We recommend routine vaccination against the following diseases:
Most of these diseases can be fatal and all cause distressing symptoms which may be difficult and expensive to treat.
We at St Martins Veterinary Clinic would recommend that puppies start
their first vaccine from 8 weeks of age and complete the course
at 12 weeks. In some cases we would recommend a third vaccine at 16
weeks as certain breeds are more prone to canine parvovirus. (Some vaccines claim a completion date at 10 weeks of age but our research and experience has shown that up to 20% of puppies will fail to
develop adequate immunity at that age with potentially fatal consequences). We would then recommend an annual health check and booster vaccination, although not all diseases require annual boosters
some do. For more information regarding vaccines please don't hesitate to phone us on 01895 444400.
It is stongly advised that bitches are routinely neutered to help prevent:
In order to gain maximum beneft, we would recommend female puppies being neutered from the age of 4 months and males from 6-9 months depending on the breed. Spaying bitches before the first season will eliminate the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. It is an incorrect belief that bitches should have a season or a litter before being spayed.
We do not advise routinely castrating male dogs. This is because
studies show that the admittedly small risks of surgery and weight gain outweigh the few health benefits of castration and there may be an increased risk of prostatic cancer in castrated dogs. In
some circumstances castration can be beneficial for certain medical and behavioural problems, however this is not always the case. Castration should not be considered as a sole means of
resolving behavioural disorders.
Spaying normally involves a complete ovaro-hysterectomy with the removal of the uterus and ovaries under general anaesthetic. Some vets will advocate performing endoscopic neutering in females but this involves removing only the ovaries and can lead to increased risk of damage to other organs in the hands of an unskilled operator. Opinion is divided on this but leaving the uterus behind may result in uterine disease later in life. In any case, our skillful surgeon can spay a bitch through an incison little larger than an endscopy incision. Castration involves the removal of the testicles which is also performed under a general anaesthetic. Both dogs and bitches recover rapidly from these procedures.There is no benefit from performing vasectomies or using methods of suppression of testosterone in healthy pet dogs, indeed the latter may be harmful to long term health.
Dogs and puppies can suffer from a number of worms:
Puppies are born with Toxocara transmitted from their mothers and therefore we recommend worming puppies every 2 weeks from weaning until 4 months of age. Because Toxocara is easy to pick up out-of-doors and can be transmissible to babies and children, we advise worming dogs against this every month for life. Lungworm is becoming an increasing problem in the south east and is inevitably serious and can be fatal. Lungworm is transmitted by eating slugs and snails so puppies and young dogs are particularly at risk.
An alternative to repeated worming with tablets is to use a topical product. We currently recommend Advocate® monthly which will both kill and prevent round worms, is the only product presently in routine use for the prevention of lungworm, and gives control against fleas and some other parasites simultaneously. Even if you are using Advocate, a multi-wormer should also be given once or twice a year times yearly depending on your dog's environment. Please call us for advice on the best way of worming your puppy and dog.
Most effective flea and worm products are prescription only and are only available from vets. We have a wide range of flea and worm products at competitive prices. Many of the products available are in easy-to-apply spot-on formulations that treat fleas and worms at the same time or as palatable tablets.
Dogs can suffer from a number of other external parasites like lice, mites and ticks. Sarcoptic mange (fox mange) is particularly prevalent in this area. Many modern products will treat these parasites at the same time as fleas and worms. Some of these parasites carry potentially fatal diseases. Please ask for advice if you think you have a problem with these parasites in your dog.
St Martins Veterinary Clinic
126 Station Road
Tel.: 01895 444400
Fax: 01895 431520
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