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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What areas does Hermitage Veterinary Clinic serve?

Based in Lucan we are within easy reach of Adamstown, Palmerston, Clondalkin, Chapelizod, Clonee, Leixlip and Celbridge. Please contact the clinic on 01 601 0060 if you need directions to find us.

Do you do operations at Hermitage Veterinary Clinic?

Yes our vets operate Monday – Friday. We carry out routine operations like neutering as well as more complex surgeries like cruciate ligament repair or lump removals. For more information on surgery at Hermitage Vets click here.

How much does it cost to see the vet?

Please ask for a price when you book your appointment. Our initial consultation fee at Hermitage Vets is €42. However there is varied pricing for vaccinations, nail trims, rechecks etc so when you book in just ask for a price.

I’ve got a new puppy, what vaccines does he need?

All puppies need at least two vaccines. They can start their primary vaccinations from 6 weeks old and can complete the course as early as 10-12 weeks of age. We also recommend a vaccine at 16-18 weeks of age. The first annual booster will then be due when your puppy is 16 months of age. We can advise you what your puppy needs and when, depending on whether they have received any vaccinations before coming to you.

These vaccinations protect puppies and adult dogs from life threatening diseases, the most common of these being parvovirus. If a puppy is not fully vaccinated it is dangerous for them to mix with other dogs or to be in public places. It is a common misconception that puppies can only get sick from direct contact with other dogs.

If you are not sure if your puppy has had a full set of vaccinations call into us with your vaccination record and we can advise you. On completing puppy vaccinations every adult dog is then given one booster vaccine per year, to ensure continued protection.

I’ve got a new kitten, what vaccines does she need?

All kittens need at least two vaccines. They can start their primary course from 9 weeks old and complete it at 12 weeks old. We advise a 3rd vaccine at 16 weeks of age.  We can advise what vaccines your kitten will need depending on whether they have received vaccines before coming to you and whether they will be outdoor or indoor cats.

Just like puppies, these vaccines protect kittens from life threatening diseases. So it is dangerous to let kittens out or mix with other cats before completing their primary vaccinations.

Having completed kitten vaccines all adult cats receive an annual booster vaccine which ensures continued protection. If you are not sure what vaccines your kitten needs please call into us with your vaccination record and we’ll be happy to advise you.

Why neuter/spay and what’s involved?

We recommend neutering all cats and dogs unless their owner plans to breed from them. We advise this for two main reasons:

  1. to prevent health problems when they are older
  2. to reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies in Ireland.

Female cats and dogs:
It has been proven that if female cats and dogs are neutered before they have their first heat (or have a season) they are highly unlikely to get mammary cancer later in life, the equivalent of breast cancer. Neutering also prevents nasty life threatening womb infections. When we neuter or spay female cats and dogs we make an incision in their tummy and remove their ovaries and uterus (womb). After being neutered females will not come into season and cannot get pregnant.

Male cats and dogs:
In male animals the incidence of testicular cancer and prostate problems is significantly reduced by neutering. In the case of male cats neutering, particularly if it is done at 6 months old, reduces the incidence of spraying and roaming. Unneutering male cats and dogs are more likely to stray and get into fights- which for cats can lead to contracting nasty life threatening viruses like FIV or FeLV. When we neuter male dogs and cats we remove both testicles through a small skin incision.

What happens when it’s time to say goodbye to a pet?

We know that this is the most difficult and most heartbreaking part of owning a pet. If you are not sure whether the time is right please talk to our staff – we are happy to advise and sometimes there’s hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.

If and when a decision is made we will try to book your pet in at a quiet time during the day. Most of our team have unfortunately been in your shoes and know how painful it is. It is so important to us that you have a peaceful goodbye with your pet, spending as much time with them as you need.

If you would prefer us to come to you please contact us to arrange a home visit – we will try to convenience you as much as possible.

What’s involved?
Having discussed everything with you, our vet will usually get the nurse to help put in a small IV – this involves a little pinch on their paw and is completed in a few minutes. This means when we inject the medication it will go straight into your pet’s bloodstream and won’t hurt. We generally don’t need to give anything to relax pets unless they are very stressed. Every owner is different – some want to be with their pet while they are put to sleep, some do not. We will accommodate whatever you feel is right for you. Once we have our IV in place owners can hold their pets in their arms while they are put to sleep. It is generally a peaceful time – the medication is a version of an anaesthetic so the pet feels like they are going to sleep. Pet owners can take as long as they need with their pets after, often keeping their collar or cutting a lock of hair.

What happens after?
If you decide to have your pet cremated you have the option of getting their ashes back. Many pet owners find it incredibly comforting to get their pet back home. We will discuss the various options with you before we go ahead so you can make an informed decision.

Pet travel, what’s involved?

Happily it is now much easier to bring cats and dogs on holidays or move country within the EU. If you want to take your pet out of Ireland you will need to contact us to organise the following;

  1. Microchip your pet if not already done
  2. Obtain an EU pet passport
  3. Get your pet vaccinated for at least 21 days before travel

We would also advise that all annual vaccinations, including kennel cough are up to date. In addition it is important to make sure worming and parasite control is up to date as there are different parasitic diseases contractable on mainland Europe. Please ask us for advice.

It is very important that you liaise with your travel company regarding any other requirements they might have such as crate size.

When returning to Ireland from the EU dogs and cats must be treated for ticks and tapeworm by a vet between 24 and 86 hours before entering the country. Please ensure to find a registered vet to carry out this requirement before you come home.

Bon voyage!

Do you do home visits?

Yes we do home visits. Ideally we ask owners to give us 24 hours notice so we can book the extra time needed into our diary. However we do try to accommodate emergencies where possible. If an animal is very sick and requires treatment it is usually preferable to get them to come to us in the clinic. We are limited in what we can do in your home and may well need admit sick pets or do further tests in the clinic. Please contact us by telephone if you would like a home visit for your pet.

Are vaccines really necessary?

This a very common question and the answer is a resounding YES! Having worked in the veterinary industry for many years all of our staff have seen pets whose lives could have been saved by vaccination. Parvovirus, leptospirosis, FeLV, cat flu are all devastating diseases that cause enormous suffering to pets and heartbreak for their owners. On the other hand vaccine reactions are extremely few and far between thanks to extensive research. It has been proven that immunity to these diseases decreases after 12 months which is why we vaccinate once per year.

What’s kennel cough and do I need to vaccinate?

Kennel cough or Canine cough is a very contagious infection that causes a harsh, hoarse cough in dogs. It is very easy for dogs to contract kennel cough – it just requires nose to nose contact or shared airspace. Kennel cough can be contracted in parks, training classes, grooming salons, veterinary clinic waiting rooms, boarding kennels or just saying hello on a walk. While usually not life threatening it is unpleasant and often makes dogs feel very unwell. If you suspect your dog has kennel cough please contact us to make an appointment- the sooner we treat the better.

Do I need to vaccinate?
We would advise that all dogs are vaccinated for kennel cough. The vaccine lasts 12 months and prevents most strains of kennel cough. We see this disease very frequently and prevention is better than cure.

Why get your pet microchipped?

It is the law!

It is now a legal requirement to have all dogs microchipped and registered on an approved national database. We would advise that all dogs and cats are microchipped. It is also one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make for your pet. At least once or twice per week we have stray dogs brought into Hermitage Vets. Unfortunately the vast majority are not microchipped which means if an owner doesn’t come to claim them we have no choice but to send them to the pound. Despite common misconceptions the Dublin pound does not euthanase healthy dogs. However there is a risk that they will contract kennel cough or some other disease as a result of the changing population at a pound. There is also a significant possibility of your pet getting re-homed if you don’t claim him or her after a period of time.

All of this could be avoided by having your pet microchipped and registered to a reputable database. In these cases we scan your pet, find their microchip and search for your details on the relevant database. Then we get in touch and reunite you and your pet!

So in short – Microchip, microchip, microchip!!