Vaccination – Is your pet up to date?

pet-vaccineOne of the key reasons pets are living longer is that we are able to vaccinate them against a range of infectious diseases such as parvovirus in dogs and feline enteritis in cats and myxomatosis in rabbits. Without vaccination these can pose a deadly threat to our pets.

Provided their mother was vaccinated, puppies and kittens have a certain level of immunity that protects them in the first few weeks of life. However this rapidly falls and in order to restore it, a primary course of vaccination is required to boost their immunity and ensure their health and survival. This immunity will also fade over time and regular booster vaccinations combined with a health check, are the best way of protecting your pet, and keeping an eye out for any other problems.

Vaccines against infectious diseases

Dogs should be routinely vaccinated against:

  • Canine parvovirus
  • Canine distemper virus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Infectious canine hepatitis
  • If your dog will be spending some time in kennels they may also be given a kennel cough vaccine. This vaccine is given intra-nasally (into a nostril) and protect against parainfluenza virus and bordetella bronchiseptica.

Cats should be routinely vaccinated against:cat-vaccine-meridian

  • Feline infectious enteritis
  • Feline herpes virus
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline leukaemia virus

Dogs and Cats travelling abroad may require a rabies vaccination and a Pet Passport to travel.

Rabbits should be routinely vaccinated against:

  • Myxomatosis
  • Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD

Diets – You are what you eat!

Pet dietWe all know the benefits of eating a balances diet, but our pets nutritional requirements actually change throughout their lives!

That’s why there is a huge range of balanced life-stage diets available for every stage of your pet’s life from puppies and kittens, through adulthood and on to old age.

Puppies and kittens require a balances diet with higher (but not excessive) levels of energy, protein for muscle development and essential fatty acids for a healthy shining coat. The correct mineral balance helps bones and joints develop correctly. This is particularly important for large and giant breeds of dogs.

Adult Pets with their growth phase behind them they require a balanced diet to keep them healthy but with lower levels of nutrients mentioned above.

Senior Pets as they become older, their systems become a little less efficient and if they receive too much of a particular nutrient, their bodies will have to work much harder to clear it. Senior foods are specially formulated with this in mind, with lower energy levels to avoid weight gain (as pets become less active) but with altered protein and mineral levels to reduce the workload of internal organs such as the kidneys.

The good news is that feeding your pet a balanced diet, precisely formulated for their particular life-stage, plays a very important role in keeping them fit and well.

Prescription diets – In addition to life-stage diets, there are also specially formulated prescription diets for pets with specific health problems such as diseases of the kidneys, liver, heart, skin, joints and teeth. Many of the conditions above require long term management, and prescription diets can play a very useful role in improving the lives of pets with a variety of conditions.

active-dog-meridian-vets-peacehavenFat Pets – Carrying the extra weight puts excessive strain on the heart, joints and major organs, which can lead to disease early in life. Obesity can lead directly to diabetes. Should your pet have to have an anaesthetic, he or she is at much greater risk. Also lifestyle can be affected. Dogs can cope OK with extra weight when they are young, but soon start to slow up in middle age and stop enjoying walks.

Cats can have difficulty with grooming and caring for themselves. There is usually no medical reason why pets are overweight; they are simply eating more than their bodies need. This can be in the form of meals, which are too large, or if too many titbits are being given.

balanced-pet-foodDry foods provide a lot of calories in a small volume, so it’s easy to accidentally feed too much. Dogs are usually greedy. This means that when they look at you for more food and behave like they have never been fed they are actually just being greedy. Many dogs would eat all day if they were allowed free access to food. As their owners we have to have will-power for them and once they’ve been fed ignore their pleas for more food. Small dogs and cats are very much smaller than us and require tiny amounts of food each day.

If an average human weighs 80kg and a small terrier should weigh 5kg this means the dog is 16 times smaller than us and needs about 16 times less food, which is not very much. Also if you give a treat of say half a chocolate biscuit to a small dog this would be like you eating 8 biscuits, which would certainly pile on the pounds!


Van Deliveries – Every Wednesday afternoon we offer a free delivery service for your medications and food. Just give us a call to book.

Recommend a Friend to us and we will Give you both a £10.00 credit to spend at the Practice to say thank you!