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Preventative Care

We have an emphasis on preventative care

What flea and wormer should I use?

We as vets always recommend that your pet has regular flea and worming treatment. But with so many products out there, what is the difference? What do they actually protect your pet against? How often should they be given? What’s the difference between flea and worming treatment?
Here is a list of some of the products available, what they are effective against, and how often you should administer them:

  • ADVOCATE (Works against fleas, mites, roundworms, hookworms, lungworm and prevents heartworm. Should be given every 4 weeks. Spot-on (back of the neck))
  • STRONGHOLD (Works against fleas, mites, roundworms and hookworms. Should be given every 4 weeks. Spot-on)
  • FRONTLINE COMBO (Works against ticks, fleas - as well as the flea eggs and larvae. Not as effective as Advocate or Stronghold. Should be given every 6 weeks. Spot-on)
  • MILBEMAX (Works against roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, prevents lungworm and heartworm. Should be given every 3-6 months. Tablets)
  • PANACUR (Works against tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, lungworm. Mostly used on young puppies, kittens and rabbits. Different formulations – oral paste, granules, tablets)
  • PROFENDER (Works against round worms, whipworms and tapeworms. Only licenced for use in cats. Spot-on: given every 3-6 months)
  • DRONCIT (Works against tapeworms. Should be given every 3-6 months. Tablet and spot-on available)

How often you administer worming treatment to your pet will depend on what spot-on treatment is used. Products such as Advocate and Stronghold, which are effective against some worms, only require worming with Milbemax/Droncit every 6 months. If Frontline is used, then worming is advised every 1-3 months. This is because Frontline is not effective against any worms.
We also advise not to give multiple treatments at the same time. You should leave 2 weeks between administering spot-on treatment (e.g. Advocate) and a worming tablet (e.g. Milbemax). Alternatively, if you give worming tablets first, such as Milbemax or Drontal, it is advised to wait 48 hours before giving the spot-on treatment. This is to prevent possible overdose of the active ingredients.
There are many other products out there, and not all of them are very effective. The above list of products have clinical trials providing proof that they work and are what we recommend. Be careful with pet shop bought treatments as some contain the product PERMETHRIN which, if given to cats accidentally, can be FATAL.

What is lungworm?

Angiostrongylus vasorum, or lungworm, has become more prevalent in the area and we have seen a few cases in recent months.
Dogs can be infected by slugs and snails. This very commonly happens from eating grass, drinking from puddles or from playing with/chewing their toys that have been in the garden, therefore eating the slugs or snails as a consequence. Slugs and snails thrive in warm, damp conditions i.e. spring or autumn, so more cases are seen during this period.
Signs and symptoms can include:

  • Shortness of breath - coughing and exercise intolerance
  • Generally unwell - weight loss, poor appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea, depression
  • Fits
  • Blood clotting disorders - excessive bleeding following injury, nose bleeds, bleeding into the eye, anaemia (pale gums and around the eyes)

If you suspect your dog has lungworm, please contact the practice ASAP. We can easily diagnose lungworm with a simple blood test. The sooner we start the treatment, the better as it can be fatal.
Prevention is better than cure. Speak to one of our trained staff members today about preventative treatments that are easy to administer.

Dental Disease

Why does my pet have smelly breath?
Halitosis (smelly breath) most commonly originates from plaque (sticky accumulation of bacteria, food and saliva) build-up in the mouth. The smell is symptomatic of increasing amounts of plaque deposits, which will eventually lead to gum disease.
Wild animals don’t have dentistry performed, why does my animal need it?
Wild animals do suffer from bad teeth and often die as a result. In the wild, animals do not live as long as we hope our pets will; as dental diseases are progressive, our pets are at greater risk.
My pet is not in pain, so should I just wait and see what happens?
Absolutely not, animals do not exhibit the same symptoms of pain that we see with ourselves. Pain behaviour in animals can be very subtle. Dental disease is often extremely advanced by the time they stop eating and months of worsening pain will have preceded this.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue caused by plaque accumulation on the tooth. This inflammation can be seen as a red line at the gum margin, which often bleeds easily.
If the plaque is removed via a scale and polish, this inflammation will resolve. However, if left untreated, it will often progress to a more severe disease known as periodontitis, which is irreversible. This is where the attachment of the tooth becomes affected and ultimately can lead to loss of the tooth, which would be very painful for your pet.
I know my animal needs dental treatment, but I am worried about the anaesthetic.
This is a natural concern as it is important to remember that anaesthesia in all species does involve a degree of risk. However, with modern drugs, equipment and techniques, this risk is minimised.
We have a small laboratory on-site and often perform a quick blood test on the morning of the anaesthetic, to confirm there are no hidden concerns.
We have a range of up-to-date anaesthetic drugs available and a protocol will be tailored to each patient. Also, each patient will have a dedicated veterinary nurse to monitor them throughout the procedure, who will have the added assistance of various monitoring devices (e.g. pulse oximetry which measures oxygen content in the blood stream).
How can I look after my pet’s teeth at home?
Just as in ourselves, tooth brushing is the gold standard for preventing plaque build-up in animals. This is an important part of preventative health care. Ideally, this is started from a young age. However, after a scale and polish is a good time to discuss tooth brushing tips and technique with one of our veterinary nurses in a free clinic.


We recommend routine vaccination of all dogs, cats and rabbits against potentially fatal diseases. The diseases that we feel are essential to vaccinate against, are either severe or fatal and either persistent or untreatable.
When you bring your pet to Fields for vaccinations, a full health check will be carried out by the Veterinary Surgeon. This checks that your pet is in good health prior to vaccination, helping to ensure good protection from the vaccine. This also gives you the opportunity to discuss any queries that you may have regarding your pet's health or general wellbeing.
Over the last few years, there has been significant debate in the press regarding both human and animal vaccination. All animal vaccines licensed for use in the UK have been thoroughly tested for both safety and effectiveness. Adverse reactions do occur, but are usually mild and infrequent. A recent study carried out by the Animal Health Trust (a well-respected specialist veterinary establishment in the UK) called the POOCH study, investigated the health records of 4000 dogs. The study showed that there was no evidence of ill health related to vaccination and that dogs that were regularly vaccinated were healthier than unvaccinated dogs or dogs where their vaccines had lapsed.
So, what is in the dog vaccine?
We all know it is important to keep up-to-date with your pet's vaccinations, but what is it exactly that you are protecting them against? The following is a list of the diseases and their symptoms that are protected against in the vacciniations for dogs:

  • CANINE PARVOVIRUS: This virus can be transmitted via the faeces of infected dogs and can survive on inanimate objects such as the soles of your shoes. The virus tends to affect puppies more, and can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pain, rapid dehydration and refusal to eat or drink. Without intense care and support, the disease can be rapidly fatal.
  • CANINE DISTEMPER: This virus can travel through the air and so dogs, especially younger ones that live in cities at greater risk. It can cause a variety of signs such as coughing, vomiting, runny nose and eyes, diarrhoea and loss of appetite. If it progresses it can lead to fits. This virus is potentially fatal.
  • INFECTIOUS CANINE HEPATITIS: This virus targets the liver of dogs, with younger dogs, especially under one year of age, being at a greater risk. The signs seen are vomiting and diarrhoea, abdominal pain, very high temperature, loss of appetite and pale gums. If it progresses, jaundice may develop.
  • LEPTOSPIROSIS: This bacterial infection is transmitted through rat urine or rat infested water. In extreme cases, death can occur within hours of being infected. The signs seen are sleepiness, very high temperature, excessive thirst, increased frequency of urination, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhoea and jaundice.
  • PARAINFLUENZA and BORDETELLA BRONCHISEPTICA: Highly contagious infection, especially in dog kennels. Infection can be mild to severely debilitating. They are the major contributors of kennel cough and cause a persistent and harsh cough.


As a practice, we recommend the Royal Canin Veterinary Exclusive range of diets and we use them for our own pets. Pet Heath Club clients can benefit from significant discounts all varieties of Royal Canin Diets.

For advice on the correct diet for your pet, please come and see one of our qualified nurses during our nurse clinics. Please contact us for more information.