a serious condition, mainly affecting rabbits, that occurs during summer months. Fly strike is caused by flies: attracted to damp fur, urine, faeces or the odour of rabbit scent glands. These flies then lay their eggs on or around the rabbit’s rear end. These eggs become maggots which in addition to eating rabbit flesh also release toxins. Prevention includes ensuring a clean dry environment; regular cleaning of hutches and checking your rabbit’s rear end, along with topical preventative products.
I’ve been warned of my dog suffering possible future arthritis, what does this mean? and what should I do?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative joint disease that affects the soft tissues and the bones of a joint, causing pain and decreased flexibility. Joint problems are aggravated by excess weight. If a joint is not working efficiently, carrying excess weight causes both additional pain and increased damage to the joint. Therefore, it is important that your dog maintains his or her ideal weight. Feeding your dog smaller portions of less-fattening food and cutting out ‘extras’ is the best way to control dietary intake and bodyweight. If arthritis is diagnosed by your veterinary surgeon treatment, in addition to weight control, can include a revised exercise programme, regular gentle exercise, pain relief and hydrotherapy. Joint supplements are also recommended, they are considered to slow down the progression of arthritis.
What pet should I get?
Choosing a new pet can be difficult. There are lots of things to consider:
• Existing pets
• Costs involved
• Work patterns
• Young children
It’s very important to research into the best species to suit your lifestyle; there are lots to choose from!
• Rabbit or Guinea Pig
• Hamster, Gerbil, Chinchilla
• Tortoise, Bearded Dragon, Gecko
There are plenty of useful resources available to help you make an informed decision:
The PDSA PetWise Scheme has a handy questionnaire to guide you on which species to take on:
The RSPCA and Animal Welfare Foundation both have a range of guides on how to look after and care for different pets, as they all have very different needs!
Whatever pet you choose, always ensure you can provide the 5 most basic health and welfare needs:
1. Food and Water
4. Veterinary Care
5. Love and Understanding
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