Puppy Care – Vaccination



New born puppies are usually protected for the first few weeks of life by their mother’s first milk, but this is only short term, and by about seven weeks of age this immunity provided by their mother begins to wear off, leaving the puppies un-protected against life-threatening diseases unless they are vaccinated.

Puppies need to have a course of TWO TO THREE vaccinations to be protected against Read More

What do the C3 & C5 vaccinations protect your dog or puppy against?


The ‘C’ stands for Canine and the number 3 or 5 stands for the number of diseases the vaccination protects your puppy or dog from. The C5 vaccination is required and an up to date vaccination certificate requested by all boarding kennels and dog hotels.

The C3 vaccination protects your puppy or dog from the following diseases:


A highly contagious virus that attacks a dog’s intestines and can survive for long periods in the ground after being passed in the faeces of infected dogs. Therefore, it can be picked up in most areas visited by dogs such as dog parks. All dogs are at risk if they haven’t been vaccinated.

Symptoms of Parvovirus

  • Sudden severe vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Lack of appetite and depression

There is no drug available that can kill the virus, treatment concentrates on supporting the dog until the virus has left their body. Unfortunately, despite the best treatment death can occur very quickly and in some cases within 24hrs of seeing the first symptoms. Very young puppies can pass away without showing any symptoms apart from looking unwell.


A highly contagious disease contracted by dogs of all ages. Many dogs die soon after showing symptoms, the few that recover are often left with permanent brain damage. Treatment is often ineffective.

Symptoms of Distemper

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Nasal discharge
  • Fits
  • Paralysis


Nearly all dogs are exposed to this virus at some stage in their lives, but fortunately only few become ill. Recovered dogs become carriers, shedding the virus in their urine and other secretions.

In puppies hepatitis can cause sudden death, whilst adult dogs experience weakness, fever, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and bleeding.

Kennel Cough

A complex disease caused by bacteria and viruses. It is highly contagious and can be picked up by contact with other infected dogs. Affected dogs will have a hacking cough persisting for weeks. In puppies and senior dogs the disease can be very debilitating.

The C5 vaccination protects your dog from Distemper, Parvovirus and hepatitis PLUS:


Parainfluenza is easily spread from dog to dog and causes symptoms that can be fatal. The highest instances of this respiratory infection are seen areas with high dog populations such as race tracks, boarding kennels and pet stores, but it remains highly contagious to any dog of any age. Symptoms can vary in intensity and commonly affect younger puppies and aging dogs the worst.

  • Dry or hacking cough that may worsen with activity
  • Fever
  • Difficulty with breathing, wheezing
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Runny eyes, eye inflammation or conjunctivitis
  • Possible pneumonia with depression, loss of appetite and lethargy

One of the most important factors to contain the virus and treat it before it can spread to other dogs. Many dogs can recover from this virus naturally, but they remain contagious and the virus can spread easily through respiratory secretions and through the air. For this reason, the virus is usually treated aggressively with antibiotics and antiviral drugs.

Why worm your puppy or dog?

worm vector bought from shutterstock[1]

Intestinal worms are parasites that live in a dog’s intestines. All dogs can get worms, but puppies are most at risk! Worms can make your puppy very sick causing weight-loss, diarrhoea and even death.

Dogs are infested with worms by everyday contact with eggs in soil that has been contaminated by poo, from eating fleas whilst grooming or through close contact with other animals.

Whilst uncommon, you and your family can catch worms from your puppy or dog. Babies and small children are most at risk as their immune systems are not fully developed and they forget to wash their hands after playing with their puppy. Therefore, it is important to teach children to wash their hands.

The common intestinal worms that we medicate against are Roundworm, Hookworms, Tapeworms and Whipworms. Worming should be done regardless of whether worms are seen in the poo or not, as many are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

Symptoms of worm infestation can be varied. Signs to look out for are:

  • Poor growth
  • Poor coat, loss of vitality and lethargy
  • Pot-bellied appearance
  • Abdominal pain as a result of inflammation of the intestinal wall
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Blood in poo as a result of intestinal bleeding
  • Itchy sores (often on paws)

Recommended worming prevention program:

  • 6-12weeks old – fortnightly tablet
  • 3-6months old – Monthly tablet
  • 6 mths onwards – Monthly spot on & tablet, monthly chewable tablet or a tablet every 3 months

Alternatively, there are products available that incorporate intestinal worming with flea and heartworm prevention

Regular poo picking in your garden is also extremely important!

Cats and babies


Today, shelters are still visited by tearful mothers-to-be with cats in tow, having made their appointments after well-meaning relatives or old-school obstetricians have convinced them that keeping a cat risks the health and well-being of their unborn child. Don’t succumb to these old wives’ tales. Knowing the facts will help provide ways to safeguard both fetus and feline.

Before . . .

The parasitic infection toxoplasmosis is perhaps a pregnant catkeeper’s greatest fear. It can result in miscarriage, stillbirth or such birth defects as blindness, deafness, hydrocephalus or Read More

Intestinal worms and Heartworm are not the same


Unlike intestinal worms, Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes NOT other animals. And your dog may become infected after a single bite. Baby Heartworms live in the blood, and the adults live in a dog’s heart and lungs causing heart failure and death.

Heartworm symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue, a dog that tires easily
  • Listlessness
  • Weight loss
  • Rough hair coat

Heartworm disease can be treated successfully usually with drugs that kill the heartworms and their offspring. But prevention is the best solution – it’s safer, less expensive, and better for your pet!

Recommended Heartworm prevention program

Prevention starts when your puppy is 12 weeks old:

  • Monthly tablets or spot on treatments
  • Yearly SR12 injections

Tackling Fleas


Fleas are a very common problem for most pets. These blood sucking parasites cause considerable discomfort to cats and dogs alike leading to scratching, chewing, biting, restlessness and anaemia. Fleas also cause an allergy called Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) which causes hair loss, irritation and sores. Fleas can also transmit tapeworm to your pet as they often are eaten when your pets groom themselves.

The majority of the flea lifecycle occurs in the environment where the pet lives and sleeps so in conjunction with killing the fleas on your pet, you should treat your environment to prevent infestation!

Your pet should be treated all year round to prevent a flea developing on them and in your home.

Recommended flea prevention:

There are various flea prevention options available. Please discuss with our vets or nurses as to which option is best for your and your pet:

Options for dogs:

  • Daily tablets: Capstar (only kills adult fleas)
  • Monthly tablets, or chewable tablets: Sentinel, Panoramis, Comfortis
  • Monthly spot-ons: Advantix, Advantage, Advocate

Options for cats:

  • Daily tablets: Capstar (only kills adult fleas)
  • Monthly spot-ons: Advantage, Advocate, Revolution
  • 6 Monthly injections: Program NB other dogs and cats in the should all be treated regularly

Environmental controls such as:

  • Environmental sprays: Indorex
  • Vacuum or steam clean where your pet sits and sleeps
  • Wash bedding etc. at temps greater than 60 degrees
  • Mow grass, trim hedges, weed gardens in outdoor areas where your pet spends time