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Dog Care

As your puppy develops into an adult and then over time reaches a senior age, their health care needs can change.

 

Intestinal Worms:  Regular worming is recommended to protect your dog against roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tapeworm. These parasites can be passed onto other animals aswell as people. Young puppies should be wormed every two weeks, and adults and seniors should be wormed every three months.  Intestinal wormers can be purchased over the counter at Spearwood Veterinary Hospital.

Heartworm: Heartworm is a parasite transmitted to dogs through mosquitos. These worms lodge in the heart and vessels feed on the surrounding blood, they can grow up to 30cm in length! Heartworm prevention should be started at 12 weeks of age and continued for life. We recommend Proheart  - a once a year injectable heartworm preventative, which can be done in a regular consult with our vets. Alternatively monthly medications, either tablets or spot-ons products such as Sentinel, Interceptor and Advocate can be used.

Fleas: Aswell as causing your dog to scratch, these little parasites can cause an allergic reaction (flea allergy dermatitis) and they can pass on tapeworm. To protect your dog aginast fleas we recommend using Advantage every month. This can be purchased over the counter at Spearwood Veterinary Hospital, we stock a variety of other flea products including Sentinel, Advocate, Frontline and Revolution.

Vaccinations: Puppies require vaccination at 6-8 weeks of age, 12 weeks of age and 16 weeks of age. adult and senior dogs require an annual booster. These vaccinations protect agains canine parvovirus, canine distemper, canine hepatitis and canine kennel cough. For more information on vaccinations at Spearwood Veterinary Hospital click here.

Nutrition: It is important to ensure your dog is fed a well-balanced diet. A diet lacking in some of the essential vitamins and minerals can cause growth and development problems. Young dogs require a puppy diet, this is formulated to assist with their rapid growth and should be fed until they are between 9 - 12 months of age. We recommend Hills Science Diet and it is available in small, medium & large breed varieties. Adult dogs still need to have a balanced diet and Hills Science Diet has a built in dental defense which helps protect your dogs teeth from plaque and tartar build up and also contains DHA, essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to help maintain healthy skin and coat and promote brain function. When feeding senior dogs it is important to consider that if they are less active, then their food requirement may be less also. As our dogs age they can develop arthritis and associated joint pain. If your dog is being over fed and gains weight, this excess weight can add to the amount of joint pain experienced. Hills Science Diet have diets available specific to mature dogs and have included ingredients such as glucosamine to help maintain joint health. When compared on a day by day cost basis these diets compare favourably with lower quality diets and ALL premium food sold at Spearwood Veterinary Hospital comes with a 100% money back guarantee.

Microchip: This is now a legal requirement after the introduction of new dog laws by local government and will be enforced as of 2015. For further information on what the new laws mean for you, please contact your local council.  Microchipping is a quick and easy procedure which can be done in a regular consultation with the vet. The chip is implanted under the skin via a needle (similar to a vaccination.) Each chip has a unique number which is linked to your contact details on a national register. The chip becomes a permanent form of identification, unlike tags on collars that can fall off or fade overtime. Microchips can greatly increase the chance of you pet being returned home should they ever get lost.

Desexing: This is a surgical procedure in which the reproductive organs are removed. There are many benefits of desexing that should be considered such as: prevention of unwanted pregnancies, prevention of undesirable behaviour (urine marking, aggression), prevention of certain disease (prostate disease and testicular tumours in males, uterine infections and mammary tumours in females.) Dogs reach sexual maturity between 5-8 months of age and this is when we recommend having your dog desexed.