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Every pet mum and pet dad want their little fur baby to be as healthy as can be. That’s why we feed them the right food, exercise 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 the vets at Brighton Veterinary Hospital.

Kittens and puppies

Kittens and pups need a few extra vet visits in their first year of life to ensure they get off to a great start to life. Vaccinations are essential to proper kitten and pup care and should be started soon after you get your new fur baby.

In these initial vet visit, your pet will receive:

  • Their course of vaccines
  • Heartworm, intestinal worming and flea treatment
  • A physical examination to ensure they’re healthy and showing no signs of illness
  • Microchipping
  • A surgical admission for desexing

Kittens

All kittens need to receive the F3 vaccine, which protects them against Feline Panleukopenia, and two forms of cat flu caused by Feline Calicivirus and Feline Herpesvirus.  Your kitten will need to be vaccinated 3 times at around 8 weeks of age, 12 weeks of age and 16 weeks old, and then once every year after that. Sometimes the 8-week-old vaccination is given by the breeder or the shelter.  You will be sent a reminder from Brighton Veterinary Hospital when the next vaccination is due.

Some cats also need to be vaccinated for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or FIV. This is a virus which attacks the immune system of cats and is transmitted from one cat to another through bite wounds. If your kitten will be going outside once it is an adult, there is a risk that at some stage it may get into a fight with another cat! We therefore recommend vaccination against FIV unless your kitten will be living inside the house only.

The FIV vaccine initially needs to be given 3 times, 4 weeks apart, then once yearly the same as the F3 vaccine.  The FIV vaccine can be given to your kitten in the same appointment as the F3 vaccine.  If your cat has ventured outside while unvaccinated, we will need to run a blood test first before starting the vaccination course to ensure they haven’t already picked up FIV.

Puppies

At Brighton Veterinary Hospital, our standard vaccination protocol for Puppies includes protection against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvo viruses – which are all severe, life-threatening diseases.  These three diseases are protected against by the C3 vaccine.

Our vaccines also protect against Bordatella and Parainfluenza Virus, which are two components of “Canine Cough”.  Canine Cough is also commonly referred to as Kennel Cough. Together these diseases are protected against via the C5 vaccine.   The “5” represents the number of diseases the vaccine is providing protection against.

Your puppy will require one vaccination at 6-8 weeks old (C3), another at 10-12 weeks old (C5) and a final vaccination at 14-16 weeks old (C4)2.  Sometimes the 6–8-week vaccination is given to your puppy by the breeder.

Your puppy is safe to begin some limited socialization following their 10–12-week vaccination and can they commence full socialisation 10 days after their final puppy vaccine.

Your adult dog will require booster vaccinations annually to maintain protection against these diseases by a C5 vaccination.  These annual visits are also a good opportunity for our vets to give your pet a routine health check.

Desexing

At Brighton we recommend that every dog should be desexed unless they are going to be used for breeding purposes. Desexing occurs under general anaesthetic and requires your puppy to be admitted to the hospital for the day.

We recommend having your puppy desexed at 6 months old however it may be recommended to be performed up to 12 months of age, for larger breeds of dogs.

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, possibly a blood sample and their annual vaccination booster.

If, however your pet is showing signs of illness, bring them to Brighton Veterinary Hospital immediately.

Senior pets

And for the more mature ladies and gentlemen of the house, these senior citizens need a bit more care. Senior pets need twice-yearly check-ups to check for common ageing diseases like arthritis, gum disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

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 for highly experienced and caring vets. At BVH we are 100% veterinarian owned and operated and have been servicing for the local community for over 40 years. Brighton Veterinary Hospital is a comprehensive and accredited veterinary y hospital providing a full scope of services, including surgical, dentistry, imaging, chemotherapy, radiology and behavioural services.

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