Basic Pet Care for SEQ
Basic pet care for South East Queensland
Different countries and even different regions within the same country have unique pet health challenges. The following is a summary of the important considerations for dogs and cats in south east Queensland.
Puppies and Kittens
All puppies and kittens require a course of 3 vaccinations. These are given at the following ages:
6 to 8 weeks
10 to 12 weeks
16 to 18 weeks
For puppies, these vaccinations will immunise them against Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Distemper and Kennel cough, whereas for kittens, these vaccinations will immunise them against Feline Panleucopaenia, Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus.
We are proud to have implemented a new vaccine range, which allows puppies to safely socialise from approximately 12 weeks of age. This is possible due to an earlier immunity against parvovirus. Interaction during the period of 8 - 16weeks is crucial in the development of dog's social skills for life. Dr Amy and Dr Emma will be happy to discuss this topic further with you, to ensure you give your puppy the best chance to develop a happy, relaxed and well adjusted temperament.
Puppies and kittens also require fortnightly worming treatments until 12 weeks of age, then this can be reduced to monthly. Once they reach 6 months of age, this can be reduced again to once every 3 months for life.
All dogs and cats should be desexed unless they are to be used for breeding. This is because there are significant health risks to being entire (not desexed) without actively reproducing. The ideal age for the desexing procedure is 5 to 6 months, however it can also be done as an adult.
Every pet dog or cat requires a yearly physical examination and vaccination. This will maintain the immunity acquired from the initial course of puppy or kitten vaccinations. If a yearly booster is not received, that immunity will decline and leave your pet unprotected and vulnerable to life threatening diseases.
Heartworm is spread by mosquitos year-round in south east Queensland. Every pet needs to be on regular heartworm prevention. There are many products available and you will want to speak to Dr Amy and Dr Emma about the best choice for your household. Most are given as a once a month treatment, and many products include worming and/or flea prevention in the same application. There is also a yearly heartworm injection available for dogs now. This is proving popular as it can be given at the same time as the yearly vaccination.
There is a species of tick (Ixodes holocyclus) which will cause gradually ascending paralysis in dogs and cats. It is particularly prevalent in south east Queensland, and typically causes problems between August and March. Each year many pets are hospitalised and some die from the effects of the toxin injected by this tiny creature.
Pets can pick up ticks from almost anywhere. The scrubbier and bushier the area the greater the risk, however many are picked up from clean suburban back yards. It is thought that possums and native mammals carry large numbers of ticks and disperse them through yards during their nocturnal travels.
Prevention can be challenging. No product can guarantee effectiveness, however there are some very effective tick prevention collars and topspot treatments which can be used ( use in combination if in a high risk area). It is terribly important never to use any flea or tick prevention products on cats unless they are specifically manufactured for this purpose. Many dog products are toxic to cats.
There are a number of new tick preventions just recently released, and more on the way, as of Jan 2015. Stay tuned for updates!
In addition to prevention, we recommend daily tick searching (systematic patting really!) during the tick season. A tick needs to be attached for a couple of days before symptoms begin, so if it is found and removed early, the danger is avoided.