Walden Pond Animal Hospital

We Hope We Can Provide You With Some Basic Answers To Your Questions. Don’t Assume These Answers Are A Cure All. Please Consult With Our Staff If You Have Any Questions About Your Pet’s Care.

What is the most common parasite affecting pets?

Fleas are the most common ectoparasite affecting our pets. They pose a health risk to us too, having been implicated in the transmission of worms, Plague and other diseases.

What must I do in the event of an emergency?

The clinic offers a 24 hours service for our clients. During normal consulting hours all emergencies will be seen at short notice.

After hours you must call our emergency number. The number is 334 693 5545

The call will be answered by our message answering service and will be relayed to us. We will call you back ASAP. Once you have left your information wait for our Doctor to call you. Do not try to call again – this will occupy the line and prevent our Doctor from getting through to you. When our Doctor contacts you, explain the situation and suitable advice will be given. If your pet needs urgent medical attention an arrangement will be made to either see you at our hospital.

What about vaccinations?

Vaccination remains the only scientifically proven way to ensure that your pet does not contract and die from preventable diseases like Parvo, Distemper or Leptospirosis. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Scandinavian studies showed that it only took 3 years for an outbreak of distemper to occur in a population of dogs once annual vaccination was stopped!

Veterinary Associates recommends vaccination protocols according to manufacturer’s specifications. Our current recommendations are as follows.

6 weeks Parvo and Distemper
9 weeks Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Adenovirus,
Leptospirosis and Bordetella.
12 weeks Same as the 9 week vaccination.
(If an intranasal Bordetella vaccination is given then we use a single dose at 12 weeks of age)
Adult dogs
Annual vaccination against Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Adenovirus, Leptospirosis and Bordetella. Intranasal Bordetella should be given 6 monthly or a month prior to times of greatest risk. I.e. before going to a boarding kennel or dog show or event.

6 weeks Herpes, Calici and Feline Infectious Enteritis
9 weeks as above
12 weeks as above
Vaccinations against Chlamydia are given in situations where there is significant risk such as catteries. Feline Leukaemia and Feline Infectious Peritonitis vaccinations are available but are not given routinely due to the low incidence of these diseases in New Zealand.
Older kittens may be given a series of only 2 vaccinations (not 3 as indicated above) initially.

Adult cats
Annual vaccination against Herpes, Calici and Feline Infectious Enteritis is recommended. We do not routinely vaccinate against feline leukaemia. There is currently no vaccination against feline AIDS.

What if my pet has an infectious or contagious disease?

If you think your pet may have such a disease, please inform the receptionist when you make the appointment and again when you arrive at the clinic. You may be asked to leave your pet in the car until such time as the vet is ready to see you. The hospital has a special room with a side entrance, which you will be asked to use. This is to ensure that you don’t put any other animals at risk. The hospital has a special isolation ward for such cases. We have disinfection policies in place to prevent the transmission of these diseases.
Cat snuffles
Kennel Cough in dogs
Parvo virus enteritis (diarrhoea with blood)
There are many others. If you are unsure please ask a staff member.

What about Desexing (Spaying females and Neutering males)?

Spaying prevents female pets coming into “season” or “heat” which means that you won’t have the problem of trying to find homes for unwanted puppies or kittens. There are already thousands of animals waiting for adoption. Don’t add to this huge problem.

You won’t have to deal with all the problems of a bitch or queen in season like having stray dogs or tomcats entering your property.

Neutering male dogs prevents wandering and aggressive male behaviour. You save on vet bills!
There are also health issues such as mammary cancer and prostate problems which can be prevented by desexing.
You can enjoy your pet for all the reasons you got it for in the first place.

What does it all involve?
Owners call the clinic and make an appointment for the surgery (weekdays only – these operations are not done on weekends)

Do not feed or give water to your pet after 10pm the night before the operation. Drop your pet off between 8 and 8.30am on the morning of the operation. The operation is performed under general anaesthesia.

In males the testicles (the source of testosterone, the male hormone) are removed. There are no stitches in male cats. Male dogs sometimes need stitches removed 2 weeks after the surgery.

Females have both ovaries (the source of oestrogen, the female hormone) and the uterus removed. Stitches may need to be removed 2 weeks after the surgery. Dissolving stitches are used in most cases.

All surgeries are performed by experienced surgeons under sterile conditions in our modern operating theatres.
Patients are continually monitored during the surgery using and pulse oximeter, an ECG and a respiratory monitor. You pay no extra for this extra safety measure. We won’t compromise on safety.

Do I need to deworm my pets?

Worms are commonly transmitted from animals to humans. These infestations can be fatal. It is essential that all pets be dewormed on a regular basis using an effective broad-spectrum deworming agent. Always combine an effective deworming program with a flea control program. Children can pick up tapeworm by swallowing a flea infected with tapeworm larvae (fleas are intermediate hosts for the common tapeworm).

Puppies and kittens
Pregnant bitches should be dewormed 2 weeks prior to whelping. This, in effect, deworms the pups before they are born. Worms can be transmitted to pups while they are in the uterus. All pups and kittens should be dewormed every 2 weeks from birth until they are 3 months old.

Adult dogs and cats
Deworm every 3 months throughout the life of your pet. Be sure to use a dewormer effective against all worms, including hydatids.

Can I catch a disease from my pet?

Parasites such as worms, mites (scabies) and fleas
Ringworm (fungal skin infection)
Campylobacter (diarrhoea)
Leptospirosis (Weill’s disease)
Cat scratch fever
Yersiniosis (plague)
Toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidium
Toxoplasmosis can be dangerous to pregnant women, occasionally causing abortion.
Vets are trained to recognise and prevent transmission of these diseases to people. People are not only infected by direct contact with infected animals, but are commonly infected by eating or drinking contaminated animal products.
Call us if you need more information.

What if my pet needs surgery?

We will discuss the operation with you. It is important that you are aware of the need for the surgery, the procedure itself and the possible complications. Please discuss any concerns with us. You will be required to sign a consent form. Most animals need to be fasted the night prior to the surgery. You will be given appropriate instructions. You will be given clear instructions on how to look after your pet after the operation.
In many cases it is essential for your pet to undergo a blood test prior to major surgery. This helps to identify underlying conditions and also helps to minimise anaesthetic risk and complications. For this reason we have a laboratory in the hospital. A small cost for these tests is justified, considering the added safety factor.
Your pet will be given adequate pain relief before and after surgery. Major surgical cases are discharged with appropriate medication to ensure pain free recovery.

Dr McCoy has Postgraduate training in small animal surgery and has extensive experience in this area. However, for procedures not routinely performed at the surgery, we may enlist the help of a specialist referral surgeon.


Our equipment is the best available and we have a policy of continually upgrading our already extensive range of gear.