Frequently Asked Questions, page two.

Q. I have found fleas in the house! What is the best way to treat the problem?

A. Thoroughly vaccum the house to remove any flea eggs, larvae and pupae and spray all over using a veterinary household insecticidal spray, which will usually give up to 12 months protection (remember always remove birds or fish before spraying). Wash the pet's bedding as well as any removable covers where the pet lies (such as sofa covers) and air the house before returning your pet indoors.

It is important to establish an effective flea control programme and routinely treat your pet on a monthly basis to prevent fleas being brought into the house once you have treated the environment. To ensure that no fleas remain untreated continue to vaccum the house once or twice a week for two weeks after spraying.

Q. What is Flystrike and how do I protect my rabbit against it?

A. Flystrike is a distressing and potentially life threatening condition for domestic rabbits. Flystrike occurs when flies lay their eggs on the rabbit. The eggs then hatch into maggots within 8 hours of being laid and begin eating away at the surrounding flesh. Flystrike commonly occurs in hot humid weather and is generally seen between the months of April and October. The flies are attracted to damp or dirty areas so it is important to check your rabbit at least twice daily for signs of Flystrike and seek veterinary attention immediately if you see any maggots.

You can protect your rabbit against Flystrike by keeping the rabbit and their hutch clean and by applying Rearguard. This is a liquid application that you apply to the hindquarters of the rabbit. It gives approximately 8-10 weeks protection from maggot infestation and is available at the practice.

Q. What should I be feeding my new rabbit?

A. Rabbits in the wild live on a diet of grass, tough woody leaves and wild flowers. Therefore it is important to feed your rabbit a varied diet in order to meet its nutritional needs. Good quality hay should be available for your rabbit at all times. Commercial rabbit food, such as 'Supa Rabbit' and fresh grass should be offered daily. To vary your rabbit's diet you can also feed carrot tops, broccoli and cabbage.

As rabbit's teeth constantly grow they commonly suffer from dental problems. Providing hay and wooden gnawing blocks can help to grind their teeth down and avoid the need for dental surgery. Your rabbit's health depends almost entirely on the food you feed it. An incorrect diet can be detrimental to their health.

Q. What should I be feeding my new puppy/kitten?

A. Growth is a delicate period, important for the future health of your pet. It is important to feed your new kitten/ puppy a wholesome, high-protein diet along with a constant supply of fresh water. Good quality kitten/puppy food is essential to promote the development of strong bones, muscles, healthy teeth and gums, and to provide a source of protein and energy needed for this intense period of growth.

In order to meet your pet's unique dietary requirements we recommend the Royal Canin life stage range.These diets are tailored for your pet's developmental needs from weaning through to old age, ensuring that your new pet receives all the vital nutrients they need to remain healthy throughout their life.

Q. How many times should I feed my new puppy/kitten?

A. From 6-12 weeks of age we recommend you feed 4 evenly spaced meals throughout the day, reducing to 3 meals daily until they reach 6 months of age. From 6 months of age feeding twice daily is sufficent.

Q. What is microchipping?

A. Microchipping is the most effective way of identifying a lost pet. A microchip is slightly smaller than a grain of rice and is inserted under the dog or cat's skin between the shoulder blades. The procedure is very simple and is no more painful than an injection. A dog or cat will not be aware of the microchip's presence once inserted. Each microchip has a unique number which is stored on a national database.

If a lost or stolen dog or cat is found, the code will be revealed by passing a scanner over the microchip. A scan of the chip reveals the owner's name and address from the database's records allowing the animal and the owner to be quickly reunited. Once your pet has been microchipped it is important to keep your personal details up to date.

Q. I have recently moved house. How long should I keep my cat inside before I let her out?

A. We recommend that you keep your new cat indoors for at least 2-3 weeks as this will allow the cat to familiarise itself with the new environment. We recommend that you with hold food before allowing your cat outside for the first time so that it will return to the house for food when it is hungry.

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