- At what age do I start to vaccinate my puppy or kitten?
Kitten and puppy vaccinations are of utmost importance to prevent the spread and contraction of potentially fatal viruses and diseases.
Kittens can be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age, and puppies can be vaccinated from 6 weeks of age.
- At what age can I walk my puppy in the park?
We would recommend at least 14 days after the puppy has had his/ her 3rd puppy vaccination.
- My puppy/ kitten vomited after giving him/ her a de-worming tablet – can I give another de-wormer, and when can I do this?
If the puppy/kitten vomited directly after the de-wormer was administered, you can deworm again. However if the vomiting was at least 1 hour or more after the de-wormer, it’s not necessary to deworm again as the tablet has more than likely been absorbed into the system. If you would like to deworm again as a safety precaution, you are more than welcome as you cannot overdose on a de-wormer.
- How often should I deworm, do I need to bring my pet to the Clinic for this?
Deworming for both cats and dogs can be done every 3-4 months, however if you have a cat or dog that tends to eat “strange things” more frequent deworming is necessary. You don’t need to bring you pet in for a de-wormer, provided you know his or her current weight.
- Do I need to treat for pet for ticks and fleas, do I really have to treat in winter?
Both ticks and fleas transmit or carry certain parasites and diseases (ticks transmit
Biliary and Ehrlichia and fleas carry tapeworm eggs) some more serious than others. We do recommend treating with a suitable tick and flea product on a monthly basis – but this dependant on the product you use. Tick and flea prevalence in winter is much less, however they are still around so it’s best to keep the treatment regime going all year round.
- How long must my puppy/ kitten stay on puppy/kitten food?
As a general rule of thumb with the premium pet foods that we stock at the practice, kittens should be on kitten food up until the age of 1 year. Puppies are the same, however if you have a large or giant breed puppy, it’s recommended to stay on puppy food until 1 ½ years of age.
- A lump has formed where my pet had an injection – what is this?
This is most likely an injection site reaction, they generally appear 3-6 weeks after the injection. Usually starting out soft but sometimes may become very firm. These lumps usually dissipate on their own, but can take up to 3 months to completely disappear. If you pet as one that you are concerned about, please do not hesitate to bring you pet in for a quick check.
- Should I have my pet sterilised and at what age?
If you have no intention of breeding your pets, we recommend sterilisation to prevent unwanted puppies and kittens, but also prevention of certain illnesses related to the reproductive system. A good minimum age for both puppies and kittens would be when they are at least 6 months. However some kittens come into season a bit earlier, in this case when can sterilize kittens at a slightly younger age. Please come and discuss this with one of the vets as in a few cases we recommend sterilisation later than 6 months – specifically in large breed dogs.
- My female cat or dog is currently in season – can I still have her sterilised?
Yes you can, the sterilisation procedure is slightly more complicated and your pet will need to be on post op anti-biotics. Very importantly, if a female dog is sterilised while on heat, she needs to be kept away from male dogs for at least a week post op.
- My pet has stitches, when can they be removed?
In most cases stitches can be removed 10-14 days post-operative, however if it’s a specialised procedure they may have to remain in for longer. Please check with us if you are unsure. If you happen to leave the stitches in a few days longer than 14 days it’s not the end of the world, but remember they do have to be removed!
- What is a microchip and how does it work?
A microchip is tiny transponder that is inserted under the skin of your pet, for means if identification if you pet gets lost. It is NOT a GPS. It contains a unique barcode, which has been registered on a national database holding your contact details. In the event that your pet is lost and taken to a vet or SPCA, he / she will be scanned for a microchip, the barcode entered into the database, and you will be contacted. We strongly recommend that you microchip all your pets, it’s very quick to do and as simple as having a vaccination done
- Pet Medical Aid – is there such a thing?
Unfortunately no one can foresee injury or illness, it’s best to have peace of mind knowing that you- yourself and your pet have cover. Pet medical aids are much like human ones. There are various companies out there with various plans tailored for everyone’s needs. It’s best to do some research as to which plan will suite you, so when the times comes for any treatment, you won’t have to worry about not being able to provide the best treatment for your pet.
- My pet is scooting, why?
Scooting is generally caused by irritation in or around the anus. There can be many causes for this, but the most common are worms and full anal glands. We advise starting with a dewormer. In the event that the scooting continues, please bring you pet in for one of the vets to check and possibly express the anal glands.
- My pet was stung by an insect- what now?
Allergic reactions can be a very serious, much the same as humans and can be fatal if left unattended. If you suspect your pet was stung please bring him/her to the clinic for the necessary treatment as soon as possible.
- Is it necessary to vaccinate my pet every year, and is it necessary to vaccinate senior pets?
The answer to both of these questions is yes, in South Africa (unless you have a pet that lives indoors 100% of the time- then every 3rd year should be sufficient)
Yearly vaccinations are important because of the rabies situation in South Africa. There are rabies outbreaks from time to time and pets are only fully protected if their rabies vaccinations have been done within the last year. Travel to rabies areas (i.e. KZN) is only allowed if rabies vaccinations have been done more than 30 days previously but less than a year ago.