Ask the Vet: Dogs 

I don't think my dog has worms, but should I worm him anyway?

Yes. Dogs need to be routinely wormed. The RCVS recommends worming dogs every three months, because of the risk to humans of toxocara, a worm that can cause blindness in children.
N.B. pet cats need worming too. We suggest every 3 months. However, if the cat is a hunter monthly worming is recommended.

Is it really necessary for me to get my female dog neutered?

It is recommended to get your bitch spayed, if you do not want to breed from her. Spaying her will be beneficial in the long run as she won't come into season, so you do not need to worry about roaming males howling in your garden, unwanted pregnancy or the risk of her straying to find a mate. Spaying at an early age has also been shown to reduce the risk of mammary tumours, prevent pyometra (an infection of the uterus) and ovarian cancer.

My dog has smelly breath. What can I do about it?

There are many preventative treatments for dental health in dogs. Firstly however, you should get your pet's mouth checked to find out why it is smelly, as it may not be a dental health problem. If your pet has dental disease, your vet might suggest a scale and polish and/or extractions. This procedure is done under general anaesthethic and allows the vet to fully examine the extent of your pet's dental health and to remove any tartar or plaque. Once this is done, regular brushing of teeth is advised to prevent dental problems arising again.

I have been advised to get my puppy insured, but I am a bit reluctant as I feel it is unnecessary, when she is young, fit and well. Why should I throw my money away?

Getting your puppy insured when he is fit and well is advisable, as you will not have any exclusions on your policy. Most insurance companies will put exclusions on policies if an animal has had treatment for any condition prior to the insurance being set up. This can be expensive if your pet develops chronic problems that will require long term treatment.  

In recent years there have been huge advances in veterinary medicine which has caused a rise in the cost of treatment/diagnostics, so it is rarely inexpensive to treat a pet at the vet's. By investing in an insurance you have peace of mind knowing that if anything was to happen to your pet, you could do the best for it without having to worry too much about cost.


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