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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I insure my pet?

When you get a new pet it is an ideal time to think about insurance.  There are companies that we recommend and they will have the policy to suit you.   Talk to our staff about getting a one-month free cover note.   We would suggest that you seriously consider taking out pet insurance to cover the eventuality of unexpected large veterinary costs which might well arise at some stage of your pets life.

Is Microchipping a good idea?

We believe in the importance of permanently identifying our pet.  There is now a New Zealand Register and as cats tend to wander it is wise to think about microchipping your cat as well as your dog


At what age should my puppy/kitten be vaccinated?

In our clinic, we use the most common vaccines, which requires two injections in puppies or kittens or dogs and cats being inoculated for the first time –which only requires 2 vaccinations.

A live modified virus vaccine of Vanguard Plus 5 and Lepto (for puppies under 12 weeks of age).

A live modified virus vaccine of CVRP (for kittens and cats) both are given, first at 9 weeks of age or older and the second at 12 weeks of age or older (a 6-week vaccination is usually given by the breeder or pet shop).

At what age do female dogs usually start their 'heat' cycle?

Depending on the breed and size, "heat" or oestrus, normally begins between the ages of eight and fifteen months but may, on occasion, begin as early as six months.   Smaller breeds begin at a younger age.  This cycle usually occurs approximately every six months


When are female dogs most likely to conceive?

Oestrus periods are usually about 21 days long.   Vulvar swelling and bleeding discharge are common during the first 10 days.   Days 10 to 15 are usually the most fertile and a female is most likely to accept a male and conceive during this time.

During the final 5 to 6 days, the female experiences a 'going out' period and is less interested in breeding but still may be discharging slightly.   IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER, however, many dogs vary from this 'average' schedule and conception is possible ANYTIME a female is receptive to a male

How long, from conception, does a normal pregnancy last?

Dogs - 63 to 68 days
Cats - 62 to 65 day

What is the life cycle of the flea?

Flea eggs hatch off pets, in grass, catpets, bedding etc.

They moult in the environment undergoing several life stage changes. In the adult phase they find a suitable host (e.g. your pet), they breed and females take a blood meal.

The females leave the host to lay eggs in hatching areas and the cycle starts anew. The process usually takes 14-21 days but may take longer, especially during dry periods.

My pet has very smelly breath, is it something he has eaten?

Get your veterinarian or veterinary nurse to check your pet's mouth, it is quite likely to be a build-up of tartar or an infected tooth that is causing the odour.   Tartar builds up and causes irritation of the gums around the base of the teeth.   The resulting inflammation is gingivitis.   The gums ultimately recede exposing the roots which leads to infection and ultimately tooth loss.

My cat has been fighting, what should I do?

Cat fights can often result in abscess formation. Initially, you may only notice a scratch or a scab, but infection can build up under the skin and result in an abscess.   If untreated, this can burst open.   If you think your cat has been in a fight, a course of antibiotics is usually recommended.   Your pet may also need surgery to drain the infection from the abscess.

Why has my vet given my pet an Elizabethan collar to wear?

Elizabethan collars may appear to be a nuisance or uncomfortable for your pet but they are only given out when the vet feels your pet could cause damage without one, either by licking or chewing a wound, a drain, sutures or bandages.   Often, without an Elizabethan collar, pets have  had to be reanaesthetised to resuture a wound after the animal has removed its own sutures

My pet seems to be drinking a lot of water

There are a number of metabolic diseases that cause increased thirst in our pets.
These include diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, adrenal problems, thyroid problems etc.   The best way to investigate all of these diseases is with blood and urine testing.


Is pain relief really necessary when my pet has an operation?

Put yourself in their shoes, would you like to have an operation and not be given pain relief?   Animals feel pain just as we do and a few days pain relief after an operation makes recovery so much better.


Why does my vet recommend blood testing before an anaesthetic?

When you place your pet in our hands you trust us to provide your pet with the best possible medical care, therefore we recommend blood testing prior to anaesthetics. The anaesthetic risk is greatly minimised when a healthypet is placed under anaesthesia.   It is vital for us to know the complete health status of your pet and blood testing will give us this information

Why is it recommended that fluids be given during an anaesthetic?

Fluids given during an anaesthetic help to metabolise the anaesthetic and speed recovery and is especially important for pets over 8 years of age, pets with pre-existing conditions and those who have been slower to recover from anaesthesia in the past

My cat appears to be constipated, he is straining, what shall I do?

It is important that your cat is seen by a vet as soon as possible, especially if it is a male cat, as the straining may be the result of a blocked bladder.   This can be potentially life-threatening if left for too long.   Phone your vet immediately and discuss the situation with the veterinary nursing staff