News & Info

New Year Animal Health Checklist


Happy New Year, I hope your new year resolutions are on track! For your animals I thought I’d put together a primary health checklist so you can make sure they get the best start to the year.



Have you got a new pet? Is your pet going into a cattery/kennel this year, or taking part in a show/competition? Are you going to breed from her? Is your cat vaccinated for FIV? Do you own rabbits? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions you’ll need to get vaccinations done. Also if your pet has not been vaccinated in the last 3 years it’ll be due now. By keeping your pet immunised you will not only protect it from some nasty diseases, but you’ll also help keep the whole community free of diseases like parvo, distemper, kennel cough and snuffles. In the human population we see diseases like measles and mumps surfacing where more than 30% of the population are unvaccinated, and the same principle holds true for our pets. I have little sympathy for those who won’t vaccinate, after working in places where infectious diseases are a lot more common than here. Many of the younger New Zealand vets have never seen distemper, let’s try to keep it that way!


I can’t think of a single factor that influences our health more than this. We are literally what we eat. Over the course of my career I’ve seen the average life span of dogs and cats increase by around 2 years, mainly due to better diets. We do food deliveries around the Peninsula, and we would be happy to advise on what food is best for your pet. Also please make sure your animal is not overweight, you wouldn’t want to kill them with kindness, and just like in humans obesity in pets is much too common. This predisposes to metabolic and arthritic problems, Fortunately we don’t see too many underweight animals, although occasionally this can be a problem with working dogs.


Parasite control

You should be deworming and defleaing your pet at least quarterly. This also protects you and your family from some serious zoonotic diseases. To help you remember we offer a worm and flea mailout programme you can sign up to.


Senior Health Checks

If your dog or cat is over 7 years we should be seeing them for a health check each year. We are more likely to see problems in this age group like dental disease, lumps and bumps, weight and mobility issues. It’s also a good idea to get a senior blood panel done which checks the function of their internal organs. It’s always easier to start treatment or make dietary changes early, rather than too far into the course of a disease.


Breeding, or not

Unless you plan to breed, there are many good health and behavioural reasons for desexing your pet. If you do intend to breed you need to ensure vaccinations and dewormings are done at the correct time, and that you are feeding the right diet. We can help with advice here, or see my article on birthing and midwifery.


I wish you and all your animals a year full of good health and happiness.




Featured link

David Attenborough puts his unique slant on clubbing rituals

We've created an online portal to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions or pet food and other animal health products. You can also view invoices and statements as well as update your and your animal's details.

Now you can like us on facebook to receive regular updates (including the monthly news article) and interact with us online

We have beautiful cat greeting cards available to help fund our kitten rehoming and stray cat desexing work. Thanks to Cat Rescue Christchurch  who also generously pay for many of our surgeries on strays! You can hire stock signs for your car or to put on the road, as well as orange flashing beacons and hi-viz vests from us to comply with the new regulations when moving stock. We've recently put shingle down in the parking area and made it drive through so please park inside and tell us what you think! Also have you noticed our freshly painted roof?

We have moved to 3328 Christchurch-Akaroa Rd near the Birdlings Flat turnoff, watch out for our big sign, you can't miss it. We have a much bigger range of foods and animal health products, including the BlackHawk working dog food at great prices. Our cattery is also open and looking great.

We have an inhouse blood analyzer at the clinic, so we can run many tests while you wait. This allows us to offer pre-anaesthetic testing as well as health screening for older animals, and provide an emergency service afterhours and weekends when the Christchurch laboratory is closed. We can also determine mineral levels in down cows. We also now have a portable ultrasound scanner, good news for pregnancy testing.

We once again have the cheap mismating injection available for bitches. This has been off the market for a few years now, but Paul has been able to have some compounded. We have some ideas to help you save on animal health expenses- ask us about very competitively priced BlackHawk farm dog food specially designed at Massey for NZ working dogs, and get to feed a premium, performance enhancing brand. Also the RFID electronic ear tags are now compulsory for cattle and deer. Ask us about ordering NAIT tags for your stock, or about the new tagging requirements. There is a lot more flexibility in what visible tags are acceptable- they don't all have to be yellow! We are able to procure eartags at below recommended retail prices.

We also have a large range of Acana/Orijen, Hills Science Diet and BlackHawk dog and cat food in stock. Paul can deliver to Akaroa on Mondays and Thursdays and to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays.

Animal health information - Archives

Please contact us if you’d like copies of any of these. Many are now available to view as posts on Paul's Linkedin page. Also let us know if you’d like to see any other topics featured here.

A different perspective, Animal welfare, Accidental poisonings, Arthritis, Allergies, Above & beyond, After Hours, Akaroa or bust

Becoming a vet, Birthing & midwifery, Be wormwise this Autumn

Calici vaccination update- rabbits

Dental care, De sexing, Dogs, sheep measles & farm etiquette

External parasites, Euthanasia, EID's, Equine deworming recommendations & autumn animal health advice

First aid in animals. FIV and Feline Leukaemia, Five Freedoms

Grain Poisoning

Happy to be stuck with you, Human-animal bond, Heat Stroke

Internal parasites, Is it too late to spay or neuter my pet? Internet & Google- the good the bad and the ugly, It shouldn't happen to a vet

Kitten rehoming

Lamb rearing

Mafikeng rhino, Memories of Mafikeng, Mr Talkative, Mycoplasma bovis , Microchipping,

Nutrition, Nutrition in pet rabbits, New Year Animal Health Checklist

Obesity in pets, Onwards & upwards

Poisons in the pantry, primary health care, Plant poisonings, Pigs rule, Pig's Ear, Pathology & blood testing, Pet statistics in NZ

Rabbit calicivirus, Ramped up rhino, Resistance-squandering a miracle, Road block

Senior wellnessSheep measles

Tapeworm, TB in NZ, The nasties, The big move, The Challenge of Diamond Harbour, The thief, The Driving Lesson, Technology at work, Tom cat vasectomy

Urinary problems in cats

Vets’ cars, vaccination principles- ruminants, Vaccination of dogs & cats, Vet lifestyler

War wounds, Why vaccinate?, World veterinary year, World vaccination guidelines, Wild & stray cats

Yoghurtised milk recipe