Adult Dogs & Cats Health
The check up at 6 months of age for pups
Puppies can finish their vaccination course from 10 weeks of age (with the exception of rottweillers). At Brittas Veterinary Hospital we ask owners to bring back their puppy to us when he or she is 6 months old.
At this point we assess the puppy’s progress with regard to growth, weight, diet, coat condition and behaviour. We are examining the puppy at this point to assess his or her transition into adolescence.
At Brittas Veterinary hospital we neuter male and female cats from 5 months of age. Preventing unwanted litters of kittens is important and is a cat owner’s responsibility. Neutered female cats are not worn out and thin from having litters, they are less likely to contract viruses due to decreased contact with males and are healthier.
Neutered male cats take far better care of themselves because they are not worn out from running after females. They are far less inclined to spray to mark their territory and they do not have the strong ‘Tom cat’ odour. They fight less and are less likely to contract viruses from close contact with other cats.
Neutered cats tend not to stray and make super pets!
Neutering Female Dogs
At the 6 month puppy check we discuss neutering with puppy owners. At Brittas Vets we neuter bitches when we feel they are mature enough which is individually and breed dependent. Large and giant breeds are neutered later.
It is not necessary to wait for the bitch to have had her first heat nor is it necessary to allow the bitch to have had a litter before neutering.
An ovariohysterectomy is performed when neutering or spraying a bitch which means that both the ovaries and the womb are removed.
At Brittas Veterinary Hospital this is generally a day procedure with the bitch admitted for surgery in the morning before 9.30 am, having the surgery performed during the course of the morning, recovering over lunch time under nursing supervision and being discharged in the evening to the owner.
Food and water are withheld from the bitch from 12am prior to the morning of surgery.
The bitch is given pain relief prior, during and after surgery. Antibiotic cover is given immediately post surgery.
The bitch is discharged wearing a buster collar to prevent her interfering with her stitches.
Stitches are removed 10 days post surgery. We at Brittas Vet recommend neutering any bitch that the owner does not intend breeding from as neutering prevents the development of mammary and ovarian cancers and also womb infections (Pyometra) that occur frequently in older bitches.
Neutering Male Dogs
Male dogs are castrated which means both testicles are removed and the dog no longer produces male hormones. Therefore male behaviours gradually disappear. Males are neutered to prevent them breeding but also to stop male behaviours such as aggression and straying.
At Brittas Veterinary castration of male dogs is a day procedure that is carried out in a similar time frame and method to the spaying of bitches as outlined above.
Dogs and cats are given their first booster one year after their primary vaccination course is completed. At Brittas Veterinary we will contact owners to remind them that their animal’s booster is due.
‘Kennel cough’ is a syndrome whereby dogs develop a cough. Outbreaks of this cough usually occur where there are large numbers of dog kept together for any length of time, hence the name!
There is a vaccine available against kennel cough which is given intranasally (up the dog’s nose) annually.
Kennel cough vaccinations are compulsory along with the routine annual booster before a dog will be allowed into boarding kennels.
Over the past 2 years we have encountered a number of dogs that became very ill with kennel cough whereas historically the illness was usually mild. It is a situation that we will be closely monitoring at Brittas Veterinary Hospital with regard to our patients.
Rabies Vaccinations and Pet travel
Owners who wish to travel with their dog or cat may require a pet passport. As mentioned previously these dogs and cats must be microchipped to obtain a pet passport. They may also be required to be vaccinated against rabies depending on their destination. There may also be requirements with regard to parasite control again depending on the destination.
At Brittas Veterinary Hospital we aid owners who want to travel their pets worldwide but we would like to point out that we take every case on an INDIVIDUAL BASIS and we would ask any one intending to travel their pet to call in and speak to us directly allowing PLENTY OF TIME before the intended date of travel.
Worms in adult dogs and cats
Adult dogs and cats can have roundworm infestations and as previously mentioned bitches pass roundworms on to their puppies.
Tape worm infestations occur in both dogs and cats involving whole or part ingestion of an intermediate host such as a flea or a rodent.
Lungworm infestations also occur in dogs and cats. Angiostrongylus vasorum is reported to be causing serious illnesses in dogs in the UK and Ireland in recent times.
We also treat dogs for Hookworm and Whipworm infestations.
Heartworm is not a problem for dogs in Ireland but prevention should be used for dogs that travel abroad.
Please feel free to call in to Brittas Vets to discuss your individual pet’s requirements.
Worming adult dogs and cats
From 6 months onwards dogs and cats should be wormed at a minimum of every 3 months and more frequently in households with young children or sick people. Worm doses are calculated on the dog or cats weight. At Brittas Vets our staff will weigh your dog (free of charge) and calculate the correct dose of worm product. If you do not bring in your dog our staff will be able to make an estimate judging by the breed, sex and age of your dog. This is important because under dosing with worm product is ineffective and will lead to build up of worms in the dogs system.
Adult cats are usually between 5-7 kg’s weight but if your cat is very large please bring him in to be weighed.
Our worm products are chosen to have the broadest spectrum of efficacy for the treatment or prevention of worm infestation in your dog or cat.
Flea control products are used on adult dog and cats every 1, 2 or 3 months depending on the product used. We stock Frontline and Stronghold products.
Worming and flea prevention in dogs and cats is a serious issue with human health implications many products sold out over the counter in shops are ineffective or are being sold with incorrect or no advice.
At approximately 18 months of age puppies and kittens are moved from puppy food onto adult diets. Large and Giant breeds may be the exception. At this time if fully grown the energy, vitamin and mineral requirements are now aimed at maintaining a proper healthy weight, bone density and muscle mass. Complete dry diets in nut form are what we at Brittas Vets recommend. Advice will be required on an individual basis and at Brittas Vets we have a qualified Nutritional Adviser Michelle Grimes on hand to help you select a suitable diet.
Royal Canin and Burns are the two main food lines we recommend but we also stock Pedigree and Redmills.