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Vaccines, Neutering/Spaying and Microchipping
Dew Claws, what are they and removal
Poisonous food, trees, plants and flowers
UK Dog laws, how they effect you
Signs of Illness in Your Bird
Dog Diseases Q and A
Dog Behavior and Misbehavior
Submissive Urination in Dogs
Dog First Aid
Dogs in the Heat



This page is meant as a helpful guide we are by no means experts Prices quoted are what we have paid in Wales during 2006 different areas may vary.

Vaccines

All puppies should be vaccinated against four potentially fatal diseases:

Distemper
(also known as hardpad) is a virus which causes severe respiratory disease and can damage the nervous system and other organs. Surviving animals may suffer from fits and also thickening of the pads. Young puppies which survive may also show damage to their tooth enamel. It is spread primarily in urine or respiratory secretions from an infected animal.

Parvovirus
first appeared in the late 1970's. It is a viral disease which attacks rapidly dividing cells in the body. In a very young puppy ( up to a few weeks old ) with no immunity at all it can cause sudden death as it affects the heart muscle. If the pup is older it usually causes severe bloody diarrhoea with vomiting. Affected animals need intensive treatment and may die in spite of continual fluid therapy. Survivors may die of sudden heart failure prematurely as the heart muscle is still often affected. The violent diarrhoea can cause an intussusception where the intestine telescopes into itself and effectively obstructs the passage of gut contents. This complication is often fatal as the treatment is surgical and poor healing can occur due to the effects of the virus.

The virus is very long lived and can survive for at least a year in infected premises.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis
is a viral disease which causes liver failure.

Leptospirosis
of which there are two main types in dogs is a bacterial disease which causes either kidney or liver failure. It is caught from food contaminated with rat urine or from infected dog urine. It is particularly of concern if a dog has access to farms, river banks or rubbish.

Puppy vaccination

1st vaccination 8 weeks
2nd vaccination 12 weeks
newer vaccines are now available which can be started even earlier at 6 and 10 weeks.
Puppies can go out 2wks after their 2nd injection.

Puppies over 12 weeks

1st vaccination - any time
2nd vaccination 2-4 weeks later

After the initial vaccination course an annual booster is recommended.

Vet Fees/Costs - Price estimates
You can expect to pay around the following prices, different vets, areas etc vary

CONSULTATIONS
First 17.25
Second 14.00

VACCINATIONS
Puppy Course (2 injections) 40 (full course)
Annual Booster 25




Neutering & Spaying
For their own sakes, all female dogs should be spayed unless they are going be professionally bred or shown. It does not matter if she will ever be allowed outdoors unsupervised, the physical benefits of an early spaying operation are so great that there is no valid reason not to have it performed. In addition, behavioral problems that are related to sexual drive are avoided in a spayed female pet.




Females

Physical Benefits of an Early Spay
1.There simply is no truth to the old belief that a female puppy should be allowed to have one heat or one litter before she's spayed. There are no benefits to be gained from waiting and many to be gained by an early spaying operation.
2.A pet in heat will bleed, and consequently spot the carpet and furniture. Owners who have indoor pets have to cover the furniture to avoid this spotting. Carpet also will need to be neutralized to remove the smell and the stain. Although there are little pads that can be worn with a strap, most pets find them uncomfortable and try to take them off.
3.A female pet that is spayed before her first heat has a greatly reduced risk of developing ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer, the second most common malignancy in pets. In addition, she will never develop pyometra (an infection of the uterus). Pyometra can become seriously life-threatening and require an emergency spay operation. These infections very commonly occur in older, unspayed females.
4.Of course, an early spay operation also prevents an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy. If your unspayed female puppy does become accidentally pregnant, it can be potentially damaging to her health, since she is very young. A six-month-old puppy is, in no way, suited for motherhood.
5.As to the argument that spayed female pets always get fat, this is not necessarily the case. It is true that spayed pets can be more prone to obesity, but that's because as a female puppy nears physical maturity, she becomes somewhat less physically active and requires fewer calories for energy. Physical maturity often follows shortly behind a spaying operation. Therefore, the spaying is often blamed if a puppy begins to put on weight. If you do not overfeed your pet and give her plenty of daily exercise, she will not gain too much weight. If you don't, she'll get fat, whether or not she's been spayed.

Behavior Benefits of an Early Spay
1.During the stage in the heat cycle when a female is receptive toward males, she may attempt to escape from the house. She may also indulge in territorial urine marking, especially if there are other pets (male or female) in the household or immediate neighborhood.
2.An unspayed female also may suffer from a disorder known as "false pregnancy" which mimics all of the physical and behavioral stages of pregnancy, even though there are no fertilized eggs. It is quite common in pets that are very dependent on their owners, and can occur even when no mating has taken place. Some females go through a false pregnancy every time they come into heat.
3.A very troublesome side effect of having an unspayed female is the necessity of keeping her away from unwelcome Romeos and keeping them away from her. Males will appear on your doorstep, hang around your yard, and fight one another.
4.In addition to these problems, female cats and even some dogs may "cry." You think your pet is in pain and take it to the vet only to find out it is in heat and looking for a mate.

Males

1.At around six or seven months of age, your male will become sexually mature. The operation is best performed when the animal is young, although it can be done at any age in a pet's life. As with spaying, this procedure is now considered preventive surgery.
2.Neutering does not change the male's masculine appearance. He will still acquire his secondary sex characteristics, regardless of his age when the procedure is done.
3.Castration doesn't affect hunting ability or watchdog behavior. He most likely will be less aggressive in some areas, especially toward other males . As with altered females, male pets will not get fat if given a good, balanced diet and enough exercise.

Physical Benefits of an Early Neuter
1.Unaltered males are subject to a number of hormone-related medical problems as they age. They may develop prostate, perianal, and testicular tumors and cancers. Neutering greatly reduces the risk of these medical problems.

Behavior Benefits of an Early Neuter
1.Neutering is particularly effective as a preventive measure against a number of common behavioral problems.
2.One aspect of male canine behavior is aggression towards other males. As a male reaches full physical and sexual maturity, he becomes more and more protective of what he considers "his" territory. His definition of "his" area tends to change, and the boundaries enlarge, until sometimes an entire square block or country mile falls within his territory.
3.Often, owners are not aware of this until a tragedy occurs, and their male or another male is severely hurt or even killed. "But he's always so gentle" is a common cry of an upset owner in these circumstances. And he is nice until another male invades property that he considers his own. Then his male territorial instinct overrides any social behavior he may have learned, and he defends his turf, sometimes to the death.
4.Along with this instinct comes roaming behavior. A sexually active male must patrol the boundaries of his property and constantly widen them. In addition, he's always on the lookout for receptive females and, if there is a female in heat within many miles, he'll find her. Along with this comes the potential to be hit by a car or otherwise injured, or become lost. Often, a male hangs around the area for days on end, apparently forgetting that he even has a home. Terrible fights can occur when several males pursue a female in heat, even if she is confined indoors, and the resulting veterinarian bills may be staggering. Research shows us that of all the positive behavior changes that are a result of neutering, roaming shows the greatest degree of change.
5.An uncastrated male may indulge in territorial urine marking and urinating on every upright surface he can find. This is usually related either to a female coming into heat somewhere within his range or another male moving into the neighborhood. You may not be aware of either occurrence, but you soon will know it when your housetrained pet has suddenly "broken training" and is marking up your house. In the absence of other male animals, males may also take out their aggressive territorial protection on humans. Overprotectiveness of family members may manifest itself by growling or nipping at visitors in your home.
6.Other sexually related behaviors of male dogs can include mounting human legs, climbing up on people, and even knocking children down and climbing on top of them. This is especially frightening and dangerous if a dog is large.


Reasons People Do Not Spay Or Neuter Their Pet

1."It would be too cruel to do that to my pet!"
Your pet does not have the ability to hold a grudge against you because you made this decision. If your pet could talk, he/she would thank you for it!
2."I'm afraid of putting my pet under. Won't it be painful?"
Although neutering and spaying is a surgical procedure that does require general anesthesia, the pet feels nothing during the procedure, and the risks are minimal. Certainly the benefits far outweigh the risks. There is only a slight discomfort and the pet will usually be back on their feet with normal activities within 24 to 72 hours.
3."I don't have enough money for this procedure."
You can't afford not to do it. Most communities have humane shelters and low-cost spay/neuter clinics that offer affordable services. Contact your veterinarian, your local shelter, or the PETsMART nearest you. It can be much more costly to you if you have a pregnant female with pups to take care of, or if you have to split the veterinarian bills with your neighbor because your male got their female pregnant.
4."I want to breed my pet...it's a purebred."
Purebred breeding is very complicated. There are some things you should ask yourself before you do this. Do you have a five-generation pedigree for the animal? Is there a minimum of 8 titles (AKC/UKC: Champions, Obedience CD, CDX, etc.) in the last three generations? Does the animal have a stable temperament? Does the animal fit the breed standard? Are the animal and prospective mate healthy? Is the animal certified free of genetic diseases? Do you have the time it takes to breed? A good breeder will be careful about the animals they breed, and will offer to take an animal back if it does not work out.
5."I can make some extra money selling the puppies/kittens."
Breeding dogs and cats isn't always a money making experience. There are the veterinary bills, shots, food, and advertising costs. There is also the time spent caring for the puppies and kittens and showing them to prospective owners. Don't forget the temptation to keep "just one" that often happens with the first litter. What if the pregnancy puts the mother in medical danger that causes her to suffer or even die -- can you put a price on the loss of a pet? Also, for every heat cycle a female goes through, her odds of having medical problems later multiplies by ten. By the time the puppies or kittens are sold, has a significant amount of money really been made?
6."My male cat/dog will be kept indoors away from any females."
Male pets will smell females in heat and many have been known to escape their homes to reach the female.
7."I want my male dog to be a guard dog and I need to keep him aggressive."
Most pets will be more reliable and responsible after neutering and are often easier to train because of stabilized hormones. What makes a male dog a good guard dog is training, not hormones.
8."My kids need to learn about the birds and the bees - I want them to see the birth process."
Children can experience the birthing process in other ways rather than at the expense of the family pet.


The Surgery
The operation itself is certainly not cruel, but a fairly simple and routine procedure that actually helps the pet. When done on a young animal, it entails at most one or two days of discomfort.

Owners will be given instructions about withholding food and water to the pet prior to the surgery. Follow these directions carefully.

Most veterinarians will give a thorough physical prior to the anesthesia. It often includes a blood test and urinalysis. These tests are necessary to make sure there aren't underlying medical problems such as kidney or liver disease, diabetes or chronic infection that would put the patient at greater risk during surgery.

For females, the ovaries and uterus will be removed, thus, eliminating the production of eggs. For males, the testes will be removed, thus, eliminating the source of sperm.

After the operation, the animal will continue to be monitored. Some veterinarians choose to keep the animal overnight for observation, but most animals that go in the morning for surgery can go home late in the afternoon to rest and recuperate.

Again, there will be specific instructions given to the owner about the care of the pet for the next several days. Follow these directions carefully and your pet will recover quickly and completely in a short while.

Puppies have to be kept in for usually 10 days after their surgery, at this time your puppy has to return to your vet to have their stitches remove, then eased gently back into their normal exercise routine.

When
Neutering is generally done around or beyond the age of six months. Consult your veterinarian for his or her recommendation. Remember, the sooner you have your animal altered, the sooner you can stop worrying.

Vet Fees/Costs - Price estimates
You can expect to pay around the following prices, different vets, areas etc vary

Neutering
CASTRATION (male neutering)
Dog (depending on weight) 75 - 135
SPAYING (female neutering)
Bitch (depending on weight) 100-160
Price includes pre anaesthetic examination & 2 post operative checks.


Micro chipping

Although your pup should have a collar with an identity disc, discuss having your pet microchipped at the same time as it is vaccinated. Stray pups often lose their collars and it also helps protect your pet against theft.

A microchip is an electronic tag the size of a rice grain, which is inserted into the scruff of the neck by an injection. This remains in your pet throughout its life and your pet's identity number is kept on file at a central Petlog office.

All veterinary surgeries, dog pounds and animal rescue homes have an electronic scanner. Every stray dog is routinely scanned and if a microchip is present the owner can be traced through the central directory. With the new pet passport schemes a microchip is required if you plan to take your pup abroad.

Warning - if you move house don't forget to alert the Petlog of your change of address.

Vet Fees/Costs - Price estimates
You can expect to pay around the following price, different vets, areas etc vary
Micro chipping 15





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