Pet travel, what’s involved?

Happily it is now much easier to bring cats and dogs on holidays or move country within the EU. If you want to take your pet out of Ireland you will need to contact us to organise the following;

  • Microchip your pet if not already done
  • Obtain an EU pet passport
  • Get your pet vaccinated for at least 21 days before travel

We would also advise that all annual vaccinations, including kennel cough are up to date. In addition it is important to make sure worming and parasite control is up to date as there are different parasitic diseases contractible on mainland Europe. Please ask us for advice.

It is very important that you liaise with your travel company regarding any other requirements they might have such as crate size.

When returning to Ireland from the EU dogs and cats must be treated for ticks and tapeworm by a vet between 24 and 86 hours before entering the country. Please ensure to find a registered vet to carry out this requirement before you come home.

Bon voyage!

What’s kennel cough and do I need to vaccinate?

Kennel cough or Canine cough is a very contagious infection that causes a harsh, hoarse cough in dogs. It is very easy for dogs to contract kennel cough – it just requires nose to nose contact or shared airspace. Kennel cough can be contracted in parks, training classes, grooming salons,  boarding kennels or just saying hello on a walk. While usually not life threatening it is unpleasant and often makes dogs feel very unwell. If you suspect your dog has kennel cough please contact us to make an appointment – the sooner we treat the better.

Do I need to vaccinate?
We would advise that all dogs are vaccinated for kennel cough. The vaccine lasts 12 months and prevents most strains of kennel cough. We see this disease very frequently and prevention is better than cure.

What happens when it’s time to say goodbye to our beloved pet?

We know that this is the most difficult and most heartbreaking part of owning a pet. If you are not sure whether the time is right please talk to our staff – we are happy to advise and sometimes there’s hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. If and when a decision is made we will try to book your pet in at a quiet time during the day. Most of our team have unfortunately been in your shoes and know how painful it is. It is so important to us that you have a peaceful goodbye with your pet, spending as much time with them as you need. If you would prefer us to come to you please contact us to arrange a home visit – we will try to convenience you as much as possible.
What’s involved?
Having discussed everything with you, our vet will usually get the nurse to help to get a vein – this involves a little pinch on their arm and is completed in a few minutes. This means when we inject the solution it will go straight into your pet’s bloodstream and is very peaceful. We generally don’t need to give anything to relax pets unless they are very stressed. Every owner is different- some want to be with their pet while they are put to sleep, some do not. We will accommodate whatever you feel is right for you. Once we have our IV in place owners can hold their pets in their arms while they are put to sleep. It is generally a peaceful time – the solution used is a version of an anaesthetic, so your pet feels like they are going to sleep. Pet owners can take as long as they need with their pets after.
What happens after?
If you decide to have your pet cremated you have the option of getting their ashes back. Many pet owners find it incredibly comforting to get their pet back home. We will discuss the various options with you before we go ahead so you can make an informed decision.

Why neuter/spay and what’s involved?

We recommend neutering all cats and dogs unless their owner plans to breed from them. We advise this for two main reasons:

  1. to prevent health problems when they are older
  2. to reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies in Ireland.

Female cats and dogs:
It has been proven that if female cats and dogs are neutered before they have their first heat (or have a season) they are highly unlikely to get mammary cancer later in life, the equivalent of breast cancer. Neutering also prevents nasty life threatening womb infections. When we neuter or spay female cats and dogs we make an incision in their tummy and remove their ovaries and uterus (womb). After being neutered females will not come into season and cannot get pregnant.
Male cats and dogs:
In male animals the incidence of testicular cancer and prostate problems is significantly reduced by neutering. In the case of male cats neutering, particularly if it is done at 6 months old, reduces the incidence of spraying and roaming. Neutering male cats and dogs are more likely to stray and get into fights – which for cats can lead to contracting nasty life threatening viruses like FIV or FeLV. When we neuter male dogs and cats we remove both testicles through a small skin incision.

Cats can be neutered from 4 months of age provided they are 2kg in weight. Dogs can be neutered from 6 months of age, however larger breed dogs we recommend leaving until they are a bit older due to their growth development. If you contact us we can advise depending on the age and size of your dog.


I’ve got a new kitten, what vaccines does she/he need?

All kittens need at least two vaccines. We offer a 3 in 1 vaccine and a 5 in 1 vaccine. They can start their primary course from 9 weeks old and complete it at 12 weeks old. We can advise what vaccines your kitten will need depending on whether they have received vaccines before coming to you and whether they will be outdoor or indoor cats.
Just like puppies, these vaccines protect kittens from life threatening diseases. So it is dangerous to let kittens out or mix with other cats before completing their primary vaccinations.
Having completed kitten vaccines all adult cats receive an annual booster vaccine which ensures continued protection. If you are not sure what vaccines your kitten needs please call into us with your vaccination record and we’ll be happy to advise you.

I’ve got a new puppy, what vaccines does she/he need?

All puppies need at least two vaccines. They can start their primary vaccinations from 6 weeks old and can complete the course as early as 10 weeks old. We can advise you what your puppy needs and when, depending on whether they have received any vaccinations before coming to you.

These vaccinations protect puppies and adult dogs from life threatening diseases, the most common of these being parvovirus. If a puppy is not fully vaccinated it is dangerous for them to mix with other dogs or to be in public places. It is a common misconception that puppies can only get sick from direct contact with other dogs.

If you are not sure if your puppy has had a full set of vaccinations call into us with your vaccination record and we can advise you. On completing puppy vaccinations every adult dog is then given one booster vaccine per year, to ensure continued protection.

How much does it cost to see the vet?

Please ask for a price when you book your appointment. Our initial consultation fee is €44.50. Reassessment fees are €34.50 and multiple pet consultations cost €54.50.

Do you do operations at Avondale Veterinary Hospital?

Yes our vets in the Arklow practice carry out small animal operations Monday – Friday. Operations in the Rathdrum practice for small animals are carried out on a Wednesday. We carry out routine operations like neutering as well as more complex surgeries like orthopaedics.

What areas does Avondale Veterinary serve?

We are within easy reach of the Rathdrum surrounding area as well as Arklow town but we also cover the Counties Carlow and Wexford. Our proximity to the M11 allows easy access from all areas. Please contact one of our clinics 0404 46217 (Rathdrum) or 0402 33744 (Arklow) if you need directions or further help to find us.

Routine Surgery – What is the procedure?

  • Our Arklow branch performs routine surgeries Monday – Friday.
  • The Rathdrum branch performs routine surgeries on Wednesday.

Emergency surgeries can be carried out during out of hours such as weekends when necessary. We do provide a 24 hours service. Your pet usually will come in between 9am -10am on the morning of the surgery. We will have asked you to fast your pet from 8pm the previous night and to have taken away their drink the morning of the surgery. Upon arrival at our practice you will be required to sign a consent form. This form will explain the risks of anaesthesia and offer you a pre-anaesthetic blood test. This is particularly recommended for our senior patients. This blood test can detect any abnormalities which may affect the surgery or anaesthetic.
We use the gold standard of anaesthetic which is isoflurane gas anaesthesia. It is particularly safe for our more senior and severely ill patients. A nurse monitors patients throughout the anaesthesia and surgery. Due to our exceptional hospital hygiene and pre-operative preparation of patients and veterinary surgeons, it has relinquished the use of antibiotics in routine aseptic surgical procedures. The overuse and unnecessary use of antibiotics have proven to contribute to antibiotic resistance.