PetCare Veterinary Clinic Rustington

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You and Your Pet

Puppy Care

Congratulations on acquiring your new puppy! We have gathered some information that we hope you will find useful. If you have any specific enquires not covered by these documents, please feel free to telephone the surgery and ask for advice.

Vaccinations

We recommend that these commence with a primary vaccination between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks. This requires a second booster vaccination at 10 weeks of age. Protection is not immediate and newly vaccinated puppies should not be allowed to mix with unvaccinated dogs for at least a further two weeks. Your puppy’s vaccination will provide protection against the following diseases: Distempter (hard pad), Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza (a type of infectious cough), Leptospirosis, and Coronavirus.

Booster vaccinations are required yearly after this initial course. Another vaccine is also available to provide additional protection against the most important infectious cause of the syndrome commonly referred to as “Canine Kennel Cough”. This vaccination is essential if your puppy is being kennelled at any time or they are to be mixing with a large number of dogs. It is given as one dose and will offer protection for one year. Booster vaccinations are required annually to maintain this protection.

Worming

We recommend worming puppies every 4 weeks until 3 months old with Panacur granules or paste given over a 3-day period. This provides the best possible treatment for Roundworms, which every puppy can acquire during the mother’s pregnancy and subsequently once they start suckling. This is important as Roundworms can cause ill thrift, and diarrhoea as well as posing a potential risk to children. The first dose of adult wormer - DRONTAL PLUS- should be given 1 month after the last dose of Panacur, and every 3 months thereafter, for life. This is the safest and most effective all-in-one wormer, for Roundworms and Tapeworms.

Fleas

Due to central heating, fleas are now a year round problem. 95% of fleas affecting your cat come from flea eggs in your house and not from outside as is commonly believed - an effective flea control programme therefore means treating your house as well as your cat. Our Veterinary Surgeons will be happy to recommend the most effective and safest products and advise you of the best combination for your specific problem. Treatment will be as a 4-5 weekly application (depending on the product advised) and is available as spot-on or pump action sprays. For long-term control of fleas in the environment, we recommend R.I.P Fleas household spray.

Neutering

It is a well-recognised fact that neutered pets live longer. Neutered dogs make happier, more settled pets, however neutering does not change your dog’s personality. Neutered pets do sometimes have a slower metabolism but are only prone to weight gain if adjustments to diet are not made. We are always happy to offer nutritional advice.

Male Dogs

Male dogs can be neutered from 6 months old. This is a routine operation, which requires a general anaesthetic and a stay with us for the day. Neutering of male dogs is advisable to prevent roaming, unwanted puppies, hypersexual behaviour and domestic aggression. In addition, uncastrated dogs are prone to testicular and prostate problems in later life.

Bitches

Bitches come into season from 6-18months of age, and there after every 6-12 months. We can neuter (spay) bitches from 6 months old, before their first season. However, once your bitch has had a first season, it is preferable to wait 2-3 months before the neutering operation. Surgery involves a general anaesthetic and hospitalisation with us for the day. Your bitch will need restricted exercise for at least 10 days post operatively, when her stitches are removed. We recommend neutering bitches to prevent mammary cancer and serious womb infections later in life, as well as the nuisance of amorous attentions from male dogs.

Dental Care and Diet

Dental disease affects 85% of dogs over 3 years old, causing pain and infection as well as tooth loss. The situation is worse in dogs fed only on soft foods as this encourages the build up of plaque and tartar. You can help prevent this build up by feeding a good quality food. Our nurses can advise you or suitable diets available. Beware of cheaper dried foods as they often contain high salt levels (a cheap flavour enhancer) and can cause bladder and kidney problems. Home dental care is as important in dogs as it is in us. Ideally, we should clean their teeth daily and it is much easier to start this when they are young. Please ask our nurses for help and advise.

Insurance

For veterinary Fees

Medicines are becoming increasingly expensive and we like to make extensive use of laboratory investigations and referral services when needed. These services can be costly and we strongly recommend insurance cover for veterinary fees. Various levels of cover are available depending on the policy and the company.

Against Loss

A collar and nametag can be used, but they can be lost or removed. The only way to permanently and uniquely identify your new puppy is with a microchip implant. This is inserted by a quick injection under the skin between the shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique number, which is recorded on a central database. All major animal shelters and vets have scanners to read these microchips and all stray dogs are scanned before re-homing. Please ask at reception for further details.