Advice for Puppies/Dogs
Primary Vaccination Course
The initial vaccination course for puppies consists of 2 injections given between 2 and 4 weeks apart and also a intra nasal kennel cough vaccination. The course is normally started at 8 to 10 weeks of age. We prefer you to have had your puppy for at least a week before starting vaccinations, to ensure that he or she has a chance to settle in with you and is not incubating any illnesses.
Your puppy is not fully covered by his vaccinations until 7 days after his second injection. Before this time, it is not safe for him/her to mix with other dogs or go where other dogs have been. He/she will be fine in your own garden, provided this is fenced off from stray dogs, and also with other fully vaccinated dogs in your household.
The vaccinations provide protection against distemper, adenovirus (infectious hepatitis), parvovirus and leptospirosis. The Kennel Cough vaccination protects against parainfluenza and bordetella.
After the primary vaccination course has been given, we will issue a certificate containing a record of your puppy's vaccination. Please keep your own record of when the annual booster is due; we try to send out booster reminder cards but inevitably a few do not reach their destination.
Our full puppy vaccination course includes:
- 2 vaccination injections (2-4 weeks apart)
- Full health check by a qualified veterinary surgeon
- 1 months free flea/worm treatment
- 4 weeks free insurance with Petplan
A yearly booster is important for maintaining your pets protection against the diseases mentioned above. The cost of a booster injection covers the cost of the vaccination and a 'nose to tail' health check by a fully qualified Veterinary Surgeon. They will also listen to your pets heart and lungs and examine their abdomen. With older animals any signs of mobility problems e.g. arthritis is also checked. They will discuss their findings with you and explain any action they feel needs to be taken. A yearly booster vaccination also gives you the chance to discuss any concerns you may have about your pets health or behaviour.
We recommend that all dogs have an annual kennel cough vaccination aswell as the normal annual booster. Despite the name, kennel cough can be caught anywhere and not just in a boarding kennels. Your pet is likely to encounter the disease anywhere dogs meet, for example in the park, the street, dog shows, training classes etc. It is a highly infectious respiratory disease which circulates in the dog population all year round. It is a dry, retching, honking cough that affects dogs of all ages lasting from a few days to several weeks. We have a reduced price for kennel cough if you have done at the same time of your normal annual booster. Please contact the surgery for more information.
Flea and worm control
Virtually all puppies are infected with worms at birth, mostly transmitted via the bitches milk. Regular worming is essential. If your puppy/dog has not been wormed since you have had him/her, please contact us for advice. We recommend prescription wormers as these are highly effective and have minimal side effects. If we see your dog regularly (eg. for his/her yearly check-up and booster vaccination) you will not need to see the veterinary surgeon before purchasing prescription wormers.
Effective flea control is also available only on prescription; if we have seen your dog within the last 12 months you do not need to see a veterinary surgeon to purchase this.
We find the most effective and convenient method for flea and worm control is a monthly spot on product which combines the two and also covers ear mites, skin mites and lungworm*. You can only get this from a veterinary surgery. Please contact us for more information about this product.
*Lungworm! Did you know dogs can become infected with lungworm, which is a life threatening parasite. Eating infected slugs, snails or even frogs is how they become infected. Some dogs actually like to eat slugs and snails! Even if they don't do so on purpose they can easily do so by accident, for example when a slug or snail is sitting on a favourite toy, when a dog eats grass or drinks from puddles, as the mucus-trail from slugs and snails can also transmit this infection. Click here to go to the Lungworm website.
Please visit this website http://www.itsajungle.co.uk/ for more information on parasites.
The main part of your puppy's diet should be a specific puppy food. These differ from adult dog food in that the balance of proteins, vitamins and minerals is designed for growth. Puppy food should be fed until your dog is fully grown (this varies according to breed). We recommend the higher quality puppy foods (eg. Hills, Royal Canin) as providing the best nutrition for your puppy. Complete, dried diets are often useful as crunching on the dried food helps keep teeth free from tartar.
We recommend neutering any dogs not intended for breeding use. This is done from 6 months of age onwards. In bitches, spaying is advisable before the first season as research has shown that this very much reduces the incidence of mammary tumours. If your bitch does have a season, it is best to spay 3 months after her last season. In dogs, castration will prevent problems in later life such as prostate problems, testicular tumours and tumours around the anus. There is no upper age limit for neutering a healthy dog/bitch. Neutering is also important to prevent unwanted puppies, and behavioural problems associated with being oversexed.
Dental problems are common in older dogs. It is advisable to start on a programme of routine brushing as soon as possible; please click here form more information or contact us for advice.
We strongly advise that you insure your puppy. Currently, PetPlan are offering 4 weeks free insurance to healthy puppies aged from 6 weeks to 12 months old, at their first vaccination, after which you will be given the option to continue insurance at the normal rate. Please ask the reception staff for a free insurance certificate when your puppy has his/her first vaccination.
At Rhodes Vets we have always been enthusiastic supporters of microchipping all pets. We frequently have lost and stray pets handed in to our surgeries, which we are able to reunite with their distraught owners because we can trace them from the microchip. If they were not chipped we would often have no way of knowing where to start looking for their home. We have seen tragic cases where pets are lost and have not been microchipped because 'they never go outside' but a door was accidentally left open and they escaped, or 'they never go off the lead' but the collar broke and they ran away. With no microchip they are anonymous. Make sure this doesn't happen to you and your pet!
In the UK over 100,000 dogs stray, or are lost or stolen each year and many have to spend time in kennels before being rehomed, because their owners cannot be traced. 6,000 dogs have to be put down each year because their owners cannot be found. The government has recently announced that it will be compulsory to have all dogs microchipped from 6th April 2016. This will be the responsibility of the owner, who must also ensure their contact details are kept up to date on centralised microchip databases.
Don't run the risk of your pet getting lost without a microchip and having to be rehomed, or worse! We can implant a microchip, and register your pet's details immediately online with the database, for just £12.50. This can be done alongside your pet's vaccination, or neutering, or in a nurse clinic. Microchipping is free as part of our Pet Health Plan. Call the surgery today and book your pet in for a microchip. Give yourself peace of mind.
We will be happy to give you information regarding puppy training classes, some of which are held at the surgery. Please ask the reception staff for further details. If your puppy has a specific behaviour problem (eg. hand-biting, toilet training problems etc.), Please ring the surgery to arrange a behaviour consultation.
Click here for information on how to clean your dogs ears.
Useful links -
Walkies the Dog Service
Pet Health Information (NOAH)
Dogs Star Daily
APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers (uk))
APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors)