Frequently Asked Questions
Please read through our frequently asked questions section, if you don’t find an answer to your question, please feel free to contact us, using the form on our Contact Us page.
Pups can generally be vaccinated against Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Kennel Cough from the age of 6 weeks onwards if they are at risk of infection. The pup’s mother passes some antibodies to the pup giving some protection, but the level of protection is very variable and depends on many factors including the vaccination status of the mother and the number of pups. The level of antibodies cannot be measured or assessed in standard examinations of the pups. The antibodies from mum can prevent the vaccinations from stimulating a good immune response in the pup. Maternal antibodies wear off and by the age of 14 to 16 weeks they are gone. Therefore the vaccination doses are repeated every 2-4 weeks until the pup is 14 weeks old, to protect those who may have poor maternal antibodies, and continue until those with good maternal antibodies are clear and able to respond to the vaccines. So your pup may need 2 or 3 doses of vaccines depending on the age the course is started. Older pups and adults can still start their vaccination course and will generally require 2 doses to stimulate their immunity.
It takes about 1 week for your puppy’s system to develop immunity so it is important to keep them away from public areas and away from infection until 1 week after the final injection.
There are several vaccines available for dogs and the particular range your dog needs will depend on your pet’s lifestyle and the risks of infection they may be exposed to. The core vaccinations here in Cork include Distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis( now 4 varieties) . Dogs attending boarding kennels or shows where there may be many dogs grouped together would also be recommended Kennel Cough vaccination. Any dogs travelling overseas, including UK, will require Rabies vaccination. These vaccines have different levels and durations of immunity and will need regular booster doses, although your pet may not need every one each year.
Our vets and nurses can advise you on the particular plan that best suits your pet.
It is generally best to neuter both males and females at around 6 months old as there are particular health benefits at this age. However, there are still significant benefits even if your dog is already older.
Female dogs are spayed, which involves the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries, and is best performed before her first heat cycle. The ovaries produce hormone surges when she is on heat which stimulate behavioural changes, mammary development and often lead to false pregnancies. Removal of these at spaying not only prevents pregnancy but protects her from these other changes and reduces the risk of mammary cancer later in life. A further important benefit of spaying is the prevention of pyometra which is a life-threatening infection of the uterus common in older unspayed female dogs.
Male dogs are castrated which involves the surgical removal of the testicles. This reduces the tendency to roam in search of female dogs, and therefore reduces the risk of accidents and fights. A further benefit is the reduction in prostate disease, including cancer, later in life.
Cats can be vaccinated against a number of diseases and the particular plan for your kitten will depend on their lifestyle. The core vaccinations and those required for boarding catteries include Calici virus and Feline Herpes virus (cat flu syndrome) and Feline panleukopania ( feline enteritis). In addition there are vaccinations against Feline Chlamydia (cat flu syndrome) and Feline Leukaemia virus. If your kitten will have access outside and will be in contact with other cats in the neighbourhood it is advisable to be protected against all of the above infections. If your kitten will live as en entirely indoor cat then the core vaccine may be adequate.
Vaccines are usually started at 8 to 9 weeks old and a second booster dose given 3 to 4 weeks later.
Your kitten will not develop immunity, and so will not be protected, until about 1 week after the final vaccination so it is important to keep them indoors and away from infection until then.
It is now much easier to travel with cats and dogs within the EU, including UK. If you want to take your pet out of Ireland you will need to contact us to organise the following;
- Microchip your pet if not already done
- Obtain an EU pet passport –available from us, no lengthy passport office delays.
- Get your pet vaccinated for Rabies at least 21 days before travel
We would also advise that all annual vaccinations, including kennel cough are up to date. In addition it is important to make sure worming and parasite control is up to date as there are different parasitic diseases on mainland Europe. Please ask us for advice.
It is very important that you liaise with your travel company regarding any other requirements they might have such as crate size, especially if travelling by air.
When returning to Ireland from the EU dogs and cats must be treated for ticks and tapeworm by a vet between 24 and 86 hours before entering the country. Please ensure to find a registered vet to carry out this requirement and complete the pet passport documents before you come home.
There are specific requirements for other countries outside the EU so please contact the government department of agriculture for the country required to obtain their local regulations. We can help with the rest.