Village Vets FAQ | Village Vets
Village Vets faq

What vaccinations does my pet need and how often?

All dogs, cats and rabbits need yearly vaccinations. This annual booster also provides a chance for our vets to give your pet a check-over and identify any problems that might be starting early before they cause too much of an issue. What vaccines your pet requires might depend on your pet and their lifestyle, especially for cats. Vaccines can start from eight weeks of age, sometimes earlier depending on circumstances. We have significantly reduced the number of vaccines we give our patients over the last few years but because one of the vaccines we recommend in Ireland only lasts one year we still have to see our patients yearly for vaccines. 

How can I prevent parasites like fleas and ticks on my pet?

The best way to prevent parasites is with routine preventative treatment which is either in tablet (edible) or spot-on (on the back of the neck) form. For most pets, this is a monthly treatment that is easily done. The idea of fleas in your home is very frightening to most owners but these parasites can carry serious diseases that can sometimes be fatal so we really do recommend you keep preventative treatment up to date. Pop into one of our clinics and we’d be happy to discuss what your pet needs.

How often should I bring my pet in for a check-up?

All pets should have a general health check up at least once a year even if they seem fine and healthy to their owners. Subtle changes might be picked up by our vets that might not be noticed by an owner who sees their pet every day. Check-ups allow us to identify and pick up problems early before they cause too much trouble. Blood tests to get baseline values (what is ‘normal’ for your pet) might also be recommended and are included on our Pet Health Plan.

How can I tell if my pet is in pain?

Pets are very good at hiding signs of pain. Any change in behaviour, appetite or activity levels might indicate pain. Old age isn’t a disease; it’s the diseases that come along with old age that cause problems and these are very often treatable. We often recommend a trial of pain medication in older pets to see if there is any response before we say they definitely aren’t in pain. Dental disease is a common cause of pain in older animals and is often dismissed because the pet is still eating; pets have to be in excruciating pain with their teeth before they stop eating so we really don’t want to be waiting until that point!

What's the best way to handle my pet's anxiety or fear?

This depends in what situations your pet is anxious or fearful. If your pet is nervous of coming to the vets we can prescribe some medication so that they are less stressed for the visit. Give your clinic a call and have a chat with one of our friendly team members. Some situations might require some help from a behaviourist or trainer. However, it is often a good idea to get your pet checked out by one of our vets first to ensure there is no medical reason they are displaying signs of fear or anxiety (e.g. pain). Very often behaviourists refer back to us to have a pet checked out before they will work with them. If you have pet insurance your policy might require that you are referred (by a vet) to a behaviourist in order to be covered. 


Is it necessary to spay/neuter my pet?

We recommend neutering all cats and dogs. There are many health benefits associated with neutering meaning it increases your pets’ chances of living longer and happier lives. It prevents unwanted pregnancies which can be very tough on your pets’ bodies, very time consuming (and costly) for you and adds to the already overfilled rescue centres. It also makes them less likely to roam, mark (with urine) territory inside and out and more likely to get on with other animals which will make both you and your pet happier! 


How do I handle emergencies with my pet?

If you are ever concerned about your pet  give one of our clinics a call and we will do our best to advise and reassure you. If it is a serious emergency (e.g. seizuring, blood loss) then you can get straight in your car and make your way down to our clinic. It would be best if you can give us a call on the way however as some emergencies might need to be redirected to another clinic and we can discuss this with you by phone. If your usual clinic is closed you might also be transferred to one of our other clinics that are open or to the Pet Emergency Hospital in UCD. 


What are the benefits of microchipping my pet?
We strongly advise microchipping all dogs and cats so that they can be returned back to you quicker if they go missing or that you can be more easily contacted in an emergency. Microchipping is like a permanent form of identification. It is important however that you keep your details up to date if you change phone number or address. It is a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped. It is a little bit of a bigger needle than a vaccine but we can usually distract your pet with some food and they don’t notice it too much. 


How can I help my pet maintain a healthy weight?
Feeding the right type and quantity of food is the most important thing. Exercise will affect metabolism but is a very small contributor. We aren’t going to ask you to cut out all treats as we know these are important to your pet and your relationship (and training) but usually a combination of reducing treats, reducing food and increasing exercise will help most pets. Pop into the clinic and one of our team would be happy to discuss how you can maintain your pet’s weight and how to know they are the right weight. 


What should I do if my pet eats something toxic?

If you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic call one of our clinics immediately. We don’t know the toxic dose for every substance offhand but we can try advise as best we can. Often we recommend bringing your pet to the clinic so they can be made vomit. This is most effective if done within two hours so speed is of the essence! Depending on the toxin, we might also advise admitting for fluid therapy and hospitalisation. Grapes or raisin are a particularly common toxicity that we see where even one tiny raisin or grape can cause severe kidney damage.


How can I keep my pet's teeth clean and healthy?

Ideally we would all brush our pets’ teeth as often as we brush ours but we know that isn’t practical for many (any!) owners. From a young age get your pet used to having its mouth checked and teeth examined. Lift up the gums and run your finger along the teeth and give a treat as a reward after. If they do well at this you can consider brushing their teeth (never with human toothpaste!). If you manage this or even if you don’t your pet should have regular check-ups of its teeth throughout its life, particularly as they get older. Most pets will still require a dental procedure (or a few) throughout their life under anaesthesia where we examine and clean the teeth. We offer free dental checks with our nurses - ring one of our clinics to book in. 


What should I feed my pet for a healthy balanced diet?

Pets have different nutritional needs depending on their age, whether they are neutered, their activity level, sometimes their breed and, most importantly, if they have any other medical conditions. It would be best to pop into one of our clinics and one of our team would be happy to discuss what might be the best food to suit your pet. 


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