Frequently Asked Questions


ANIMAL CARE HOSPITAL VETERINARY PRACTICE DOUGLAS IN CORK

Q:  What is micro chipping?
A:  An inexpensive and very simple way in which we can identify your pet for life. It involves us injecting a microchip under your pet’s skin and the information contained on it is kept on a database for life. It makes finding your pet so much easier should he/she wander, stray or be stolen! We only use internationally recognised chips suitable for pet passports. Since January 2006, all newborn registered pedigree puppies have been micro chipped.


Q:  What is a pet passport?
A:  Like our own, it’s a travel document allowing you to bring your pet abroad. There are different regulations depending on what country you are traveling to. Please ask us for further advice if you are considering travel, as there are requirements for your pet’s safety. Full a full information pack call 1890 504604


Q:  How often should I vaccinate my pet?
A:  Initially puppies and kittens are given a series of injection at 8 to 12 weeks. After that, they should be given a booster yearly. This is because, unlike humans, pet’s eating, drinking and sniffing habits greatly increase the risk of infection! Also, where pets are kennelled, it is vital to keep vaccinations (including canine cough) up to date. The annual trip will also include a full health check for your pet.


Q:  How often should I worm my pet?
A:  Puppies and kittens are wormed every 3-4 weeks, up to 6 months of age. After that, pets should be wormed 4 times a year. Adult pets are rarely ill with worm infections but they act as a source of infection for humans, especially children. Therefore, being a responsible owner means worming your pet at least 4 times a year. It is vital to use a product that is effective against ALL worms, and at the correct dose for your pet. We recommend using Drontol or Milbemax for dogs (1 tab per 10kg) and cats (1 per 4kg). For cats that won’t take tablets, there is a handy product called Profender. This is a liquid simply applied to the back of the cat’s head and can avoid many injuries to owners and vets!


Q:  What should I feed my pet?
A:  You should feed your pet a top quality dry food. In doing so, you will provide the very best nutrition for your pet. Hills Science Plan is the top of the range and costs per day are very reasonable compared to tinned or homemade diets. Your pet may take a little persuading but it will be well worth it for all concerned. Your pet will have better teeth, a glossier coat; fewer firmer stools (think of the cleaning!) and be a dream to feed. Don’t keep chopping and changing. Get good food suitable for your pet and stay with it. There is a 10% discount offer available for regular purchasers and Hills will give you your money back if you fail- how can you?


Q:  I’m going on holiday where can I leave my pet?
A:  Unfortunately the old saying that “there’s no place like home” very much applies for your pet. However, we can look after your cat for you in a clean, safe environment. We can also recommend some kennels for your dog, as not all are equal! Remember to book well in advance and to keep vaccines up to date.


Q:  Should I insure my pet?
A:  Veterinary care is getting more and more sophisticated. New techniques and equipment are evolving rapidly and inevitably, to provide the very best of care for your pet involves some expense. Our advice, if you want to give your pets the very best of care and avoid any large unexpected bills is Insure your pets today! Prices are reasonable and Petplan through Allianz provides a comprehensive cover for many expenses. You only pay the first €100 of any injury or illness.
Don’t indulge your pets with treats or toys. One of the best gifts you could give him/ her next birthday/ next Christmas would be insurance. Ask us for details.


Q:  My pet is getting on a little, anything I should do?
A:  Just like ourselves, nowadays, having regular checkups is highly recommended. Your pet is given a full examination each year with its vaccination. As they get older (usually above 7 years) a quick blood test is advisable, as it will detect many internal problems before they become clinically evident. It can usually be performed during a normal consultation, please ask us for details.
Many older dogs get a little arthritic and some can suffer in silence. If you feel your pet is slowing down too soon why not give him/her an NCT? There are some very good treatments for ageing arthritis like Arthriaid which when used over longer periods can put a spring back in their step! This is a natural food supplement that contains glucosamine. It helps to repair damaged joints and can avoid or defer the use of stronger painkillers.


Q:  Should I neuter my pet?
A:  In a word, YES! There are many “old wives‘ tales” associated with neutering. The health benefits are very significant and unless you specifically plan to breed, you should seriously consider neutering. For the greatest benefits it should be done early in life. While weight gain can occur it can be avoided with diet and exercise.
Please ask us for the facts- they speak for themselves!


Q:  My pet has smelly breath.  What can I do?
A:  This is a very common problem in older pets and a result of ageing and poor diet. Plaque builds up on the teeth and allows bacteria to multiply in the mouth. At this stage a de-scale and polish is required (as in humans but under a short anaesthetic!) followed up by close attention to your pet’s diet. Understandably, many people are put off by this procedure. This will only result in further irreversible decay and increased anaesthetic risk to your pet.
“A stitch in time saves nine!”


Q:  My pet is nervous of travelling. Anything I can do?
A:  There are some natural remedies designed to help with some behavioural problems. They are natural hormones called DAP for dogs and Feliway for cats. They help with many anxieties, e.g. travel fear, excessive barking, destructive behaviour and the like in dogs, and urine spraying, scratching furniture and nervousness in cats.


Q:  I have been advised to switch pet foods. What is the best way to do this?
A:  There are two types of diets. One aimed at the various life stages of the animal and the other, a perscription diet, where appropriate nutrition is used to help treat a particular disorder e.g. kidney disorders, skin conditions or joint problems. Your pets problem may have been caused or worsened, by undesirable eating habits, or imbalances in the food being fed, so it is important that you follow your vet’s advice about which diet will best help your pet. Here at the Animal Care Hospital, we recommend: Hills Science Plan, Hills Perscription Diet and Royal Canin Veterinary Diet. Pets unfortunately, like people are creatures of habit and may need some help in switching to new way of eating.
HELPING YOUR PET MAKE THE CHANGE:

  • Gradually introduce the new food over a 5-10 day period, unless instructed otherwise by your vet.

  • Mix the new diet with your pet’s former food, gradually increasing the proportions until only the new food is being fed.

  • Don’t supplement your pet’s new food unless instructed otherwise by yout vet. Don’t feed treats, snacks, table scraps, leftovers, or any food other then that which your vet recommends.
    - Keep a clean bowl of fresh water available at all times.

    IF YOUR PET HAS TROUBLE GIVING UP HIS FAMILIAR FOOD:

  • Warm canned food to body temperture (but not any hotter), before feeding.

  • Hand-feed the new diet for the first few days.

  • For dogs, mix the dry diet with a small amount of water and wait 10 minutes before serving. (Do not moisten dry cat diets.)

  • Finicky dogs might go a few days without eating, but if your cat refuses to eat for more then 48 hours, discuss the problem with your vet immediately.