Prevention better than a cure!

"We hear it time and time again,

"if only I knew I would have......"

For many conditions it is possible to prevent or dramtically reduce the risks, and that is why preventative medicine makes such good sense"

Preventative medicine

  • Vaccination
  • Seven Plus
  • Tick prevention
  • Heartworm protection
  • Flea prevention
  • Worming
  • Desexing
  • Dental care
  • Weight Clinic
  • Microchipping

Vaccines are generally annual although these days we are heading towards a three yearly vaccination routine following on from recommendations from a vaccine working group of the World Small Animal Veterinary organization (WSAVA).

Vaccines confer protection against potentially killer diseases. One of the greatest benefits of the annual vaccination is also the check up. Indeed you will note that that 90% of that visit consists of a health check. The giving of the vaccines takes little time.

We have both an e-mail and snail mail reminder system active for this important visit. If you miss we even do a catch up reminder 6 months later.

Read more.....

Given that a year in a cat or dog's life is roughly equal to 7 human years it is not surprising that we recommend that older pets have two routine checks a year (indeed in the USA three health checks a year is becoming the norm). One of these vists is at the annual vaccination time (or the more corectly termed annual health check) and the other occurs 6 months later, the so called 7-plus health check, since we have instigated this for all our patients when they exceed 7 years of age.

Whe your pet has its annual check, we automatically generate a Seven-Plus reminder six months down the road. These are currently snail-mailed out, but eventually we will e-mail them as we do with the annual check.

Read more.....

 In NSW tick poisoning is a big killer of pets.

Prevention is paramount. During the tick season of Sept. to Feb.  we strongly recommend daily tick searching your animals and the wearing of tick collars.

Clipping down your dog or longhaired cat will help in this respect, with the added benefit of keeping your pet cooler in the hot summer months.

Note that nothing is 100% effective against ticks and vigalence is important.

Please read more in our in depth tick article.

Heartworm is a killer disease transmitted by mosquitoes in Australia. Over recent years its incidence has waned in NSW. This is largely due to the good compliance rate amongst concerned owners.
Heartworm is a particularly nasty disease and difficult to treat. Prevention is essential, and we should not become complacent, otherwise it will return.
Heartworm can also kill cats; however it is a more subtle disease in this species.
Prevent consists of monthly oral or topical medication. Today the most popular method is a yearly injection that is performed along with annual health check and vaccination.

Fleas are probably responsible for more than 90% of skin disease in pets we see in general practice. Persistent exposure to flea bites often leads to Flea Allergic Dermatitis (allergy to flea saliva) which results in chronically itchy skins, and for some pets this is a real debilitaing condition.

At times it may seem that nothing is working! This often indicates an environmental problem exists and needs addressing, in addition to treating animals.

See also:

Flea Products

My Product does not work

Fleas, Ultimate Control notes.

 Worming is essential fFrom the community responsibility angle. Worm larvae can infect children and in extreme cases lead to blindness.

Worms can also lead to death of pets (e.g. through severe dehydration and vomiting or even abdominal crises such as intussusception).

The general rule of thumb is worm your pet every 3 months. For kittens and puppies do this every 2 weeks until vaccines are completed, then move to the adult regime.

During pregnancy worming is particularly important for teh mother, but it must be done at the right time.

Pregnant bitches should be treated from day 40 of pregnancy to 2 days post-birth. The frequency of worming depends upon the product used. Check the lable.

Worming a queen cat at around the time of birth is important, do this at the same time as you worm the kittens

These days de-sexing is almost mandatory in the urban environment with a large percentage of animals having these procedures carried out. Most vets de-sex at prices well below the surgical value of the procedure, in order to encourage clients to adopt this responsible step. It greatly reduces the numbers of strays in the community, and the resultant sadness of their necessary euthanasia.

 De-sexing also reduces the risk of many age-related diseases such as pyometra, testicular cancer, prostate cancer etc. So there are real benefits to de-sexing beyond the social benefits.

At SVH we recommend desexing at 6 months of age for both cats and dogs, males and females.

You do not have to remember as our software reminder system will generate a letter that will be posted to you at the correct time!

Why is good oral hygiene important?
Just as in humans, your pet's teeth require continuous care. Poor oral hygiene leads to the accumulation of dental plaque that induces a painful inflammatory response in the supportive periodontium (gums, ligaments and bone supporting the teeth) known as periodontal disease.
Signs to look for include:

  • Bad breath
  • Accumulation of dental plaque near the gum line
  • Changed eating behaviour e.g. loss of appetite or difficulty chewing food
  • Red, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth or exposed root surfaces

We are assiduous in detecting dental disease at any regular health check. It is one area where prevention is much better than cure, once teeth are lost, they do not grown back!


As Vets our concern is the increased disease risk and reduced quality of life that comes with excess weight. We are not making an aesthetic judgment of your pet.
An animal's weight is relative and your veterinary surgery is best qualified to make an unbiased judgment on your pet's weight status.
Pets become overweight through overfeeding (and to a lesser extent through insufficient exercise). Very rarely will it be hormonal!
If your vet assesses your pet to be overweight then consider enrolling them in our nurses Weight Clinic. If has many advantages over attempting to diet the animal yourself


Microchipping is rather simple to do but is an essential ingredient in good health care. A microchip may mean the difference of life and death to your pet!

 In NSW it is now compulsory to have your dog microchipped.

  • Dogs or cats cannot be legally sold without a microchip.
  • Existing dog and cat owners by law must get them microchipped and register with the local council. Failure to do so may incur a significant financial penalty.