Routine Pet Care
General Health: What you need to know
- Eyes: An examination of your pets eyes can reveal a lot about their health and wellbeing. We look out for reactions of the pupils, range of eye movement, discolouration, and signs of discomfort or weeping caused by issues like entropion. We also can examine the structures in the back of your pets eye such as the retina and optic nerve. Dogs with excessive skin folds, such as basset hounds or St. Bernard’s, can be particularly susceptible to eye issues.
- Skin and coat: Your pet losing hair could be a sign of numerous issues such as an allergy, infection or illness, particularly issues with the endocrine system. They may also be suffering from high stress or anxiety. Parasitic infection can also result in coat changes and hair loss. Your pets skin is its largest organ, therefore its health is vital to your pets good health.
- Lumps: An examination of your pet can reveal any external lumps or bumps which may be harmless or may be indicate a more serious illness. Internal lumps can only be investigated through x-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, or biopsies, all of which we provide at our state-of-the-art facilities. On occasion we may need to refer your pet to a specialist centre for advanced imaging such as CT or MRI
- Teeth and gums: Pets frequently suffer with dental health issues these can include plaque build up, bad breath, tooth loss and gum disease. An accumulation of high levels of bacteria due to advanced dental disease can result in issues with your pets overall health. A pet health check will include investigating your pet’s mouth for common dental issues.
- General mood and appetite: Issues with your pets health can often be identified through a change in your pet’s mood, such as them being lethargic at home, have an increase or reduction in their normal appetite.
- Feet and movement: Throughout their lives pets may develop issues with their joints as a result of aging, genetics or trauma. We frequently see issues with the nails of your pets such as overgrowth, fractures, infections, these can be investigated during can be investigated during a consultation. Pets may also develop a limp, difficulty in walking up or down steps or have started to lick their joints, stiffness or slow to get out of bed all of which may indicate discomfort.
Preventative medical care for your pet
Worming and flea prevention – From birth, your pet will be exposed to both internal and external parasites. Our veterinary staff can advise on the best prevention options your pet. There are many options available and treatment intervals vary depending on your pets needs so please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like some more information.
Neutering – Although not compulsory, neutering your pet can help prevent many conditions affecting the reproductive organs such as mammary cancer, uterine infections, testicular cancer as well as behavioural issues. If you have questions regarding neutering your pet our veterinary staff would be more than happy to help answer them.
Pet dental health – Regular teeth cleaning and oral hygiene care is important for pets, to ensure they don’t develop gum disease and infections which in severe cases can result in wider problems that can affect their internal organs.
Vaccinations – Your new puppy or kitten must stay with their mother until they are 8 weeks of age. Once they join your family we recommend booking an appointment with one of our vets for a new pet consultation where we can advise on vaccination requirements. Find out more below.
Different species get their vaccines at different times and for different illnesses.
The most common vaccinations are against:
- Canine parvovirus
- Canine hepatitis virus
- Canine distemper virus
- Canine Cough (Canine parainfluenza virus and bordetella)
- Feline influenza viruses
- Feline leukaemia virus
For Puppies and Dogs
For puppies, their vaccine comes in the form of an initial vaccine given around 8 weeks of age followed by a 2nd vaccine 3-4 weeks later. Dogs will then require a booster vaccine every 12 months to ensure they are adequately protected. Pets travelling abroad have additional vaccine requirements such as a rabies vaccine.
Although not part of the “core vaccines” we recommend all pets are given a canine cough vaccine annually as it is a common and highly infections condition. Canine cough vaccine is required for kennelling your dog and is strongly advised for doggy day care, grooming, dog training classes or attending a park or area with other dogs present.
Similar to dogs, kittens are given a primary course of vaccines with 2 injections given 3-4 weeks apart. After this an annual vaccine is required to ensure your pet remains protected. A rabies vaccine is required if you intend to travel abroad with your cat.
The vaccination process
After talking to one of our vets, an appointment will be set to bring in your pet to our one of our clinics. The vaccination will take place in our clean and comfortable vet clinics following a clinical examination. The entire process only takes 15 minutes and then they are free to go home again.
Your pet will require an annual booster to keep them protected. If you have any questions or if you are concerned that it has been more than 12 months since your pet has been vaccinated then please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Talking to our team of vets and nurses and bringing your pet in for a consultation we can work out a preventative care plan that will keep your pet fit and healthy.
For more information about our regular health checks, vaccinations and other preventative medicines for your pet, you can call your local Highfield Veterinary Clinic.