Dogs on average, age five to eight times faster than humans. By age two, most pets have already reached adulthood. At age four, many are entering middle age. By age seven, many dogs, particularly larger breeds, are entering their senior years. Because pets age so rapidly major health changes occur in a small amount of time. The risk of cancer , diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and many other serious health conditions increase with age.
Vaccination has revolutionised the control of infectious disease in dogs. It is essential that all dogs are vaccinated to help protect them and other dogs from preventable diseases . Our vaccines protect against several diseases including Canine Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza virus, Coronavirus, and Leptospirosis. Puppies require a series of vaccinations to ensure complete immunity has been achieved. Initial vaccination is at 6-8 weeks with a second vaccination at 12-14 weeks followed by annual boosters to maintain immunity. Puppies are not fully protected by one vaccination as maternal antibodies from their mother’s milk may interfere with the vaccine and prevent the puppy developing its own immunity. We use and recommend Protech C4 and C2i vaccine.
C5 Vaccination is a C4 Vaccination with the addition of Protech Bronchi-Shield Oral Bordatella (also known as Kennel Cough or Canine Cough) vaccine.
Canine Cough is commonly called “kennel cough”. It is a highly contagious disease which is caused by a complex of viruses (Parainfluenza, Adenovirus type 2) and bacteria (Bordatella bronchiseptica). Affected dogs develop a dry, hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is not usually fatal but can sometimes progress to pneumonia. It is easily spread via contact with other dogs especially at boarding kennels, shows, obedience schools etc. B. bronchiseptica can affect people, especially people with compromised immune systems (chemotherapy patients, elderly people). It is closely related to the bacteria which causes whooping cough in people, Bordatella pertussis.
Protech Bronchi-Shield Oral is a modified live vaccine given orally once a year. Some boarding kennels require this vaccination. Dogs don’t like having the vaccine squirted in their mouth (often reacting more to this than to an injectable vaccine)! There are injectable Kennel Cough vaccines available but we don’t use them routinely for several reasons:
- They are mostly killed vaccines, so need two doses at first. Protech Bronchi-Shield Oral is a live vaccine and immunity will develop from a single dose.
- The immunity develops much sooner when using Protech Bronchi-Shield Oral than it does when using an injectable vaccine, and lasts better too.
- Most vaccine reactions in dogs are caused by injectable kennel cough vaccines. These reactions typically occur within a few hours of the injection and consist of massive swelling of the nose, muzzle and face, with intense itching. They are easily treated with cortisone and anti-histamine but take several hours to go down and are an unpleasant experience for the patient.
Heart worm is a parasite spread by mosquitoes with a complicated life cycle. Immature heartworm parasites (microfilaria) are sucked up by mosquitoes when feeding on the blood of infected dogs. The microfilaria then develop into heartworm larvae inside the mosquito. It only requires one bite from an infected mosquito to infect your dog. As the worms mature in the heart they can cause a physical blockage as well as thickening of the heart and associated blood vessels. In the early stages of infection there may be no visible symptoms, however infection may eventually lead to signs of heart failure and even death. Symptoms may include lethargy, coughing and reluctance to exercise. Thankfully heart worm is preventable and should be an important part of your dogs monthly or annual healthcare routine.
We recommend Proheart SR12 injection as the gold standard for heartworm prevention. Puppies require injections at 3, 6 and 15 months of age followed by annual injections. It is convenient to combine SR12 injections with annual checkups and vaccination.
As our monthly alternative we recommend Comfortis Plus which is a chewable tablet covering heartworm, fleas, hookworm, roundworm and whipworms.
Puppies are more susceptible to intestinal worms than adult dogs.
Common intestinal worms in Australia are
If your pet has worms it may be difficult to maintain body condition or can cause weight loss. Worms can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and anaemia (low red blood cell count). Heavy intestinal worm burdens can cause death. The life cycle of worms vary greatly, mostly in time spent developing outside your pet. Some tapeworms need to pass through fleas to complete their lifecycle, so flea prevention is important to control tapeworms. It is important to maintain a routine worming treatment for your pets, to reduce the incidence of infection and to reduce environmental contamination. Re-infection is common problem, particularly in dogs that are in a heavily contaminated environment. It is also important to protect your family, as children (and adults!) can also become infected, and sometimes infections with common worms can be life threatening, causing death or permanent disability.
Tips to prevent worm infestation
– Promptly clean up dog faeces
– practice good hygiene, always encourage children to wash their hands regularly (especially after playing in dirt or sandpits, playing with pets or prior to eating)
– Prevent children from playing where the soil may be contaminated
– Keep your pet’s environment clean
– Always dispose of dog faeces from public parks and playgrounds
Puppies should be wormed from 2 weeks of age, because they can be infected via their mother’s milk if she carries worms. The recommended regime is worming at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks, then monthly until 6 months of age, then every 3 months.
We recommend Milbemax and Drontal allwormers and Drontal syrup for puppies.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Fleas are a problem all year round, but peak in the warmer weather. Only a small part of the adult flea population actually lives on your pet. The flea eggs and larvae live in the environment and can live for a long time. Dogs can have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition called flea allergy dermatitis or FAD. Treatment of FAD can be complicated and veterinary consultation is recommended.
For more info about products to control fleas see our Flea Control Solutions page.
Some signs that your pet may have fleas include:
– Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump
– You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin area)
– It can be difficult to find the fleas, but it is relatively easy to check for flea dirt. Flea dirt is the faeces dropped by fleas, and consists of partly digested, dried blood they have sucked from the animal. Simply moisten a cotton ball, part your dogs fur and place the cotton ball on the skin over the rump. If the cotton ball takes on black specs surrounded by a reddish area, this may be flea dirt and can indicate that your dog has fleas.
The main tick of concern for pet owners is the Paralysis tick as it can cause paralysis and death within 2-4 days of attachment . We do not see cases of tick paralysis here as we are too far inland, however people travelling to coastal areas are at risk. We have treated cases of tick paralysis here, where dogs have brought ticks back from the coast. Brown dog ticks, cattle ticks and bush ticks are common on dogs in this area and are difficult to distinguish from paralysis ticks without magnification. Low numbers generally cause few health problems, high numbers of brown ticks may cause:
– skin irritation
A Microchip is a permanent electronic identification device that has a unique number which can be detected using a microchip scanner. The microchip number is then recorded and lodged into a registry that will have all your information and animals details. In the event that your dog becomes lost, a microchip is the most reliable way to ensure your dog will return home. It is an important responsibility as the owner to make sure all your details are correct and up to date on the registry so you are able to be contacted by the pound or your local veterinary surgery if your dog is found. If you are unsure if your details are up to date or unsure what registry your dog is under, go to http://www.petaddress.com.au and enter your dog’s microchip number.
In Queensland all puppies between 8 and 12 weeks of age must be implanted with a microchip. Responsibility for microchipping is with the person selling or giving away the animal.
New laws for dog breeders in Queensland came into effect for dogs born on or after 26 May 2017. Dogs born before this date are not affected. The Queensland Government has amended the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 to include new laws that promote the responsible breeding of dogs.
It means a person giving away, selling or advertising dogs or puppies must have a supply number. The supply number must be included in the dog’s microchip information. A supply number is available online when registering as a breeder. There are penalties if dogs or puppies are given away, sold or advertised without a supply number.
Working dogs bred by primary producers are exempt from the new law. Pigging dogs are not classified as working dogs.
For more information visit the Biosecurity Queensland website at http://www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au
Clipping and Hydro-bathing
We offer clipping and hydro-bathing services all year round. If required we can sedate your dog for a stress free experience. Our hydro bath is heated for the comfort of your dog.
A Before photo of one of our very Handsome patients “Gilbert”