In a previous blog, we talked about the importance of pet insurance. However, regular preventative healthcare prevents many problems from developing – but isn’t covered by insurance (even though in many cases regular vaccinations and worming are a requirement of your insurance policy).
That’s why we’ve launched the ProActive Pets health care plan, and have now rolled it out to all our branches. The plan is designed to do two things:
1. Spread the cost – vaccinations usually only need doing once a year, but it can be a lot of money all in one go. ProActive Pets lets you spread the cost over the whole year with a single monthly Direct Debit.
2. Save money! If you’re keeping up to date with worming, flea treatment and vaccination, the ProActive Pets scheme could save you up to £141.18 per year, or even more in the first year (as it includes discounted primary vaccinations).
So, what does the plan cover?
ALL of your pet’s preventative health needs, plus major discounts on other routine procedures!
Annual vaccination – essential to prevent serious and often life-threatening diseases:
Dogs on the plan all receive protection against:
- Canine Distemper (“Hardpad”) – a highly contagious infection with a high mortality rate that attacks the gut, respiratory system, skin and brain.
- Infectious Canine Hepatitis – a virus that attacks the blood vessels, especially those in the liver or kidneys, and can also cause damage to the eyes.
- Canine Parvovirus (“Parvo”) – the most common of the major infectious diseases in dogs, Parvo destroys the gut lining causing severe bloody vomiting and diarrhoea, dehydration and shock. Although most common in puppies, any unvaccinated dog is at risk.
- Leptospirosis – spread primarily by rat urine, this isn’t just infectious to dogs, but also to people, causing kidney and liver damage.
Meanwhile, the cats get cover for:
- Feline Calicivirus – a common cause of cat flu, although there are also some fatal strains of this virus.
- Feline Herpesvirus – another cat-flu virus, herpesvirus mainly attacks the nose and eyes. It can hide away inside the body for years after the cat has apparently recovered, only to reactivate at times of stress
- Feline Panleukopenia (also known as Feline Infectious Enteritis) is a close relative of Parvo in dogs, and causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as damaging the immune system.
- Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) is a “stealth virus” in that it hides away for months after infection, slowly rewriting the DNA of the cat’s white blood cells. Eventually it activates, unfortunately causing cancers to form and their immune system to collapse – 90% of infected cats will be dead within 3 years.
Treatment against external parasites, including:
- In both dogs and cats, fleas are the most common cause of itching. There are a number of very powerful prescription-medicines we can use nowadays to kill them, and these are included on the plan – but remember, 95% of the fleas are hidden away in your house! If you have a flea problem, it’s important to deal with the eggs, larvae and pupae as well as the adults. Fortunately, our vets and nurses will be able to advise you!
- In cats, tick treatment is available, but is less important than in dogs, if concerned please discuss with your vet.
- Roundworms – parasites that live in the gut, but their larvae crawl around inside the body, usually causing diarrhoea and weight loss, but sometimes more serious problems. Some species (e.g. Toxocara cati) can even invade humans (through handling contaminated soil, dog or cat faeces, or litter) and crawl into our brains or eyes! Dogs and cats usually contract these worms from their mothers when nursing, or even while still in the womb (puppies only), so worming against roundworms is doubly important in the first six months of life – all covered, of course.
- Tapeworms – these can be spread by eating infected live prey (rats and mice etc), or infected fleas (which carry the common Dipylidium caninum tapeworm). Tapeworms can grow to a huge size (many meters long) and cause weight loss, itchy bottoms (as the segments crawl out through the anus) and sometimes gut twists (intussusceptions) in younger animals.
- Lungworms are found in both dogs and cats, but while the cat version (Aelurostrongylus abstrusus) is relatively harmless, the dog lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) is often fatal. Protection for dogs against this parasite is built into our ProActive Pet Scheme because we do see cases here in London.
There are a range of other benefits though too – including:
Discounts on Tick treatment:
Always important in dogs, as these parasites not only suck blood (horrible things) but can spread some nasty diseases, such as Lyme Disease (causing fevers, rashes, and joint problems), and Babesia canis (which causes severe and sometimes fatal anaemia).
- 25% off neutering (did you know that a neutered bitch has a 26% longer lifespan, that two unneutered cats could have up to 40,000 descendents in just seven years, or that over 80% of unneutered rabbit does will develop womb cancer?).
- Up to 65% off kennel cough vaccination for dogs – infected dogs often cough for up to three weeks, spreading the disease as they go.
- £50 off all dental procedures.