I have just got a new pup, when do I need to bring him/her to see the vet?

Puppies can be vaccinated as early as 6 weeks.  Your puppy may have already been given this vaccination by the breeder or a vet at an early litter health check. If so, the next vaccination will usually be due at 8-10 weeks.  We do however advise that your new pup is checked over by a vet as soon as is feasible for you to bring him/her in to us, despite his/her vaccination history.  By doing this, we can get your new puppy registered with us, chat to you about his/her current vaccination status and schedule any further vaccinations that may be required, ensure flea and worm treatment are up to date, check puppy’s weight and overall health and schedule your puppy’s Free Developmental Check-up with us.  It is really important to socialise young puppies and trips to the vet are all part of this learning process.

Is it worth insuring my pet?

Absolutely.  Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses happen when we least expect it. It is an extremely worrying time if your pet is seriously ill without having the additional financial worry about the cost of running a series of tests or surgery costs should your pet require an operation.

How often should I worm and flea my dog/cat?

Young puppies and kittens are quite prone to worms so frequent worming is very important at this stage.  Puppies and kittens can be wormed from 2 weeks of age and it is advised to give a worm treatment every 2 weeks from this time up to 12 weeks.  From 12 weeks to 6 months, we advise giving a worm treatment monthly.  From 6 months, most dogs and cats can be given a worm treatment every 3 months or 4 times a year. There are scenarios however, whereby it is advisable to give a worm treatment every month to adult cats and dogs.  We may advise this if there are toddlers in the household in close contact with your cats and dogs or if your pet may be at a higher risk of worm infestation (Cats that are very good hunters for example). If you are unsure where your pets stand as regards potential worm burden, call us and we can advise you.

A liquid spot-on treatment, used for treating and preventing fleas and external parasites should be applied monthly to the skin at the back of the neck to both cats and dogs.  It often comes as a surprise that fleas spend 95% of their lifecycle in the environment and can infest soft furnishings in the home so it really is advisable to treat regularly to prevent this.

What is the benefit of microchipping?

Microchipping became compulsory for all dogs in Ireland since March 2016 so it is now obligatory that you have your dog microchipped.

That aside, microchipping is hugely beneficial should your pet go missing.  If this was to happen and he/she was picked up by somebody or the County Council Dog Warden, the chip that was implanted can be scanned by a microchip reader and it can then be determined who the owner of the dog or cat is, where they are from and what their contact number is.  This means that you can be reunited with your pet as soon as possible.

At what age should my dog or cat be neutered?

We recommend neutering your dog or cat from around five and a half to six months of age.  It has been determined that the earlier a bitch is neutered, the more protective it is against the development of mammary tumours down the line.  It is not necessary for a bitch to have a first heat or have a litter before getting her neutered.

Are there any disadvantages of neutering?

Neutering can predispose a cat or dog to weight gain.  That said, with dietary monitoring, this can be avoided and this disadvantage certainly doesn’t outweigh the benefits of neutering.  Neutering is a surgical procedure, requiring anaesthesia and an anaesthetic does carry a small risk for all patients.  It is however rare to encounter any problems.  The advantages of neutering certainly outweigh the disadvantages.

My dogs teeth look very very dirty, how can I clean them?

Overtime, plaque and tartar forms a cement like material which is strongly adhered to the enamel surface of the teeth.  When this forms, it is very difficult to remove by using chews or toothpaste and this build up generally requires ultrasonic descaling.

Dentastix, marrowbones and toothpastes can help if the plaque and tartar hasn’t formed a cement-like material and is more like a yellow sticky deposit that can be scraped away with your nail.

If your dogs teeth are not a set of sparkling whites, we would recommend a visit to us to determine whether he or she requires a dental.  A dental is a day procedure requiring sedation.  The teeth can be fully examined under sedation.  Any areas of decay can be fully assessed and teeth extracted if required.  Any plaque and tartar build up can be removed by ultrasonic descaling and the surface of the tooth will be polished to deter further build up.  Poor dental and oral health can have an impact on your pets overall health.

What does my dog drag his bottom on the ground?

There are two common causes for a dog behaving like this, worms or an anal gland problem.

If your dog has received a good quality de-worming treatment, worms are probably not the problem.  The problem is then more likely due to an anal gland problem.  The anal glands are located around the anus at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions.  These glands produce a smelly liquid that acts as a scent marker in your pet’s faeces.  These glands can become blocked and may become uncomfortable for your pet.   If your do notice your dog dragging their bottom on the ground, stopping and starting while defecating or licking and biting at his anal area, do bring him in to be checked.  We will express their anal glands to relieve this comfort and ensure that your pet does not have an infection.

My cat/dog keeps shaking their head, why is this?

Dogs or cats may shake their head if they have some ear discomfort.  This may be due to the presence of parasites within the ear or an infection.

To examine your pet’s ears at the clinic, we will use an instrument called an otoscope.  This will allow us to visualise the outer ear canals and determine the cause for discomfort.  Ear drops or a course of antibiotics or anti-inflammatory treatment may be prescribed.

Untreated ear issues can become long term problems and may cause irreversible damage to your pet’s ears so we would encourage that you get your pet checked over with us if you have any concerns about their ears.

Can I bring my pet on holiday?

Yes, pets can travel with their owners to the E.U. if they hold a valid pet passport, microchip and up to date rabies vaccination.  The rabies vaccination must be given a minimum of 21 days before you intend to travel.

It is essential to ensure that all required criteria are met before you travel and it is a good idea to speak with your travel company and the embassy of the country or countries you intend to travel to.

For further information on pet travel  www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets/

Call the Veterinary Hospital

053-9142891

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