Our vets understand you want the best care for your dog through every stage of their life, and are here to help ensure they have a happy, healthy life.
Puppies & Adolescents
Your puppy’s first year is the most important, not just to develop a bond with you, but also to get the healthiest start we can provide for his or her life. Owning a puppy is a lifelong relationship, and we want to help and support you along the journey that is dog ownership.
Our experienced and compassionate vet team can help you with all your puppy’s general health care needs including vaccinations, worming, microchipping, desexing and nutrition.
General Health & Routine Visits
As your dog ages we can provide you with a comprehensive preventative care program with regular physical exams and annual diagnostic testing for early signs of illness.
Your dog’s health and wellness examination with the vet will include:
Common Diseases & Symptoms To Watch Out For:
Arthritis would be the number one disease we see. Our dogs slow down as they age, but there are many great products we can use to help keep them comfortable for as long as we can. Things to look out for if you suspect your dog may have arthritis are:
- Taking longer to get up from lying down.
- Struggling to jump into the car or onto the couch.
- Reluctance to play with other dogs, or fetch toys.
- Bunny hopping with their back legs.
- Swollen joints, lameness.
Early Heart Disease
Usually seen later on in adult life but can be seen earlier especially with certain breeds of dogs. We have effective medications for the treatment of heart disease, but once again it is slowing the progression of the disease, not fixing it. Symptoms to look for:
- Lack of interest in playing or exercising (exercising intolerance)
- Shortness of breath
- A wet cough, especially in the mornings
- Extending neck to breathe
- Blue to purple discolouration of the gums and the tongue.
By listening to the heart, we can pick up heart murmurs, but an x-ray for diagnostic purposes is usually advised.
Lumps & Bumps
We start to notice lumps, bumps and warts as our dog’s age. Some are just fatty lumps, called lipomas, and unless they are causing problems to the dog we don’t need to surgically remove them. But other lumps can be nasty and can spread quickly.
If you notice any lumps, be sure to have your vet take a look at them. We can obtain a needle sample and have a look at the cells under the microscope. This will diagnose what type of lump or cancer we are dealing with and the action that is needed.
Please note that in some circumstances your vet will advise that the cell sample be sent to the lab for examination. Remember that the larger the lump gets the more risks that are involved to remove it. So, catching and removing (if needed) these lumps as early as possible gives your dog the best chance for a happy and healthy life.
Early Renal Disease
This is also a very common disease we see in older dogs. Renal disease is when your dog’s kidneys are not working as well as they used to. Symptoms to look out for are:
- Excessive drinking and or urinating
- Dehydration, sunken eyes, dry gums
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting and or diarrhoea
A simple blood and urine test will determine how well your dog’s kidneys are working, and treatment consists of medication and a special diet. Once kidney disease is present, we can’t cure it, but we can help slow the progression of the disease.
Dental disease occurs as our dogs age due to the build-up of dental plaque on the teeth. This process causes inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) which causes the gums to recede exposing the tooth and the tooth root. With an exposed tooth root, bacteria can seed into the pulp cavity and root producing an abscess. Chronically infected teeth can cause severe pain, changes in eating habits, bad breath, loss of teeth, loss of body condition, and the bacteria within the plaque can serve as a source of chronic infectious material that can affect other organs of the body such as the heart, liver and kidneys.
With each health check your dog has, the vet will be looking at his or her teeth.
Some dog breeds are renowned for having a much quicker onset of dental disease than others and need teeth cleaning on a more regular basis. We have foods on the market that help prevent tartar build up, but please note these won’t help if your dog already has tartar build up. We recommend once the teeth are clean to then change to a specific diet, as this will prolong the onset once again.
Blood & Urine Testing
As our dogs age it is also a good idea to test urine and blood samples, even if we think our dogs are happy and healthy. The results give us valuable information on things going on which we can’t necessarily see. We recommend from 8 years of age testing blood and urine samples. If everything comes back normal, this gives us baseline values, we can then monitor as your dog ages and detect slight changes earlier.
Please don’t hesitate to phone one of our vets if you have any concerns about your dog between visits to our clinic.