Alexandra Vets, Clevedon
Kittens can be vaccinated from 9 weeks of age. They require 2 injections at least 3 weeks apart and are fully protected 1 week after the second injection. We will send you a reminder for their annual ‘boosters’.
The basic vaccination is for cat ‘ﬂu’ and enteritis. We would strongly recommend vaccinating against Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and also Chlamydia up until 18 months old or annually if breeding.
If your cat currently isn’t vaccinated against FeLV, you can opt to have this done – It is a course of 2 injections, like the basic vaccination.
However, FeLV virus can lie dormant in other tissues in an inactive state for many years. If your cat therefore develops the disease later In life, despite being vaccinated, it is because it was already infected prior to its ﬁrst ever vaccine. It is therefore very important to vaccinate as a kitten.
We may advise vaccination for other diseases based on your individual circumstances.
If you wish to travel abroad, Rabies vaccination is required for the Pet Passport. Please see separate handout.
WORMING AND FLEA PREVENTION
We normally recommend “BROADLINE” every month. It is safe from 7 weeks of age. This kills the fleas and ticks on your pet. It also contains an insect growth regulator which treats your house by stopping growth and reproduction of fleas, and it includes a broad spectrum round and tape worm treatment. It has a residual action unlike many other products.
Flea sprays are an alternative and can also kill ticks on your pet. The spray we recommend has the advantage of being safe from 2 days of age in kittens. It lasts 2 months but separate worming would then be required.
We may advise an alternative regime to suit you or your pet depending on circumstances.
It is essential your parasite control covers at least roundworms, tapeworms, fleas and ticks, and all pets in your house have an appropriate treatment.
A good quality balanced diet is essential for the health of your pet. We generally recommend “ProPlan” as it is highly palatable and only contains natural preservatives. We may recommend certain “prescription diets” too which your pet may need at certain points throughout its life to help manage certain ailments.
Any diet change must be done gradually.
If you are not planning to breed from your cat it is a good idea to arrange for a castration or spay. This can be done from 6 months of age.
Castration – This helps to prevent spraying (urinating in the house), straying and fighting, which can lead to infections such as abscesses, FeLV and FIV (“Feline AIDS”). It is also essential if your pet has a retained testicle or any genetic abnormality which may be passed on.
Spaying – The advantages include stopping seasons (“Calling” and male interest) and preventing unwanted pregnancy. Cats are “induced ovulators” which means they can be forced into a season by males, rather than regularly coming into season, and indeed can carry offspring from different fathers simultaneously.
Care – your pet can put on weight afterwards – regular checks are recommended.
MICRO-CHIPPING AND PET TAGS
Micro-chipping involves implanting a small chip under the skin between the shoulder blades. It provides a unique identity number which is stored on a central database along with all your details, enabling your pet to be returned to you if it goes missing and is collected as a stray. Remember to inform the database if your move! It is also essential for the Pet Passport.
The chip is implanted through a needle and can be performed during a normal consultation. Please phone in advance. The needle is quite large so we would recommend not doing it at first vaccination but at any time after. There is now a new, slightly more expensive microchip “Bio-therm”, which also reads body temperature, saving your pet the unpleasant experience of a thermometer!
Pet Tags are available from reception in various designs. These attach to your pet’s collar to allow immediate positive identification.
We would advise that this is now an essential component of owning a cat. Unfortunately there is no “animal NHS” and with increasing diagnostic testing available we strongly recommend insurance so that your pet can beneﬁt from the best tests and treatment, without the worry of ﬁnancial constraint. In some cases, insurance can make the difference between euthanasia and treatment. A separate handout is available or you can discuss this further with our nurses.
PREVENTATIVE DENTAL CARE
This is as important for your pet as it is for yourself. The mouth can act as a source of infection for the rest of the body. If your pet has poor oral hygiene, it may have bad breath, gum disease, loose teeth and may be in chronic pain especially when eating. This can lead to weight loss and even contribute to bacterial forms of heart valve disease. In order to correct the problem a general anesthetic and a dental procedure would have to be performed which can be expensive and is not always covered by insurance.
“Prevention is priceless, curing is costly!” We advise “Hills t/d” for adults, which is a prescription diet that cleans the teeth whilst your pet is eating. “Logic gel” or “Maxiguard” is an alternative or can be used in additon. It is similar to toothpaste but doesn’t have to be brushed.
Please call us as usual. An answer-phone will give you the number or our dedicated emergency service – Vets Now Ltd. (See Emergencies). This is manned by vets and nurses who only work nights so they are fresh, awake and awaiting your call, enabling your pet to get the best out of hours hospital care.
They are specialist in emergency and critical care and have access to all the facilities required to provide a high class emergency service.
We hope you find this information useful. We would appreciate any comments and remember we’re only a phone call away!
Other useful feline information can be found at www.fabcats.org.uk
Hillyfields Vets, Winscombe
Monday-Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday : 9am to 11am
(Hillyfields Vets, Winscombe)
Consultations: 9am – 10.30am
Saturday:11am to 1:30pm
(Alexandra Vets, Clevedon)
Consultations: 12pm – 1.30pm