News & Advice

New Puppy or kitten – your frequently asked questions answered

May 8, 2020 | Cats, Dogs, Pet Health

New puppy or kitten? We understand you may have lots or questions. Here a list of the 10 most common questions we get in consult and hope this helps answer them for you.



  • Felocell 3 – protects against 2 cat flus and a potentially fatal stomach virus – done every 3-4 weeks as a kitten, then on/around their first birthday then yearly after that
  • FIV – Cat aids – a fatal virus with no treatment options – kittens younger than 6 months old can get vaccinated with a course of 3 vaccines 2-4 weeks apart – cats over 6 months old get an FIV blood test first and if negative they can start the vaccines. The cats then get yearly boosters.
    There are 5 kinds of feline aids in the world and we have 2 here – no vaccines are 100% but it is believed there is protection between the different strains.


Vanguard plus 5

    • – protects against parvovirus (can be fatal and there are large numbers of cases in the Waikato this year with many dogs dying and it’s preventable with vaccinations – the parvo virus can remain on the ground for at least 12 months after its contaminated!). the vaccine also includes distemper/parainfluenza and canine hepatitis virus. Vaccines every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks old in pups – a first yearly booster then three yearly vaccines
  • Leptospirosis – A fatal disease that affects dogs/ cattle and us! Humans can get leptospirosis and it causes liver and kidney disease/failure
    2 vaccines 3-4 weeks apart initially – booster at first year then yearly vaccines.
  • Canine Cough (kennel cough) – contagious rec especially for high contact situations – puppy school/ doggy day cares/ kennels/ training/ if you dog escapes and goes to the pound! Given one off as intranasal or intraoral and lasts for 12 months then yearly boosters OR injectable – needs a booster 3-4 weeks later than yearly boosters


  • Helps with internal parasite control and public health
  • Puppies and kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks until they are twelve weeks old then monthly until 6 months, then three-monthly life long
  • Some flea treatments contain ingredients that kill some worms but not all and if your pet is getting these regularly as an over 6 month per you can extend worming out to 6-12 months to control tape worm as long as you use the flea treatment as directed on label
  • We stock Drontal/Droncit and Milpro/Milbemax in clinic – both are broad spectrum wormers

Flea control

Nobody likes fleas humans or animals but these external parasites can be controlled and its best done treating throughout the year as while fleas seem less during winter they hibernate which means you get a huge increase in their presence when they wake up! Lots of cats and dogs are allergic to flea bites/ saliva so controlling this is the best idea. There’s a cat flea, a dog flea and both types while they prefer cats or dogs, they are happy to share between each and humans!!

Flea treatments are available in clinic and come in many different varieties. Some are given monthly and applied to the back of the neck, or there is one for dogs that lasts 6 months (topical flea treatment is great but will not last as long if you dog loves swimming)
Some are oral and are flavoured and last 1-3 months depending on the product

Insurance / payment schemes

Pet insurance is a great idea and there are many companies that offer it now. Unfortunately, when our pets get sick or injured is never planned and most people who have pet insurance seem pleased, they have. We do not have accounts in clinic, but we do have access to Smart Cover which can take pressure off in times of need


Premium pet food seems more expensive and they are initially – but when you work out how much to feed and how long the bag lasts it tends to work out the same or cheaper long term

  • Complete and balanced food that provides all the nutrients your pet needs
  • There should be a decrease in volume of poo as there are less fillers and ingredients in the food is used by the body so less comes out as waste
  • There should be less wind/gas
  • You will likely see improvement in skin/coat condition
  • Royal Canin and Hills pet foods offer a MONEY BACK guarantee on the palatability of the food which means if your pet won’t eat it you can bring it back and we try something else or you get your money back
  • Both these brands of food offer a client loyalty scheme which means you by 10 bags and your 11th is free. Ask for a loyalty card in store.
  • Our staff are happy to help you work out which of the stages of food (puppy/adult/senior – there’s even fussy dog food) is best for your pet and can calculate the cost per day/week if that’s helps break it down
  • We don’t recommend feeding bones as pet dentists see a lot of broken teeth from bones and several dogs at our clinic alone had surgery last year to remove pieces of bone that had got stuck in their stomach and intestines
  • We don’t recommend feeding scraps and leftovers as they are extra calories your pet doesn’t need (even though they like them)! They can add to skin/health problems – pancreatitis is often seen after eating left-overs/high calorie foods
  • Make sure your pets always have access to fresh water
  • DO NOT FEED chocolate/raisins/grapes or onions to dogs as they are toxic; watch compost bins as avocado pips and corn cobs taste good but get stuck in their guts.
  • DO NOT let cats chew on lilies they cause renal failure and unfortunately cats die from this



We recommend de-sexing at 4- 6 months of age – this helps control over population as cats keep coming into season until they get pregnant and as soon as they have a litter they come into season again so in no time you can be surrounded by a lot of cats!


In female dogs desexing too young is thought to increase the incidence of urinary incontinence as they get older. One study found that with more seasons they have there is a higher chance of mammary tumours. Recent studies also show that in large breed dogs it is best to wait until after their growth plates have fused (12-16 months) for better joint health.

For male and female small breed dogs – desexing at 6-12 months; and large breed dog 12-18 months to try to minimise risk of most conditions

Why do we recommend animals are desexed (especially older animals)?

  • Male entire dogs have more prostate problems as they get older – an enlarged prostate causes an obstruction to the colon and animals become constipated – being desexed usually reduces the size of the prostate so animals can poo more easily.
  • The prostate can be enlarged with infection/abscesses/ inflammation/ cancer
  • Desexing older dogs is highly unlikely to change their behaviours as these are learned behaviours and not a result of testosterone. So, the drive of your working dog should not be affected but their health and quality of life should be.
  • Testicular cancers are not uncommon in older males – if they are desexed the testicles have been removed so less problems
  • Female entire dogs – when dogs have had many seasons, they should regularly have mammary examinations to check for lumps or bumps along the nipple line which can be mammary cancers
  • Pyometra is pus forming in the uterus which is a potentially fatal condition requiring emergency surgery – as the dogs age the chance of this happening increases so we recommend desexing to stop this happening and it is safer to desex a healthy older dog than one that requires desexing during an emergency when they are sick from the infection.

Behavioural problems

  • There are genuine concerns that puppies that have come into homes before lockdown will have become accustomed to owners being home all the time and may suffer separation anxiety once lock down is over. When they become available look at dog behaviour trainers / obedience classes as ways to stimulate the dog’s brains. Please contact the clinic if you would like a list of trainers/ obedience classes for after local down
  • Adaptil collars are also a good compliment to training as they release dog pheromones which help relax pups and are worn next to normal collars -each one lasts a month (excluding if there Is swimming/bathing) and are available in clinic


Required by law for dogs and is a great idea for cats as any animals lost or injured that find themselves at the clinic will be scanned and if they have a chip you can be reunited faster. It is a simple procedure and is just like when the animal gets a vaccination and they do not have to be asleep.

Dental care

Pets suffer from dental disease more than us as they do not brush their teeth or floss daily, and they eat or chew on hard (inedible) things.
How can you help?

  • Practice openings your pets’ mouth from a young age so you can regularly check for signs of problems.
  • Toothbrushing – chicken or malt flavoured pet toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste) with a finger brush/paediatric toothbrush
  • Dental chews – Oravet is a great brand as often the dogs take longer to chew them
  • In older animals’ dental biscuits are also an option.

Skin/ear disease

Practice looking at your pet’s ears/ playing with their feet/ and we see less skin and ear problems in animals on premium vet clinic diets than those on other foods.

We hope this covers some of the more common questions we get asked in consult, if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call – we’re here to help.

The team at Anexa Vets.

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