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Pet Advice

Find out here all you need to know about preventative health care for your pet

  • Dentistry
  • Flea Control
  • Neutering
  • Vaccinations
  • Worming

Dentistry

Dental hygiene is paramount to your pets’ overall health. Ideally, we should be looking after our pets’ teeth from a young age, this includes brushing their teeth regularly with specialist toothpaste. We understand that this isn’t always possible and your pet may have to come in to have some dental work done.

Animals are very good at not showing that they are in pain or discomfort, sometimes the signs are very subtle. Below are some signs and symptoms to tell if your pet is suffering from dental problems:

  • Avoiding eating or difficulty eating such as chewing on one side of the mouth
  • Red gums, brown-yellow scales on the teeth, pus pockets on the gums
  • Your pet pawing at their mouth
  • Blood in your pet’s saliva
  • Subdued behaviour such as a reduction in grooming

If your pet is demonstrating one or more of the symptoms above you should bring them to see us as soon as possible. The quicker a tooth or gum infection is diagnosed, the more likely effective treatment is.

Flea Control

Flea control is essential in animals that have access to the outdoors or are in contact with other animals.

Traditionally, flea allergies were confined to the warmer months of the year but with more and more animals having access to indoors, we are diagnosing flea problems all year round.

Up to 90% of flea infestations will be in your home.

Fleas are treated with spot on products and oral tablets. These products are unique, in that they not only treat the animal, but also the environment as they stop the lifecycle.

We also sell products that kill a variety of different parasites, so ask our vets and nurses which product will best suit your animal.

Take care with some commercial flea products, as they do not actually kill the fleas, and can cause severe side effects to your pet. Often the commercial products do NOT stop the flea lifecycle.

Rabbits can also be infested with fleas and mites, so speak to us regarding spot-on preparations to treat these conditions.

Neutering

We strongly recommend neutering all your pets not intended for breeding, as this can prevent or reduce the risk of a number of potentially serious diseases.

Canine Neutering 

Unless you are planning to breed from your pet we advise that you have your animal neutered.

Male dogs can be neutered from five months of age, however, we do recommend if you own a large or giant breed that this is done at a later stage.  Please call to discuss this further with a veterinary surgeon.

This is a surgical procedure that requires an anaesthetic. The testicles are completely removed and sutures are inserted to close the skin. These sutures require removal in ten days time.

The advantages of neutering are both medical and social.

Medical

  • Reduces risk of testicular cancer
  • Reduces risk of prostate disease
  • Reduces risk of anal tumours

Social

  • Less unwanted sexual behaviour
  • Reduces risk of roaming
  • Reduces aggression

Female dogs can be neutered from six months of age providing they have not yet had a season. If your dog has a season prior to six months old, we have to wait 14-16 weeks after her season before we can have her neutered, if this happens we advise extra care to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

This surgery is done under general anaesthetic and involves the removal of both the ovaries and the uterus. This ensures that she will no longer be able to have pups and stops her coming into season via removal of her hormonal control.

Many myths are told about allowing females to have pups prior to being neutered, but none of these stories have been scientifically proven. What we do know, is that neutering the bitch before she has had seasons greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors in later life.

Neutering also removes:

  • the risk of developing womb infections such as pyometra ‚Äč
  • the need to keep your dog confined for two or three weeks every time she comes into season

Please contact the surgery if you require any more information, we also offer free nurse clinics to discuss any concerns you may have. We are currently working in conjunction with the Dogs Trust and are offering reduced price neutering to people on certain benefits.

Feline Neutering

Unless you are planning to breed from your pet, we advise that your cat is neutered.

Male cats can be neutered from 5 months of age

Neutering your male cat will reduce the risks of

  • Straying and wandering
  • Blood borne infectious diseases that can be fatal
  • Cat bite abscesses
  • Spraying or urine marking of his territory, namely your house

Male cat neutering is a simple day procedure that involves the removal of the testicles.  After a few days rest, male cats can normally return to normal activity, there are no sutures to be removed.

Female cats can be neutered from 6 months of age, they are neutered via a flank or midline incision.

The benefits of neutering are mainly to reduce the burden of unwanted pregnancy. The sutures used are dissolvable and generally do not need removal, although on occasion, they may need to be removed as advised by the vet.

All animals are discharged from the hospital by a nurse, who will advise you on post operative care.

We currently are working in co-operation with the Cats Protection League and are offering reduced neutering costs to some members of the public who receive certain benefits.

Rabbit Neutering

Male rabbits can be neutered from 5 months of age, the operation is a day procedure, though we do like to ensure that your rabbit is eating before he/she is sent home.  However, on occasion, your rabbit may have to stay overnight for extra nursing care.

Female rabbits can be neutered from 6 months of age, this procedure involves the removal of the ovaries and the uterus (Ovariohysterectomy).

The benefits of neutering are:

  • Calmer more relaxed pets
  • Less aggressive, especially if you have multiple animals
  • Less risk of certain types of cancers - female rabbits are high risk from uterine cancer later in life
  • Less antisocial behaviour

Please be aware that rabbits can become sexually mature from 4 months of age and care should be taken if you have multiple animals and you are unaware of their sex.

Vaccinations

Canine Vaccinations 

Vaccinating your puppy and adult dog is one of the most important preventative health care measures that you can take. Vaccinations can be given from six weeks of age and we vaccinate against five major diseases.

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Influenza
  • Lepto
  • Parvo-virus

Most of the diseases will be fatal if left untreated BUT vaccination can provide near 100% immunity.

Puppies require two injections spaced two weeks apart and adults still require yearly vaccinations. We recommend that your pup remains confined in your own environment until two weeks after his/her second vaccination to allow the immunity to develop.

As your pet gets older, it is still important to continue vaccination as the dog’s natural immunity declines with age.

Vaccination Amnesty now on! Get your dogs’ restart vaccines for the price of a booster!

Check out our Flying Start Package!

Canine Cough Vaccination (Kennel Cough)

Although this vaccine is commonly required to allow dogs access to kennels, the infection can be picked up in various places such as parks, gardens, walks, day cares, activity parks and even the veterinary practice itself, so it is important to protect your pet against it.

Canine cough causes a chronic, irritable cough in the dog that can persist for 10-14 days.

This vaccine is unique, in that, it is given intranasally, up the dog’s nose.

The vaccine provides immunity for a year and allows your dog to enter kennels and compete at certain dog shows.

Feline Vaccinations 

Our cat vaccines provide protection against:

  • Feline leukaemia
  • Feline parvo-virus
  • Feline influenza

The vaccine is given to kittens at nine weeks of age, with a second vaccination three weeks later.

Routine yearly vaccination of adults is required to provide adequate protection.

As with all vaccines, if the vaccine has lapsed, the course will need to be re-started at extra expense over the booster vaccination.

Check out our Flying Start Package!

Rabbit Vaccinations 

Rabbits are becoming increasingly popular as domestic pets and are getting close to overtaking dogs as the most popular pet in the UK.

Rabbits also need to be vaccinated and there are two main diseases that we can vaccinate rabbits against.  We start rabbit vaccinations from 5 weeks of age.

We use a combined vaccine which protects against:

  • Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)

VHD is a highly infectious and lethal disease killing up to 75% of rabbits affected. The virus causes internal bleeding and death and can attack rapidly.

Fortunately this vaccine prevents the disease, the vaccine should be given to your rabbit from 5 weeks of age and a yearly booster vaccination is needed to maintain immunity.

  • Myxomatosis (Myxo)

Myxo is a disease that is often fatal.  It is spread by blood sucking insects so can be caught by even house rabbits.  It causes swelling around the eyes and face, infections and respiratory problems.

Myxo vaccines can be administered from 5 weeks of age.

Worming

Canine Worming 

We recommend that your puppy is wormed fortnightly from 6 weeks to 12 weeks of age.

After 12 weeks the animal should be wormed monthly until 6 months and then every 3-4 months thereafter.

We currently stock a range of wormers that cover round and tapeworms and come in various formats, tablets, pastes, injections and spot on preparations.

Canine Lungworm 

Although this is still relatively uncommon in Northern Ireland it is, however, potentially very serious and worth protecting your pet against - click here to see what can happen 

Feline Worming 

Sometimes worming your cat can be a nightmare task, especially if the wormer is in tablet form.

We can provide you with a variety of worming preparations to treat both roundworms and tapeworms.

These products can be tablet form, paste form, spot on preparations or injections.

We find that spot on preparations are the easiest way of applying worm control and these products are only available from your veterinary surgeon.

We recommend that your cat is wormed routinely, ideally three to four times per year.

Rabbit Worming 

Rabbits can be prone to worm burdens.  As part of your rabbit's overall health plan, we recommend regular worming at least twice a year.

Rabbits are wormed by administering an oral paste daily for nine consecutive days.

Contact the clinic for further advice.

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