Microchipping

Why microchip?

This is an extremely important way of identifying your pet should they ever go missing.  We regularly have pets brought in to the surgery who have either strayed or been injured in a road traffic accident with no way of being able to find out who their owner might be.  If these pets had been microchipped we would have been able to reunite them with their owner immediately.

Every year more than 300,000 pets are reported missing.  They may go missing for a variety of reasons especially if they are particularly inquisitive!  During the firework season, if pets are not kept inside they often become scared and disorientated due to the noise and easily become lost.  Other pets may run off during thunderstorms or if they have recently moved areas they may wander too far from their new home.  Some pets may even be stolen. Unfortunately in recent years there has been an increase in the number of pets especially dogs which are stolen, usually to breed from or to sell on in an attempt to make money.  Because the microchip is a permanent form of identification it enables your pet to be returned to their rightful owner much more easily even after a long period of time.

It is a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped by 8 weeks of age and keep their contact details up to date with the database.

Implanting a microchip is quick, simple and very cost effective.  It will give you the peace of mind that if your pet does become lost they have a form of identification which means you will be reunited much faster and may avoid the possibility of your pet being kept in a shelter or even rehomed.

How does it work?
A microchip is a small electronic device which is the size of a grain of rice.  The chip is inserted in the loose skin of your pet’s neck generally in between their shoulder blades.  Depending on the species of your pet the area may be different.  For example tortoises are microchipped in their hindlimb.

The chip contains a unique number which is read using a scanner.  This number is registered to the national database.  Once the chip has been inserted we will log all of your details via a registration form.  This means that the number will be linked to your home address and contact numbers were your pet ever to go missing.

It is extremely important that you keep your contact details up to date with the database.  If you move house or change your telephone number you must let them know in case they ever need to contact you if your pet goes missing.

Should your pet ever go missing and is found away from home all veterinary practices, animal charities and local authorities will have a scanner and be able to check your pet for a microchip.  Once the number has been read, the database would be contacted to retrieve your details and you would then receive a call informing you of the whereabouts of your pet.  Without this form of identification your pet may never be reunited with you.

Another benefit of having a microchip is that there are now cat flaps which read your pet’s own unique number only allowing your pet to enter and leave the house.  This is especially useful in preventing unwanted visitors!

If you would like any more information on the benefits of microchipping or to book an appointment please contact your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets.

Useful links:
www.tracer-microchips.co.uk
www.petlog.org.uk
www.petlog.org.uk/pet-owners/compulsory-microchipping-faqs-for-pet-owners/

Top Tips For Firework Night

What can I do?

Is your pet afraid of fireworks? You are not alone – recent research suggests that almost half of the pets in the U.K. show some level of fearful response to loud noises. Planning ahead can be helpful. See Fear of Fireworks.

On fireworks night:

Provide a den or hiding place – Animals naturally hide when they are scared and it can help to provide a ‘safe place’ which they can squeeze into, like an understairs cupboard or an indoor kennel with blankets over the top and inside, leaving the door ajar. An ideal place is somewhere near the centre of the house, or somewhere they have previously hidden. Cats will often hide under the bed and emerge once they feel it is safe. Never try to remove your pet from their ‘safe place’ as they may be fearful and this could lead to aggression.

Muffle the sound of fireworks – Close all the curtains, shut outside doors and windows, and have your pet as near to the centre of the house as possible. By closing the curtains you are removing potential additional problems from flashing lights etc. Put on the TV or radio to mask the bangs.

Keep them inside – Don’t let pets outside when fireworks are likely or during a display. Take dogs out for toilet purposes before it gets dark and then keep them in. A firework going off when they are outside can lead to a fear of going out. Make sure your cat is kept in after dark (with access to a litter tray) and ensure all escape routes such as cat flaps are blocked. It is also advisable to have your pets microchipped and ensure their details are up to date in case they do escape and become lost.

Feed your pets before the fireworks start– This can encourage them to rest and hopefully sleep. Giving your dog a stodgy, high carbohydrate meal before the fireworks for example chicken and pasta can help. This will help your dog feel sleepy and less responsive to the noise. Food filled interactive toys to help distract pets are also useful.

Don’t over fuss them – This can be difficult, but if they rely on you for comfort during scary events, they will be less able to cope when you are not at home and make matters worse in the long term.

Stay calm yourself – Most pets can sense when their owners are worried, and this increases their stress. Let them hide in the den or their ‘safe place’, and leave them there until the fireworks have finished and they come out. You can give your pet lots of fuss once they emerge.

Don’t get angry – Although your pets behaviour may be annoying, it is happening because they are scared and getting cross will only make them worse. Don’t try and take your pet out of its hiding place- this increases their stress and could lead to aggression.

Prepare for unusual behaviour – Fear can make your pet behave out of character. For example, if they anticipate that going into the garden predicts a loud noise, they may hide or show aggression to avoid going outside.

Don’t forget your small furries during fireworks– If they live outside partially cover cages and pens with blankets to help sound proof them and provide extra bedding for them to burrow into.

Talk to your vet – We can advise short-term measures which may include products like Nutracalm, Zylkene, Adaptil or Feliway. Thundershirts have also been found to help with mild phobias. They exert a gentle pressure mimicking gentle hugging to calm your pet without you comforting them. Sedative medications may be recommended for more severe phobias, particularly if they don’t settle but pace around in distress, shaking and salivating or panting. It is important to help reduce your pets’ stress during upcoming firework events and help prevent their fears becoming worse.

Your veterinary surgeon and veterinary nurse can also advise a long-term preventative approach for once the firework season is over. Fear of fireworks does not get better on its own- in fact they are likely to get worse over time and lead to other behavioural problems. The earlier you seek help the better the outcome is likely to be.

Caring For Your Kitten

1.Feeding:
From weaning age we recommend feeding a complete and balanced good quality kitten food until your kitten is at least six months of age. After this your cat can move onto an adult food to continue their optimum development. We recommend the Royal Canin range which is available from the veterinary practice and we will be happy to advise you on a suitable diet for your cat throughout their life. The food is specifically designed to provide the correct levels of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals for a growing kitten. The diets are fully balanced but always ensure there is a constant supply of drinking water available.

2.Vaccination:
This consists of a course of two vaccinations– one which is given at 8-9 weeks of age and the second which is given at 12 weeks. These protect against Feline Influenza, Feline Infectious Enteritis and Feline Leukaemia. To maintain your cat’s immunity against these diseases (which in some cases can be fatal) a yearly booster is required. We will send you a reminder when it is due but please make sure you keep their vaccination certificate in a safe place and make a note on the calendar when it is due!

3.Worming and Flea Control:
This  is necessary  for all  cats  throughout  their  life  not just when they are kittens. They should be wormed with a veterinary supplied broad spectrum multiwormer. Often supermarket and pet-shop wormers will only treat one or two types of worms so will not always be effective. Your kitten should be wormed every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks and then once every 3 months thereafter. There are spot on treatments available for easy administration as well as tablets. To help you remember we will send you a reminder when the next dose is due!
We advise regular treatment for fleas all year round to prevent infestations. This is easily achieved by using a treatment available from the veterinary practice. Please feel free to ask for advice on the products which best suit your kitten’s situation.

4.Microchipping:
This is an extremely important way of identifying your kitten should they ever go missing. It is a permanent form of identification, which is especially important if your cat does not wear a collar or ID tag. A small microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) is inserted in the excess skin of your kitten’s neck. This chip contains a unique number which is read by using a scanner. This number is registered along with your contact details with the microchip database. It is important to inform the database if your details change. All stray animals are scanned and on reading the chip, the database would be contacted and you would be reunited with your cat as quickly as possible. Without this permanent method of identification your cat may not be traced back to you and may even be re-homed.

5.Neutering:
Our policy is to neuter both male and female cats from 4-6 months of age before they become sexually mature. This significantly reduces the number of unwanted litters and helps to eliminate medical and behavioural problems associated with entire male and female cats. Once your cat has been neutered you may need to reduce the amount of food they require as it is quite common for neutered cats to gain a little weight due to the change in hormones. There is a diet lower in calories available for neutered cats at the veterinary practice and we will be happy to advise you.

6.Dental Care:
We clean our teeth several times a day and have regular check ups with a dentist. Imagine what our mouths would be like if we didn’t- Cats are no exception! It is important to develop a dental care regime for your kitten at an early age, which you can continue throughout their life. The gold standard of dental care is to brush your kitten’s teeth once a day (usually at bedtime) with a special cat toothbrush and toothpaste.  Human formulas are not suitable as they require rinsing. Cat toothpastes are available in a range of flavours and your cat will probably regard it as a treat! These kits and other dental products, including  dental biscuits are available from the veterinary practice. We will be happy to advise you on the most suitable products for your kitten.

7.Pet Healthcare Plan:
Cinque Ports Vets Pet Healthcare Plan enables you to pay monthly for your preventative veterinary treatments. We all want to use the best products available for our pets and at Cinque Ports Vets we want to make preventative healthcare easy and affordable to help give you and your pets the best care possible. You also receive an overall saving on your pets’ vaccinations, healthcheck, worming and flea treatment as well as many other discounts as a reward for joining our scheme. The plan is available for dogs, cats and rabbits from any age and the monthly payment plan will be dependent on the bodyweight of your pet. Please see Pet Healthcare Plan or contact us for more information. Please be aware this is not an insurance policy but a preventative healthcare plan to help spread the cost of routine treatments which insurance does not cover.

8.Insurance:
Pet insurance is an essential requirement to help cover the cost of unexpected veterinary fees. Accidents can happen especially with inquisitive kittens! These can be expensive but being insured means you can have peace of mind. There are a variety of policies available to suit you and your budget and it is always important to read the small print!

9. House Training:
Most kittens will now have a good basic understanding of appropriate toileting behaviour. Their litter tray should be placed in a quiet corner of a room. A covered litter tray may be preferable to your kitten if they are shy and may be more inclined to use a private area. It is normal for your kitten to have accidents but it is important to remember not to tell them off. A variety of litter and litter trays are available. If you are concerned please feel free to ask for advice.


10. Grooming:
Handling your kitten regularly will improve their confidence and your relationship with your kitten. This allows you to look in their ears, check their teeth, open their mouth and examine their paws with ease which will become very important later on in life if medication is required for any problems. Grooming your kitten regularly (on a daily basis if long haired) will prevent their coat becoming matted and allow you to check for any problems.

Caring For Your Puppy

1. Feeding:
From weaning age we recommend feeding a complete and balanced good quality puppy food until your puppy is at least six months of age. If your puppy is a large, fast growing breed there are large breed diets available. After this your dog can move onto an adult food to continue their optimum development. We recommend the Royal Canin range which is available from the veterinary practice and we will be happy to advise you on a suitable diet for your dog throughout their life. The food is specifically designed to provide the correct levels of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals for a growing puppy. There is no need to use supplements, but always ensure there is a constant supply of drinking water available.

2. Vaccination:
This consists of a course of two vaccinations-one which is given at 8 weeks of age and the second which is given at 12 weeks. These protect against Distemper (Hardpad), Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus and ParaInfluenza. Your puppy will be able to go out for walks one week after the second vaccination. To maintain your dog’s immunity against these diseases (which in some cases can be fatal) a yearly booster is required. We will send you a reminder when it is due but please make sure you keep their vaccination certificate in a safe place and make a note on the calendar when it is due!

3.Worming and Flea Control:
This is necessary for all dogs throughout their life not just when they are puppies. They should be wormed with a veterinary supplied broad spectrum multiwormer. Often supermarket and pet-shop wormers will only treat one or two types of worms so will not always be effective. Your puppy should be wormed every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks and then once every 3 months thereafter. To help you remember we will send you a reminder when the next dose is due!
We advise regular treatment for fleas all year round  to  prevent  infestations. This is easily achieved by using a treatment available from the veterinary practice. Please feel free to ask for advice on the products which best suit your puppy’s situation.

4.House Training:
Begin toilet training as early as possible. Take your puppy outside on a regular basis to a designated area in the garden. Your puppy will need to go out at least every 2 hours especially after sleeping, eating or playing. Always praise them when they have finished and keep an eye on them when they are in the house for any signs of whining, sniffing the ground or looking uncomfortable. Take them outside straight away as young pups cannot hold on very long. You can also provide your puppy with a small area indoors covered with newspaper for them to use for their toilet area. It is normal for your puppy to have accidents but it is important to remember not to tell them off. These accidents will decrease in frequency and eventually stop altogether. Please feel free to ask for any help and advice or see our information sheet on Toilet Training.

5.Microchipping:
It is a legal requirement to have your puppy microchipped by 8 weeks of age and keep their contact details up to date with the database.
This is an extremely important way of identifying your puppy should they ever go missing. It is a permanent form of identification which should be used along with a collar and ID tag. A small microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) is inserted in the excess skin of your puppy’s neck. This chip contains a unique number which is read by using a scanner. This number is registered along with your contact details with the microchip database. All stray animals are scanned and on reading the chip the database would be contacted and you would be reunited with your dog as quickly as possible. Without this permanent method of identification your dog may not be traced back to you and may even be re-homed.

6.Neutering:
Our policy is to spay bitches from 6 months of  age before their first season. This can significantly reduce their chances of developing mammary tumours and pyometras (infection of the uterus) later in life. Male dogs should also be castrated at 6 months of age as this helps prevent them from developing prostate problems and testicular tumours later in life. Once your dog has been neutered, you may need to reduce the amount of food they require as it is quite common for neutered dogs to gain a little weight due to the reduction in hormones. There is a diet lower in calories available for neutered dogs at the veterinary practice and we will be happy to advise you.

7.Dental Care:
We clean our teeth several times a day and have regular check ups with a dentist.  Imagine what our mouths would be like if we didn’t – Dogs are no exception! It is important to develop a dental care regime for your puppy at an early age, which you can continue throughout their life. The gold standard of dental care is to brush your puppy’s teeth once a day (usually at bedtime) with a special dog toothbrush and toothpaste. Human formulas are not suitable as they are not designed to be swallowed. Dog toothpastes are available in a range of flavours and your dog will probably regard it as a treat! These kits and other dental care products including chews and dental biscuits are available from the veterinary practice. We will be happy to advise you on the most suitable products for your puppy.

8.Pet Healthcare Plan:
Cinque Ports Vets Pet Healthcare Plan enables you to pay monthly for your preventative veterinary treatments. We all want to use the best products available for our pets and at Cinque Ports Vets we want to make preventative healthcare easy and affordable to help give you and your pets the best care possible. You also receive an overall saving on your pets’ vaccinations, healthcheck, worming and flea treatment as well as many other discounts as a reward for joining our scheme. The plan is available for dogs, cats and rabbits from any age and the monthly payment plan will be dependent on the bodyweight of your pet. Please see Pet Healthcare Plan or contact us for more information. Please be aware this is not an insurance policy but a preventative healthcare plan to help spread the cost of routine treatments which insurance does not cover.

9.Insurance:
Pet insurance is an essential requirement to help cover the cost of unexpected veterinary fees. Accidents can happen especially with inquisitive puppies! These can be expensive but being insured means you can have peace of mind. There are a variety of policies available to suit you and your budget and it is always important to make sure you read the small print!

10.Training:
Socialisation needs to start as soon as possible. Arrange for your puppy to have several new experiences every day. Please see the socialisation chart in our Information sheets. Make sure you allow time for rest in between and keep them safe from infectious diseases. This means no mixing with unvaccinated dogs, no walking in areas where other dogs have been and if necessary carrying them to avoid contact with other dogs or soiled areas. Once your puppy is fully vaccinated an ideal way of socialising and training is to attend a puppy party run by some of our branches and also your local dog training class.  We will be happy to provide you with details of classes in your area and offer any advice you may need regarding behavioural or training problems.