Frequently Asked Questions



General

Puppies can be vaccinated from 8 weeks, with a second dose at 10 weeks of age and are protected from 11 weeks of age. To maximise protection, The Park Veterinary Group includes a third vaccination to puppies at 16 weeks of age. This approach has been recommended by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and is at no extra cost to clients. Kittens can be vaccinated from 9 weeks of age, with a second dose at 12 weeks of age and are protected from 14 weeks of age.
Here are some common injuries or poisonings be aware about for your pet. This list is not exhaustive: please call the surgery if you have any concerns.
Chocolate: Only a few grams of chocolate can be lethal to a small dog; larger quantities of chocolate can poison or even kill a medium or large dog. Dark chocolate, particularly cooking chocolate, is especially dangerous.

Poisonous plants: Animals can become extremely ill or even die from eating poisonous plants. Holly and mistletoe are extremely poisonous when eaten. The poinsettia’s milky sap and leaves may cause severe stomach upsets.

Food wrappings: Aluminium foil and plastic food wrap can cause choking or intestinal obstruction: some dogs will eat the plastic wrapping with food remnants. Aluminium foil can cut intestine causing internal bleeding and in some cases even death.

Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and the bone fragments may pierce the intestines. Don’t be tempted to give bones to dogs or cats

Human foods: Grapes, Raisins, Currants, and Sultanas – even a few of these fruits can cause kidney failure in some animals.

Onions, garlic, shallots: Can cause breakdown of blood cells 4-5 days later.

Peanuts, macademia nuts and mouldy food can cause convulsions

Xylitol, a sweetener, can result in a massive drop in blood glucose and liver failure in dogs.

Salt – can be very toxic even in small amounts, causing brain swelling.

Chemicals: Some types of slug bait and ant powder can cause convulsions and toad and snake venom are potentially dangerous in animals.

For you and your new pet to be happy choosing the right pet for your circumstances at the beginning is the most important decision you will make. Take time to think about what time you can give and what resources you have at home to manage your pet before you decide. Discuss your decision within the family and if you are unsure discuss this with the vet or nurse. “A pet is for life and not just for Christmas” is very true and you will have to consider that your pet will live for a number of years – up to 80 years for a tortoise and typically 15 years for a cat or dog.

Read More information on the animal you’re interested in… Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, ,Rats

There are many ways you can obtain a pet. The choices will depend on personal circumstances: puppies take more time than adult pets and some owners prefer to re-home an adult dog rather than train a puppy. Once you have done some research on which type of pet is suitable for you then you need to decide where you are going to find your pet.

Local newspaper: You may be able to find a pet from a private breeder who advertises in the local paper. This approach may work for the more common breeds of dogs and cats.

By recommendation: A friend or pet owner may be able to refer you to a specific breeder who may be able to supply you with a pet either direct or via a network of breeders.

Web link to the breed societies: Many breeders register their litters direct with their own breed society and you may be able to source a new puppy via this link.

Web link to Rescue societies for particular breeds. For most of the common breeds there are rescue societies which are responsible for re-homing dogs from that particular breed.

Local rescue centre. This is often an excellent method of sourcing a healthy new pet. The pets are usually health checked, vaccinated and micro-chipped prior to sale. See links page for more information on the local societies in Leicester.

Pet shop. This is the common route for many of the small children’s pets with specialist pet shops for reptiles.

Friends or family. But take care you don’t just take on that new puppy from your friend to help them out when you really wanted a cat!

Cats can be neutered from 5 months of age. We can do it earlier than this in some circumstances.

Dogs are neutered at 6 months of age before their first season. This has health benefits and prevents a lot of mess and incovenience in a household.
Dogs of larger sized breeds such as Labradors must have one season first and would be neutered 3 months later.

Please feel free discuss the timing of surgery in more detail with our nurses or with the vet at first vaccinations.

The surgery is performed on a day patient basis and in most cases your pet is fit and able to go home the same day. Only the best anaesthetics, pain relief and surgical techniques are used to make sure that your pet has the best of care whilst with us for the day.
Bringing a new pet home is always an exciting time (see also the ‘What pet is for me?’ article). Here are a few pointers to help make the introduction successful. If you have existing pets, introduce them gently and watch them closely. Their interactions will depend on their personalities. Some will develop a close bond and some others will choose merely to tolerate or ignore each other.
To keep your pet fully protected, annual vaccination is required. However, your pet’s risk profile is assessed with the aim to give protection with as few vaccinations as possible. Which is the best wormer and flea product for my pet? There is no simple answer. There are wormer/ flea products which treat both worms and fleas in one simple drop on the back of the neck, pills taken by mouth or as a treat, and long-acting flea prevention injections which last 6 months. Ask the vet or member of staff for advice. Please remember for some products we do need to see your pet prior to dispensing.
There is no simple answer. We have a variety of effective products given in different ways any of which you may find the best for you.

  • Drops on the back of the neck
  • Pills taken by mouth or as a treat
  • Long-acting flea prevention injections for cats which last 6 months. Please ask any member of staff for advice.

Please remember our best products are Prescription Only Medicines, we do need to see your pet prior to dispensing or your pet to have been seen in the clinic within the last 6 months. You can make a free appointment with the nurses who can dispense under the supervision of the vet. We also have some over the counter medicines for flea and worming if that is more convenient.

Regular worming is essential both for human and animal health.

Most puppies are treated with granule wormers in the first few weeks of life. To ensure that your new puppy is kept worm free we recommend monthly worming up to 4 months of age, then every 3 months, though in some situations adult dogs do require more frequent treatment.

Lungworm is a new serious disease in dogs especially Staffies and Cavaliers, monthly treatment is recommended.

Cats should be wormed as tiny kittens, then at 9 and 12 weeks, then every 3 months, though hunters do require more frequent treatment.

Since the PETS (Pet Travel Scheme) was launched, many people have taken their pets out of the UK, either on holiday or permanently. There are many foreign diseases that can affect pets which are not (yet) in the UK, and can be picked up while travelling, so it is sensible to take precautions and research the areas for specific local advice. Additionally, your pet must have an official passport to be allowed to enter some countries, and to get back into the UK. Only specified animals can be issued with a passport, and only specified routes may be taken.
The cost of the whole procedure is £20.00 and further savings can be made with the kitten health plan. Our Healthy Pets Club gives a saving of 50% on the normal cost of microchipping. Ask for the staff for details.
Health insurance for your pet provides peace of mind when you need it most. Nowadays, many diseases can be treated through new medicines or new surgical techniques and equipment. Unfortunately there is no NHS for animals, and the costs of medicines and surgical techniques can be very high – should they require further referral, for example to a University hospital, pet health insurance can take the worry of cost away and means the best treatments can be affordable.

  • Be aware that if you change insurance company, any new company may refuse to cover the cost of pre-existing diseases.
  • Annual (12 month) policies can be cheaper than lifelong policies, but be aware that they do not cover any more than 12 months’ worth of treatment on a condition.

We can only provide insurance from one pet insurance provider (Pet Plan) as we have no wish to take on the burden of becoming an insurance broker. We recommend Pet Plan because they are a fair company to deal with and in our view deliver excellent value to our clients. There are other companies providing insurance but please do read the small print: the cheapest is not necessarily the best.


Cats


There are now products that treat worms and fleas in one simple drop on the back of the neck.

Our nurses can give your cat his tablet when you buy one in the surgery if that’s any help.

FeLV is a common virus transmitted from cat to cat by direct contact. All outdoor cats are at risk, with young and older cats and those that fight, especially un-neutered tom cats, at most risk. Some have resistance but if the disease develops, it is untreatable and fatal.

Dogs


The key to success is consistency. Take your pup out immediately after feeding and praise good behaviour (toileting outside) and ignore mistakes in the house. Telling young puppies off when they make a mistake often makes the problem worse as they are not able to work out praise from criticism when they are very young.
This is one of the most important commands you can use to help control your puppy and most pups will be able to follow this command by 14 weeks of age if you start early enough.
The amount of food you give depends on the age of the puppy. In general, a rapidly growing puppy will require 300- 400 grammes/day or £1.06 per day. This is a small price to pay if your pet is to remain healthy and less likely to suffer health problems in later life.