Preventative Care

 

Prevention is the best medicine! We believe that prevention treatments are always better

than curing or treating symptoms and disease when it occurs.

 

Preventative care includes vaccinations and parasite control such as heart worm, intestinal worms,  fleas and ticks.

 

Vaccination

It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect the pet population as a whole. Puppies and kittens are initially protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first few months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary in a young puppy or kitten. Responsible pet care requires them to be given their initial course of vaccinations at 6-8 then 12-14 weeks of age. A booster shot is also essential when the puppy/kitten reaches 16 weeks.

Adult dogs and cats require an annual vaccination there after to maintain immunity against diseases for their life time.

Our yearly dog vaccination covers parvovirus, distemper, canine infectious hepatitis, parainfluenza and bordetella.

The yearly cat vaccination covers feline enteritis, calcivirus and rhinotraceitis.

 

 

Heartworm

Heartworm is a parasite that is spread by mosquitoes, so your pet does not even need to be in contact with other pets to become infected!

As the name suggests, heartworm matures in the heart and can cause a physical blockage as well as thickening of the heart and associated blood vessels.  In the early stages of infection there may be no visible signs, however, infection may eventually lead to signs of heart failure such as lethargy, coughing and failure to exersice. Failure to prevent or treat heartworm can be fatal.

Heartworm is very easy to prevent and should form part of your pet health care routine. We offer different forms of treatment options to best suit your pet. These include tablets, chews, spot-on's and even an annual injection for dogs administered by one of our vets. If your pet has not been on heartworm prevention we strongly recommend a heartworm test prior to starting a prevention program, followed by a repeat test 6 months after commencing.

 

 

Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms are parasites that live inside your pet’s intestines and all have negative and potentially deadly effects. Worming is one of the first health care issues pet owners need to address as pups and kittens are the most susceptible. For effective treatment worming must be done at 2,4,6,8 and 12 weeks of age in puppies, then monthly until six months old. Depending on brand and form of treatment dogs can be treated on a monthly or 3 monthly basis. Similarly, kittens are treated every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then depending on brand and form of treatment every month or every three months for life.

Common intestinal worms in Australian pets are:

  • Roundworm

  • Tapeworm

  • Whipworm

  • Hookworm

Infestation usually occurs when a pet eats worm eggs from faeces, contaminated meat or offal, dead wildlife or even from grass. If your pet has a large number of worms it may find it difficult to maintain body condition and it can lose weight. In some cases it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even anaemia (a low red blood cell level). Occasionally, heavy intestinal worm burdens can be deadly.

 

 

Flea & Tick Control

Fleas are most often seen during the warmer months but as we keep our homes nice and warm throughout winter, we see fleas all year round. Only a small part of the adult flea population actually lives on your pet.

 

The fleas’ eggs and larvae live in the environment and can survive for up to a year, so it is important to not only treat your animal directly for fleas but also decontaminate the environment as well.  Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest cycle and regularly vacuum/clean carpets. We do not recommend flea collars or flea shampoos alone as they fail to address the environmental flea infestation.

 

 

Dogs and cats can often have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis or FAD. Treatment of FAD can be complicated and veterinary consultation is recommended.

 

Some signs that your pet may have fleas include:

  • Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump

  • You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region)

  • It can be difficult to find the fleas, but is relatively easy to check for flea dirt.  Simply moisten a cotton ball, part your pet’s fur and place the cotton ball on the skin over the rump. If the cotton ball takes on black specs surrounded by a reddish area, this may be flea dirt and can indicate that your pet has fleas.

 

Warning: Some non-veterinary brands of flea treatments for dogs are potentially lethal when applied to cats. Always seek veterinary advice about the best flea treatments for your pet.

 

Please call us to discuss an appropriate parasite control program for your pet.