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PHONE: 01202 499 622 1a Stony Lane, Christchurch, BH23 7LQ
PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE
We believe in preventing illness and disease as much as possible - not only is it better for your pet, it's also less costly for you. We offer individualised preventative care plans depending on your pet's lifestyle, so not all the recommendations set out below may apply for every pet. We are more than happy to discuss any of our recommendations, just give us a call or pop in!
Regular vaccination is extremely important for preventing a number of life-threatening diseases in dogs, cats and rabbits of all ages.
Vaccines have improved greatly over the last couple of decades, and it is no longer necessary to vaccinate against every disease every year, so most vaccines are now given every 3 years. Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, some vaccines may not be necessary at all.
The core vaccines include diseases which every pet should be protected against, while the non-core vaccines are optional depending on your pet’s level of risk.
At Magnolia House Veterinary Clinic, we use the Nobivac range of vaccines due to their proven track record of efficacy and minimal side-effects. Using Nobivac also allows us to administer only the vaccines your pet needs, rather than the whole range.
For more information on individual diseases the vaccines protect against, please see our Pet Health section.
Core: distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus (infectious hepatitis), leptospirosis
Non-core: parainfluenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica, rabies, Lyme disease, leishmaniasis
Sample puppy vaccination schedule:
First vaccine at 7-8 weeks, second vaccine at 10 weeks, booster at 1 year and every 3 years after that for core/every year for Leptospirosis.
An additional parvovirus vaccine at 14-16 weeks during times of disease outbreak, or in high risk breeds (Rottweilers, Dobermans, Labradors, German Shepherds, American Staffies).
Core: herpes virus, calicivirus (both cause “cat flu”), panleukopaenia (feline enteritis)
Non-core: leukaemia, rabies, Chlamydophila felis, Bordetella bronchiseptica
Sample kitten vaccination schedule:
First vaccine at 8-9 weeks, second vaccine at 12-13 weeks, booster every year for cat flu and every 3 years for panleukopaenia. Cats who go outside should also have the leukaemia vaccine, with a booster every year.
Core: myxomatosis, viral haemorrhagic disease. Vaccinations recommended once yearly from 5 weeks of age.
Non-core: distemper vaccine given yearly to ferrets at risk
Parasites your pet may be susceptible to include fleas, ticks, mange mites, intestinal worms, lungworm, lice, coccidia, and Giardia. The specific parasites your pet will need regular protection from greatly depends on its lifestyle and habits, and we are more than happy to discuss the best options for your individual situation at any time. Two examples are given below:
5 year old dog, goes on daily walks including in the New Forest, frequent scavenger (eats rubbish and fox poo)
Advocate spot-on monthly (fleas, roundworm/whipworm/hookworm, lungworm, fox mange)
Seresto collar changed every 8 months (ticks)
Droncit tablet every 3 months (tapeworm)
12 year old cat, indoor only and no other pets in household, goes to a boarding cattery 3 times per year
Advantage spot-on 3 days before entering boarding cattery (flea prevention)
Profender spot-on when comes home from the cattery (roundworm/tapeworm)
No routine parasite control required otherwise
We recommend microchipping for all dogs, outdoor cats, and tortoises. A microchip permanently identifies your animal and provides life-long proof of ownership. Placing the chip is a simple procedure and most of the time can be performed during a consultation. The microchip itself is not painful and only extremely rarely causes a reaction.
Any stray animal brought to a veterinary clinic/shelter/dog warden, or any pet presented to us for the first time, is routinely scanned for a microchip, and they are the most effective method of reuniting a lost or stolen pet with its owner. The number on the chip is matched to your name and details on a national database - it is therefore important to inform the database whenever your contact details change.
Please note that microchipping will become a legal requirement for all dogs from April 2016.
We strongly recommend neutering of all dogs, cats and rabbits. Neutering has a number of health benefits for your pets, including:
- much lower risk of mammary cancer in female dogs (risk reduces by 95%, and this is one of the most common cancers we see in female dogs)
- much lower risk of prostate disease and testicular cancer in male dogs
- decreased risk of infection with feline leukaemia and immunodeficiency viruses
- reduced risk of uterine cancer in female rabbits (very common) and testicular cancer in male rabbits
- reduced roaming (your pets will be less likely to stray)
- decreased incidence of behavioural problems
Neutering also prevents unwanted pregnancies and thus decreases the burden on already overpopulated shelters and rehoming centres, and reduces the number of healthy animals which need to be euthanised as there is no-one to look after them.
Recommended age for routine neutering
Cats: 5-6 months of age
Dogs: small and medium breeds 5-6 months of age (before first season)
There is evidence that large breed dogs, especially Labradors and Rottweilers, may have less joint problems (and reduced risk of some cancers) if neutered once they have stopped growing, which is by 15-18 months of age. Therefore we recommend neutering large breed males at 15-18 months of age. In the case of large breed females, please discuss your individual dog with one of our vets as early neutering may still be recommended in order to reduce chances of mammary cancer.
Rabbits: after 4 months of age, and ideally over 1kg body weight
Have a look at our surgery page for more information about what the neutering procedure involves.
There is no one perfect diet for every dog or cat, and what is considered the best diet for your individual pet depends on its lifestyle, age, dental condition, and health status. Our vets can offer you nutritional advice for:
- each life stage (puppy/kitten, young adult, senior)
- diets as part of treatment of certain health conditions
- critically ill pets
- working dogs
- we also offer dietary advice for all exotic species.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for all our pets, as it reduces the risk of some diseases (e.g. diabetes) and makes others easier to manage (e.g. arthritis). We routinely assess your pet's body condition during each health check, and will help guide you towards keeping them within a healthy weight range.