Annual Health Checks
Regular health check-ups are important for the long-term health and welfare of all pets. Routine examinations allow us to take a pro-active role in preventive health care. Actual or imminent health problems will hopefully be spotted earlier and appropriate treatment or preventive action taken. We carry out a full physical examination and health check as part of the annual booster vaccinations that are recommended for all dogs, cats and rabbits. This is an ideal opportunity to discuss any aspect of your pet’s health or well-being that is of concern to you.
It is of course possible to perform health examinations at times other than the annual vaccination. We often recommend more frequent check-ups for pets with chronic problems (eg, heart disease, arthritis). Remember one human year is considered equivalent to seven for a dog or cat. If your pet is on an ongoing medication, then it will require more regular check ups to allow us to keep prescribing.
Puppies are routinely vaccinated against Distemper, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Viral Hepatitis and Parainfluenza. The initial course is two injections two weeks apart. The first injection can now be given at eight weeks of age allowing the puppy to socialise from twelve weeks of age. Annual booster vaccinations are given along with a complete health check examination. We send out reminders to help you remember these important check ups.
Dogs can also be given a vaccination against kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica). Ideally it should be given at least two weeks before going into a “high-risk” situation – most often kennels, but also pet-shows, training classes, etc. This vaccination lasts for a year. The vaccination is in the form of some drops into the nose.
We routinely vaccinate against “cat flu”, feline viral enteritis and the feline leukaemia virus. These can all be given together as a single injection at nine weeks and then again at twelve weeks, allowing the kitten to socialise from fourteen weeks of age. Annual booster vaccinations are given along with a complete health check examination. We send out reminders to help you remember these important check ups.
Rabbits can be vaccinated from six weeks of age against Myxomatosis and from twelve weeks against viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD). Both are very serious and fatal diseases and vaccination is highly recommended. For VHD, annual booster vaccinations are given along with a complete health check examination. Myxomatosis vaccinations are given every 6 months, also with a complete health check. Boosters for these two vaccinations are usually given two weeks apart. We send out reminders to help you remember these important check ups.
The use of these vaccination protocols has thankfully lead to widespread reduction in the levels of these largly fatal diseases.
It is important to continue to vaccinate your pet throughout their life to keep them fit and healthy and safe from these preventable diseases.
The cost of annual vaccinations works out at pence per week and is insignificant compared with the cost of treating these diseases in unvaccinated animals.