Basic Yearly Health Maintenance for Dogs

Yearly Vaccinations:

All dogs are vaccinated against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza virus and Bordetella. They need to be vaccinated every year to protect them against these infectious diseases.

Heart Worm Prevention: 

There are many alternatives for heart worm control including several monthly tablets or applications.  However, by far the cheapest and most convenient way of preventing heartworm is through an annual injection with Proheart SR/12. This injection provides protection against heartworm for one year - much easier than remembering a monthly tablet!  Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes so it is easy to acquire, and it can be life threatening. Though prevalence of heartworm infection in Melbourne is low, the disease is present in 17.5% of wild foxes in the Maribyrnong Valley, so we are concerned incidence may rise in the future.

Intestinal worming: 

When we talk about 'worming' we are protecting against a range of intestinal parasites. These include various species of roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm. 

The most problematic worm is the hydatid tapeworm, as it can affect people.  The dog is the primary host of this parasite but can only pick up the infection from a dead sheep or a dead kangaroo. If your dog is not running around on farms, it is unlikely they will pick up the infection. Because of this, we believe worming adult city dogs every six months is adequate. Puppies need to be wormed more frequently than this. Dogs who visit farms should be wormed every three months. We recommend Drontal chews or Popantel tablets to protect your pet against these nasty parasites.

Cats also need to be wormed to prevent intestinal parasite infestations, especially outdoor cats that may be hunting. We recommend Milbemax tablets for cats or Advocate, which is a topical preventative that also protects against fleas.

Many supermarket or over the counter products do not protect against tapeworm, therefore, it is best to discuss your pet's worming needs with us. We can also set up reminders for you to help you remember when to give the preventatives - we know life gets busy!

Flea Control: 

The emphasis here is on 'control.' Once you see fleas on your pet it is too late! A female flea lays 50 eggs per day, so your house and backyard will quickly become infested. Because of the life cycle of the flea, once they are in the environment they are very hard to get rid of. Let's face it, no one wants fleas in their carpet or their bed!

Fleas are ubiquitous in the environment, meaning they can be acquired from just about anywhere. Fleas mostly breed in the spring and summer, so this is a higher risk time for fleas. However, they can breed all year round if it is warm enough (and most of our houses are). 

If your pet has not had a flea infestation, giving a monthly Nexgard (chewable) or Bravecto (pour-on) from October to March is adequate. If your pet has had fleas, you may need to treat throughout the cooler months as well.

Flea products vary widely in their efficacy. Most of the supermarket products use older chemical compounds that the local fleas have developed resistance to. We regularly update our available flea products to make sure they are the best available. We can chat to you about the best flea preventative options for your pet.

Diet: 

You are what you eat, and so is your pet!  We recommend feeding a good quality diet that is primarily dry food. Our favourite brands are Royal Canin and Hills Science diets, as they are formulated by veterinary nutritionists to meet all your pet's nutritional needs. For the best advice on which particular product suits your dog ask our friendly staff.