News & Advice
‘French lungworm’, Angiostrongylus vasorum is now endemic in this area, and we have had four fatalities so far associated with this problem.
It is a disease that affects dogs (and foxes). The larvae of the worm are carried inside slugs and snails, and infect the dog when they are eaten (either intentionally, or accidentally when eating grass!).
Some cases develop a cough which can give away the worm’s presence, but many cases show no symptoms until haemophilia develops, and the victim bleeds to death, despite treatment. Severe, ultimately terminal seizures may also occur with little or no warning.
Lungworm is easily preventable. Please contact us on 0208 783 2850 for details. You can find more useful information at www.lungworm.co.uk.
Vaccinations – Are they necessary? Are they safe?
There is always much debate regarding the necessity and frequency of dog and cat vaccinations. Vaccines are an artificial stimulus to the immune system, and as such are not completely risk-free, although the very low risk of a relatively mild complication associated with having a vaccine is massively outweighed by the very large risk of death or severe illness inherent in being unvaccinated!
We know that by vaccinating annually, we probably are giving vaccines more frequently than necessary in many cases; it is believed that in some animals a single vaccine can last several years. However, in some cases, the vaccine’s protection does not last much beyond 12-18 months. It is impossible to tell which animals retain immunity without doing regular blood checks of antibody levels, which is clearly impractical.
Therefore, we currently recommend annual vaccination for dogs and cats, but feel free to discuss vaccination frequency with your vet when you visit.
If your usual daytime practice is closed, please call us directly for advice and attention.
0208 783 2850
4 Park Road, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9LE
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