Dentals – Do I need dental visits?

Dentistry is now an established aspect of good veterinary care, and for good reason. Routine checks of the teeth, gums and oral cavity should be part of a pet owner’s routine to ensure the good overall health of your pet. Studies have shown that 85% of dogs and 75% of cats over the age of 3 show signs of dental disease. Some of the signs of dental disease include:

  • Plaque (discolouration of the teeth)
  • Gingivitis (Gums are inflamed and red in colour)
  • Halitosis (Bad smelling breath)

You can brush your pets own teeth at home if your pet is compliant. Feed a good quality dry food and dental chews can greatly reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar. However, if using dental sticks remember to reduce your pet’s daily intake of food for that day to allow for the dental stick.

Do you do operations at Avondale Veterinary?

Yes, our vets in the Arklow practice carry out small animal operations Monday – Friday. Operations in Rathdrum practise for small animals are carried out on a Wednesday. We carry out routine operations like neutering as well as more complex surgeries like cruciate ligament repair or lump removals.

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

All kittens need at least two vaccines. They can start their primary course at 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.

Mircochipping – Is this neccessary?

From 31st March 2016 it became law that all dogs in the Republic of Ireland must be microchipped and registered with an approved database. Puppies must be microchipped and registered by the time they are 12 weeks of age. It is illegal to buy or take ownership of a pup or dog that is not microchipped and registered. If you purchase, sell or take ownership of a dog or pup it is your responsibility to update the ownership details with the database. ID and proof of address is required when making an appointment to have your dog microchipped.

Orthopaedic Surgery – What can you do?

We provide orthopaedic capabilities which mean fewer cases need to be referred. This can save you the worry, time and costs. Some of the common procedures we do are;

  • FHO’s
  • Cruciate Ligament Repair
  • Tibial Tuberosity Advancement
  • Luxating Patella
  • Fractures

Pet Insurance – Do I need this?

You insure yourself, your house, your car – but what about your pet? Veterinary medicine has become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. As a profession we are now able to diagnose and treat many conditions which in the not so distant past were completely untreatable. Each year on average 1 in 3 pets suffer from an illness or injury, so unexpected veterinary bills can occur at any time.

Insurance can cover not only broken bones as a result of road traffic accident for example but pets that develop long term conditions such as skin problems, heart disease and arthritis to name a few. One of the most upsetting situations for us is when a pet’s condition is curable but due to costs cannot choose the optimal treatment plan or in some cases opts to put their loved one to sleep.

With insurance cover suitable for your pet’s needs, we can ensure your pet gets the best possible care without the cost of treatment becoming a limiting factor.
When looking at insurance companies it is worth considering some of the following:

  • To what amount will they pay out for an illness/condition?
  • What is the time limit on claims? Some conditions can be lifelong.
  • Can they put exclusions on your policy when it is up for renewal?
  • Will they renew your insurance for the rest of your pet’s life? (older pets)

Insurance companies will have a policy excess for claims and routine vacations, neutering’s, pregnancy and preventative healthcare are excluded.

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!

Post-Operative Care – What do you provide?

Pain medication is provided to all our patients before, during and after surgeries. In some cases patients will also be discharged with pain medication. When necessary, patients are provided with buster collars to prevent licking or chewing of the stitches. Owners will be provided with discharge instructions on collection of their pets.
Following surgeries, owners of the patients are phoned to let them know how the surgery has gone and to ease your worry. All inpatient owners are regularly updated with their progress also. 

Routine Surgery – What is the procedure?

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

Emergency surgeries can be carried out in out of hours such as weekends when necessary as we do provide a 24 hours service. Your pet will be allocated a time to arrive at the branch on the morning of the surgery. We will have asked you to fast your pet starting at 8pm the previous night. Access to water should be provided up to admittance. Upon arrival at our practice, you must 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.

We use the gold standard of anaesthetic which is isoflurane gas anaesthesia It is particularly safe for our more senior patients. A nurse monitors patients throughout anaesthesia and surgery. Due to our exceptional 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.

What areas does Avondale Veterinary serve?

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

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 unsure 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. Unfortunately, most of our team have been in your shoes and know how painful it is. It is important to us that you have a peaceful goodbye with your pet, spending as much time with them as needed. 







What’s involved?
Having discussed everything with you, our vet will usually get the nurse to help put in a small IV – this involves a little pinch on their paw and is completed in a few minutes. This means injecting the medication will go straight into your pet’s bloodstream and won’t hurt. 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, and 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 medication is a version of an anaesthetic, so the pet feels like they are going to sleep. Pet owners can take as long as they need with their pets after, often keeping their collar or cutting a lock of hair.

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 pets back home. We will discuss the various options with you before we proceed so you can make an informed decision.

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, veterinary clinic waiting rooms, 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 it, 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.

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, the equivalent of breast cancer, later in life. 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 can lead to cats 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.

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