Prevention is better than cure, and your pet’s health and well-being is no exception. The Anicare team recommends that your pet receive a check-up at least once per year or more frequently as they get older, or if they have special medical needs.
Regular visits to the vet play a huge part in the “prevention is better than cure” approach and are critical to preventing illness and identifying any newly emerging problems before they become serious.
Apart from detecting any subtle changes in your pet’s physical health, annual vet checks give us an opportunity to get your pet’s vaccinations and parasite control up to date, check your pet’s weight and teeth, and address any issues that may be worrying you.
Vaccinations are essential for your pet and are a critical part of preventative healthcare in cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets. Vaccinations prevent your pet from contracting potentially fatal diseases.
We routinely vaccinate dogs against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and infectious bronchitis (kennel cough).
- 1st vaccination: 6-10 weeks
- 2nd vaccination: 10-12 weeks
The interval between the primary vaccinations should be 2-4 weeks, but no longer.
Booster vaccinations must be given every year. Each practice sends out reminders for annual health checks and booster vaccinations.
Cats are vaccinated against cat flu, feline infectious enteritis, and feline leukaemia.
Our recommended kitten vaccination schedule is as follows:
- 1st vaccination: 9 weeks
- 2nd vaccination: 12 weeks
The interval between the primary vaccinations should be 3-5 weeks, but no longer.
Booster vaccinations are given every year.
Regular flea and worm treatment are necessary to keep your pet, your family and your home healthy. Practically all kittens and puppies have worms, so treatment to kill these parasites is very important as they can affect your pet’s health and can potentially be passed on to humans. Worm treatment can be administered in the form of tablets or incorporated into a topical flea and worm treatment which is applied on the back of the animal’s neck every month.
Fleas and their larvae can live year round so monthly treatment is advised. At your pet’s health check we will give you advice on flea and worm treatment and prevention. We will also advise you on tick and lungworm treatment.
Please phone us at any of our branches if you have any questions about worm and flea treatments.
Puppy Training and Behaviour
The most important period in your puppy’s life is between the ages of 8-18 weeks. It is at this age that their personality and social skills are developed. The skills and behaviour habits they learn at this stage will be with them for the rest of their lives so it is vital to socialise and train them in the correct manner.
Puppy classes are run in our Palmerstown, Botanic and Clontarf hospitals. The classes run for four weeks with approximately three to six puppies in each class.
Introducing a puppy into your life can be a fantastic experience; they bring endless entertainment into your home. However, at times it can be hard to determine the best way to train your puppy. It can be overwhelming and frustrating, especially when progress is not being made as fast as one would hope.
Our classes enable owners to better understand their puppies and learn how to decode their actions to determine what each behaviour means, which in turn leads to easier training. Eliminating unwanted behaviour in young puppies is always achievable regardless of the circumstance.
The objectives of the four week course include:
- Socialisation – both with people and other dogs
- Habituation – introduction into different environments
- Toilet training
- Bite inhibition
- Command training
- Owner education
- Understanding body language
- Prevention of common behaviour problems
- Feeding and exercise
- Fun, playful experience for your puppies
It’s a good idea to take the opportunity at your pet’s annual visit to discuss unusual or inappropriate behaviour. Whether this takes the form of excessive barking, biting or destroying property in your absence, misbehaviour can usually be managed if caught in the early stages. We will give you advice on how to deal with these issues or we may recommend that your dog is referred to a trained behaviourist.
6 Month Puppy and Kitten Checks:
These health checks, which are provided free of charge, are vital to ensuring the normal growth and development of your pet.
At the 6 month health check we will examine your pet from nose to tail. We will ensure that there has been normal weight gain, check on tooth development, arrange parasite treatment and prevention and discuss diet and neutering. It is also a useful time to discuss any issues which might be of concern to you.
Obesity is a common problem in pets, so ensuring that your pet is in optimal body condition is very important. Weight clinics are provided free of charge at all of our branches. We will weigh your pet and check them for signs of excess body fat.
If your pet is overweight we will help you establish a proper diet and exercise plan or perhaps advise that you enroll your pet in a weight loss programme. Such programmes typically involve placing your pet on a specific weight loss diet and committing to monthly weight checks with a veterinary nurse. Your pet’s target weight should be achieved within 4-6 months, leading to a healthier and happier pet. The monthly weight checks and consultations are provided free of charge.
Conversely, if your pet has lost weight since he or she was last weighed, with no change in diet or exercise, this could be a sign of a health problem and should be investigated.
At Anicare we recommend that all dogs and cats not intended for breeding should be neutered at six months of age. Neutering is also referred to as “spaying” in females and “castration” in males. Once neutered, your female pet will not come into heat and will be unable to get pregnant. Similarly, your male pet will not be interested in finding a mate. Your pet’s personality will not change and neutering does not take away playfulness or energy.
There are many advantages and health benefits to neutering which we can discuss with you at your pet’s health checks. We will also advise you on proper aftercare, including diet, to help prevent your neutered pet from becoming overweight.
In the meantime, please review the information sheet on neutering that can be found on this webpage.
Senior Pet Clinics
As pets reach their golden years, there are a variety of conditions and diseases that they may face, including weight and mobility changes, osteoarthritis, kidney, heart and liver disease, tumours and cancers, hormone disorders such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance and many others.
Within the Anicare veterinary group we offer free “After Eight Clinics” for senior pets which are health checks carried out by the veterinary nurses. The purpose of these checks is early detection of conditions such as osteoarthritis and organ failure and to catch and delay the onset or progress of disease. Luckily, many problems can be successfully managed with medication or simple lifestyle changes, such as switching to a senior diet.
Your pet will receive a full examination and you will be asked a series of questions about your pet’s behaviour and daily routine. You will then be advised if a blood or urine test is necessary to further assess your pet’s condition.