Caring for your New Puppy
Caring for your New Puppy @ Blackrock Veterinary Clinic
Your new puppy should be vaccinated against five main diseases: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis (we give all of these together in one injection to make it more comfortable for your pup).
They need one vaccination at 6-8 weeks old and then a second vaccination between 10-12 weeks old.
These must be at least two weeks apart and your puppy must be at least 10 weeks old to have the second vaccination.
Puppies can then go for normal walks 5-7 days after the second vaccination is given.
We also now recommend that your puppy is vaccinated against contagious cabin cough. This vaccine in administered into your pup’s nose.
Your dog will then need annual booster vaccinations every year after this.
Puppies can pick up worms from their mother and from their littermates.
It is important to treat your pup with regular worming treatments to prevent weight loss, diarrhoea and ill-thrift which can be caused by parasites.
Pups should be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old, then every month until 6 months old, and then every 3 months ongoing for the rest of their lives
We recommend coming in to the clinic monthly to weigh your pup as they grow and pick up your monthly worming treatments (this also gets your pup used to coming into the clinic) – you don’t need an appointment to do this.
Anti-Flea treatment & Lungworm
Once your pup is fully vaccinated and going for normal walks, you should treat them with an anti-flea ‘spot-on’ treatment monthly.
This not only prevents flea infestations, but it also prevents lungworm (which can be picked up when dogs eat slugs and snails), ear mites, and certain types of skin mites and worms. It also prevents and treats fox mange.
‘Advocate’ is the name of the product we use, and is recommended to be used monthly
In females a neuter is called a ‘spay’, in males it is called ‘castration’.
A spay is removal of the ovaries and the womb, a castration is removal of the testicles.
Recent studies show that neutered dogs live longer, are less prone to developing certain types of cancers, and prevent infections directly related to the reproductive tract such as pyometra in females – which can be fatal.
We recommend neutering from 6 months of age onwards (later in large breeds).
One of our team of vets or nurses will advise you on the best plan for neutering or spaying your pet.
It is a legal requirement in Ireland for all dogs to be microchipped.
Most dogs are microchipped with the breeder. If not, we can easily microchip your pet here in the clinic.
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin at the back of your pet’s neck/ in between the shoulder blades.
The procedure is very quick and can be performed by a vet or a nurse.
It is vitally important to register your contact details to your pet’s microchip number so that you can be contacted in case your pet goes missing.
It is important to feed your pet a high quality puppy food.
Puppy foods contain a higher level of nutrients necessary for growth.
We recommend Burns, Hills, Royal Canin, James Wellbeloved, to name a few.
Initially feed your pup four meals a day until about 3 months old, then wean down to three meals a day until 6 months old, then down to two meals daily.
If your pup has soft stools, try changing them onto a ‘sensitive’ puppy diet as the food they currently have might not suit them
Caring for your New Kitten
Caring for your New Kitten @ Blackrock Veterinary Clinic
- Your new kitten should be vaccinated against three main diseases: Feline Herpesvirus, Feline Calicivirus (collectively known as cat flu) and Feline Panleukopaenia (also known as ‘feline parvo’). We give all of these together in one injection to make it more comfortable for your kitten.
- Another vaccination which we offer is Feline Leukaemia virus (FeLV) – which can be combined with the above.
- They need one vaccination at 8-9 weeks old and then a second vaccination after 12 weeks old.
- These must be at least 3-4 weeks apart and your kitten must be at least 12 weeks old to have the second vaccination.
- Your cat will then need annual booster vaccinations every year after this.
- Kittens can pick up worms from their mother and from their litter-mates.
- It is important to treat your kitten with regular worming treatments to prevent weight loss, diarrhoea and ill-thrift which can be caused by parasites.
- Kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old, then every month until 6 months old, and then every 3 months ongoing for the rest of their lives.
- ‘Broadline’ is a product we use which is a monthly spot-on treatment vs worms and fleas. If you prefer tablets, we use ‘Milbemax’ cat wormers.
- Cats should be treated with an anti-flea ‘spot-on’ treatment monthly.
- Fleas can be a huge problem in cats, and can lead to a severe skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis (F.A.D.) – so prevention is very important.
- The cat flea can also be passed onto dogs, and if your cat has fleas, you almost definitely have fleas in your house!
- ‘Broadline’, ‘Advocate’ and ‘Effipro’ are some of the flea treatments we use.
- In females a neuter is called a ‘spay’, in males it is called ‘castration’.
- A spay is removal of the ovaries and the womb, a castration is removal of the testicles.
- We highly recommend spaying or neutering your cat as this will prevent unwanted pregnancies, reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and can reduce undesirable behaviour such as wandering & urine spraying in males.
- We recommend neutering from 6 months of age onwards
- One of our team will advise you on the best plan for neutering or spaying your pet.
- We highly recommend microchipping your cat as it provides proof of ownership, and a form of identification if your cat goes missing.
- A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin at the back of your pet’s neck/ in between the shoulder blades.
- The procedure is very quick and can be performed by a vet or a nurse.
- It is vitally important to register your contact details to your pet’s microchip number so that you can be contacted in case your pet goes missing.
- It is important to feed your pet a high quality kitten food.
- Kitten foods contain a higher level of nutrients necessary for growth.
- We recommend Burns, Hills, Royal Canin, James Wellbeloved, to name a few.
- If your kitten has soft stools, try changing them onto a ‘sensitive’ kitten diet as the food they currently have might not suit them.
Taking your pet abroad / Pet Passports
In recent years there have been many changes to the regulations regarding international travel with your pet, the most important of which is the lack of quarantine requirements for most pet travel- a very welcome development . This is great news for owners wanting to relocate to different countries, and also for owners who want to take their pet on holiday with them.
Travel within Europe has been harmonised, and is relatively straight forward:
-you will require a Pet Passport, which we here at Blackrock Veterinary Clinic can supply for you within a few days
-your pet will also require a rabies vaccination at least 3 weeks before travel
-your pet must also have a microchip before any of the above can happen ( this is now a legal requirement for your dog in Ireland , even if you don’t intend on travelling abroad ).
There are some strict regulations to be adhered to before you return to Ireland from abroad, but our staff can advise you of the exact requirements before you travel.
For owners travelling further afield with their pet ( usually when relocating ) such as Australia or South Africa, the rules, regulations & requirements can be a lot more complex, but we have lots of experience at Blackrock Veterinary Clinic in aiding clients through the protocols for allowing their 4 legged family members to travel with them.
We can also introduce you to some excellent carrier companies who are highly experienced in assisting with the logistics of some of the more long-haul journeys.
Caring for your Older Pet
Caring for your Older Pet – FAQ’s
1. My pet sleeps a lot more than they used to. Is this something I should be worried about?
Older animals often sleep more than younger ones as a normal feature of ageing – and making the most of their retirement. Other reasons that they may spend more time sleeping include feeling unwell, feeling lethargic or being in pain.
2. My 15-year-old cat used to be quite calm. Now she is hyperactive, and seems hungry all the time yet is losing weight. What is wrong with her?
One of the more common causes of these signs in elderly cats is hyperthyroidism. It is diagnosed after an initial clinical exam and blood tests. The condition can be managed with medication, or sometimes surgery, to reduce the excessive levels of thyroid hormone produced by this condition.
3. My 12-year-old dog doesn’t want to walk much any more. Why is he so tired?
Your dog may have an underlying health complaint. Some causes of reduced ability to exercise include overgrown or ingrown nails, joint pain, heart disease, respiratory disease, an under-active thyroid and anaemia.
4. My pet has been drinking a lot more water over the past few months. Is this normal?
Cats and dogs can be thirstier in warm weather, after exercise or salty treats, just like us. However, if their daily water intake has increased significantly then they could have an underlying health concern. Some causes of increased thirstiness in older pets include kidney disease, liver disease, infections such as urinary tract or uterine infections, and hormonal disorders such as diabetes and hyperadrenocorticism. Your pet should be examined by a vet, who may also test your pet’s blood and urine to figure out what is going on.
5. My elderly cat is reluctant to jump up on the sofa and onto walls outside. Is that a normal part of ageing?
Cats get arthritis too, but sometimes it’s harder to spot. There are medications to improve their mobility and comfort.
6. My dog has arthritis. What can I do about it?
There are many ways to help a pet with arthritis. The team at Blackrock Vet Clinic would be happy to discuss the options with you. One of the mainstays of arthritis management is a programme known as WET therapy.
W is for Weight – keeping your pet at its ideal weight helps their mobility and significantly reduces the amount of inflammatory chemicals produced by the body.
E is for Exercise – your pet may need their exercise routine adjusted to match their abilities and comfort level, or may benefit from hydrotherapy or physiotherapy.
T is for Treatment – there are many drugs available to help animals with arthritis lead a comfortable life. Painkillers and anti-inflammatories can be very helpful, as can joint supplements and disease-modifying injections like Cartrophen. Soft bedding can help ease the ache of painful joints. For some animals, a referral to an orthopaedic specialist may be appropriate.
7. My pet’s painkillers don’t seem to be helping as much as they used to. Is there anything I can do?
Some drugs work better for one animal and not as well for another. The Blackrock Vet Clinic team are focused on providing the optimal pain relief programme for your pet. If you are concerned about your pet’s comfort please call the clinic to make an appointment and discuss your pet’s needs.
8. My pet has very smelly breath recently. Is there anything I can do to improve it?
Your pet needs a checkup. They may have dental or oral disease. Animals will often continue to eat even if their mouth is painful, or in time they may become less enthusiastic about meals, opting for softer food instead of harder diets. They may drool or paw at the side of their face if they have toothache. Other causes of smelly breath include diet, dehydration, food or fur trapped between the teeth, and systemic illnesses such as kidney dysfunction.
If your ageing pet’s behaviour or habits have changed they should come in for a checkup with a member of our team. We will weigh your pet, take a full history and perform an in-depth clinical examination. We may recommend tests such as blood tests, urinalysis or X-rays based on what we find during your visit. Your pet may be simply ageing normally, or they may have an emerging health problem which we can help you manage to ensure your pet’s golden years are happy ones.
Spaying & Neutering your Pet- When/Where/How?
Spaying and Neutering: The Facts
What is it?
Neutering is the general term used to describe the process of castrating male animals (removing the testicles) and spaying female animals (removal of the uterus and ovaries). The purpose of neutering is so that your animal cannot reproduce and produce unwanted puppies and kittens but neutering also has several other benefits for your pet’s health.
According to recent US studies, one un-neutered queen and one un-neutered tom can, in the space of nine years, lead to the reproduction of over 10 million cats. The vast majority of these cats will never have a home and will live as strays in the community, creating unwanted litters, spreading diseases such as feline AIDs, and fighting. It is important for these reasons that we try to control the stray and feral cat population in the community.
We recommend that cats be neutered from five months old. For males, neutering is an extremely quick procedure and requires very little recovery time but can help to prevent testicular cancer and unwanted behaviours such as straying and sustaining injuries from fighting. For female cats, spaying is also a routine surgery which only takes about 20 minutes to perform and recovery time usually takes 5-7 days. Neutered females will also be less likely to stray and will never experience health problems such as dystocia (difficult birth) and pyometra (womb infection). Spayed cats are also at a much lower risk of developing mammary cancers.
Male dogs may be neutered from six months of age (with the exception of large breeds). Neutering male dogs eliminates completely the risk of testicular cancer. The risks of prostate cancer and prostate hyperplasia are also significantly reduced. Castration can reduce aggression and dominance in male dogs including sibling rivalry, it minimises territorial marking with urine, and lessens the likelihood of roaming/straying and dry humping cushions/owners’ legs!
Female dogs may be neutered from six months of age (with the exception of large breed dogs) and in most cases it is beneficial to spay before the first heat with the exception of bitches which have not matured enough physically. It is advisable to bring your female dog to the vet to have her physically assessed before booking her in for her spay procedure.
Neutered bitches have a much lower risk (0.5%) of getting mammary cancer compared to entire bitches (70%). Spaying eliminates the risk of unwanted pregnancy & puppies, dystocia, pyometra, phantom pregnancy, and the physiological and behavioural changes associated with the six-monthly reproductive cycle.
Large Breed Dogs
Spaying or neutering before a dog reaches sexual maturity can lead to developmental bone and joint diseases and increase the risk of osteosarcoma in later life. Because, unlike small and medium breeds, large and giant breeds are not skeletally mature when they are 6 months old, it is recommended that you wait until they are older before spaying or neutering. It is recommended that large breeds should be neutered at 9 months whilst giant breeds should not be neutered until they are over 1 year old. You should allow large and giant breed bitches to have at least their first season.
At Blackrock Vet Clinic, having your pet neutered will mean that he/she will be with us for the full day. The procedures are very routine and safe and the benefits of neutering far outweigh the risks of having the procedure done. Your pet will need to be put under general anaesthetic to be neutered and will be monitored carefully by a veterinary nurse whilst the vet carries out the procedure. We will provide appropriate pain relief to keep your pet as comfortable as possible. Your pet will most likely take up to 24 hours to fully come back to themselves after the procedure but this just means that they will be slightly drowsy and quiet. Stitches are usually placed internally and your pet may need to wear a buster collar for a few days whilst the wound heals to prevent them from biting and licking it. After 10 days your pet will be fully recovered and back to themselves. Male cats that get castrated do not require stitches or buster collars and usually bounce back to themselves fully after a day.
Admitting your Pet to Blackrock Vet Clinic- what happens?
What to expect when your Pet has to be admitted to Blackrock Veterinary Clinic.
Firstly one of our veterinary nurses will greet you on arrival to check you pet in, usually between 8.00am – 9.30am. They will go through any consent forms that may need to be signed- this form will list what procedure your pet is coming in for , and gives up permission for the administration of sedation/ anaesthesia. You can also ask the nurse to make a note of any other minor procedures you would like performed, such as nail clipping, ear cleaning or anal gland expression. A mutually suitable collection time is decided, your pet is weighed and taken to our hospitalisation room.
Once admitted we check your pet thoroughly, and the nurses will in the vast majority of cases place an intravenous catether into your pets foreleg. At this point we will collect a blood sample if we are running pre -anaesthetic bloods on your pet.This can be done for all pets but is highly is advised for older or unwell patients.
Prior to the procedure we give your pet an injectable sedative combined with some analgesia ( painkiller) – this is known as a pre-med. Once this has taken effect we administer the anaesthetic induction agent via the i/v catether. Once your pet is asleep, an endotracheal tube is passed down the trachea to facilitate breathing and administration of oxygen mixed with an anaesthetic gas to keep your pet asleep. During this period your pet will be hooked up to a monitor which tracks your pets breathing , heart , oxygen levels etc whilst under anaesthesia and is also monitored manually by one of our highly trained nurses from start to finish to ensure your pets safety.
In order to minimise risks of contamination, we adhere to strict standards of cleanliness and sterilisation. We clip the hair around the surgical site, fully scrub the area with an antiseptic solution and transfer your pet to the Op Room for his / her surgery. Further pain relief will be administered to ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible after their procedure.
Once the surgery has been completed, we slowly and carefully allow your pet to wake up and only return them to their bed once they regain consciousness. Our kennel room provides a comfortable recovery area for your pet as we have a temperature-controlled system in place to ensure your pet is never too cold or too warm. Our nurses will offer food and water once your pet seems awake enough, and continue to closely monitor them until it is time to go home.
At home time your pet may appear quite bright, this will be due to the pain relief they received as well as the excellent patient care and anaesthetic techniques employed. However once they get home you may find they are a bit tired, which is to be expected after the surgery and anaesthesia they have just been through. One of the Vets or Veterinary Nurses will discharge your pet and go through the aftercare needed over the following 10 days or so, in particular being very mindful of any post-op pain relief that may be required. Aftercare instructions and guidelines will be provided in both verbal and written form, and we will answer an questions at this time.We will also book you in for a post-op check so the vet can check on your pet’s recovery and see that the surgical wound is healing well.
All that’s left for you as an owner, is to increase the amount of TLC to you beloved pet, while they recover. Generally we finds our pets recover much quicker from quite major procedures than we do.
My Pets Behaviour!
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Rescue Groups / Charities
Dog’s Trust – www.dogstrust.ie 01-8791006
DSPCA – www.dspca.ie Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 01-4935502/04
Blue Cross – www.bluecross.ie 01-4163030
Cat’s Aid – www.catsaid.org 01-6683529
Celtic Animal Life Line – www.celticanimallifeline.com 087-2645245
All For Animals – www.allforanimals.ie 087-1759092
Boarding Kennels & Catteries
Sheephaven Boarding Kennels & Cattery – Margaret O’ Reilly – Sandyford. 01-2956204
The Moors Boarding Kennels – Kilternan – Jenny Collins. 01-2945046 / 086-8186114
Paula Hannon Boarding kennels – Greystones/Kilcoole 086-8139323
Mary Lewis Kennels – Dun Laoghaire. 01-2803030
www.stepasidecattery.ie – Suzanne – 086 6062665
www.sophisticats.ie– Cattery – Greystones. 086-8198788 / 086-8528698.
Cloyne Cattery – Elizabeth Hunt – Greystones. 01-2871035.
Alpine Cattery – Kilternan. 01-2948547.
Rabbit / Small Furries Minder – Eibhin Butler – Loughlinstown. 086-1911354.
Rachel’s Clip ‘n Tails – Rachel Alford – Blackrock & Ballinteer 01-2103545 or 086-3735612
Mutz-Cutz Dog Grooming – Melanie Corcoran- Sallynoggin, Dún Laoghaire 085-7307654
Paws Parlour Blackrock – Maria Murphy 086-0609650
Catherine Windsor – Stillorgan 087-2077961
Dial-A-Dog-Wash , Mobile groomer – Jean O’Neill 086-0361646 or 01-5485169
The Canine Centre – Naomi Tracey – Churchtown. 01-2989588
Lyndsay Ward – Shankhill. 01-2822851
Dog Walkers / Dog Creche
Animal Adventures – Grace Carswell – Blackrock. 01-4952635 or 086-1953158
Animal Krazy – Suzanne Cooke – 086-0873718
That Girl Walking – Suzie Walls – Blackrock. 087-7474525
The Canine Centre – Naomi Tracey – Churchtown. 01-2989588
Positive Dog Training – Stillorgan – 01-9013018
Dog Minders- In Home
Anne O’ Gorman , Blackrock
Anne Byrne , Blackrock
Pauline Forrester, Glencullen