Rushden Vets 01933 314199

Pet Advice

Hints and tips for looking after your pet

Pet Advice

Hints and tips for looking after your pet


From environmental substances like pollen, mould or dust mites, to parasites such as fleas and mites, or food allergies, there are lots of things that can cause pet allergies.

If your dog or cat is gnawing at their skin, chewing its paws or scratching generally, it may be suffering from an allergy skin condition.

Other signs you may be seeing include:


  • Face rubbing
  • Itchy, red skin
  • Head and ear shaking
  • Hair loss


  • Hair loss in an even, symmetrical pattern
  • Large patches of red skin
  • Red, crusty rash or very small bumps
  • Open sores on the head and neck

If you think your pet is showing any of the signs above, please seek advice from one of our vets.

Together we can help make your pet’s life comfortable again!

Flea and Worm Treatment

How often should I worm my pet?

Your dog or cat should be wormed 2-4 times per year depending on how much they go out or hunt, or if they have fleas, as these little pests carry an intermediate stage of one of the tapeworms. We can worm your pet in the surgery with a single dose tablet. The vet will advise you of the best routine for your pet.

What flea products should I use?

No-one likes fleas and preventing an infestation before one takes hold is much easier than treating your pet and house afterwards. Remember 95% of a flea population during an infestation is not on the pet but in your home! Not only that but the skin condition Flea Allergic Dermatitis can be very sore and expensive to treat. Prevention is better than cure!

We recommend a monthly spot-on treatment applied to the skin on the back of your dog’s neck from 7 weeks of age. Not only will this kill adult fleas but also the larvae as well!

Free Flea Check

If you would like to be given advice on effective flea products then call us. For prescription products we are obliged by law to see your pet every 6 months. However, we will give them a thorough check for fleas at no charge.


At what age can I vaccinate my pets and against what?

Vaccinations protect your kitten or puppy against severely debilitating and potentially life threatening viral infections.

Kittens have a primary course of vaccinations consisting of two injections starting from 9 weeks of age. The second injection is given three weeks later at 12 weeks and both will include a full health check. An annual booster is required to provide ongoing immunity throughout the cat’s life.

We suggest puppies are first vaccinated at 8 weeks and then two weeks later when they are at least 10 weeks of age. These two injections are known as the primary course and it is advised puppies are not exposed to potential infection until 7 days after the second injection. An annual booster vaccination is required to maintain immunity throughout the dog’s life. We will remind you when this is due.

What if my pet is late having its annual booster vaccinations?

There is a little bit of flexibility with the timing of the booster vaccinations. However, it is advised not to be left too long as your pet’s immunity will be reduced, and the initial 2-part vaccination course may also need to be restarted.

Microchipping and Weight

Why should I microchip my pet?

A large number of pets go missing every year. If they are found and brought to a vet, pet charity inspector or the council warden they can be scanned and traced back to you in a matter of hours. The chip is implanted by injection and this can be done during a nurse or vet clinic. It causes very little or no discomfort on injection, and is inert so should cause no problem at all afterwards.

Is my pet overweight?

About 50% of pets are overweight! This is mainly due to lack of exercise and overeating. There are many serious health problems associated with obesity, such as heart problems, arthritis and even diabetes mellitus. If you can’t feel your cat or dog's ribs easily then it may be time to bring your pet to the surgery for a free weight check.

Poisons and Toxins

Substances and items that can be toxic to cats and dogs include many which you may have heard of before as well as some less common ones! The following list includes some possible examples of substances and is not a definitive list. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, seek veterinary advice, identify the substance, collect any packaging which may help your vet with diagnosis and treatment and do not attempt to make your pet vomit (unless instructed to by the vet).

Human Foods

  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Grapes (Raisins, Sultanas, Fruitcake etc.)
  • Liquorice
  • Some sugar free items containing Xylitol

Human Medicines

  • Paracetamol (Acetaminophen)
  • Ibuprofen/Nurofen
  • Psoriasis Cream (Dovonex)
  • Asthma Inhalers (Salbutamol)

Home and Garden

  • Washing Liquitabs (e.g. Persil/Bold etc).
  • Rubbish/ Waste/ Refuse
  • Lilies
  • Daffodils
  • Ethylene Glycol (Antifreeze)
  • Anticoagulant rodenticides (Rat poisons)
  • Metaldehyde (Slug bait)
  • Paraquat (Weedkiller)
  • Blue green algae
  • Permethrin
  • Ivermectin
  • Adder Bites

If you think your pet has been poisoned or has been in contact with a toxic substance, contact us.