Monday, November 18, 2013

Astonishing Secrets - Your New Puppy or Kitten

"You're a cutie"
Welcome to another Astonishing Secret, and this is the practical information you need to help you and your newest family member settle into a new routine.

Puppy licks and kitten purrs are what warms every vet's heart, as we are all driven by the love of our animals.  And everyone loves babies.... of any species.

But what is the most exciting part?  It isn't the puppy breath, the waggy tails, the play stance..... for me it is the knowledge that the future holds so many moments of  joy, companionship and fun times.

We know that many pet owners are choosing their new family pet from ads on gumtree, or pet rescue sites or other avenues on the internet.   And with that, comes a decision on whether they trust the seller's "vet check" of the puppy or not.  My take home message is -  by all means trust, in principle, the seller's vet check, but ALWAYS, for peace of mind, get your own thorough vet check too.

And this vet check should be within 24 hours of picking up your puppy.

What are the common problems we see in new puppies and kittens that are hidden by breeders or missed at the initial vet check?

  • dental issues - we commonly see "base narrow canines" or mismatched jaws which cause problems.  This problem is on the increase, and many pets act in as if they are uncomfortable, making a thorough assessment difficult.

Protecting your pets against parasites also
protects your famiy too.
  • ear mites - these are little creatures with hairs on their legs, which often causes intense itchiness around the head and neck area.  Many breeders treat with an anti-mite product, so the pet appears to be "mite free", and in some cases, we are seeing mite infected pets from a reputable breeder, because of drug resistance.

  • coccidiosis and intestinal worms -  even in the best environments, the immature immune systems of the young ones make them more likely to be infected. 

  • microchip mix - ups. What we mean here is that the microchip in the new baby, does not match the microchip number on the paperwork that has been handed to the new owner. It is easier to sort out before the papers have been sent to the government, rather than trying to fix up weeks later. One of the things we do at Russell Vale Animal Clinic is to "scan and check" every pet at every visit to check that everything is up to date.

  • heart problems - it is well known that the most common age to diagnose a congenital heart problem is at 12 weeks of age, but many puppies or kittens will show problems at a younger age too.

  • umbilical hernias - the little "cysts" on the tummy which can come and go. They may seem normal to breeders as they are common, but they are not normal.

Of course, there are many things that our puppies and kittens can get that I haven't listed... that is why a vet check within a day of getting your new baby is sooo important.   After all, after spending many hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on your little baby, what difference does spending $50 or $60 make (depending on where you go)

At Russell Vale Animal Clinic, from Dec 2013 to Dec 2014, we will be introducing something new.

 It is a trial, and it is up to you on whether it is something that is worthwhile keeping.

For puppies or kittens less than 16 weeks old...
  • all pets acquired from a breeder where the puppies parents have been sighted, a complete vaccination certificate, AND a veterinary health certificate has been issued..... the vet check is FREE.

  • all pets acquired from the RSPCA or another registered pet rescue organisation, with a complete vaccination certificate ..... the vet check is FREE.

Our normal puppy/kitten check price is $60, which is a comprehensive physical examination, as well as a complete assessment of your pet's preventative healthcare - such as vaccinations, heartworm prevention, intestinal worming, microchipping information, dental care, what to eat, how to care for them the first few nights, and much much more! It takes about 40 minutes not including your registration time, so it is a very comprehensive and thorough check.  Tests such as skin scrapes or ear swabs are included also (normally $40 each).  But if your pet is acquired through the above places, then your first vet check with your new puppy or kitten is free.

We do not support puppy mills or backyard breeders who do not care for their pets at all.  Often these are sold through pet shops or online.   But these are the ones that definitely need the vet check ups.  These vet checks are at the usual price of $60.


Your new pet checklist

  • The paperwork you should get includes

    • Vaccination Certificate
    • Any genetic tests/checks done on the parents
    • Any hip/elbow/eye scoring tests done on the parents
    • A recent (no more than 5 days old) Veterinary Health Examination Certificate
    • Microchip Certificate of Identification in your name (within 7 days of your pet joining your family) and a Copy of the Change of Owner form (for your peace of mind)
  • Make a list of when your pet is due for their next

    • intestinal worming
    • Heartworm prevention
    • flea control
    • vaccination
  • The usual bedding, collar, tag, kennel, toys

  • As there is a waiting period on pet insurance, get it early - some vets, like us, offer 4 weeks free pet insurance, but we do need to examine your pet first before we can activate your complimentary months pet health cover with PetPlan.

Congratulations on the newest member of your family - we look forward to being part of it all with you and your pet.

Questions?  Why not ask us at Russell Vale Animal Clinic.  Email us or call us on 42 845 988