- Charter Veterinary Hospital, Roundswell, Barnstaple
- Bridge House Surgery, Pilton, Barnstaple
- St. John's Surgery, Newport, Barnstaple
- Mullacott Veterinary Hospital, Ilfracombe
- South Street Surgery, Braunton
Canine Health Care
The information below is designed to provide a quick and easy guide to the health care required by your dog to keep them fit, healthy and active.
Socialisation of puppies
The first 18 weeks of your puppy’s life are the most important and with some hard work in those few weeks you will shape your dog’s behaviour for the rest of its life.
The Charter Dog Training Academy offers a positive reward based training programme as well as the opportunity for your puppy to meet and play with other puppies. You will receive a leaflet with your puppy’s first vaccination, or alternatively telephone 01271 866770 or email email@example.com for more information.
Click here for helpful advice on socialising your puppy.
The initial course of vaccinations can begin from 6 weeks of age and can be completed as early as 10 weeks old. After that an annual booster is required.
The diseases covered by the vaccinations are:
- Distemper – a virus which causes varying signs from coughing to difficulty breathing to vomiting and diarrhoea. As the disease progresses, the virus begins to affect the nervous system leading to seizures and neurological problems, often requiring the dog to be euthanaised.
- Parvovirus – a highly infectious virus that can cause devastating destruction within the intestinal system leading to diahorrea, vomiting, fever, collapse and death. It is a very hardy virus and is able to persist in the environment for many months.
- Parainfluenza – part of the kennel cough complex. Kennel cough – a collective term for a variety of viruses and bacteria that cause an infectious cough – some of these can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis and even death. We are seeing an increasing number of cough cases in dogs that never go into kennels and can catch kennel cough from dogs anywhere. We strongly recommend that the single intranasal vaccine is added to your annual vaccination regime. This can be done for a discounted price when given with your annual vaccination.
- Leptospirosis – a bacteria that can cause either chronic kidney and liver disease or acute intestinal bleeding and sudden death. It is often transmitted in urine and can also affect humans.
For more information about why vaccinations are so important click here.
Worming for puppies
On collection of your puppy check with the breeder if they have administered any worming or flea preparations prior to you taking your puppy home. This enables us to be sure when your next worming dose is due.
We recommend using a monthly spot-on product (imidacloprid and moxidectin*), which can be applied from 7 weeks of age in puppies. You will receive a free dose at your puppy's first vaccination. Spot-on worming* should continue monthly until your pet is six months old.
This will treat your pet for one month against:
- Lungworms (dogs)
- Ear mites
- Fox mange mites (dogs)
For more information about worms and parasites click here
Worming for dogs from 6 months
For pets using a monthly spot-on (imidacloprid and moxidectin*), we recommend a tapeworm product at 6 months of age. This should be repeated every 6 months.
For pets on other flea control products we recommend a tapeworm every 3 months.
Recommended Tapeworm product: Drontal Plus Dog
Please speak to one of our healthcare team for your personal parasite diary.
If fleas have been seen on your pet then there will be eggs distributed around your house. We recommend INDOREX household spray. This can size is enough to treat an average 3 to 4 bedroom house and lasts for up to a year. This also kills adult fleas for up to 2 months. For more information about fleas click here.
For pets on a monthly spot-on (imidacloprid and moxidectin*), we recommend a tapeworm product DRONTAL PLUS DOG at 6 months of age. This should be repeated every 6 months.
For more information about worms and parasites click here.
For animals requiring Tick protection we recommend the use of a flea and tick collar (Imidacloprid and Flumethrin**) in addition to spot-on treatments (imidacloprid and moxidectin*).
Other good options for flea control without inclusive mite and worm control include:
- Monthly spot on Advantage (imidacloprid***) - fleas only
- Flea and tick collar (imidacloprid and flumethrin**) - Fleas, ticks larvae and lice, and last’s up to 8 months (5 months in swimmers) - . The action enables the collar to release controlled doses of two active ingredients over long periods of time through the innovative collar technology.
- Monthly spot-on - Fleas and ticks (do not use on cats or if you have a cat at home) - (imidacloprid and permethrin****)
Veterinary licenced products are the most effective, but must be used at the correct time intervals and correct dose for your pets body weight.
This information has been provided by Bayer the makers of: Advocate*, Seresto Collar**, Advantage***, and Advantix****
For more information about ticks click here.
We recommend, and stock, the Hill’s range of Lifestage and Prescription diets. We believe Hill’s is the best quality diet on the market and, contrary to belief, it is an economical way to feed your dog, particularly when compared to feeding tinned foods.
The main qualities of Hill’s are:
- It is a fixed recipe - Every bag of food from every batch meets the same high standard so there are no fluctuations in the quality or type of protein as is the case in some foods, which can cause digestive upsets.
- It is life staged - This means there are variations of the diet tailored to meet the needs of your dog’s body at each stage of its life i.e puppy food during rapid growth, adult for maintenance and general well being and senior to ease the work load on the body systems as your dog gets older.
Neutering has many benefits for male and female dogs. Neutering stops dogs from having unwanted puppies and reduces their chances of developing illnesses. In female dogs it reduces the risk of breast cancer and prevents a potentially life-threatening condition called a pyometra (a serious infection in the womb). In male dogs neutering protects from testicular cancer and diseases of the prostate gland.
- Males – can be castrated from 6 months of age. The testicles are completely removed.
- Females – can be spayed from 6 months of age or midway between the first and second season. The uterus and ovaries are completely removed.
All dogs undergo a free pre-operative check-up to ensure the time chosen for their neutering operation is appropriate as each dog is different and will mature at differing rates.
Micro-chipping and identification
Every year more than 300,000 treasured pets go missing. Pets can go missing for a variety of reasons: they become scared during and run away the firework season or a heavy thunderstorm, wander too far from a new house and being naturally inquisitive, can easily become lost whilst investigating different noises or smells.
Having a microchip implanted is quick, simple and very cost effective. It will give you peace of mind if your dog does become lost, you will have more chance of being reunited faster. You also avoid the possibility of your dog being rehomed or kept in a shelter.
On the 6th April 2016, new Government legislation will make it compulsory for every dog owner to have their dogs microchipped. Not all microchips are the same and in the past pets have had to be re-chipped, due to chips not functioning. There are some really cheap micro chips on the market and promotions run at rehoming centres, we have taken the decision to not use these budget chips and in favour of one that we hope should last for the lifetime of your pet without problems - Microchipping cost £15.05 (February 2016).
Here at Charter Vets all registered dogs receive a complimentary Charter pet tag, on which is engraved our telephone number. This means, should anyone find your dog, lost or hurt, they have a 24-hour number on which to contact us. We will coordinate any emergency treatment necessary and take care of your cat until we can contact you.
Do I really need a tags for my dog’s collar?
In the UK, the Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it, or on a tag. Your telephone number is optional (but we would recommend this). You can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag.
You do not legally have to put your dogs name on the tag. Unfortunately dog theft is a real danger and if the thief knows the name of your dog this may help them pass on the dog to unsuspecting new owners because the dog responds to its name. We would recommend, you do not put your dogs name on the tag. All pets registered at Charter Vets receive a free emergency pet tag (which you can get engraved).
Once a dog has reached 7 years of age they enter their ‘senior’ years. Changes start to occur and body systems and organs such as the brain and kidneys start to work less effectively. Many people shrug this off and put it down to old age, when in fact there is a lot of help and support we can give your dog through these years. Please contact any of our surgeries for more information or to arrange a ‘senior’ health assessment with one of our nurses.
With the advances in treatment and surgical expertise we are now able to offer, insurance has become even more important. Too often the decision about whether to treat or not to treat an animal is decided on the cost. We can advise you on an insurance policy that will suit your needs and can even arrange for the first two months of the policy to be absolutely free – please ask one of the reception team for details or click here to find out more.
Pet health plans
Charter Veterinary Hospital Group Pet Health Plans provide you with a simple, money saving way to give your dog the regular preventative treatments they require.
Pet Health Plans are not pet insurance: Pet Health Plans cover the regular things like vaccinations, flea, worm and other parasite treatments, health checks and advice that pet insurance generally doesn’t. However young or old your dog is, there is a Pet Health Plan designed to adapt to your dog’s needs, from puppy to adulthood and through their senior years.
You pay for your Pet Health Plan monthly, by a direct debit, so you spread the cost of your regular veterinary needs and save money too.
Your Pet Health Plan also offers additional discounts such as 30% off micro-chipping, 15% off routine neutering, 10% off routine dental suite treatments, 10% off hydrotherapy and 10% off food and accessories bought in the practice.
Pet Health Plans give you the reassurance of knowing that you are providing the best possible protection and care for the dog you love. Click here to find out more.
Outer ear disease in dogs is very common. Keep ears clean and fresh with our recommended ear cleaner “Malacetic” every 2-4 weeks, wiping out the excess with cotton wool or wet wipes.
Older pets with anything but the shortest hair can get matted, familiarise your dogs with being groomed from a young age. Most dogs love it.
Regular brushing with dog toothpaste as least weekly but even better daily, is the best way to keep your dogs teeth clean and breath fresh. Hills t/d dog food can also help keep teeth clean.
Behaviour Advice Articles
If you have any further questions about your dog’s health care please telephone us and speak to one of our veterinary surgeons or veterinary nurses who will be happy to advise you.
For further healthcare advice click here.