Special Vet Care for Kittens

It’s important to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible after adopting a new kitten. After all, you’re bringing a new family member into your home. You should arrange a thorough health check to make sure your kitten is healthy but also to ensure they aren’t bringing any infectious diseases or parasites with them that could affect other pets or people.

The First Check Up

Your kitten’s first check up will start with a comprehensive physical exam. This will involve a visual check on the health of their eyes, ears, fur and teeth, as well as measuring your cat’s temperature and weight. Your vet will listen to their heart and lung health and feel for any abnormalities in other internal organs to make sure kitten’s life gets off to the best possible start. Faecal and blood tests may also be taken at this time.

Vaccinations

Kittens are particularly at risk of contracting a number of diseases as they gradually lose the antibodies passed on by their mother and are left with no protection. There are three essential ‘core’ vaccines for your kitten – rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia. These vaccines can begin to be administered around 6-8 weeks of age and then boosted over the following few months. Your vet will provide you with a schedule of vaccinations to follow in order to ensure your cat gets the best possible protection against infectious disease.

Microchipping

Microchipping is a legal requirement in Western Australia and should be completed in the first few months of your kitten’s life. The process is as simple as a small injection in the back of the neck and it means your pet has a very high chance of being returned to you if it gets lost.

Flea Prevention

All pets will be exposed to fleas at some stage once they are outside and interacting with other animals. Kittens can begin to receive preventative treatment against fleas from 2 months of age, and all pets in your household must be treated at the same time.

Worm Prevention

Kittens need to be treated to protect against heartworm and intestinal worms regularly from a very young age. When you purchase our kitten wellness package, this includes 12 months of protection against these harmful parasites.

Desexing

All male cats outside of breeding colonies must be desexed and it is highly recommended to desex females as well. Pets who have been spayed or neutered are healthier, more relaxed, less likely to roam or fight, and ultimately better to live with. Your kitten should be desexed before 6 months of age at the latest.

Total Wellness

All of the treatments listed above are available in the Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital kitten wellness package, designed to give the best possible chance of preventing, detecting and managing any illness your pet may develop. The wellness package provides an excellent start to your kitten’s long life of health and happiness.

If you’d like to purchase one of our popular wellness packages for your kitten, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital now on 08 9524 6644 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

Veterinary Care for Puppies

Just like babies, puppies need constant care for their first few months of their life to monitor behaviour and keep them safe. Your puppy should make its first visit to the vet before it reaches 10 weeks old – the longer you wait, the more you put them at risk.

Puppy care involves a range of preventative treatments and checkups, all of which are included in our Puppy Wellness Package. To learn more about how your vet can care for your puppy, read the information below.

 

Vaccinations

Vaccines are a vital part of your puppy’s care to help prevent serious disease. There are two classes of vaccine – core vaccines, which should be given to every puppy, and supplementary vaccines, which are only recommended for certain dogs and situations.

The three core vaccines offered at Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital are distemper (a viral disease affecting the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems); canine adenovirus type 2 (an infectious respiratory disease) and canine parvovirus type 2 (a virus infecting the intestines). The first vaccine for a new puppy will be recommended at around 8 weeks, with regular boosters for the first few months.

 

Deworming

Many puppies are born with intestinal parasites inherited from their mother. Your dog should be wormed every few weeks for the first few months, and then every 3 months from then on. This treatment should be completed regardless of whether worm droppings are visible as sometimes the evidence of intestinal worms is too small to be seen. If left untreated, these parasites can cause anaemia and weight loss, so preventing their growth is vital.

 

Desexing

Spaying or neutering your puppy provides health benefits for your pet and lifestyle benefits for you. It prevents pets from fighting or roaming and makes them more relaxed and affectionate, as well as eliminating the risk of certain cancers. The ideal time for a surgical spaying is between 4 and 6 months of age before your puppy reaches sexual maturity.

 

Teething

Your puppy’s first teeth will begin to erupt after just a few weeks, with the teething processing lasting a few months. Ensure your dog maintains great oral health with regular brushing and dental check-ups at your veterinary clinic. Preventing gum disease and tooth decay is simply a matter of monitoring your pet’s diet and keeping teeth strong by chewing on raw or dental bones on a weekly basis.

If you’d like to arrange vaccinations for your puppy or purchase a wellness package, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital now on 08 9524 6644 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

 

Important Vaccines for Cats

Preventative treatment is a vital part of your pet’s health. By ensuring your animal gets all the vaccines they need at the right times, you can prevent them from contracting common diseases and maximise the quality and longevity of their life. Below we provide more information on the necessary and recommended vaccinations for your kitten or cat.

 

Core Vaccines

At Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital, we offer a set of three core vaccinations. The feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus vaccines both prevent a common respiratory disease, often simplified as ‘cat flu’. This disease is easily spread between cats through coughing or sneezing and can affect cats of any age, but kittens are particularly susceptible. This vaccine should be boosted annually to prevent re-infection.

The third vaccine in our core set is for feline panleukopenia, which is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease. Fortunately, the vaccine is very effective at providing immunity and the disease is no longer very common.

 

Additional Vaccines

We also offer optional vaccines for feline leukaemia – which suppresses your cat’s immune system leaving them susceptible to infections – and feline immunodeficiency virus, which is a very slow-acting infectious disease, also affecting the immune system.

When Should My Pet Be Vaccinated?

Kitten vaccinations begin at between 6-8 weeks of age and will be boosted regularly during their first few months. Young kittens will inherit maternal antibodies to give them protection against disease, but this fades as they grow so it’s vital to arrange vaccines at the right time. For adult cats, your vet will advise you on how often they need to receive vaccinations as this will depend on their age and lifestyle. To make sure your pet is fully covered for all preventative care, you can purchase one of our wellness packages, which include vaccinations and other preventative treatments in one simple, affordable bundle.

 

Does My Indoor Cat Need Vaccinations?

While it may seem counterintuitive, indoor kittens and cats will still require vaccines, especially the core vaccinations against feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus and feline panleukopenia.

It’s important to remember that these diseases can be fatal, making complete protection absolutely necessary. If your curious cat wanders outdoors, ends up in a shelter or comes into contact with another cat, they may be exposed to dangerous diseases. Many kittens also contract diseases at a young age before you meet them or even in utero, meaning the possibility of a disease recurring in unprotected cats is always possible.

 

What Are the Risks of Vaccination?

In general, there are very few risks associated with common vaccines. It’s possible for your pet to experience a mild reaction at the site of the injection, but more serious side effects are unlikely. When caring for a kitten, it’s important to keep them inside until ten days after their final vaccination to ensure they are fully protected. Vaccines are only effective when necessary boosters are given annually.

If you’d like to arrange vaccinations for your pet, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital now on 08 9524 6644 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

Wellness Package for Cats & Dogs – What’s Included

Visits to the vet for your pet’s regular checks, cost of pet food, pet accessories, grooming and training can be quite expensive to keep up with. Luckily, Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital offers wellness packages for cats and dogs in an effort to save pet owners money in the long run without neglecting their pet’s health. View our infographic to see what’s included in the package.

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The Importance of Health Checks

Regular health checks give pets and their owners the best chance of preventing, detecting and treating any possible illnesses, both immediately and in the future.

A full exam allows your vet to take a closer look at your pet and gives you the opportunity to ask about any unusual behaviour. Below you’ll find more information on the importance of health checks and how to manage your pet’s veterinary care.

 

Early Disease Detection

A key benefit of regular health check-ups for your pet is the potential to detect illnesses early on. There may be subtle changes in your pet’s behaviour that you don’t consider remarkable, but your vet may pick up on these as warning signs of something more serious. If your pet is diagnosed with a disease, the earlier the treatment starts the better the prognosis will generally be. This treatment could involve anything from surgery and medication to a simple change in diet, but whatever it is, you’ll want to get the ball rolling.

 

Preventative Treatment

There are many animal illnesses that can be easily prevented with treatment from your vet. Younger pets, in particular, will need a variety of vaccines to combat preventable diseases, along with treatments to deter parasites and worms. Your vet will help you construct a preventative healthcare plan for your pet over the next few years with scheduled treatments over time. At each check-up, the vet will also examine your pet’s weight and be able to warn you if they are becoming overweight, enabling you to make the necessary changes to avoid obesity.

 

Important Checks

During an annual health check, your vet will complete a thorough nose-to-tail examination of your pet. They will check ears for mites and infection, and examine eyes to make sure your pet has no issues with vision such as cataracts or glaucoma, which can lead to more serious issues. Internal organs will be checked using a stethoscope and physical manipulation to make sure there are no abnormalities. Another essential area of investigation is your pet’s mouth. Tooth or gum decay can cause your pet pain without you even realising it. This can lead to more serious abscesses or even tooth loss.

 

Total Wellness

At Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital, your pet’s health is our primary concern. In order to give you the best possible service and value for money, we’ve developed a range of wellness packages to provide excellent preventative care for your dog, cat, puppy or kitten. The plan includes regular health checks as well as parasite treatments, essential vaccinations, deworming and discounts on further consultations. Explore either our dog and puppy or cat and kitten packages to find out more, and keep your pet healthy for less.

If you’d like to purchase a wellness package for your pet then call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital now on 08 9524 6644 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

Keep Your Pet Warm This Winter

Your pet may have a furry coat to keep warm, but for most breeds, this isn’t enough to ensure they stay comfortable throughout the winter.

Read on for our top tips on keeping your pets safe and warm this winter.

  • Bedding

For optimum comfort, your pet’s bed (whether inside or outside) should be raised off the ground. This prevents the bed from coming into direct contact with cold concrete, timber or tiles. Add extra blankets or bedding into their sleeping area for warmth over winter. If your pet is elderly, particularly if they’re thin or they suffer from arthritis, then they may need extra heating to remain comfortable. Consider purchasing a snuggle pad, which is heated in a microwave and can then be placed under bedding to keep your pet warm all night.

  • Clothing

Puppies and older dogs find it harder to control their body temperature. When it gets really cold, a canine sweater or coat can provide extra protection against cold or wet weather. Make sure your dog feels comfortable in whatever they wear and is still able to run and play freely.

  • Grooming

Make sure you keep up a good grooming regime through the winter. Avoid shaving or trimming your dog’s hair as their long fur keeps them warm. Whenever they need bathing, this should be done inside in warm water. Your pet’s coat will need to be brushed or combed regularly in the colder, wetter months to avoid it becoming matted as fur in bad condition provides less insulation.

  • Time Outside

On a particularly cold day, don’t be afraid to take a shorter walk than usual. As long as your dog is still getting daily exercise there’s no point risking you and your dog becoming too cold. If you have space inside, then encourage your pet to enjoy some indoor play time to keep them warm and maintain fitness.

  • Car Travel

You wouldn’t leave your pet alone in a hot car and the same goes for cold weather. Once the car heating is turned off, the temperature can drop quickly so avoid leaving pets alone for long periods.

  • Food

If your pet spends a lot of time outside they may need more food in the winter as they will be using up calories trying to stay warm. However, for many indoor animals, this is not necessary and overfeeding can cause them to become overweight. Talk to your vet about your pet’s individual energy needs. Make sure your cat or dog has access to unfrozen water outdoors throughout the year.

  • Outside Shelter

If you have an outdoor pet, then it’s important to provide them with adequate shelter. A kennel should have a sloped roof and dry bedding and offer protection against the rain. If possible, it’s better for your pet to move inside for the coldest months in order to ensure their health and happiness.

For more information or to make a veterinary appointment, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

The Importance of Pet Nutrition

Good nutrition is just as important for your pets as it is for the rest of your family. Nutritional requirements for your pet depending on their age, breed, size and health and will change over time. To keep your pets as happy and healthy as possible, follow our guidelines below.

 

Commercial vs Home Made Foods

Commercial foods are designed to meet all of your pet’s needs. Most include a mixture of meat, grains, vegetables and vitamins. If you prefer to feed your pet raw food then that’s fine too – just make sure it provides the right combination of energy, proteins, healthy fats and other necessary nutrients for your pet’s stage of life. Dry foods are good for the teeth while wet foods provide additional moisture to prevent dehydration.

 

Speak to your vet about the best feeding option, but in general, the choice of food is down to the personal preferences of you and your pet.

 

Does My Pet Need to Diet?

In Australia, one in three cats and dogs is overweight. Pets in this situation live shorter and less active lives than their fitter counterparts. Heavy pets tend to be less playful and energetic and will physically interact with their families less, spending more time lying around. Carrying extra weight also puts extra pressure on their limbs, joints and the heart.

 

If you suspect your pet is overweight then it’s important to do something about it now. Carrying just a few extra kilos can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and joint problems, among other complications. You can do a basic check for obesity at home by seeing how easily you can feel your pet’s ribs – if they are difficult to feel then it’s time for a visit to the vet.

 

How Do I Put My Pet On a Diet?

Weight loss for your pet shouldn’t be too tricky. The keys to success include the right advice from your veterinary healthcare team and a commitment from you and your family.

 

The ideal weight for your cat or dog will be calculated based on its size, age and breed. Just like for humans, it’s important not to cause any extreme weight loss – a safe amount would be around 3-5% body weight loss per month. Once you know what you’re aiming for, you can start to feed your pet smaller portions of its normal food or use special lower-calorie pet food. You should also increase the amount of exercise your furry friend is getting every day. Sign up for the free weight loss clinic at Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital for help every step of the way.

 

Treats

Dogs and cats love treats just as much as we do! There’s no reason that treats can’t be part of a healthy diet for your pet. Just make sure you pay attention to what they’re eating and make sure treats don’t make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake. Instead of buying snacks at the supermarket, try treating your pet to fresh vegetables or fruit snacks such as green beans or banana slices, or bigger snacks like baby carrots, watermelon or apples for dogs. Just make sure you avoid anything that’s high in fat or sugar and skip anything that could damage your pet’s teeth.

 

If you’re interested in discussing a diet plan for your pet, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

Ways to save on Pet Expenses

Save on Pet Expenses with Preventative Healthcare

Being a pet owner is a truly wonderful thing, with our little animal friends bringing companionship, love and joy into our lives. As well as this, caring for a dog or cat is a significant investment, both in terms of time and money.

Before you go ahead and adopt a new puppy or kitten, you need to make sure that you’ve carefully considered whether you have the financial capacity to responsibly care for them. The expense of keeping a pet can be considerable for some owners, particularly if their cat or dog becomes ill or needs emergency vet care.

Fortunately, there are also ways to save on pet expenses. Today we’ll look at how wellness packages for your dog or cat can allow you to look after their health and wellbeing while saving money in the process.

Properly Caring for Your Cat or Dog

Owning a pet is a long-term responsibility. You have to be committed to caring for them for their entire life, providing them with a safe and comfortable home.

Annual health checks by a professional veterinarian are recommended for all cats and dogs, even if your pet appears to be completely healthy. If your pet has an ongoing condition or is older, they may need to visit the vet more frequently – generally twice a year, or as advised by your veterinarian.

Save Money with Preventative Healthcare

By practising preventative healthcare, your cat or dog will receive regular health checks by a qualified vet. This will help you to keep track of their wellbeing and detect any signs or symptoms of ill health.

This proactive approach to your pet’s wellbeing will keep them healthy, reducing the need for emergency treatments or operations. This will also reduce the likelihood of more expensive vet bills further down the track.

Things You Can Do At Home

You can also save on expenses by making sure that your cat or dog is taken care of properly at home. Coupled with professional preventative care, the following strategies will help to protect your pet and keep your costs down:

  • Nutritional foods – feed your pet a vet-approved diet to maintain their health and wellbeing
  • Regular cleaning – clean your pet’s beds, bowls and other living areas to prevent infection and other sicknesses
  • Pet grooming – have your pet groomed regularly to create a healthy coat and reduce possible complications
  • Entertainment – playing games and engaging your pet will improve their emotional wellbeing while nurturing their physical health

Wellbeing Packages – for Easy, Affordable Monthly Payments

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital offers a range of affordable wellness packages that provide regular preventative care. Working with you, we can ensure optimum health for your cat, dog, kitten or puppy. With a wellness package, you’ll also know you have somewhere to turn to in case of emergency. Our professional and qualified vets are always on hand to offer you guidance and support at any stage of your pet’s life.

At Port Kennedy, we understand the monetary aspect of looking after an animal, and we offer services to make life a bit easier for pet owners. Monthly payment plans provide you with much-needed peace of mind about the health of your cat or dog while taking the emotional and financial stresses out of being a pet owner.

Talk to your trusted Port Kennedy vets about how wellness packages can benefit you and your best mate.

Benefits of Sterilisation and Desexing for your cats or dogs

The Benefits of Sterilisation and Desexing for Your Pet

Have you become the happy owner of a new puppy or kitten?

Congratulations! Welcoming a little canine or feline friend into your home is always an exciting time.

There are many things you’ll need to consider to properly take care of your new pet. These considerations ensure that you’re giving them the happiest and healthiest life possible. One of the most important things you’ll need to take care of is getting your cat or dog desexed. As well as reducing the risk of unwanted litters, neutering has a number of benefits for your pet’s health and wellbeing.

We’ve put together some practical information about desexing to help you create a better experience for your cat or dog.

What is Desexing or Neutering for Pets?

Desexing, also sometimes called neutering or spaying, is a common surgical procedure that prevents pets from being able to reproduce. If you don’t want your new kitten or puppy to become pregnant and breed, you’ll need to organise to have them desexed at a professional veterinarian clinic.

The most common age to desex your pet is between 4 and 6 months, however, the procedure can be completed at any stage of an animal’s life.

The Benefits of Sterilisation for Your Pet

With the world already full of stray and abandoned animals, it’s vital that pet owners take responsibility and make sure that they’re not contributing to that number of unwanted animals. If you don’t want your cat or dog to have a litter, you must organise for them to be desexed. This applies to both males and females.

As well as removing the risk of unwanted pregnancy, there are also some other surprising benefits of sterilisation for cats and dogs.

These advantages include:

  • Stopping the heat cycle in female cats and dogs
  • Living a longer and healthier life
  • Preventing testicular cancer and prostate disease in male pets
  • Preventing pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in female animals
  • Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals
  • Being less prone to wander, especially in male pets

Preparing for Your Pet’s Desexing Procedure

Your vet will give you detailed instructions before your pet’s procedure, but here are some things to expect before your cat or dog’s spaying appointment.

Your pet will need to fast before their procedure. No food is to be given to your cat or dog after 10pm on the night before surgery. The next day, before surgery, no water is to be given after 8am.

At the clinic, the vet may take a blood test prior to surgery to check vital organ function. They will also perform a thorough physical examination before administering a general anaesthetic and pain relief medication.

Some cats and dogs might require intravenous fluid support during their surgery.

Caring for Your Cat or Dog after Desexing

Most pets will recover very quickly from the sterilisation procedure, although they may have a little tenderness at first.

Limit your pet’s food and water to small portions on the first night that they return home. Make sure you administer the post-surgical medications properly and check the incision at least twice daily for any signs of infection or disruption, such as bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge.

Prevent your pet from licking or chewing their stitches and always return to your vet to remove the stitches and have a post-surgery check-up.

Desexing Your Pet in Port Kennedy 

Pet owners in Port Kennedy, Rockingham, Baldivis and the surrounds can organise to have their cat or dog desexed at Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital.

Sterilisation procedures can also be included as part of the clinic’s range of affordable wellness packages. These packages provide regular preventative care for the health of your cat or dog, puppy or kitten.

Book in for a desexing appointment today or talk to our team about healthcare packages for your pet.

The Value of Regular Grooming Appointments

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital Pet Grooming

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital Pet GroomingWe’ve all seen the attention our pets pay to their grooming – cats and dogs can spend a considerable amount of time licking paws, smoothing fur and scratching ears and tails.

But did you know that grooming is actually essential to your pet’s health and wellbeing? The act of grooming for your pet is much more than just making sure their coat looks neat.

Let’s look at some of the benefits proper grooming can bring to your pet.

The Benefits of Regular Pet Grooming

Helping your cat or dog to feel comfortable and clean has many benefits. Grooming greatly improves their mood and behaviour while ensuring optimum physical and mental health.

Some benefits include:

  • A clean coat and skin
  • Unobscured eyes and vision
  • Clipped, healthy nails
  • Healthy teeth
  • Reduced risk of eye, ear, skin, teeth and nail infections
  • Easier toileting, by clipping area around the tail
  • Getting your pet comfortable and used to being at the vet
  • Increased sociability

The Side Effects of Neglecting Your Pet’s Coat

 Failing to properly groom pets can lead to serious consequences for cats and dogs, affecting much more than just their appearance. In fact, failing to tend to a pet’s grooming needs can lead to an unhappy, uncomfortable and even aggressive pet.

You might not know this but knotted, matted hair can be very painful for pets. It can cause sores and skin conditions, restricting blood flow as the hair pulls tightly on the cat or dog’s skin. Matted hair can also feel very heavy for pets, adding extra weight and increasing the risk of overheating.

As well as being very uncomfortable, parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites thrive on dirty, neglected coats and can prove fatal for cats and dogs.

How Often Should Your Pet Be Groomed?

For owners of long-haired cats or dogs with special coats, you’ll need to accept the responsibility of more frequent home grooming for your companion.

In general, pets can be groomed every 4-12 weeks, depending on the type of pet you have. It’s best to ask local veterinarian near you  to schedule grooming appointments to follow to best take care of your cat or dog’s coat.

Professional Pet Grooming

At Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital we offer a wide range of affordable wellness packages for cats and dogs to Rockingham, Warnbro, Baldivis and surrounding  These packages include everything from check-ups to vaccinations and your pet’s grooming service. Book an appointment for pet grooming with Port Kennedy veterinary hospital today and take the opportunity to discuss your pet’s wellness program.

This way, you’ll be looking after your pet’s complete health and wellbeing with no risk of forgetting about regular clipping and grooming.