There have been some statements regarding vaccination in dogs (and Dobermans in particular) floating around the internet for some time now which in my opinion are a cause for concern. Vaccination of dogs is done for one reason only - to protect the health of the animal by providing it with immunity against certain very serious diseases.
The diseases we vaccinate against in dogs include canine parvovirus, canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis (canine adenovirus) and canine parainfluenza virus. Furthermore in certain endemic areas vaccination against leptospirosis is common.
Canine parvovirus is a highly infectious, often fatal disease of young dogs. The virus is very resistant in the environment and can persist for many months if not years. Symptoms include vomiting and bloody diarrhoea, rapid dehydration and death. Parvovirus attacks not only gastrointestinal system but affects the immune system too, so affected pups may succumb to secondary infections.
Canine distemper is another very contagious virus of dogs, with clinical signs including ocular and nasal discharge, pneumonia, vomiting and diarrhoea and ultimately neurological signs and death.
Infectious canine hepatitis, also a disease predominately of young pups, attacks the liver and gastrointestinal system. Affected animals show vomiting and diarrhoea, very rapid dehydration and may die.
I consider the above three disease the “core” viruses against which vaccination is essential. Contrary to rumour, these vaccines are extremely safe and side effects are remarkably rare. Because these viruses affect young pups, generally between the ages of six and twenty weeks, starting the vaccination program early is critical. I believe the first shot should be at around six to eight weeks old with a booster at twelve weeks. In terms of frequency of vaccination after the initial course a second booster twelve months after the initial course is recommended. After this frequency of vaccination would depend on individual circumstances including the level of likely challenge, the type (and registration criteria) of the vaccine being used and possibly the antibody titres of the animal.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Sheep measles (Taenia Ovis) unlike true hydatids (Echinococcus granulosus) has no human health risks, but its importance lies in the fact that it leads to cysts through the carcass of the animal which are unsightly and lets face it, who wants to eat meat with visible oozing cysts.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Dogs and cats can be poisoned by products that are readily available around the house as well as those that are being used to reduce the possum, rat/mice and slug population. Remember dogs are natural scavengers and even during a hard days work can usually find time to snack on a tasty morsel that they come across.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: We have in the past few weeks seen a number of dogs suffering from acute bloat caused by torsion (twisting) of the stomach. This is one condition which constitutes a true emergency as these animals need surgery very early in the course of the bloat if they are to be saved.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: As we enter the time of year where a lot of chocolate is about, we often get phone calls from owners wondering what to do after their pet has possibly or almost certainly eaten some chocolate, or cocoa containing cakes and biscuits.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016:
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: There are many skin conditions that we see on a regular basis, one of the most common being Canine Atopy which is essentially itchy skin caused by allergies. The severity of the disease is variable and can range from mild itching and redness to more severe skin and ear infections.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Zac presented to the clinic with left hind-limb lameness of a short duration. We took x-rays of his hock region (ankle), as a swelling was found in this area. This showed an osteosarcoma or bone tumour, these tumors generally hold a very poor prognosis and we often have to amputate the leg (non curative but can extend life expectancy).
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Each week across our Napier, Waipukurau, Dannevirke and Masterton clinics our professional groomers are busy making dogs look pretty.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Vet visits can be the stuff of nightmares for cats, and their owners! All too often we see cats that arrive at the clinic having cried for the entire car trip, possibly soiled their cage, and that are generally very stressed. They then get examined, maybe injected, and get back into the cage for the stressful return trip home.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: At around the age of eight our pets are classified as "seniors". From then on it is extremely beneficial to have a yearly blood and urine sample taken and have these tested to see how your pet's organs are functioning, and establish if there is anything we can do medically to help prolong a happy and healthy life and prevent or slow the onset of disease.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Barley Grass season is on its way and this pesky seed is a common problem for many dogs. Barley Grass seeds have a sharp barb at one end and are perfectly formed to penetrate skin and travel around the body. Spaniels and Beardies are at particular risk due to their hairy feet, but any dog can be affected.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Arthritis is one of the most common conditions we see in a variety of dog breeds and results in pain, loss of athletic ability, and worst case scenario euthanasia. Hip arthritis is common and can affect both young and old dogs. The primary cause of hip arthritis is excessive hip laxity otherwise known as hip dysplasia.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: For dogs, the use of effective vaccinations has meant that infectious diseases such as hepatitis and distemper, which previously used to kill large number of dogs, are now rarely seen. Unfortunately Parvo-virus is still often diagnosed and commonly causes death in younger puppies.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: In recent times dental disease in cats and dogs has become a major component of a Vet's daily case load. This may be because we now better recognise the discomfort this causes for our usually uncomplaining patients and potential for further disease to result from it if allowed to go un-treated.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Now is a good time for treating fleas! With the cooler months almost upon us, now is a good time to remember that year round treatment is essential for good control of the flea population.
Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: What should I feed my new puppy or kitten? What are the advantages of the premium diets? Should I feed my dog bones? How do I get my pet to lose weight?
Read more >Friday 11th of March 2016: Virtually all the cattle pregnancy testing at Vet Services is now done by ultrasound scanning, allowing more accurate diagnosis of age of pregnancy, identifying twin calves if required, as well as being much gentler for the cows than the century-old practice of manual testing.