Vaccinating your pet
Vaccinating your cat or dog is important as it helps protect them against some very serious diseases. Vaccination with the standard ‘core’ vaccines helps protect against three important diseases in both cats and dogs; we also offer a number of other vaccines which you may want to consider. These include leptospirosis and kennel cough vaccines for dogs and FIV, FeLV and chlamydiophilla vaccines for cats. Our staff can help discuss whether these additional vaccines are necessary for your dog or cat.
At the time of vaccination we also carry out a full health check of your pet to check for any problems or signs of disease. During these health assessments we also discuss any problems or concerns you may have about your pet, and ask questions about your pet that can give important information about its general health status. We regard this part of the visit as just as important as the vaccination itself and we recommend that dogs (especially older dogs) come in for an annual health check every year despite not requiring a yearly re-vaccination.
Flea control is important for your pet as fleas are a major cause of skin disease in both cats and dogs. Fleas are also responsible for transmission of the flea tapeworm and in heavy infestations can cause anaemia. Regular and timely flea treatment is the best way of reducing the flea population in your pets environment (as fleas spend 95% of their life cycle in the environment). In severe infestations treatment of the environment is also a very important part of the control programme. Talk to our staff about the best product and treatment regime for your pets.
Worming your pet
Worming your cat or dog is important because intestinal parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, anaemia, weight loss and general ill thrift. Young animals are most at risk although adults can suffer from significant worm burdens. There are numerous types of intestinal parasites that can infect your pet (eg. roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms). Some of these may also infect humans. Many worm treatment products do not kill all types of worms, so it is important to get professional advice on what is the most effective product for your pet.
De-sexing your cat or dog
Spey – a spey is a sterilization surgery for female animals, and involves the removal of the ovaries and the uterus (an overio-hysterectomy). The procedure requires a general anaesthetic and pre and post operative pain relief is given. Speys are considered routine surgery meaning that in young healthy patients there is an extremely low complication rate.
Dogs and cats can be speyed at any age, although we recommend between 4 – 6 months - before they have their first heat.
Speying your pet will not alter her personality, nor will it make her lethargic or increase her tendency to gain weight. The advantages of speying your pet includes reducing unwanted litters of puppies or kittens and no wandering when on heat. For dogs, early speying greatly reduces the incidence of the bitch developing uterine infections and/or mammary tumours later in life.
Castration – a castration is a sterilization surgery for male animals and consists of removal of both testicles. It requires a general anaesthetic and pre and post operative pain relief is given. Castration is a routine surgery and has an extremely low complication rate in young healthy animals.
Dogs and cats can be castrated at any age, although we recommend between 4 – 6 months.
Castrating your pet will not significantly alter his personality. The advantages of castrating your pet includes reducing the number of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens in the neighbourhood. Castration also reduces marking behaviour, fighting over territory (which in cats can spread some serious diseases), wandering, and in dogs castration reduces the chances of prostate problems and testicular tumours later in life.
Pre-Surgical and Post-Surgical Considerations
No food should be given from 12-18 hours before the surgery.
Your pets activities must be restricted for 7 days at least after the surgery.
Sutures need to be removed 10-14 days post-surgery.
Contact the RSC Vet Clinic for further advice if you notice any problems such as reddening, swelling, stitches missing or discharge from the surgical site or if you have questions regarding your pets health.
The TDC requires all newly registered dogs to be micro chipped. This can be done any time but we usually do this during the final vaccination or when the animal comes in for de-sexing. Micro-chipping of cats provides proof of identification if your pet is injured or stolen.
Feeding your Pet
Puppies and kittens should be fed on a special puppy or kitten food from before weaning until about 6 months of age (or up to 1 year of age for large breed dogs). These feeds have been especially formulated for young growing animals and contain extra calcium and protein needed by your growing pet. When your pet is fully grown, feeding an adult feed is adequate for the remainder of this life. We recommend choosing a quality brand (eg Eukanuba) as these have been especially formulated and extensively tested to ensure that they provide a complete balanced diet for your pet. These premium brands are generally higher in good quality proteins and carbohydrates and therefore less feed needs to be fed and they work out more economical. Dry foods are usually the best and are the most economical.
When changing diets, do so slowly (mix the two foods together for a few days) to prevent gastrointestinal upset. Your pet does not mind eating the same food every day. Feeding a variable diet may just lead to a fussy eater. Pets that used to eat dry food but no longer do may have sore teeth – bring them into the RSC Vet Clinic to get checked out.
It is important to feed cat food to cats as they are unable to make many important proteins and nutrients that they require. These have to be consumed in the diet, and therefore homemade diets or dog food is usually not adequate for cats.
Dogs gnawing on bones receive positive effects for tooth health, but bones that can be crunched up can cause constipation, gastro-intestinal upset or even gastrointestinal puncture. For this reason we do not recommend feeding bones to dogs. If you do feed bones, feed only large cannon (shin) bones that your dog can not splinter bits off and swallow them.