Pet Care Advice
Annual Health Checks
Even if you keep a close eye on your pet's health, an annual check-up means extra peace of mind and helps identify any newly emerging problems before they become serious. Check-up visits also provide the opportunity to discuss vaccinations, behaviour, neutering, dental care, weight and body condition, fleas, ticks and worms, and any other concerns you may have. More regular check-ups are recommended for older pets.
We advise all clients to carry out routine vaccination for their dog, cat or rabbit. Once the primary vaccination course has been completed, yearly boosters are required to keep your pet's protection up to date.
A complete health check is always carried out at the same time as the annual vaccination.
Puppies require a course of vaccinations before they are fully covered. The first injection should be between 6 and 10 weeks of age, and the second at least 2 weeks later, when your puppy is at least 10 weeks old. Your puppy may have had his/her first vaccination with the breeder – if this is the case we would advise bringing your puppy in, with all the vaccination records. We can give your puppy a full health check and advise on when any further vaccinations should be carried out to complete the puppy course.
Once vaccinated, your puppy will be protected from Canine Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis. Some of these diseases are more common than others, but all are serious and we recommend routine vaccination as best policy to protect your pet. Vaccinations will then be required yearly to keep the protection active.
We vaccinate kittens at 9 weeks of age, and then again 3-4 weeks later. We vaccinate all cats against the main components of cat flu, as well as Feline Infectious Enteritis.
We can also vaccinate against Feline Leukaemia. This is an optional component of the vaccination which your vet will discuss with you.
The leukaemia virus causes immunosuppression and affected cats are vulnerable to many diseases. They commonly develop anaemia or cancer. Infection is common where there are high numbers of cats in close proximity to one another, as it is a disease they contract from close proximity with others. About 1-2 in 100 cats carry the virus, although this figure is lower in rural areas. If your cat develops the disease, we have no cure and it is almost always eventually fatal; 80-90% of cats with leukaemia die within 3.5 years of the diagnosis. The vaccination is not always 100% effective, but we recommend it if your cat is likely to be mixing with many others.
For information of rabbit, ferret and any other pet vaccinations, please call us and we will be happy to help and advise.
Flea and Worm Treatment
We stock several types of flea and worm treatment; a vet or nurse will be able to advise you on the most suitable product for your situation.
We have information sheets available at reception that advise on treatment of a flea problem – it is necessary to treat the environment as well as the animals where there is a known problem, so please contact us for advice.
Research shows that at around the age of two, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some sign of dental disease, most of which can be successfully treated without the loss of teeth if veterinary advice is sought early in the disease process.
One of the most important points to remember about dental disease is that it is very painful but RARELY stops pets from eating unless it is excruciating.
Bad breath is often the first indicator of gum inflammation, and if left untreated can lead to more severe problems.
Signs of dental disease can be difficult to spot. Sometimes pets chew on one particular side of their mouth or will eat very fast in order to swallow food with the minimum amount of chewing. Cats may drool more and stop grooming.
Try to get into the habit of regularly lifting your pet's lips at home to inspect the teeth, both the front and back, so you can pick up on any problems early. Gums should be pink, not white or red, and should show no signs of swelling. Teeth should be clean, without any brownish tartar. Look out for broken teeth or any unusual lumps or bumps, however small.
Your pet's teeth will be checked at its annual check-up or at anytime you are concerned there may be a problem. At Priory Vets we have invested in the latest equipment to provide the best dental treatment for your pets. X-rays can be taken to fully assess the health of your pet's teeth and help decide if teeth need to be extracted. Teeth can also be scaled and polished to remove plaque and tartar. These procedures are all carried out using the latest and safest anaesthetic drugs and monitoring equipment.
If you are unsure whether or not your pet has a dental problem, or would like advice on how to prevent dental disease, please contact us to make an appointment with one of our skilled practice nurses.
We also offer a full range of pet home dental care products such as toothpastes, toothbrushes, chews, toys and special dental diet foods.
Like all senior citizens, ageing pets deserve special care. We recommend senior wellness checks every 6 months with a qualified VN who will take a full clinical history and carry out a complete clinical examination. It is recommended that you bring a sample of your pet's urine to be checked at this clinic. A blood test may also be recommended and cats will have their blood pressure checked. If any abnormalities are found a veterinary appointment may be recommended.
Identifying common diseases associated with old age at an early stage may mean improved potential for their successful management. These can include thyroid problems, dental disease, kidney and liver disease, cognitive dysfunction (brain ageing), arthritis and obesity. Look out for signs such as drinking and urinating more frequently, increased or decreased appetite, mouth odours, exercise intolerance and stiffness or lameness, all of which may need further investigation.
In pets, the senior or geriatric phase of life starts at varying ages due to breed size and species. Toy and small breed dogs enter the senior stage at approximately 8 years, medium breeds 7-8 years and giant breeds at 5 years. Cats are considered senior at 8 years old.
Financial Help with Vets' Bills
You may be eligible for help towards your veterinary fees through the following organisations. Please advise us when booking your appointment and well before any treatment if you are claiming towards costs.
PDSA call 0191 514 4353 to apply. CATS PROTECTION LEAGUE For help with neutering costs, call 0870 209 9099. DOGS TRUST For help with neutering costs, call us here at Priory Vets. RSPCA For help towards accident and emergency treatment. Call us here at Priory Vets and we can log the case.
If you have a puppy aged 18 weeks or younger, you are invited to register for Puppy School which is run by our Head Nurse and dog-behaviour specialist, Brenda Slade. The six-week course is run on reward-based training and offers a great opportunity for puppies to socialise and owners to learn early training techniques.
Dog Obedience Classes
For older dogs, we run dog obedience classes every Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm
Thousands of pets go missing each year; many of them are never returned to their owners because they have not been microchipped/or their details are not up to date and they have no other form of identification
Microchipping is a quick, simple and safe procedure, when implanted by a suitably qualified person, and although only the size of a grain of rice it can make all the difference in being reunited with your pet. Microchipping is carried out by our qualified nurses, or under anaesthetic at the time of neutering or any other surgical procedure.
We routinely scan ALL PETS for microchips on their first visit.
In order to take your pet abroad, and re-enter the UK from an EU country, we advise that you follow this 6-step plan.
- Have your pet microchipped, unless this has already been done.
- Have your pet vaccinated against rabies.
- Wait at least 21 days after rabies vaccination.
- Travel to and from the UK, taking your pet's passport with you every time.
- 24 -120 hours (1-5 days) before re-entry to the UK take your pet to a vet for tapeworm treatment.
- Keep your rabies boosters up to date (every 3 years with our current vaccination brand) and follow step 5 whenever travelling abroad.
We can carry out steps 1 and 2 together on a single visit to the surgery, and once both are completed we will issue you with a pet passport.
Please contact the surgery for details on travelling to non-EU countries.