A number of dangerous diseases can affect cats in the UK. Vaccination is the only safe way to provide immunity against all these diseases. If carried out regularly according to your vet’s advice, it can protect your pet for life. Kittens can start their primary vaccination course from nine weeks of age. Your kitten will be given a thorough examination at the initial injection. Three to four weeks later your kitten will be given a second injection and will be fully protected seven days after this. The diseases we routinely vaccinate cats against are: Cat ‘flu (Feline Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus) Enteritis (Feline Panleucopaenia) We also provide a separate vaccination against Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) Annual boosters are needed to maintain a good level of protection.
Immunity to disease does not last indefinitely and annual booster vaccinations are essential to maintain protection. We follow the vaccine manufacturers’ recommendations with regard to which diseases we vaccinate against at each of your pet’s annual health check. This yearly check up can be very helpful for monitoring the general health and weight of your pet. Early signs of disease can be picked up and investigated and treated appropriately.
We advise you neuter your cat for many reasons, both medical and behavioural. Neutering prevents females coming into season, when they may attract unwanted male attention, become pregnant or have false pregnancies. It also prevents uterine infections and ovarian cancer. Vet fees for problems during or after pregnancy and birth can be expensive. The cost of a Caesarian can amount to anything between £600-£1000, offspring might need veterinary attention too. Cats are more prone to straying, fighting and unwanted dominant behaviour if left entire and are obviously able to father unwanted litters of kittens and spread infection and disease. Animals don’t respect family relationships, siblings will mate. Inbreeding increases the risk of offspring with birth defects and deformities. We recommend you have your cat neutered any time from 6 months of age. If you have different sex siblings and are concerned about unwanted pregnancies you can discuss early neutering with one of our vets.
We advise that you use treatments regularly to help prevent any flea infestations. There are many products available so ask your vet or nurse about which product is best for your pet.
How do I know if my pet’s got fleas?
Fleas can cause itching, chewing and licking. The skin may become red and inflamed. Fleas are also part of a tapeworm’s life cycle. You might see fleas on your pet, although this is quite uncommon. Or you might see small dark flecks – flea “dirt” – in the fur and on the skin. If you see any of these signs, take your pet to see a vet.
I think my pet’s got fleas – what should I do?
Take your pet to see your vet. If your pet has fleas it’s important to treat your home, your pet and all your other pets. Ask us to recommend safe and effective products to use. Treat your home with an effective household spray after vacuuming. This helps kill flea larvae and eggs which can carry on living in places like carpets and rugs. Pay particular attention to areas where your pet spends time, as well as warm areas such as near to radiators.
NEVER use a dog flea treatment on cats, as this can be fatal.
This is due to permethrin – a highly toxic insecticide found in some products. Some owners are also mistakenly failing to follow the on-packet guidance relating to dosage. Cats can be poisoned through contact with dogs in the same household who have been recently treated with flea spot-on products containing permethrin. Choose a dog flea treatment that doesn’t contain permethrin if you have both cats and dogs in your home. Prevent accidental poisoning. If you do use a flea treatment containing permethrin on your dog, keep it away from cats completely for 72 hours so there is no risk of cross-contamination.
Tapeworms are long, flat worms that attach themselves to your dog’s or cats intestines. A tapeworm body consists of multiple parts, or segments, each with its own reproductive organs. Tapeworm infections are usually diagnosed by finding segments—which appear as small white worms that may look like grains of rice or seeds—on the rear end of your dog, in your dog’s faeces, or where your dog lives and sleeps. There are several different kinds, or species, of tapeworms that can infect your dog, each with stage(s) in a different intermediate (in-between) host, which the dog eats to become infected. Dipylidium caninum is a tapeworm that uses fleas as its intermediate host, whereas Taenia and Echinococcus species use small rodents (mice, rats, squirrels), rabbits, or large animals (such as deer or sheep) as their intermediate hosts.
How do I prevent my Cat from getting tapeworms?
Try to keep your dog from coming in contact with intermediate hosts that contain tapeworm larvae. Because fleas are an intermediate host for the most common kind of tapeworm, consistent, safe, and effective flea control is an essential prevention measure. If you think your cat is infected with tapeworms, call us for an appointment to get an accurate diagnosis and safe, effective treatment options.
Can humans be harmed by tapeworms?
Certain tapeworms found in dogs or cats may cause serious disease in humans. There are rare reports of Dipylidium (a common tapeworm in pets) infections in children, but these infections are not normally associated with significant disease.