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Every family wants their little fur baby to be as healthy as can be. That’s why we feed them the right food, walk them for the right amount of time and give them the right amount of cuddles – never too much!

Visiting the vet is another one of those routines that helps to keep our cats and dogs happy and healthy. So, how often should they be visiting a vet? Let’s take a look at how frequently your pet should see one of the vets at Brighton Veterinary Hospital depending on their stage of life.

Kittens and puppies

Kittens and pups will need to attend the Brighton Veterinary Hospital 3-5 times for the first year of their life to help establish good foundations for a happy and healthy life. In the first year of their life, your pet will require:

  • Their course of vaccines
  • Heartworm and flea medications
  • Physical examination to ensure they’re growing healthily and showing no signs of illness
  • To ensure a healthy body weight

Kittens need to receive the F3 vaccine which protects against Feline Panleukopenia and two forms of cat flu (Feline Calicivirus and Feline Herpesvirus).
The F3 vaccine is given 3 times in a kitten’s first year of life at around 8 weeks of age, 12 weeks of age, and 16 weeks of age. It is then given a final booster at 15 months of age and then annually thereafter.

In addition to the F3 vaccination, at Brighton Veterinary Hospital we recommend that outdoor cats also require to be vaccinated for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or FIV.
This is a virus that attacks the immune system of cats and is transmitted from one cat to another through bite wounds.

The FIV vaccine initially needs to be given 3 times, 2-4 weeks apart, and then annually thereafter. Typically, the first FIV vaccination is given to kittens when they are 12 weeks of age at their ongoing veterinary clinic.

The FIV vaccine can be given to your kitten during the same appointment as the F3 vaccine throughout their life.

At Brighton Veterinary Hospital, pups receive the C5 vaccine which includes protection against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvo viruses – which are all severe, life-threatening diseases. Our vaccines also protect against Bordetella and Parainfluenza Virus, which are the two components of “Kennel Cough”.

Your puppy will require a C5 vaccine:

  • First vaccination at 6-8 weeks old (typically performed by the breeder or shelter)
  • Second vaccination at 10 weeks old*
  • Third Booster at 14-16 weeks old
  • Final Booster at 15 months of age

At Brighton Veterinary Hospital, desexing is recommended to occur at 6 months of age for small breed puppies and all kittens. For medium-sized breed puppies such as Border Collies and Kelpies, we would recommend desexing at 9 months of age and for larger breed puppies such as Labradors, we would recommend desexing at 12 months of age. For giant breeds, such as Great Danes, we would recommend delaying desexing surgery until they are 15 months of age.

So, you can see that these trips to the vet quickly add up, and it’s not uncommon for your pet to need five vet visits in the first year of its life.

Adult dogs and cats

Once your dog or cat is a little more grown up, you may only have to visit the vet once every year for their annual check-up. During this visit, your pet will be given a thorough physical examination, administered with annual vaccinations, and a treatment plan developed if your pet is displaying any health issues.

Senior pets

Once your cat or dog is 8-10 years of age, regular health checks are encouraged due to the increasing frequency at which health conditions are detected. At Brighton Veterinary Hospital, a senior pet health check could include a urine test, a general health blood profile test, and a thorough physical examination. Common ailments like arthritis, dental disease, kidney issues, thyroid, and heart conditions are often detected in ageing pets. There are many treatment options for all of these conditions and early intervention will always lead to better patient outcomes.

Do you want your pet to have the best quality of life possible? Of course, you do! That’s why Brighton Veterinary Hospital is your team of choice.

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