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We have put together some Frequently asked Pet Health questions. Please have a look and if you have any concerns contact your local Calder Vets branch.

Are painkillers safe for dogs?

No. It is never a good idea to give any human medicine to an animal and human painkillers are not considered safe for dogs. In particular, Ibuprofen is much more potent in dogs than in humans and can potentially cause severe gut ulceration and kidney damage even at low doses. If you suspect your dog has ingested medicine intended for humans, call your vet immediately. For appropriate pain relief for dogs, speak to your veterinarian.

Are painkillers safe for cats?

It is not a good idea to give any animal medicine that is intended for humans. In particular, Paracetemol is very poisonous to cats, as they can not break down the drug safely which causes dangerous and toxic compounds to form in their body. It is so dangerous that it causes irreversible damage and can be fatal. No dose is too small to ensure you keep human medication away from your cat. If you think your cat has ingested paracetamol, or other human medicines, call a vet immediately.

For more advice on appropriate pain relief for your cat, speak to your veterinarian.

Can I use my dogs flea product on my cat?

No, canine products are potentially fatal for cats. Cats and dogs have different products for fleas as they are tailored to be effective on that particular animal, and can be ineffective or fatal if used incorrectly.

How do I know if my pet has fleas?

Fleas can cause itching, chewing and licking. The skin may become red and inflamed.

You might see fleas on your dog or cat (though this is quite uncommon), or you might see small dark flecks (flea “dirt”) in the fur and on the skin. If you notice any of these signs, take your pet to see the vet. As well as causing severe skin irritation, fleas play a vital part in the tapeworm’s life cycle.

If your pet has fleas it’s important to treat your house, your pet and all other pets in the household. Your vet can recommend safe and effective products to use. The house should be treated with an effective household spray after vacuuming, because flea larvae and eggs live off the animal, in places like carpets and rugs. Particular attention should be paid to areas where your pet spends time, as well as warm areas such as near to radiators.

As well as thinking about fleas, it is important to follow the worming regime recommended by your vet.

How often should I worm my pet?

We recommend worming for dogs and cats every 3 months, although if your cat is a regular hunter then monthly worming may be necessary. Worms are not only harmful to pets but to their owners too. Dogs who live with, and are petted by small children, should ideally be wormed monthly. Please speak with your vet about the range of products on offer and the most suitable and effective one for your pet. Your vet will also be able to give advice on how often you should worm your pet, based on your individual circumstances.

Should I have my pet neutered?

There are long term health benefits to your pet from neutering. The primary benefit is in controlling the pet population by reducing the amount of unwanted pregnancies.

In male animals castration is when their testicles are removed. In dogs this may reduce roaming tendencies, limit some forms of aggression, removes the risk of testicular cancer, reduces the incidence of prostrate problems and can prevent certain other cancers. In Tom cats it can stop him roaming and the spread of disease through fighting.

In female animals spaying is when the ovaries and womb are removed. In bitches it removes the risk of phantom pregnancy, potentially life threatening uterine infections and reduces the risk of breast cancers. In the female cat it will stop her from coming into heat which can be uncomfortable for her and cause her to roam for tom cats.

For rabbits neutering will allow a male and female to live together without producing unwanted babies, this is important as rabbits need company. Simply being brother and sister does not stop rabbits from mating! Female rabbits are at a high risk of developing tumours of the womb (uterus) before the age of five if they are not neutered. Neutering rabbits can also help with certain forms of aggression.

Why does my pet need vaccinating?

We regularly see preventable illness in un-vaccinated animals, some of which can be fatal. Puppies and rabbits can be vaccinated from 8 weeks, Kittens from 9 weeks. Thereafter annual boosters are required to act as a ”top up” against disease. Boosters act as a reminder to your pets’ immune system as to how to fight the disease. A booster is seen as the most reliable method of making sure your pet stays immune to potential infections.

The main threat to dogs in West Yorkshire is still parvovirus – an often fatal cause of vomiting and diarrhoea and still prevalent due to large numbers of unvaccinated dogs in the area. Puppies get parvo protection as part of the primary course of injections – normally 8 and 10 weeks. We do strongly recommend that clients also consider an extra injection against parvo at 16-18 weeks of age.

This tops up their immunity and also helps protect those puppies that may not have responded totally to the primary course of vaccinations. We only charge £12 for this as we feel it is important to encourage uptake and maximise protection.