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Ash Vets Healthcare


Welcome to the Ash Vets Healthcare advice that we are pleased to provide you. Please take a look at the helpful advice and services we provide.

 

Why Neuter Your Cat?

There are many health and behavioural advantages to neutering both males and female cats at an early age if they are not to be used for breeding.

 

Queen (female) – Spay

Prevents the occurrence of the following:

  • Unwanted pregnancies (up to 3 a year is possible)
  • Infection of the uterus (womb)
  • Breast cancer
  • Reduces risk of cat AIDS and leukaemia
  • Seasons
  • Unwanted attention from male cats

Female cats should be kept indoors at all times until neutered. The recommended age is usually 4-5 months but the operation can be performed from 12 weeks and is advised in any older queen. Cats can be spayed any time during the breeding season. As soon as any kittens are weaned, the mother can be spayed.

 

Tom (male) – Castration

Prevents the occurrence of the following:

  • Spraying and unpleasant odours
  • Aggression (cat fights)
  • Wandering over large areas and becoming involved in road traffic accidents
  • Cat AIDS and leukaemia
  • The recommended age is usually 4-5 months but can be performed from 12 weeks and is recommended in any entire adult tom.

 

Give your cat the chance of a longer, healthier life

  • Book your pet in for a free pre-operative check
  • We can then make an appointment for the neutering operation
  • Have your cat microchipped whilst they are being neutered (fewer than 1 in 2 cats are microchipped)
  • Opt for a pre operative blood screen – this checks how healthy your cat is before undergoing an anaesthetic
  • Please telephone the surgery for more information or to book an appointment with a vet.

 

All cats must be seen for a free of charge examination before neutering to ensure that they are fit and well enough for the anaesthetic. Just give us a ring to book an appointment.

Operations are performed in our main surgery in Merthyr Tydfil using our up to date anaesthetic equipment. In combination with the anaesthetic drugs we use, this makes everything as safe as possible. Your cat will be seen for a free examination 10 days after the operation to check their wound and take out any sutures.

If you would like to enquire about neutering, please call us as usual.

We are happy to accept vouchers from Cats Protection League and RSPCA towards the cost of spaying or castrating your cat.

If you are on a low income you may be eligible for a scheme that we run with Cats Protection League. This allows cat owners on to have their cats neutered and microchipped for just £5. If you think you may be eligible for this scheme then please telephone the surgery.

 

Neutering your dog

Why neuter your dog; spay your bitch or castrate your male dog?


There are many health and behavioural advantages to neutering both males and females at an early age if you are not planning to breed.

 

Bitch (female) – Spay or ovariohysterectomy

Why should you spay? To prevent the occurrence of the following:

  • Unwanted pregnancies
  • Breast cancer (occurs in unspayed bitches or those spayed later in life. It can be prevented by spaying before the first season or the risk reduced if spayed early in life)
  • Infection of the uterus (womb)
  • Cancer of the uterus (womb) and ovaries
  • Twice yearly seasons
  • False pregnancies

The recommended age is 4-5 months, but the operation can be performed on an older bitch and is recommended. Bitches DO NOT need a litter prior to spaying and the operation is unlikely to affect their nature.

  • If your bitch has had a season, spay 3 months after the end of the season.
  • If your bitch has had puppies (whelped), then spay once the milk has dried up; approximately 8-10 weeks after whelping.

Bitches need to be fed fewer calories after spaying -this is easily done with dietary management. Bitches only put on weight after a spay if they are overfed. If you would like advice about your dog’s diet after spaying, please ask one of our vets or nurses. Free nurse appointments can be made to discuss weight management and care after spaying.

 

Dog (male) – Castration

Castration prevents the occurrence of the following:

  • Behavioural problems e.g. aggression, roaming, urine marking, mounting
  • Testicular cancer
  • Prostate problems e.g. infection and cancer
  • Tumours around the anus that require surgery

The recommended age is 4-5 months, but the operation can be performed on an older dog and is recommended.

Castration is unlikely to affect your dog’s personality.

After castration dogs require fewer calories to maintain the same weight, but this does not mean that they automatically become fat. Dogs only put on weight after the operation if they are overfed. If you would like advice about your dog’s diet after castration, please speak to one of our vets or nurses. Free nurse appointments can be made to discuss weight management and care after castration.

 

Give your pet the chance of a longer, healthier life

  • Book your pet in for a free pre-operative check
  • We can then make an appointment for the neutering operation
  • Opt for a pre-operative blood screen, which checks how healthy your dog or cat is before undergoing an anaesthetic

Please telephone the surgery for more information or to book an appointment with a vet.

You can find out more about what you need to do before your pet is neutered here.

We will perform a free health check on your dog to make sure that there are no problems which would affect their fitness for an anaesthetic. This can take place at any of our Ash Vets branches, please phone to make an appointment.

Operations are performed in our main surgery in Merthyr Tydfil using our modern anaesthetic equipment. In combination with the up to date anaesthetic drugs we use, this makes everything as safe as possible.

 

Are you on any of these benefits?

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Council Tax Reduction/Council Tax Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based)
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal credit
  • Working Tax Credit


If you receive any one of these benefits and your dog is one of the breeds below, we will neuter (spay or castrate) your dog for just £35. You will need to bring in proof of your benefits and our reception staff will help you complete a form.

 

Breeds included in this scheme are:

  • Akita
  • American Bull Dog
  • German Shepherd
  • Greyhound
  • Husky
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Lurcher
  • Malamute
  • Mastiff
  • Rottweiler
  • Samoyed
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Crossbreeds who are obviously a cross of any of the above breeds


Microchipping

In April 2016, it became compulsory for all dogs in Wales to be microchipped. We are strongly in favour of microchipping; we think it is a fantastic idea that all dogs (an indeed cats) should be chipped, to encourage responsible pet ownership and make sure lost pets get home safely.

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin in the scruff of the neck by injection. The chip has a unique code number which is recorded on a national database. It is read by a reader which is waved over the back of the neck. The database can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make sure your missing pet gets safely back home.

If your pet goes missing, is brought in as a stray, or is involved in an accident, we can read the chip number and contact you to tell you that your animal has been found. Many rescue organisations and the dog warden also have microchip readers.

Dogs and cats can be safely microchipped without the need for sedation or anaesthetics, meaning it can be done at any of our surgeries by a vet or a nurse. Just give us a ring and we can make you an appointment.

 

Nurse Clinics

Book an appointment with a fully qualified nurse for:

  • Dental Care & Advice
  • Microchipping
  • Nail Clipping
  • New Pet Healthcare
  • Nutritional Advice
  • Older Pet Healthcare
  • Post Operative Checks
  • Stitches Removed
  • Vaccine Health Checks
  • Weight Monitoring
  • Worming & Flea treatments

Most of these clinics are free, although there is a charge for nail clipping.

 

Dental Procedures

Many older pets suffer from dental disease, although this often goes unnoticed by owners. The signs to look for include:

  • Reddening of the gums
  • Yellow or brown deposits forming on the teeth
  • Worn or broken teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Change in eating habits eg eating with their head on the side, or only eating certain types of food
  • Behavioural changes – your pet becomes grumpy, withdrawn, miserable or just quiet.

If your pet is showing any of these changes, then please make an appointment to have their mouth examined.

We have a state of the art dental system, identical to those that the dentists use on our teeth, combining ultrasonic scaler, high-speed dental drill, polisher and water-wash and air-flush system. We can clean teeth and extract diseased, painful teeth.

 

Pet Passports

Many of our Veterinary Surgeons are DEFRA registered LVIs, meaning that they can all perform the tests and complete the paperwork for pet passports.

In order to take your pet abroad to an eligible country and bring it back again, avoiding quarantine, you must complete the following in order

  • Microchip your pet
  • Vaccinate your pet against rabies
  • Collect your completed pet passport

The process takes at least three weeks from the vaccination until your pet is eligible to return to the UK, so travel needs to be planned in advance. Only certain transport routes can be used.

Your pet must also receive worming from a vet in the country you are visiting between one and five days before they return to the UK.

More information about Pet Passports can be found on the DEFRA website. Please contact DEFRA or the surgery for more details.

 

Behavioural Consultations

We offer Behavioural Consultations for a variety of species to help with a range of behavioural problems.

All our veterinary behavioural programmes begin with a consultation and examination by a veterinary surgeon. This ensures that there are no underlying medical problems which are contributing to your animal’s abnormal behaviour. A lengthy history will then be taken and appropriate advice and medication offered.

In some cases, further investigation such as blood tests and X rays may be required.

Often behavioural treatments involve changing your behaviour towards your pet, rather that medication and this requires commitment and investment of time. Such treatments can be incredibly rewarding when this pays off.

All our nurses and vets can offer general advice on common training and behaviour problems, but if they are concerned about your pet they will internally refer you one of our vets with a special interest in animal behaviour.

We are happy to accept referrals from other veterinary surgeons for a second opinion on a behavioural problem.

 

Rabbit Guide

Vaccines

Rabbits should be vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral/Rabbit Haemorrhagic disease. Both these diseases can be rapidly fatal, with rabbits becoming unwell very quickly. These diseases can be spread by biting insects, so house rabbits need vaccination too.
Vaccines can be given from 5 weeks old. Older rabbits need a single vaccine (ideally in the spring) and this should be given each year.
Rabbits should also have the new VHD2 vaccine which is given separately from the Myxo/VHD1 vaccine. They must be at least 2 weeks apart.

Neutering

Rabbits become sexually active from 4 months old, so male and female rabbits should be castrated and spayed at 4 months old.

This is an operation reformed under general anaesthetic and allows rabbits to live together without the risk of pregnancy or the aggression which often happens with entire male rabbits who are kept together.

All female rabbits should be spayed, even if they do not have any contact with male rabbits as there is a high risk of cancer of the uterus and ovaries in unspayed female rabbits.

Males should be castrated. 2 castrated males can live together, 2 entire males cannot because they will fight. 2 females can live together, but should be spayed to prevent cancer.

If you would like your rabbit to be neutered, please make an appointment for a free health check and we can discuss this and other aspects of rabbit care with you.

Rabbits are pregnant for 30-32 days and can get pregnant almost straight away after giving birth – the male rabbit should be removed before kittening if you don’t want more bunnies.

Feeding

Rabbits should be fed mainly hay, with approximately an egg cup full of pellets eg excel.
They should have greens such as apples, asparagus, banana, basil, brussel sprouts, cauliflower leaves and stem, celery, chicory, dill, fennel, green pepper, kale, mint, oregano, parsley, savoy cabbage, spinach, turnip, watercress, red leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce (avoid cos and iceberg).

The can also have willow or fruit tree sticks to chew on, occasional small pieces of fruit as treats.
Avoid Apple pips, avocado, carrot, potato, rhubarb.
You can find more information about the diets of rabbits here.

Preventative Healthcare

Rabbits should be treated with Rearguard every 10 weeks through the summer to prevent fly strike (maggots). Find out more about the unpleasant and dangerous condition that is fly strike here.

They can have Advantage to prevent fleas (and should be used monthly if sharing a house with dogs and cats). Worming products are also available for rabbits.

Environment

Rabbits need to be able to move around properly. They should not be kept in just a small hutch, but should have a run and objects of different heights. They also like to hide, so give them tunnels or boxes to get into.

Rabbits are sociable animals and need company, so make sure that they have a friend to spend time with.

 

If you need any free advice, please call the practice. Our team will be happy to help you.

 

T&Cs: Offers only valid at Medivet Mountain Ash, Medivet Merthyr Tydfil, Medivet Treharris, and Medivet Ystradgynlais. For our full terms and conditions, click here

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