Surprising animal facts
.Rabbits have near 360-degree vision and can even see behind them. Their only blind spot right is right in front of their nose.
.Rabbits have near 360-degree vision and can even see behind them. Their only blind spot right is right in front of their nose.
Killarney with its abundant deer and wildlife has the highest population of ticks in the country and they can act as carriers for Lyme Disease and other infections . April to September is the main risk period
What are ticks?
Ticks are blood-sucking external parasites of humans, pets, livestock and wild animals. They are also vectors of a wide variety of disease-causing organisms to animals including humans. There are around 850 described species worldwide, of which only a few exist in Ireland. Only one species is common in Ireland – Ixodes ricinus – there is a possibility that Dermacentor reticulatus may be present here, though this has not been confirmed. The latter species is present in the UK. Rhipicephalus sanguineus (brown dog tick) though present in southern Europe is not thought to occur in Ireland. Ticks are wingless and do not fly or jump.
Why do I need to be concerned about ticks?
Ticks are efficient hunters, waiting (“questing”) in brush or tall grass and when they sense vibration, carbon-dioxide (CO2), warmth and humidity, from a passing animal (or human), they climb aboard, attach and start to feed on its blood. Immature ticks are flat and only 0.5-3mm in size. They have special mouthparts which allow them to attach to their hosts. During the attachment process the tick uses its secretions mixed with host skin to form a cement which strongly attaches it to the host rendering it difficult to remove. Tick saliva contains an anaesthetic, so your pet will not feel the bite and neither will you!
And once attached, ticks on dogs/cats or other mammals remain—often unnoticed—for several days, making them excellent carriers for disease. Ticks are generally only noticed when they are filled with blood and protrude through the pet’s coat (or a human’s skin). They resemble coffee beans and can vary in colour from grey to red or purple. But ticks aren’t just out in the wilderness—they can be transported much closer to home by rodents and birds. Tick larvae, nymphs or adult ticks can easily end up in residential areas, creating a whole new tick population waiting to be fed in your own garden or neighbourhood park.
Where do ticks hang out?
Ticks are found in habitats that are populated by a supply of vertebrate hosts, mainly mammals and birds. Some of the most productive habitats are rough grasslands, moist woodlands and areas of vegetation around the edge of forests, along forest trails where a dense mat close to the ground provides a warm moist habitat to harbour developmental stages. There is a seasonal risk period for exposure from April to October, mainly influenced by sufficiently high temperature and humidity in the ticks’ environment to initiate activity and questing.
What is the lifespan of a tick?
After feeding, an engorged female falls off to lay 3,000-6,000 eggs! It can take up to 3 years for the adult tick to develop. The eggs are laid in the environment and hatch to larvae which attach to another host, feed, fall off and moult to nymphs. These in turn attach, feed, fall off and moult to an adult completing the life cycle as in the diagram below.
Tick live cycle
How will I know if my pet is affected with ticks?
When ticks bite, they can cause a range of signs including:
Mild skin irritation
Itching and biting of skin
Very heavy infestations in young animals can result in excessive blood loss resulting in anaemia and occasionally death.
It is important to note that many dogs and cats harbouring ticks may not display any signs at all!
Ticks also spread disease, and as external parasites, are second only to mosquitoes in terms of their public health importance worldwide. When a tick feeds, its saliva mixes with the animal’s blood allowing for the transmission of any infectious agents (bacteria and viruses) that they are carrying.
What diseases do ticks transmit in pets?
Tick borne diseases in Ireland and the UK include mainly Lyme disease, but conditions, considered endemic on the continent, may be brought in via infected ticks from other European countries. Please check out our disease risks page to know more about the hazards associated with infestations of fleas or ticks.
How do I control ticks?
Various products are available for controlling ticks. We can advise you on the product of choice for your pet.
We recommend long acting products that prevent Not all products prevent ticks attaching and some only act for short periods so call in to us at The Allcare Veterinary Centre and we can best advise you on the best safest and most appropriate product for your pets
At the Allcare Veterinary Centre Killarney we wish to encourage the Yellow dog project If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon on its lead it means do not approach it give it some space We will supply ribbon to you at the surgery to put on your dog if you would prefer people or animals not to approach them .
These beautiful 6 week old Yorkshire Terriers are visiting The All Care Veterinary Centre Killarney for their first vaccinations and microchipping .
Despite the availability of vaccines, many dogs are affected each year by parvovirus, leptospirosis and kennel cough. Should an unvaccinated dog or puppy come into contact with one of these diseases, it could prove to be fatal. Those that recover may be left with long-term damage to vital organs. There is no need for this to happen as a dog can be protected through a couple of injections as a puppy and then regular boosters throughout his life.
Puppies should be vaccinated at 6-9 weeks of age and then again at 10-12 weeks. They will become fully protected two weeks after the second vaccination.
The vaccine contains a weak dose of the disease and this stimulates the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies that will be able to fight the disease should they become exposed to it at a later stage.
If your dog is unwell, has been recently unwell or unusually quiet when he is due to have his vaccinations, make sure that you tell your Vet. It may be a good idea to postpone his injections for a while, just to minimise the small risk of adverse reaction.
Vaccines are given in different ways. Most are injected into the ‘scruff’ of the neck; however, the kennel cough vaccine is given as drops into the nose.
Regular ‘booster’ vaccinations are necessary to keep the dog’s immunity levels high enough to protect him against disease throughout his life. Dogs need to be vaccinated and have a full health check every year .
Apart from kennel cough the following diseases share the initial symptoms of depression, appetite loss, and a high temperature. Veterinary treatment should be sought immediately if your dog is unvaccinated and becomes unwell.
Remember, ALL of these diseases can be fatal: Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and kennel cough.
We are currently offering a Vaccination Amnesty if your Dogs vaccinations have lapsed(18 months ) we are offering the full commencement course ( 2 visits 3 weeks apart) for the cost of the annual booster.
Please feel free to contact the Allcare Veterinary Centre (064)6637333 if you have any questions or want to avail of the amnesty
If it’s too cold outside for you then it’s probably too cold for your pets! Making sure your pets are warm enough… in the cold weather is vital for their overall health and comfort.
In this article, we discuss the signs that will alert you to your pet being too cold, the steps that you should be taking to keep them warm and our top safety tips to make sure they are safe.
What Are The Signs That Your Pet Is Cold?
#1. The Weather
If it’s too cold for you outside then your pets will feel the same. Just because they have fur doesn’t mean that they don’t feel the cold.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure you prepare for the cold weather coming. If you know that we are expecting cold weather at night then make sure you bring your pets inside earlier during the day.
#2. Their Ears Are Cold
We all get a bit cold from time to time, but your pets ears shouldn’t be freezing cold when you touch them. This is a definite sign they are too cold.
If their body is cold too then it’s too cold outside for them. If they are inside pets and they still feel cold to the touch it may be that you need to consider clothing or extra bedding for them. Short haired breeds will often feel the cold more than long-haired breeds.
#3. They Are Shivering
Much like we shiver when we are cold our pets will too. This is a sure sign that it’s time to bring them in out of the cold.
Shivering is one of the early signs of Hypothermia.
#4. They Are Curling Up To Keep Warm
Animals tend to curl up when they sleep, but if they are curling up very tightly to keep warm then it’s time to bring them in.
#5. Lethargic/Slow Moving
When your pets are too cold they will be very lethargic and slow moving as they clearly don’t want to be outside. You may find them reluctant to go back outside after being inside.
Watch for a change in the behaviour of your pets once the cold weather starts and if they are acting differently to normal it may because they are cold.
The Dangers Of Hypothermia
If your pet gets too cold, then they could suffer from Hypothermia. Hypothermia can be fatal, but early signs can often go unnoticed. If your pet is too cold then they will shiver and feel cold to the touch. It’s unlikely if your pet is indoor that they will suffer from Hypothermia unless the house is very cold and they have been left wet after a bath or not dried after a walk.
Make sure when you take your dog out for a walk that you dry them off and remove any ice or snow. If your cat comes in and is wet then dry them off and keep them warm.
If your pet is suffering from severe Hypothermia than they will be lethargic, will be disinterested in their normal activities and appear depressed.
Often people assume that because their pets have a fur coat they don’t feel the cold. However, It’s important that you don’t let things get to this stage and keep an eye on your pet.
Winter Hypothermia in Dogs
How Should You Keep Your Pets Warm?
#1. Bring Your Pets In
The easiest way to ensure your pet is warm over the winter months is to bring them into the house. Your pets will love the warmth of the house. If you don’t want them to have full access to the house then create a space in the home that they can call their own. Maybe in a utility room or dining area.
#2. Extra Bedding
Just like we bring out the thicker duvet and extra blankets in the winter months then you probably need to do the same for your pets.
They might like an extra blanket or a warm bed when the cold sets in.
Some dogs wouldn’t dream of wearing a coat or a jumper, but others love being snug and warm in the latest fleece coat. For smaller or short-haired breeds it can be a necessity for them in the colder months.
If you are introducing clothing to your dog, then it’s advisable to try them out with it for short periods of time when they are not alone. Let them get used to it and if you feel they are not stressed by it then it might work well for them during the winter months.
During the very cold months, heated beds or blankets are a great addition for any pet. Much like we love our heated blankets your pets will appreciate the extra warmth.
If you are out at work, you may want to consider leaving the heating on low during the day if your house gets very cold. Or alternatively, use a timer to turn the heating on and off at certain times of the day.
#5. Crying Or Whining
If you notice your pets crying or whining, or even scratching at the door, then they are probably letting you know that they are too cold.
Usually, a change in the behaviour of your pets is a sign that something is wrong. If you are concerned, then always take them to the vet.
Top Safety Tips For Pet Owners This Winter
#1. Beware Of Antifreeze
Antifreeze is toxic to pets. It’s a very sweet tasting substance which is attractive to animals, who will lick it or even drink it.
Make sure that if you spill any that you clean it up and keep any away from your pets. If you do suspect that your pets have ingested any then please take them straight to the vets.
Note – take notice on walks if your dog is sniffing or licking at driveways or paths as there may be split antifreeze.
#2. Avoid Ice
Be very aware of any frozen pond, lakes or areas of water. If you are taking your dog out for a walk and they are normally used to playing in the water, make sure you keep them on the lead.
Frozen water can be very dangerous if it cracks under the weight of your dog, so it’s best to keep away from these areas.
#3. Protect Your Pets Paws
Salt added to the roads and pavements can irritate your pet’s paws so it’s advisable to wash their paws when you come in from your walk and then dry them.
If your dog has a lot of hair between their paws, then it can be a good idea to trim it to avoid a build-up of ice. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself then ask your groomer.
Dog boots can be helpful if your dogs are sensitive – although it might take a while for them to get used to them. Or you could put petroleum jelly on their paws to create a protective barrier.
#4. Be Careful Near Heaters And Open Fires
If your pets are feeling the cold they often try to get a little bit too close to the fire or heater. If your pets are getting too close to an open fire they are at risk of being burnt by sparks from the fire. It’s always advisable to have a guard in front of a real fire – just like you would if you have children.
Electric heaters can also be dangerous if they get knocked over or your pet gets burnt on them.
#5. Don’t Overfeed Your Pets
It’s probably worth consulting with your vet if you are thinking of increasing your pet’s food during the winter. Unless they are doing additional walks or activity it’s not really advised to increase their food.
In fact, you may find that your pets are more lethargic during the summer and don’t burn as many calories.
#6. Be Mindful Of Older Pets
If you have a senior pet then it’s important to keep an eye on them during the cold weather. If they suffer from arthritis then it could flare up during the cold, so it’s important to make sure they are getting regular exercise and taking any supplements.
If you are taking your dog for a walk in the icy weather then take care that they don’t slip and injure themselves.
#7. Keep An Eye On Water Bowls
If your pets have water bowls outside, then make sure that they don’t freeze over. When the temperature drops they can freeze over very quickly, especially at night.
Inside water bowls shouldn’t freeze.
#8. Maintain Visibility
There are lots of things you can do to keep you and your pets visible on walks.
High visibility jackets for yourself
If you are out with your dog late at night then it’s important that people can see you on the road. High vis jackets should be worn by anyone walking at night – with or without a dog.
High visibility coat for your dog
A high vis coat for your dog will keep them visible late at night on your walks. If they did get off the lead you would be able to see them a lot easier if they have a reflective coat on.
Reflective collars for cats and dogs
The more reflective items you have on your pets the better. For cats it can be vital for them to be seen by cars.
Reflective leads for dogs
Again, the more you can do to keep your dog visible on your walks the better.
#9. Always Keep Your Dog On The Lead
During cold/bad weather it is always best to keep your dog on the lead in order to keep them safe. Snow may have build up and be a hazard to them or they may be tempted to walk on frozen lakes or ponds.
#10 . Collar, ID And Microchip
It is important to ensure your pets microchip is up to date with your address and contact details, and that their collar has an ID tag on with contact details.
Are Your Pets Safe During The Cold Weather?
It’s important that you and your pets stay warm. Your pets will be perfectly safe during the cold weather if you adopt some of the suggestions listed in this article.
However, if you have any concerns about the health of your pet then always contact your vet.
A pet is not just for Christmas.It is estimated that more than one-in-five puppies or kittens given as Christmas presents will ultimately be handed into shelters as unsuitable.
If you are thinking about buying a pet for Christmas, ask yourself a few questions before making this big decision.
Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment. The average dog lives for 13 years. The average lifespan for a cat is 15 years but they can live into their twenties.
Be honest, do you have the time to devote to looking after a pet? They are similar to babies in the time and energy they demand. They can not be left alone for hours. They need to be house trained and they also need play time, including socialisation with other animals.
Really consider whether you have enough disposable income to pay for a pet’s needs. Vaccinations, spaying, neutering , food, toys , cattery or unexpected vet appointments and surgeries aren’t easy on the wallet.
Will my lifestyle still accommodate a dog or cat in five to fifteen years?
Think about the future. Do you own your home, or do you rent?Does your tenancy agreement allow you to keep pets? Are you planning to move away in the next couple of years? Make sure to take all those factors into consideration before getting a cat or dog.
Christmas is always a very hectic time of the year with relatives and friends arriving. Unusual noise, activities and extra demands upon the household can make it difficult for any pet to settle into their new homes.
Paws because last year, 12,549 dogs entered Irish pounds.
Paws because 1,522 of them were needlessly destroyed.
Paws because Dogs Trust had a 58% spike in surrender requests after Christmas last year.
Paws because a dog is for LIFE, not just for Christmas®.
And think twice before getting a dog this Christmas . A pet is not just for Christmas
The ISPCA is asking the public not to purchase a puppy and help put an end to the puppy demand. By deciding to adopt after the festive season, you will reduce the risk of becoming the latest victim of this cruel trade. Buying a sick puppy is a heartbreaking experience for any family to endure, especially at Christmas.
Owning a pet is a lot like having a child. It takes a lot of work and patience and you still can’t escape a few surprises along the way.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are thinking about getting a new pet
Our vets and nurses are here to answer all your questions to help you make the right decision.
We will be discussing this topic on talk about with Deirdre Walsh on Radio Kerry on Thursday 30December at 2pm
Here are some tips of do’s and don’ts to keep your pets safe and well over christmas.
DON’T feed your pet left overs from your Christmas meal. Poultry bones can get stuck or cause perforations, and rich food can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
DON’T feed your pets christmas cake or mince pies as rasins (and grapes) are toxic. Some dogs can eat quite a few grapes or rasins without any obvious side effects, others can eat just a few and suffer fatal kidney failure.
DON’T feed your pet chocolate, it’s another potential toxin. (For more information see our winter poisons post.)
DON’T leave pets unattended around your Christmas tree. Pets love playing and chewing with bright shiny objects, including fairy light wires. Electrocution or gastro-intestinal blockages could occur.
DO ensure that your pets have someone quiet they can take themselves off to, if you are expecting lots of guests.
DO ensure your pets are microchipped so they can be identified. They may get cold in winter weather or scared by Christmas festivities and seek shelter in unlikley places. Don’t leave your pets unattended outside- they can be quickly stolen leading up to christmas time and sold on. keep them safe and well and in your sight
DO wrap up short haired dogs, (and those that are young or old), with dog jackets, if you are out walking in very cold weather.
DO wash your dog’s feet if they have been walking on gritted pavements. The salt can be very irritant to their paws.
DON’T allow pets near frozen ponds or canals. However often people are warned of the dangers, nearly every year fatalities (both animal and human) occur.
DON’T GIVE PETS AS PRESENTS! A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. <3 <3
Danny has been working as a vet since 1983 and is proud to say that he still loves his job, which comes with his love of animals and his enjoyment in meeting his patients owners many of whom have become firm friends over the years. He enjoys communicating with people and is a strong animal welfare advocate which he has been promoting in his role as “Danny the Vet on Radio Kerry” over the years educating the public on responsible pet ownership. Danny also attends veterinary courses to update his knowledge in this rapidly evolving field and the practice is a registered training hospital for trainee nurses and vets.
Lindsey joined the practice in 2012 having worked in mixed large and small practices in the counties of Cork and Kerry since she graduated from U.C.D. in 2007. She has been interested in pain management and care of long term conditions such as arthritis since she began her career. Lindsey is also a Certified Veterinary Chiropractor and has a keen interest in football and greyhounds.
Niamh joined us in November 2012. She studied Veterinary Nursing in Bicton College of Agriculture in Devon. She worked in Small Animal Clinics in Dublin for 9 years. Previous to this Niamh Volunteered at the Blue Cross Clinic in Dublin. When not in work her two dogs “Gertie” and “Lillie” keep her busy!
Irish Veterinary Nurse of the year 2014 (Irish Veterinary Nurses Association). Femke has been working with us since 2005 and loves dealing with the clients and their pets, many of whom nominated her for her I.V.N.A award for her caring and compassionate care shown toward their pets. Her studies began in 2001 when she studied Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing in Cork and then continued her studies in the U.K. qualifying in 2004. She worked for a year in a large well equipped practice in Stoke-on-Trent in the U.K. and returned home with two new furry additions to the family.