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Stages of Life

From birth to old age, our pet’s health care and lifestyle needs are constantly evolving. As their owner, it’s our job to ensure we’re paying attention to these changing needs and alter their care accordingly.

Caring for your new puppy

Congratulations on the arrival of your new puppy! Although welcoming a puppy into your home is such an exciting time, it also comes with a big responsibility. Your puppy’s health is our primary concern, and we are here to help by answering answer any questions that you may have and provide the best possible care for your pet.

The first year of your puppy’s life will be a lot of fun for you both – so enjoy it.

We offer a complimentary veterinary health check for all new puppies. Call us now to book an appointment.

Vaccinations

Vaccination is essential to protect your puppy against the major infectious and fatal diseases.

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parvovirus
  • Parainfluenza
  • Bordetella

Our early finish puppy vaccination schedule is:

6 – 8 weeks: C3 vaccine – Parvo, Distemper & Hepatitis (Injectable).

10 weeks: C5 vaccine – Parvo, Distemper & Hepatitis (Injectable). Bordetella & Parainfluenza (Oral).

12 weeks: C4 vaccine – Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitis & Parainfluenza (Injectable).

We recommend waiting until one week after the 3rd puppy vaccine is given before allowing your puppy to walk around and socialise in public areas.

Intestinal Worming

Puppies often have worms, which can cause illness and may be fatal. Some worms can even cause diseases in adults and children too. Worming is critical in helping protect your puppy against Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm and Tapeworm.

Our worming schedule is:

  • Worm every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old
  • Worm every 3 months for life

Always weigh your pup prior to worming and be sure to give the correct dose. We recommend using Milbemax and Drontal intestinal wormers.

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, which means all dogs are at risk, whether they live inside or outside. Heartworm can be prevented however the disease it produces is potentially fatal. Prevention is better than cure as the treatment for Heartworm is invasive, long and comes with risks. Lifelong protection is crucial for the safety of your pup. Our recommended heartworm schedule is:

  • An injection at 3 and 6 months
  • A follow up booster 9 months later
  • An ongoing yearly booster which we can coincide with yearly vaccinations.
  • We recommend a Proheart SR12 Heartworm injection rather than monthly tablets.

Fleas

Did you know that more than half of all pets admitted to a vet clinic for skin issues have a flea allergy?

Queensland has one of the highest rates of fleas in Australia, so it’s important to take necessary precautions to protect your puppy. A female flea may produce around 2,000 eggs over her life. That’s around 50 eggs every day! Adult fleas also only make up around 5% of the populace, with 95% as eggs and immature fleas in the environment.

We recommend using Monthly Nexgard Chews to help prevent infestations on your dogs and in your homes! Nexgard is safe to use in puppies from 8 weeks of age.

Ticks

Tick paralysis can kill dogs and cats. As wildlife can drop ticks off in your backyard, every dog has the potential to be at risk from a paralysis tick!

Early signs of tick paralysis include, changes in bark, changes in respiration, weakness in the hind limbs, coughing, gagging, regurgitation, vomiting and dilated pupils.

Paralysis ticks are much easier to prevent than they are to treat, so we recommend using Monthly Nexgard Chews lifelong to help prevent ticks on your furry friend. Nexgard is safe to use in puppies from 8 weeks of age.

Nutrition

High quality nutrition is essential in helping your dog to lead a happy, healthy life. Feeding them food such as Royal Canin Junior will provide the following benefits:

Balance: Provides the correct amount of high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins for your dog’s life stage and avoids harmful protein, mineral and salt excesses. They also contain antioxidants to promote health and vitality.

Less odours and faeces:  Easily digested and absorbed, meaning less mess to clean up, less odours and less flatulence. You’ll see the difference if you have previously fed supermarket foods.

Superb coat: High in essential fatty acids to promote a superb coat. No colours or artificial flavours.

If you are switching your puppy onto a new complete and balanced food, make the change gradually over the course of 5-10 days. Continue feeding the old food while you gradually introduce the new food day by day. Do this until your puppy is eating just the new food. Gradually introducing the new food rather than just changing it suddenly can help to prevent tummy upsets.

Dental Hygiene

Approximately 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three can have some sort of dental disease which becomes more severe with age. Some breeds can have it developing at an even earlier age. If left untreated, it can become a major issue for pets and owners.

Dental disease can lead to more serious problems such as illnesses related to the heart, liver and kidney. It is for this reason that pets require regular health checks at the vet. Dogs and cats age much more quickly than humans, and it’s important to detect problems early in order to ensure a long and happy life for your companion animal. Checking your pet’s teeth will be part of your annual health check.

Brushing your pets’ teeth every day is the best way to help prevent dental disease, we recommend starting this as early as possible. Oravet Chews are a compressed, cereal-shaped bone designed for teeth cleaning and can be given as a daily treat.

Dental diets such as Royal Canin Dental can be given once your puppy is a year old.

Microchipping & Registration

QLD legislation now requires the microchipping of all pets at the point of sale or by 12 weeks of age. Microchips provide a permanent form of identification so that if your dog gets lost, a veterinary clinic can scan and obtain the microchip number. They can then search for the chip in the database and can retrieve your details so they can reunite you and your pet!

Desexing

Desexing or neutering your pet is a surgical procedure that inhibits them from reproducing. This is the most common surgery performed by our vets, and your pet is usually home by the afternoon of the surgery.

The standard age to desex your pet is at 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.

There are many benefits to desexing your pet at 6 months. These include:

  • Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year
  • In males – prevention of testicular and prostate disease
  • In females – prevention of pyometra (infection of the uterus) and it can help reduce the prevalence of mammary tumors (breast cancer).=
  • Your female will no longer come on heat which, in turn, will prevent uninvited “visitors” trying to get to your female dog
  • Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, particularly in males
  • Being less prone to wander, especially in males searching for females on heat
  • Living a longer and healthier life
  • Reduction of council registration fees. Council law requires all dogs and cats to be desexed if they are not registered as breeding animals.

Socialisation & Puppy Preschool

Puppies can start developing habits from as young as two weeks old, some of which may not be exactly to your liking. To ensure your puppy forms positive habits & behaviours, we strongly recommend enrolling them in Puppy Preschool.

Our Puppy Preschool course runs for 4 weeks on a Sunday from 10 – 11am using modern methods and techniques to:

  • Teach your puppy social skills
  • Introduce obedience – sit, stay, come, drop, roll over, commando crawl, shake
  • Condition your puppy to associate fun and pleasure with the vet clinic
  • Encourage desirable behaviour

During these sessions, you will also be taught how to best care for your new puppy.

Insurance

Pet insurance is so important to the wellbeing of your pup and we recommend have your pet insured from an early age. Pet Insurance offers peace of mind that, should the time come, you will be able to cover the cost of expensive treatments after an accident or illness without sending yourself into unnecessary financial hardship.

Emergency treatments and care for animals can be highly costly and no one wants to go through the traumatic experience of being unable to provide help for their furry friend. This is why we so strongly recommend Pet Insurance to anyone who owns a puppy.

It is a heartbreaking situation to have to choose between the health of your pet and financial constraints, so for peace of mind, we recommend that your pet is insured.  When looking for insurance, it is very important to get a comprehensive plan that covers high-risk conditions. For those living in Queensland, ticks and snakes are extremely common and therefore, should be included in your policy. Treatment for envenomation demands expensive anti-serum and a high level of intensive nursing care, which can result in bills of thousands of dollars. As with any insurance, we thoroughly recommend reading the fine print of any policy, especially the exclusions.

Caring for your new kitten

 Congratulations on the arrival of your new kitten! Aside from the excitement of gaining your new family member, owning a kitten brings a big responsibility. Your kitten’s health is our core concern, and we are here to help you through the process, to answer any questions that you may have, and provide the best possible care for your pet.

We offer a complimentary veterinary health check for all new kittens. Call us now to book an appointment.

Vaccinations

Vaccination is essential to protect your kitten against the major infectious and fatal diseases.

  • Panleukopaenia (Feline infectious enteritis/parvo-virus)
  • Calicivirus
  • Rhinotracheitis (Cat flu)
  • FIV

FIV is a disease which causes immunosuppression, which can cause many different diseases, which may affect the eyes, intestines, central nervous system and the bone marrow. FIV can be transmitted between cats, through fighting, but can also be transmitted from mother cats to kittens. FIV affects around 7% of domestic cats and 25% of tom cats.

For Indoor Cats – Our kitten vaccination schedule is:

6 – 8 weeks: F3 vaccine – Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus & Panleukopaenia

10 – 12 weeks: F3 vaccine – Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus & Panleukopaenia

Thereafter annually

For Indoor/ Outdoor Cats – Our kitten vaccination schedule is:

8 weeks:* 1st F3 vaccine – Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus & Panleukopaenia
1st FIV vaccine

10 weeks of age: 2nd FIV vaccine

12 weeks of age: 2nd F3 vaccine – Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus & Panleukopaenia. 3rd FIV vaccine.

Thereafter annually

*Please note, we can start F3 vaccinations from as early as 6 weeks of age, but kittens must be 8 weeks old to start FIV vaccinations. We recommend waiting until one week after the 3rd FIV vaccine to let your cat outside.

Intestinal Worming

Kittens often have worms, which can cause illness and may be fatal! Some worms can even cause diseases in adults and children too. Worming is critical in helping protect your kitten against Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm and Tapeworm.

Our worming schedule is:

  • Worm every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old
  • Worm every 3 months for life

Always weigh your kitten prior to worming and be sure to give the correct dose. We recommend using Milbemax intestinal wormers.

Fleas

Queensland is the flea capital of Australia! A female flea produces up to 50 eggs per day, which equates to around 2000 in a lifetime! Adult fleas only represent 5% of the population, 95% existing as eggs and immature fleas in the environment. Over 50% of pets that present for a skin problem in clinic have a flea allergy.

We recommend Bravecto Spot-on for tick and flea treatment.

Ticks

Tick paralysis can kill your pet. As wildlife can bring ticks into your backyard which then crawl on our clothes, even inside kitties can be at risk!

 

Early signs of tick paralysis include changes in meow, weakness in the hind limbs, changes in respiration, coughing, regurgitation, gagging, vomiting and dilated pupils.

Paralysis ticks are much easier to prevent than they are to treat. Fortunately, there are now products on the market to prevent ticks in cats.

We recommend using:

  • Bravecto Spot-on Cats every 3 months (safe from 11 weeks of age), OR
  • Frontline spot-on every 2 weeks (safe from 8 weeks of age), (off label use), OR
  • Seresto collars (safe from 10 weeks of age), (off label use) OR
  • Frontline Spray topically every 3 weeks (safe from 2 days of age)

Nutrition

High quality nutrition is essential in helping your cat to lead a happy, healthy life. Feeding a food such as Royal Canin Kitten will provide the following benefits:

Balance: provides the correct amount of high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins for your cat’s life stage and avoids harmful protein, mineral and salt excesses. They also contain antioxidants to promote health and vitality.

Less odours and faeces: Easily digested and absorbed, meaning less mess to clean up, fewer odours and less flatulence. You’ll see the difference if you have previously fed supermarket foods.

Superb coat: High in essential fatty acids to promote a superb coat. No colours or artificial flavours.

If you are switching your kitten onto new foods, it’s recommended to make the change gradually over the course of 5 – 10 days. To do this, you can continue feeding your kitten while gradually introducing the new food day by day to whatever you have been feeding. Gradually introducing the new food rather than abruptly switching it can help to prevent tummy problems.

Microchipping & Registration

QLD legislation now commands the microchipping of all pets at the point of sale or by 12 weeks of age. Microchips offer a permanent form of identification. This means that, should your cat get lost, a veterinary clinic can scan and obtain the microchip number, search for the chip in the database and contact you to reunite you with your cat!

Dental Hygiene

Did you know that around 80% of cats and dogs over the age of three can have develop dental disease? This can progress and become more severe with age. Some breeds can even develop these issues at a younger age. If left without treatment, dental disease can become a severe issue for cats and their owners.

Dental disease can also cause more significant issues likes illnesses related to the heart, liver and kidney. This is why pets require regular health checks with their vet. Cats age more rapidly than humans, so it’s imperative to identify issues as early as possible to ensure a happy and healthy life for your cat. Checking their teeth will become part of your annual health check.

Brushing your cats’ teeth every day is the best way to help prevent dental disease, so we recommend starting this as young as possible.

Greenies are a compressed, fish-shaped chew designed for teeth cleaning. Dental diets such as Royal Canin Dental can also be given once your kitten is a year old.

Desexing

Desexing or neutering your pet is a surgical procedure that stops them from being able to reproduce. Council law requires all dogs and cats to be desexed if they are not registered as breeding animals. Thus, it is the most regular surgery completed by our vets, and your pet is generally home by the afternoon of the surgery.

The most common age to desex your pet is at 6 months; however they are never too old to be desexed.

There are many benefits to desexing your pet at 6 months. They include:

  • Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly. Those litters may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year
  • Prevention of testicular cancer and can help prevent prostate disease in males
  • Prevention of pyometra (infection of the uterus) and help reduce the occurrence of mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females
  • Your cat will no longer go on heat which, in turn will, stop unwelcome “visitors” trying to mate with your female
  • Help decrease aggression towards other animals, particularly in males
  • Being less prone to wander, especially during breeding season
  • Less likely to wander and get involved in fights with other cats
  • Living a longer and healthier life

Insurance

Making the decision to acquire Pet Insurance is one our vets strongly recommend to all cat owners. It’s like a safety net for the health and wellbeing of your kitty. Should something unexpected happen, like an illness or injury, you want to know that you’re able to provide the care and treatment your little one needs and deserves.

It’s no secret that emergency care or treatment for pets can leave you well out of pocket, and no one wants to be put in the position where they have to decide if they can afford it or not. This is why having Pet Insurance from the start is so critical.

Senior Pets

For pet lovers, it’s a wonderful experience travelling through life with your beloved fur companion at your side. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that your incredible bundle of energy will get old and transform into a calm presence who won’t always be there to share with you their loyalty and love.

As your pet begins to slow right down, maybe put on a little weight or find it harder to move freely, it’s important to enter a specialised veterinary care program to prolong their life, pre-empt any illnesses, treat ailments and avoid unnecessary suffering. Because your beloved pet cannot tell you when things start changing for them, they need you to be one step ahead so that we can care for them.

Losing eyesight or hearing and developing stiff joints are natural age-related changes that all animals go through, including humans. But pathological change or disease such as heart, kidney or dental disease, as well as osteoarthritis is not always immediately evident and can be tested for in advance as your pet ages. In some cases, they may be preventable, in others they can be successfully managed with our first-class treatment plans.

Tallebudgera Veterinary Clinic vets and nurses are trained in specialist senior care for all types of animals. We offer regular, affordable urine and blood analysis tests to check your pet’s internal organ function, which can detect diseases at an early stage. Radiology can be used to assess their joints and detect arthritis at an early stage, and we have a number of treatments to help your pet regain movement and reduce pain.

Regular check-ups, assessments and gentle care plans for your elderly friend can not only prolong their life but also put a spring back in their step. Talk to us today about how we can help you care for your senior pets!

Kidney and Liver Health

Are your pet’s major internal organs functioning well? As animals age from adult to senior, it is common to find some changes in the liver and kidney enzymes. A simple blood test is recommended on a 6 monthly basis to recognise any changes that may require treatment.

Mobility

Is your pet sore or stiff? Do they find it difficult getting upstairs or out of bed?

Mobility is a major issue in senior pets. As your pet ages, the most common type of mobility issue is arthritis in the joints. There are several preventative measures that can be utilised to aid in the treatment and prolonging of the arthritic signs and symptoms. Initially, we can start with basic weight control which can involve a special formulated diet for your animal. This can also have specific oils and minerals to help with movement.

Senior patients also require less food as their metabolism is slower and hence weight gain is achieved more easily. Other options include a month-long course of arthritis injections.

There are also multiple products which are given daily with their main meal. Used correctly, these products can have great success for your pet. Speak with your vet at your next appointment to place your pet onto an arthritis management plan.

Radiology can be an important tool to assess the amount of arthritis present in a joint and if there are any conformational problems attributing to the arthritic changes. For the safety and comfort of your pet, we take these radiographs under sedation.

It is important to keep your senior pet warm and comfortable, particularly in winter as the colder weather will affect their joints and subsequent mobility. A good bed is important, as well as a nice warm coat.

If you feel your pet is suffering from poor mobility, book in to see one of our experienced vets who can help devise a customised health plan.

Heart and Lungs

Is your pet coughing or breathing heavily? Is their stomach swollen?

Heart and lungs are major organs of the body. Cardiac disease is more common is senior pets, with congestive heart failure associated with a heart murmur being the most common. There are also other types of cardiac disease. This has an effect on the lungs and subsequent activity of the animal. Patients with this type of disease tend to find it difficult to move around and exert any type of significant energy. Some breeds are more prone to this disease than others.

Usually, but not always, heart murmurs can be audible from birth. Most are recorded at a free puppy check from 6-8 weeks of age. However, some heart murmurs can develop later on in life. There are different stages of cardiac disease, ranging from stage 1 (where a heart murmur is just audible and having no visual effect on the animal) to stage 5 (where an animal is bed ridden and has difficulty breathing with a notable cough).

If you’ve noticed consistent heavy breathing or coughing from your pet, bring them in to us so we can examine any possible causes and devise a treatment or mitigation plan.

Eyesight and Hearing

Does your pet bump into objects?

It is not uncommon for your pets’ eyesight to deteriorate as they get older. This can be caused by a few things, but the most common issue associated with a loss of eyesight is the formation of cataracts. These create a ‘film’ over the eye which has a cloudy-blue appearance when a light is guided over it.

The other cause of blindness or deteriorating eyesight is an increase in the intra ocular pressure which leads to glaucoma. Any damage to the optic nerve also has the potential to cause partial or complete loss of eyesight. It is a good idea to not change the placement of objects in the animal’s environment as this can make it more difficult for them to move around.

Hearing loss is another issue mainly associated with older pets. Damage to the ear drum (tympanic membrane) can cause hearing loss (partial and complete). As an animal gets older, the function of the cochlear is less efficient and less sensitive. Exposure to loud sounds can also cause hearing damage. The auditory tube may also become less efficient in transferring sounds from the inner ear to the brain.

We can help you manage your pet’s loss of sight and hearing to ensure they continue to live a happy life. Chat with our vets at your next appointment and let’s work together to develop a plan for your pet.

Lumps and Bumps

Are there growths or bumps on their skin?

Lumps are quite common in senior patients. These can vary from skin tags and cysts to non-malignant and malignant lumps. Whatever you think it might be, it’s always a good idea to get them examined. There are several tests that can be performed to identify what type of lump it is. These include a FNA or the more involved biopsy. Depending on the size and location of the lump and its history, the whole lump can often be removed and sent away for histopathology. This gives more information if other lumps were to appear later on in life. It’s also a good idea to record the rate of growth of any lump and any appearance changes.

Book an appointment and let us examine any lumps or bumps to determine the cause and management or treatment for the wellbeing of your pet.

Two staffy puppies looking upwards.

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The front entrance of the Tallebudgera Veterinary Clinic at 15 Trees Road, Tallebudgera.

We have moved!

As of 29th July 2019, Talle Vet has moved to 
15 Trees Road, Tallebudgera... Just one door up!
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