Basic shelter, food, water and love is usually all there's needed for your beloved pet to thrive. Yet, at times medical attention or preventive care may be required to ensure that it leads a healthy and prolonged life. So whether you have a dog, a cat or an exotic animal such as a reptile, a visit to a local vet clinic every so often or when an emergency strikes is of vital importance. Put your mind at rest that your pooch or feline companion is in good hands by visiting one of these clinics found across the island.
A myriad of services
Local clinics operate from their private clinics and depending on the establishment's size, there could be more than one professional available. From routine vaccinations to general check-ups and consultations, veterinary clinics typically offer a number of other services such as dentistry, microchipping, blood pressure monitoring, while most are specialised in the field of advanced veterinary internal medicine. This means that they offer haematology and transfusion medicine, surgery that ranges from sprays and neuters to orthopaedic surgery and ultrasonography.
What type of vaccinations can be done by vets?
Essential to your pets' health, immunisation is necessary for both young and old animals. Most clinics provide vaccination services for cats, dogs, as well as smaller animals like rabbits and ferrets. Puppies and kittens should ideally be vaccinated at 7-8 weeks old, while a booster is administered after 3-4 weeks. This vaccine prevents a series of diseases amongst which include hepatitis, distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, leptospirosis, coronavirus and parainfluenza, whereas additional vaccines can guard your dog against rabies, sandfly (leishmaniosis) and kennel cough. Kittens are vaccinated against chlamydia, leucopenia, herpesvirus and calicivirus.
All pet owners are required by law to microchip their dogs. Microchipping is essential in cases when your pet gets lost since it can be easily identified and returned to you safe and sound. This is a simple procedure which can be done to pups over four months, whereby your vet inserts a microchip under the skin between the shoulder blades via an injection similarly to what happens during a routine vaccination. The chip would have your pet's unique chip number, together with your details.
Note that there is no obligation for you to microchip your cat, however, doing so would be beneficial in case it gets lost.
Parasite Prevention and Control
From causing Lyme disease to babesiosis, parasites like ticks and fleas can cause serious damage and among the most common culprits found in cats and dogs are fleas, ticks and roundworms. Your veterinary can help you prevent any parasite problems, while if parasites are already present, your doctor can aid you to control the situation. Treatments can be carried out both orally or by using spot-on methods. If you've been instructed to administer anti-parasitic medication, make sure you know your pet's weight so as to dispense accurate dosing.
If you're planning to travel with your pet, you can find authorised clinics which can issue a pet passport, allowing you to easily travel to most European countries. Having said that, there are a number of steps you need to take before travelling abroad. For starters, you need to visit a veterinarian to acquire a rabies booster certificate or get your pet vaccinated against it, your domestic animal must undergo tapeworm treatment, while you will need to get a health certificate. Furthermore, you must ensure that the animal is microchipped.
In-house laboratory testing
Depending on the clinic's size, some establishments have a fully equipped, in-house lab whereby various blood tests such as haematology, chemistry and urinalysis can be conducted and tested, thus offering faster and more accurate diagnoses. Alternatively, your vet will still draw some blood and send it to an external lab for further analysis. Other conditions that can be tested include sandfly, ehrlichioses, ringworm or heartworm disease.
Spraying and Neutering
From living a longer, healthier life to preventing life-threatening diseases like cancer and solving certain behavioural problems, there are several benefits to spraying and neutering your pet. When it comes to dogs, in particular, castration can help reduce territory marking and may prevent certain diseases and tumours, whereas neutered female dogs have reduced chances of developing, amongst other things, pyometra, a potentially fatal disease of the uterus. Similar benefits extend to other animals like cats.
Dogs, cats and animals like rabbits can all be neutered from 6 months onwards, however, consult your vet beforehand. Once your pet has undergone the operation, you must follow the doctor's strict advice on surgery aftercare.
Emergency Animal Doctors and Home Visits
Medical emergencies can happen unexpectedly, any time. For this reason, many clinics have an emergency phone line available to provide 24hr assistance even during Sundays and Public Holidays. Give the vets a ring if you need first aid advice, if you have a concern or if you would like to confirm something. In addition, if your pet is unwell but you are unable to visit a clinic, some vets do house visits. These may take place during office hours, may be arranged by appointment or they may take place on specific days and times.
Obesity in animals is dangerous and can cause various complications in virtually every system of the body, while it can result in other problems like diabetes, osteoarthritis and much more. During a routine check-up, your pet's doctor will weight your pouch and will ensure that its weight is on track. If that's not the case, you will be given nutritional advice based on your pet's individual needs whilst taking into consideration its age and size. In addition, a specific diet may also be prescribed most especially if your pet has underlying medical issues, whereas tips on weight management may also be offered.
When it's time to say goodbye
An inevitable process, whether it is due to old age or an illness, your pet deserves a decent farewell. Typically, the majority of veterinary clinics can dispose of your fluffy friend's body in a dignified manner, however, pet cremation, a service that up until recently was not available on the island, is now an option. This service allows you to take the ashes home to keep should you wish to do so.
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