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Quantock Vet Hospital - cat friendly clinic

Our Pet Health and Care

Find helpful information and health advice on everything you need to take care of your pet to ensure they have a long happy life. Our experienced professional vets and nurses show you how easy preventive pet healthcare can be when you follow their essential guidelines.

Buying a PetFeeding and NutritionGrooming
MicrochippingNeuteringParasitic Infections in Pets
Socialising puppiesVaccination

 

Our Pet Health and Care

Find helpful information and health advice on everything you need to take care of your pet to ensure they have a long happy life. Our experienced professional vets and nurses show you how easy preventive pet healthcare can be when you follow their essential guidelines.

Buying a PetFeedingGrooming
MicrochippingNeuteringParasites
SocialisingVaccination

 

Opening Times
Mon - Fri7.30am-7.00pm
Sat8.30am-5.00pm
Sun10.00am- 4.00pm
Address & Contact Details

home-icon-2Quantock Terrace
The Drove, Bridgwater
Somerset
TA6 4BA
phone-icon-901278 450080
email-quantock-vets-sm-5Email Us
compass-icon-2 Find Us
Buying a Pet

Buying a Pet

Buying a pet is a serious decision and below are some questions to consider before choosing a new pet. All of them may affect your eventual decision and choice:   How much time can be spent with a pet? Who will take responsibility for the animal’s care? Are there any children? learn more

Buying a pet is a serious decision and below are some questions to consider before choosing a new pet. All of them may affect your eventual decision and choice:

  • How much time can be spent with a pet?
  • Who will take responsibility for the animal’s care?
  • Are there any children in the household? What are their ages?
  • Are there other pets or animals in the household?
  • Are the owners disabled or elderly?
  • Are the family working full-time?
  • Is there anyone in the family with known allergies?
  • What size is the house?
  • Is there a garden? What size is the garden?
  • Is there convenient access to outside areas?
  • What is the availability of local dog walking?
  • What are the anticipated costs and available finance?

Staff at Quantock Veterinary Hospital will be happy to give you further advice on pet selection. Some of the organisations on our links page may also be useful.

Feeding and Nutrition

Feeding and Nutrition

It is essential to feed pets a good, balanced and appropriate diet.  A good diet will provide your pet with the best start in life, take it through adulthood and help prevent age related disease when geriatric.

Whilst it is possible to produce a balanced home prepared diet it is very difficult to do so correctly without the risk of deficiencies or excesses of vital ingredients.  Fortunately these days several companies produce excellent proprietary diets. The best of these are ‘fixed formula’ foods where the diet is made to a recipe and does not vary from batch to batch.

The dietary requirements of pets are usually based around their energy, protein and mineral requirements and vary with growth, age and other factors such as pregnancy, lactation, disease and exercise. Most of the good pet food companies now produce  “Life Stages” (Puppy, Junior, Adult, Working, Senior) to satisfy these requirements.

A complete pelleted food, such as Super Rabbit Excel, is recommended for feeding rabbits and small mammals in order to prevent selective feeding. Good quality hay and water should also be provided at all times.

All pets are prone to gaining weight and the hospital is able to offer advice on feeding to prevent weight gain and to help pets to loose weight. As in people, excessive weight in dogs and cats can predispose them to diabetes, liver disease and arthritis. Rabbits should not be allowed to become overweight as this can prevent them being able to groom themselves adequately as well as leading to medical problems.

The shop area at the hospital sells a range of diets for dogs and cats as well as for rabbits, guinea pigs and other small pets.

The Hospital also stocks a range of ‘prescription diets’ that are specially formulated to support dogs and cats in times of illness and disease and are an important part of our treatment of chronic diseases.

 

Grooming

Grooming

Dogs require regular grooming. The frequency of grooming will depend upon the breed or type of dog; longhaired dogs require daily care, short haired dogs once or twice a week. The Hospital is able to offer advice on suitable shampoos and any skin problems or parasites you may notice whilst grooming your dog. Normal exercise is usually enough to maintain nails in most dogs. In dogs that are old or unable to exercise normally or where there is nail abnormality, nails may require clipping.  The nurses at the Hospital are able to do this for your pet.

Cats, except long-haired varieties, will keep themselves well groomed unless ill or overweight. Long-haired cats will need to be groomed daily to keep their coats free from matts. Cats will also wear down their nails through their natural behaviour but old cats may need to have theirs clipped regularly.  Nail clipping can be carried out at the Hospital.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma – or Ear Cancer – is common in white cats or cats with white ears. A high factor sun block used during the summer months can help to prevent this and the Hospital is able to advise you on suitable products.

Rabbits will usually keep themselves clean unless ill or overweight.  Long-haired rabbits will need regular grooming to help keep their coats free from matts. Eyes and ears can be checked at the same time. Runny eyes and dirty bottoms in rabbits can be a sign of dental disease. Rabbits’ nails should wear down naturally but should still be checked regularly and can be clipped if over long.

Microchipping your pet

Microchipping your pet

Identi-chips (micro-chips) can be used to identify all types of pets from Great Danes to tortoises. The chips are inserted under the skin, usually between the shoulder blades in most pets.  It is a relatively painless procedure similar to an injection.

The chips contain a bar code that gives the pet a unique identification number. This is registered with a central, national organisation, allowing the pet to be traced to its owners wherever it is found (and to our Hospital if we placed the chip). It therefore prevents against loss and theft.

Identi-chips are a requirement of the PETS travel scheme before rabies vaccination.

Neutering

Neutering

Neutering removes the sexual organs of animals in order to prevent breeding. It is usually carried out surgically under a general anaesthetic and in most cases is a day procedure. Although neutering is often thought of as a convenience for the owner, it can also provide great health benefits to the pet.
Male animals (dogs, tom cats, buck rabbits, male small mammals)

  • Castration: removal of the testes
  • Vasectomy in ferrets only
  • Removes sexual behaviour such as mounting, wandering etc
  • May help with male characteristics such as dominance and aggression if combined with appropriate behavioural training
  • Prevents testicular disease such as testicular tumours
  • Reduces risks of prostatic disease, perineal hernia, perineal adenoma

Female animals (bitches, queen cats, doe rabbits, small female mammals)

  • Ovariohysterectomy: removal of the uterus and both ovaries
  • Prevents ‘seasons’ as well as breeding
  • May prevent related behavioural problems
  • Will not come ‘in season’ therefore there is no need to confined or deprived of usual exercise at these times
  • Prevents unwanted offspring
  • Prevents phantom pregnancies (especially in bitches)
  • Stops the stress of cats calling
  • Reduces the risks of uterine diseases, uterine and ovarian tumours, pyometra (all species)
  • Reduces risks of mammary disease (all species), prevents mammary tumours if carried out before the first season in bitches.

When to neuter

The correct time to neuter depends on species and breed. In dogs and cats this is typically from 5-6 months old and in rabbits 4 months old. Please telephone the Hospital for further advice on when to neuter your individual pet.

Assistance with costs for neutering

The RSPCA works together with Quantock Veterinary Hospital to provide reduced price neutering for those owners on low incomes. If you feel you may be eligible for such help please contact:   RSPCA neutering scheme 01297 678715

Parasitic Infections in Pets

Parasitic Infections in Pets

Parasites are organisms that exist for the whole or part of their life on or in another animal. There are two types of parasites Endoparasites and Ectoparasites:

  1. Endoparasites:
    1. live inside the organism or animal
    2. include tapeworms and roundworms in dogs and cats
  2. Ectoparasite:
    1. live on the surface of the organism or animal
    2. Include fleas, ticks and mange mites in dogs, cats, rabbits and small mammals

Antiparasitic drugs are used to kill parasites or stop them from breeding.

Treatment of parasites is necessary to prevent disease in pets and to avoid the risk of diseases that may be transmitted to people, especially children.

Questions that the vet may ask to help with the choice of antiparasitic products for your pet:
  • What sort of pet do you have?
  • Have you treated the pet with other parasitic controls?
  • Have parasites been found on the pet? What did they look like?
  • How old is the pet?
  • How is the pet housed?
  • Does the pet have a mostly indoor or outdoor lifestyle?
  • Does the pet have access to farmland or hill land?
  • Has the pet travelled or is about to travel overseas?
  • Are there any other pets in the house that also need treating?
  • Are there young children in the household or visiting?
  • How easy is the pet for you to treat?
Routine parasite treatment and control

The staff at the Hospital will always be happy to advise on parasite control of your pet and the vets will be able to prescribe suitable products to do so. The products we use are predominantly ‘Prescription Only Medicines’, which means they are different to what you can purchase in the shops and are very effective. Here are the common ways of preventing and treating pets:

Worming puppies and kittens

Puppies (from 2 weeks old) and kittens (from 6 weeks old) should be wormed every month until 6 months old, to treat roundworms that are commonly passed from their mothers and that can cause severe illness. Some roundworms are also a risk to humans, especially children.

Worming adult dogs and cats

Adult dogs and cats should be wormed every 3-6 months, the frequency depending upon the pets’ lifestyle, age and health. Usually a single tablet (or spot-on product in cats) is all that is needed to treat the full range of roundworms and tapeworms found in the UK.

Preventing and treating fleas in dogs, cats and rabbits

This is usually done every 1-2 months using a ‘spot-on’ product that is easily applied to the skin at the back of the pets’ neck. Other methods of treatment are also available. As the fleas you might see on the pet are only a very small part of the total number of flea eggs, larvae and adults involved in an infestation, if you see fleas it is often advisable to treat the house as well as the pet. Fleas also carry tapeworms in dogs and cats so worming at the same time as flea treatment is advised.

Preventing and treating ticks in dogs and cats

Ticks in dogs are easily prevented using a ‘spot-on’ product as above. In cats other methods such as sprays may be necessary. Sprays are also useful in killing ticks before removal, but if you are finding it difficult to remove an attached tick please telephone the Hospital.

Preventing fly strike in rabbits

Fly strike occurs when flies lay eggs around the soiled bottoms of rabbits, usually in the summer months. The eggs hatch into maggots that rapidly damage the skin. This condition is life threatening, every year we have to put rabbits ‘to sleep’ as a result of the horrible damage caused by fly strike. Fly strike can be prevented, by keeping the rabbit and hutch very clean, but this is not always enough. A sponge on product is available from the Hospital that stops maggots from developing and is recommended for all rabbits.

Socialising puppies

Socialising puppies

The most impressionable time of a puppy’s life is the first 20 weeks and in this time they should be introduced to many different situations and environments.  This is called socialisation (getting used to people and other animals) and habituation (getting used to the various sights and sounds in the environment).

One week after completion of their vaccination course puppies should be taken out on their leads to fully encounter and experience different:

  • ground surfaces
  • people – how they look and sound
  • animals
  • sounds
  • everyday human activities
Puppy Parties

Puppy parties are a great way to socialise puppies and great fun for owners too. At the parties, advice is given on topics such as healthcare, feeding and parasite prevention and local dog behaviouralist, Catherine Tomlinson, gives some basic training and offers advice on dog behaviour. There are also games, prizes and free gifts. At your puppy’s first vaccination we will invite you to join our puppy parties.

Vaccination

Vaccination

Dogs

First vaccinations can be given from 6 weeks of age with a second vaccination given at 10 weeks or older. This is followed by annual booster vaccinations to ensure continued immunity for your pet.

Puppies and dogs are vaccinated against the following:

  • Distemper (puppy course then every 3 years)
  • Hepatitis (puppy course then every 3 years)
  • Parvo virus (puppy course then every 3 years)
  • Parainfluenza (puppy course then annually)
  • Leptospirosis (puppy course then annually

All these diseases are potentially life threatening even with modern medicines and veterinary care. Boarding kennels will usually request proof of vaccination before kennelling (see also Kennel cough below).

Other vaccinations include:

  • Rabies vaccination – Rabies vaccinations are usually only administered to pets travelling abroad. For holidays abroad using the ‘Pets Passport’ (link), vaccinations last 3 years.  For animals resident in overseas countries more frequent vaccination may be needed.
  • Kennel cough vaccination – Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is spread and transmitted by coughing, sneezing and indirect contact. An intra-nasal (up the nose) vaccination is available to protect your dog from this disease and is usually requested by responsible boarding kennels. The vaccine must be administered at least 10-14 days prior to being in a kennel environment. Kennel cough vaccines now last for a year with only annual boosters being required.
Cats

Vaccinations can start at 9 weeks old with a second vaccine 3-4 weeks later.

Cats are vaccinated against the following:

  • Feline Enteriti
  • Feline Flu
  • Feline Leukaemia.

A booster vaccination is required annually.

Rabbits

Vaccinations can be given from 9 weeks old.

Rabbits are vaccinated against the following potentially fatal diseases:

  • Myxomatosis
  • VHD (Viral Haemorrhagic Disease).

An annual booster should be given.  More frequent vaccination may be needed at specific times of risk.

Opening Times

Mon - Fri7.30am-7.00pmphone-icon-901278 450080
Sat8.30am-5.00pmcompass-icon-2 Find Us
Sun10.00am- 4.00pm
Address & Contact Details
home-icon-2Quantock Terrace
The Drove, Bridgwater
Somerset
TA6 4BA
email-quantock-vets-sm-5Email Us

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