Neutering puppies and kittens

Did you know…neutering can have significant healthcare benefits for your pet? Here are just a few of them…

Kittens

It is usual for male kittens to be castrated from around four months of age before they start developing habits such as urine marking around the house. Female kittens come into heat every three weeks and become pregnant very easily. Therefore, we advise spaying from around four months of age.

Puppies

We usually recommend female dogs are spayed before their first season at six months of age, except for certain larger breeds; in which case we recommend before their second season. As well as preventing unwanted pregnancies, early spaying has been proven to result in a huge reduction in the occurrence of mammary tumours in older female dogs. It also prevents life-threatening uterus infections. This protection is dramatically reduced after the second season.

We usually start talking about castration for male dogs from six months of age, before they start to develop male traits, such as roaming and urine marking. This also reduces the risk of developing prostate problems, anal tumours, and testicular cancer. Having them castrated at a young age may also reduce the risk of them being stolen for breeding.

If you would like to find out more, please get in touch with us. We’ll talk through the options and discuss what’s best for your pet, considering their age and breed.

You may also be interested to know that as part of our Pet Health Plan, there’s a 10% discount on neutering included. Click here to find out more.

The importance of parasite prevention

Parasite prevention is an integral part of taking good care of your cat or dog. Parasites also pose a threat to human health, as some pet parasites cause zoonotic infections, which means they can be transferred from pets to people.

Where and when can my pet get infected by parasites?

Dogs and cats can get parasites in a variety of places — whether they go outside or not. Fleas and ticks can live outside year-round but are most abundant during spring and autumn. Other animals can bring parasites into your home, and once fleas get in the house, they can be a year-round problem.

How can I protect my pet from parasites?

Because parasites can be found all year long, it is important that your pet is always protected. We offer a series of popular prescription products that are easy to use and will help to protect your pet.

You can receive year-round parasite protection through our Pet Health Plan. The plan spreads your regular pet care costs with a fixed monthly fee which guarantees an annual saving on your preventative veterinary treatments.

Dangers of parasites

The harm from parasites to a pet’s health can range from minor irritation to severe conditions that can be fatal. Below are some common parasites found in the United Kingdom:

  • Ticks – Tick bites can cause allergic reactions or infections at the site of the bite. They can transmit infectious diseases such as Lyme Disease, Babesia & Ehrlichiosis.
  • Worms – There is a wide variety of worms, such as tapeworm, roundworm, heartworm, whipworm, and hookworm. These are common parasites in the UK and can affect your pet’s health. They also carry a human health risk, especially for children.
  • Lungworms – Lungworms are potentially deadly parasites that are carried by foxes, slugs, and snails. It is the first fatal parasite to be endemic in the UK.
  • Fleas – Fleas affect dogs and cats and can be seen all year round. They can also pass on tapeworms. Signs that your pet may be suffering from fleas include itching, scratching, and licking. You may also see ‘flea dirt’ – tiny dark specks that look a little like grains of soil and go red when wet. It is possible to see fleas with the naked eye!

With advances in veterinary medicine, most parasitic infections can be prevented with routine preventative care.

Alongside preventative treatments, it is also important to practice good personal hygiene, including washing hands after handling pets and before eating food. Grooming animals regularly helps to reduce the risk of coat contamination, and when going on walks, cleaning up pet faeces is vital as most intestinal worms are transmitted by worm eggs or larvae in faeces.

It is important to remember that parasite treatments are only to be given to the pet they have been prescribed for, as certain products can be fatal to other species. If you are unsure which parasite control products are the best for your pet, speak to one of our team members for advice.

May and Spring Bank Holiday opening hours

With two welcomed bank holiday weekends in May, we wanted to let you know that our opening hours may vary from our usual times. Please see below:

May Bank Holiday – Monday 3rd May

St Boswells – 08.30 – 18.00
Jedburgh –
Closed

Spring Bank Holiday – Monday 31st May

St Boswells – 08.30 – 18.00
Jedburgh –
Closed

Out of Hours service will be available for emergencies by calling 01835 823257 as usual.

Tortoise parasite prevention

Do you have a tortoise? If so, it is recommended to have a worm count carried out on your tortoise twice a year.

A worm count can be carried out by obtaining a faecal sample, which can be tested in practice. It is common for tortoises to have a low-level worm burden; however, when this increases, it can cause issues such as diarrhoea, a reduction in the absorption of nutrients, and subsequently, weight loss. It is particularly important to control before hibernation, after moving to a new enclosure, before meeting a new tortoise, or if they stop eating or have diarrhoea.

If a positive test is returned, we would recommend booking in for worming treatment. Many wormers will only kill the live worms and not the eggs and, for this reason, we may advise on repeat doses and another faecal count at the end of the treatment.

Whilst your tortoise is undergoing worming treatment it is important to remove all substrate and replace it with newspaper. Throughout this time, you should feed your tortoise with high fibre, high water content food. It would help if you did not feed them fruit, as sugar can lead to worms reproducing more rapidly.

For more information, please contact us.