How often do I need to flea and worm my pets?

Worms and fleas are extremely common parasites in cats and dogs. They are also extremely easy to treat and prevent. Only 5% of fleas are actually present on our animals. The remaining fleas are found in the environment.
Fleas commonly lay dormant in our homes in places such as the carpet and furniture. They awaken when these areas warm up, typically around summer. When they sense vibration nearby they jump on board and begin biting causing irritation and sometimes bad allergic reactions.
If your pet seems to be scratching a lot more than normal they may have fleas. You can determine whether you pet has fleas by looking for them in the coat. You may see either flea dirt or fleas themselves.
Treatment for fleas is easy. The best treatment is a spot-on treatment such as “Frontline”, “Revolution”, or “Advocate”. These work by being absorbed through the skin and distributed throughout the whole body, killing fleas for up to a month. Worms are also nasty parasites commonly found in cats and dogs. These can be transferred to humans causing skin lesions, intestinal parasites and sometimes blindness. They occur all year round and therefore it is recommended to treat every 3 months. Treatment can be done with a pill (“Drontal” or “Endoguard”) or the spot-on treatment (“Profender”). “Profender” is the brand new spot-on treatment which targets all types of worms including tapeworm (which other spot-on treatments do not).
Spot-on treatments are great for cats that are difficult to pill. These products are only available from a veterinary clinic. Supermarket brands are not as efficacious and some can even be dangerous. For more information on these and other products please contact CareVets

Do I need to Vaccinate?

It is very important to vaccinate your dog and cat. Vaccination protects your pet from serious disease.
In cats, the core vaccination protects them against cat flu (herpes virus, calicivirus, and panleukopenia) and in dogs, they protect against Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus.
Additional vaccines are available such as Leukaemia, AIDS and Chlamydia vaccination for cats, and Kennel Cough and Leptospirosis for dogs.
The first vaccination should be given at 9 weeks of age in cats, and from 6-8 weeks of age in dogs. This needs to be boosted 3-4 weeks later, and then again every year.
If your pet needs to go into a kennel or cattery be sure their vaccinations up to date, as it is a requirement before entering a boarding. For more information please ring your closest CareVets on 0800Carevets 0800 22 73 83.

How do I cut my pets nails?

If your dog’s nails are clicking on the floor or getting snagged in your carpet it is time for a pedicure. Trimming your cat’s nails will help if your cat uses its nails to harass your furniture, or you!
Always use trimmers designed for pets, and make sure they are sharp. It may help to have your veterinary nurse or vet show you how to clip your pet’s nails before your first attempt. It helps to start trimming your cat or dog’s nails while they are young. Use positive reinforcement and treats to reward your pet each time you clip their nails.
Avoid cutting into the quick, this is the pink part which contains nerves and blood vessels. It is best to cut 1mm away from the quick. If your pet has black nails it is often impossible to see the quick. In these pets clip a little at the time from the tip of the nail, when you see a little moisture stop clipping.
If the tip of the nail begins to bleed apply pressure for a few minutes with a tissue or cotton wool. Sometimes applying talcum powder to the nail tip or pressing the nail against a bar of soap will help control any bleeding.
Remember to trim the dew claw on the inside of the leg, as these are prone to becoming ingrown. Clip nails once or twice a month. If you don’t trim the nails regularly the quick will lengthen.
Trimming your pet’s nails is often a two person job, with one person restraining and the other clipping. If your pet doesn’t like having it’s nails trimmed, feel free to call for an appointment at Carevets

My pet is not eating well should I worry?

This loss of appetite is called anorexia, and can be an indicator of significant illness.
After just a few days hydration and nutritional support is essential for recovery. It is important to try to determine the cause of inappetence, as well as distinguishing if it is a true aversion to food or a reluctance to physically eat.
Some reasons for an aversion to food include any disease process causing nausea such as gastrointestinal upset, infection and cancers. A reluctance to eat is usually due to pain from the jaw, throat or teeth.
Anorexia is a nonspecific clinical sign and does not in itself help determine the cause of the underlying process. It can however help determine if the patient needs hospitalization and the prognosis or expected outcome of the case.
If your pet presents with a loss of appetite, it is recommended to get them examined by your vet. Blood tests, xrays and hospitalization may be required to help diagnose and treat your pet. Nutritional support is usually required in the form or fluid therapy, syringe feeding, appetite stimulants, anti nausea medication and in severe cases feeding tubes.

My pet is drinking more water than normal

If your cat or dog seems to be drinking more water than usual it is worth taking note of this as it could be the first sign of a health problem.
Sometimes it can be a sudden change and other times it can be a gradual increase over several months, either way it would be advisable to take your pet to see their vet.
There are a multitude of diseases that can cause an increase in water intake which includes Diabetes, Kidney failure, Infection, Fever, Cancer and Hyperthyroidism. Another cause could be if you have recently changed your pet’s diet from a wet food to dry food as wet food may have up to 70% water content.
If you suspect your cat or dog is drinking more you could firstly find out exactly how much they are drinking in 24 hours; measure the water volume in their filled water bowl then 24 hours later re-measure the amount of water left. The difference will be the amount they have drunk. This figure, in conjunction with your pet’s weight, can help the vet assess whether he/she is drinking an excessive amount. Of course this may be impractical if you have multiple pets using the same bowl. Secondly, you could collect a fresh urine sample in a clean container just prior to your vet appointment as urinalysis can help the vet reach a diagnosis.
You can expect your vet to perform a thorough clinical examination and possibly a blood test to help rule out various conditions.

My older animal is losing weight should I worry?

Weight loss in your elderly pet can indicate underlying disease processes and so it is important you recognize and act on this early.
Weight loss in your aging companion can be one of the first signs of conditions such as hyperthyroidism, kidney and liver disease, dental disease and cancer. Having regular health checks and discussing your animals health with your veterinarian can help to identify these problems early and lead to a better quality and longer life.
As an animal matures its dietary requirements change, a key issue is that they require a higher level of nutrition and calories. Specialized diets are formulated to meet these needs and also address other dietary factors to help in preventing old age issues such as arthritis, dental disease, and kidney issues. By switching your pet to a high quality senior diet you will help support their dietary requirements and prevent diet associated weight loss.
Many disease processes also result in weight loss some of the more common have already been mentioned. Hyperthyroidism is a metabolic disease mostly seen in elderly cats. It is very common and often presents as weight loss, increased appetite and vocalization.
Kidney and liver disease is more common in older animals and can cause weight loss, increased drinking, increased urination and a reduced appetite.
Dental disease such as tartar and gingivitis can lead to very sore mouths. This can result in an animal not physical being able to eat enough. Owners often notice a smelly breath and reduced appetite. Many older animals undergo a dental here at the clinic where the teeth are scaled, cleaned and polished. This can significantly improve their attitude and appetite. Unfortunately most cancers result in weight loss, however some cancers are treatable and if caught early supportive care can significantly improve an animal’s quality of life.