Old Church Veterinary Hospital & Donegal Veterinary Clinic. Vets  for small animal, farm animals and horses

Small Animals

Small Animals - dogs and cats treated by Old Church Veterinary Hospital & Donegal Veterinary Clinic

Diagnostics & Laboratory
Dental Care
Pet Passports
Dietary Advice
Petfoods and Toys


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Dog & Cat Vaccinations by Old Church Veterinary Hospital & Donegal Veterinary Clinic
Vaccinations are vitally important because every year many dogs and cats of all ages become seriously ill or die from infectious diseases which could have been prevented through vaccination. We advise to vaccinate puppies for parvo at 6 weeks and DHPPI & L (commonly known as the 8 in 1) at 8 weeks and booster it between 2-4 weeks, kittens can be vaccinated from 8 weeks old. A yearly booster is needed thereafter

 Dog Diseases 

Canine Parvo Virus
Canine parvo virus is a disease which is usually spread through contact with and infected dog or its faeces, the virus can survive in the environment for many months.

It can be transported on shoes and other objects.

Dogs of all ages can be affected but it is often fatal in young dogs causing sudden onset of sickness, fever and sever bloody diarrhoea.

Kennel Cough Virus
Kennel cough virus commonly occurs when dogs are brought together in groups e.g. dog shows or in kennels.

The symptoms of kennel cough are usually a harsh, persistent and usually dry cough. The dog will often gag or retch during a coughing bout. You may think the dog is trying to vomit or that it has an object stuck in its throat.

The disease is spread by direct contact with and infected dog or by inhalation of infected airborne droplets.

Canine Distemper
Canine distemper spreads through direct contact with infected dogs; it often causes death or permanent disability and occurs more often in unvaccinated puppies. It usually begins with high temperature, runny eyes and nose, a dry cough and diarrhoea. Dehydration, weight loss and nervous signs may follow. The chances of survival are poor and dogs that survive often have nervous signs such as fits.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis
Infectious canine hepatitis is a very contagious viral disease spread through contact with infected dogs. Infectious canine hepatitis mainly causes liver damage although it can also cause respiratory infections. In severe causes death often occurs rapidly after diagnosis leaving little time for treatment.

 Cat Diseases 

Cat Flu
The two most common causes of cat flu are feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) and feline calicivirus (FCV). Both are highly contagious and cause sneezing, loss of appetite, tongue/ mouth ulcers, fever and sore eyes. Both adult and young cats can be affected but it is potentially fatal in kittens. Death is often the result of dehydration and secondary bacterial infections.

Feline Leukaemia Virus (FELV)
FELV is spread through contact with infected cats. Those infected by FELV may show no symptoms for months or years. Most cats die within years of becoming persistently infected. FELV kills cats in a variety of ways including causing cancer or anaemia or destroying the immune system allowing other infections to develop.

Feline Infectious Enteritis (FIE)
FIE is an extremely contagious disease associated with a high death rate in young kittens although cats of all ages can be affected. Affected cats may deteriorate rapidly with vomiting, diarrhoea and depression being common symptoms. The disease is mainly spread through direct contact with an infected cat or its faeces.

Carrier Cats
These diseases are widespread in the cat population because of carrier cats. Carrier cats appear perfectly healthy but carry and shed the viruses. These cats are capable of transmitting disease to any unvaccinated cats.


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Puppies and kittens need to be wormed every two weeks until they are twelve weeks old then every month until they are six months old and then every three months there after.


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We recommend bitches have their first heat over and then leave for six weeks and then spay. In special circumstances it may be advised to neuter before the first heat. Males can be castrated from six to seven months on.

Diagnostics & Laboratory

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Surgery, Orthopaedic surgery, intensive care facility for dogs, cats and other small animals from Old Church Veterinary Hospital & Donegal Veterinary Clinic


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Microchipping is highly recommended, if an animal strays and is found by an animal welfare group or the dog warder they can be scanned and can be located through the microchip number. It involves getting an electronic chip (about the size of a grain of rice) implanted under the skin.

 Dental Care 

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Check your dog's teeth regularly - small animal dentistry, cleaning, extractions or oral surgery by Old Church Veterinary Hospital & Donegal Veterinary Clinic
A lot of dogs and cats that are over 4 years have dental disease. Check your pet's teeth regularly. If your pet has a problem we have an ultrasonic descaler for cleaning your pet's teeth and we can perform any extractions or oral surgery that may be necessary.

Pet Passports 

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In order for pets to travel from other European countries back into Ireland, they must have a pet passport. A Pet Passport is required to show that: These treatments must be carried out by a Vet and certified on your pets' passport.
More information on pet travel to and from Ireland is available at www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets/ or just contact us to arrange any of the required treatments.

Dietary Advice

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Our staff are well informed on particular diets for individual dogs; this is the key to ensure optimum health and well being in your pet. Special diets are now available for specific health problems in your pet.

Pet Food And Toys

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We are stockists of hills science plan, propac and Royal Canine range of foods. We have a comprehensive and varied range of small animal toys and you can browse our online shop at your convenience.


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Rabbit Care Guide
Caring For Your Rabbit
Rabbits make delightful pets and come in a variety of sizes, colours and coat types. They are very clean animals, can be trained to use a litter tray and may live as a house pet or be kept outside.
• It is important to realise that your pet will need daily care, grooming, and campanionship. In the summer it is important to check your rabbit everyday, especially under the tail, for soiling or sores, and around the eyes and ears.
• Rabbits are sociable animals and when in the wild live in groups, so when choosing your pet remember this. If you get 2 or more rabbits it is wise to have them neutered as adult females (does) might fight, as will adult males (bucks). Rabbits tend to be more active at night and sleep a lot during the day.
• Rabbits need to be properly socialised from the start, initially by offering food in your hand and gently stroking their head. Do not offer your hand to be sniffed as your pet may be uncomfortable with this.

Never pick up your pet by their ears and don’t touch their chin or nose as they may not like it. If you do have to pick up your pet then do so by placing one hand under the chest and the other around and under their rump, supporting the hind legs. Hold your pet close to your body and reassure them by stroking and talking quietly to them. It is important that young children are always supervise when playing with their pet.

Housing Your Pet
• Before getting your rabbit you need to decide where to house it. Do you want it in the house itself, in a shed or outside? In all cases the accomodation has to be large enough to provide seperate living and sleeping areas. It must also have enough room to allow your pet to lie down full length or stand stretched up on its back legs if it wants to. If the hutch is too small the rabbit may become depressed and, possibly, aggressive. An outdoor hutch needs to be raised off the ground, insulated, weatherproof, predator proof and draught free.
• Your pet will also need daily exercise. If this takes place inide the house your rabbt must be supervised at all times, proected from risk and prevented from chewing through things such as electric cables. If outside then it must have a suitable enclosure that is predator proof, moveable to prevent over-grazing, and of suffcient size to allow them to graze and hop about safely.
• Bedding should be plentiful but dust free. It may consist of shavings, hay, straw or shedded paper. Pine or cedar wood shavings should be avoided, as should printed paper, as they can all be toxic to your pet.
• The hutch and feeding bowls should be cleaned out every day and the bedding changed at least once or twice a week. Because rabbits are very clean animals they will keep a specific corner of their hutch for passing faeces and urine. This area should be cleaned at least every 1-2 days. Ceramic or stainless steel feeding dishes, which are shallow enough for your pet to feed from but difficult to tip over and resist chewing, should be used. Clean water, in a gravity bottle attached to the side of the cage, must always be available.

Feeding Your Pet
• Because rabbits are grazing animals their teeth continue to grow throughout life. It is, therefore, important to feed your pet a specialist diet that contains sufficient plant fibre to keep the teeth from becoming too long and to maintain optimum health.
• Vet Pet Rabbit Diet’s crunchy fibre filled nuggets, when fed as directed and given with a plentiful supply of hay and some fresh vegetables, provide sufficient plant fibre to keep your pet’s teeth in good condition and prevent them from growing too long.
• In addition to this VetPet Rabbit Diet contains herbs to help digestion and fructo-oligosaccharide to encourage growth of friendly bacteria in the digestive system. It also includes other vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to promote a strong immune system, health and vitality. The correct balance of calcium and phosphorus is included to help ensure healthy bones and teeth together with vitamin D to aid in calcium absorption.
• When introducing a new diet to your pet it should be done slowly over a 10 day period. This is achieved by adding small amounts of the new foodstuff to their existing food and gradually reducing the level of the old food.

Maintaining Your Pet’s Mobility
• Rabbits can live up to 12 years of age and, like humans, can suffer from painful joints and loss of movement as they get older. This may become prone to urinany and faecal scalding. VetPet Diet with Glucosamine contains the naturally occuring material glucosamine at maintenance levels that aids the renewal of joint cartilage. When fed over a number of weeks this diet may help maintain your pet’s mobility and comfort.
Finally, your pet should have bright eyes, a healthy coat, good appetite and plenty of energy. If you think your pet may be unwell, is listless or not eating, then it is essential you take it to see a veterinary surgeon. It is also wise to ask your veterinary surgeon about vaccination against Viral Haemorrhagic Disease and Myxomatosis both of which may be fatal to your pet.

Rabbit diets contain:
Wheatfeed, Oateed, Lucerne, Wheat, Sunflower Ext, Dired Carrot, Herb Mix, Fructo-Oligiosaccharide, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Vitamis & Minerals, (plus glucosamine in VetPet Rabbit Diet with Glucosamine).

Typical Analysis
Oil 3.0%, Protein 12.0%, Fibre 16.0%, Ash 8.5%, Calcium 0.6%, Phosphorous 0.45%, Vitamin A 14000 iu/kg, Vitamin D3 1600 iu/kg, Vitami E 50 iu/kg, Copper sulphate (cupric) 20mg/kg (plus glucosamine 1g/kg, in VetPet Diet with Glucosamine).

Feeding Guide
A supply of fresh hay, limited amount of green vegetables and clean water should be available at all times. It is important that you weigh your rabbit on a regular basis to ensure the correct daily amount is being fed. You should aim to maintain a consistent weight in an adult rabbit. We recommend you feed 20-30gm per kilo per day (Pregnant/lactating does may require a higher dosage). For typical rabbit breed weights see www.alstoe.co.uk. If you have any concerns regarding your pets weight please consult your veterinary surgeon.