ROUTINE HEALTH CARE
The best way of keeping your pets in good health throughout their lives is with routine health checks. We recommend a full health check consultation at least once a year (most commonly done at the time of vaccination). More regular health checks are needed in puppies and kittens. Senior pets ( 10 years old and over), should have a health check every six months as well as an annual blood and urine test, as health problems become quite common at this stage of life, just as they do in humans.
Routine health checks facilitate early diagnosis of any issues. Even the subtlest changes can hint at an underlying disease which, if diagnosed and dealt with early, may have no ongoing impact on your pets health, and often less impact on your wallet.
As a pet owner, regular health checks also give you peace of mind, which is invaluable.
It is important to vaccinate your pet to keep them and the general population healthy. Some of the diseases that your pet is vaccinated against can be fatal like Canine Distemper and Parvovirus.
We start vaccinations at 6-8 weeks (12 weeks in rabbits) and continue vaccinations throughout their life. Booster vaccinations are important to 'top up' your pets immunity so that they can continue to fight the diseases they encounter throughout life.
A full health check of your pet will be performed each time they come in for a vaccination.
In dogs we vaccinate against Canine Distemper Virus, Parvovirus, Canine Infectious Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Bordatella Bronchiseptica (a common cause of Kennel Cough). We also offer vaccination against leptospirosis for those who want it.
In cats we vaccinate against Feline herpes virus and calici virus, both of which can cause "Cat Flu" as well as Panleukopaenia (feline enteritis) also known as cat distemper.
The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is quite common in Sydney as a whole. Like it's cousin, the HIV virus in humans it can cause a disease state in which the immune systems is weakened, sometimes fatally. The most common form of transmission is being bitten by an FIV positive cat. If your cat is not kept 100% indoors you should consider vaccination against FIV. Please speak to us if this is the case.
In rabbits we vaccinate against Rabbit Calicivirus. This virus causes Viral Haemorrhagic Disease which is nearly always fatal and can cause rabbits to die suddenly without warning.
The diet best suited for your pet will depend on many different factors including their age, breed and health status.
It is recommended that if you want to change your pets food, you do this slowly over a week to ten days. If you do this suddenly, it can cause stomach upsets or constant changes in your pets diet may lead to fussy eating habits.
Feeding raw bones is your choice. They can be a good way to clean your pets' teeth but can also break teeth and cause gastrointestinal upsets and blockages. Please contact us for further advice on feeding bones. We would not recommend feeding cooked bones at any time.
Please feel free to contact us for advice on your pet’s specific dietary needs.
Flea and tick prevention
Paralysis ticks are endemic to the East Coast of Australia, especially Sydney's Northern Beaches. Peak season for paralysis ticks is from September to March; however we see cases throughout the year so an effective tick preventative is essential. During the peak season you should also do a daily tick search on your dog or cat, remembering that, although they can be found anywhere on the body, ticks tend to attach to the head, neck and shoulder areas.
Fleas are a year round problem which can easily get out of control. To prevent household infestations you must control fleas on all household pets whilst also controlling fleas in your home and garden. Remember that only 5% of the flea life cycle takes place on your pet. 95% takes place in your pet's environment.
Ways to control flea numbers in your home and garden include keeping your lawn short, restricting access to areas such as underneath the house or under the couch, controlling flea-carrying pests such as mice and rats, vacuuming instead of sweeping, washing animal bedding on a hot 60 degree cycle, and household flea bombs.
We have a selection of products available which can be used as adjuncts if you are having flea problems. Please feel free to contact us for further information.
Rabbits can also harbour fleas, so flea prevention can be needed. Some products are toxic to rabbits so please contact us for advice on products that are available.
It is important to regularly deworm your pet for gastrointestinal worms as they can lead to poor condition and diarrhoea. It is something that needs regular attention as pets will constantly reinfect themselves with gastrointestinal worms.
Some gastrointestinal worms can be transmissible to people especially children and pregnant women, and can potentially lead to devastating health issues. As a general rule we recommend worming with an all wormer every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age then every month until 6 months then every 3 months for life.
There are many products available including tablets and top spot tablets, chews and "top spot" topical skin preparations. Cats can be a challenge to give tablets to, so these top spot products are particularly useful. Please feel free to contact us for advice on what is the most appropriate product for you and your pet.
Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes who inject tiny larvae into the dog while feeding. Heartworm is rare in cats and ferrets. The larvae circulate around the body for six months before lodging in the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries. This results in a persistent cough with irreversible lung damage and ultimately heart failure.
In dogs it is important to instigate some form of heartworm prevention from 12 weeks of age as treatment of clinical heartworm is difficult, expensive and the treatment itself can be life threatening.
There are 2 general preventative options
An injectable prevention (SR12 Proheart) which is given at 12 weeks and 6 months of age, then yearly, most commonly with the annual vaccination.
A monthly prevention, in either tablet or spot on formulation.
It is a personal preference which product you choose but they all need to be continued for life. Serious health issues can arise if you stop-start heartworm prevention. If you have missed a treatment or are a little late for one please contact us to ensure you are not putting your pet at risk.
The amount of grooming your pet will need will depend on the length and type of coat they have. It is an important way to keep your pets coat in good condition. Grooming your pet allows you to check for any cuts, skin issues, and ticks and this can be a good bonding exercise.
Whether done at home or by a professional, starting the grooming process early can become a pleasurable experience for your pet. It is also important to get young pets used to being touched all over - including the feet, ears, eyes, mouth and genital areas.
If you do decide to groom your pet yourself, it is important to only use products such as shampoos that are designed to be used on animals. Never use human products.