Pet Advice & FAQ’s

How often should I have my pet vaccinated?
We recommend that your cat or dog is vaccinated against infectious diseases annually. The annual vaccination is also an opportunity for the vet to give your pet a thorough health examination and for you to ask any questions concerning their health or behaviour. We advise that rabbits should be vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorragic Disease (VHD) annually.
Do I need to have my dog vaccinated against Kennel Cough?

Kennel Cough is a highly infectious disease that dogs may catch whilst in social situations or staying in kennels and if caught will need veterinary treatment. We advise that any dog visiting kennels is vaccinated against this disease. The vaccination we use lasts for 12 months

When can my puppy, kitten or rabbit have their first vaccination?

Your puppy can receive its first vaccinations at 8 weeks old. The second part of the vaccination is given either 2 or 4 weeks later depending on which 1st Vaccination was given. Ideally, puppies need to remain inside and not socialise with other animals for 2 weeks after the 2nd injection.

Your kitten can have its first vaccination from 9 weeks old. The second part of the vaccination is given three weeks later and we recommend that your kitten remains inside and does not mix with other animals for 2 weeks after the 2nd injection.

Your rabbit can have its first vaccinations from 6 weeks old

What age can my dog, cat or rabbit be neutered?

Bitches can be spayed from 6 months old and we recommend that dogs are neutered/castrated from 9-12 months of age dependent on the size of the dog (9 months for smaller breed dogs and 12 months for larger breed dogs). If a bitch has already had her first season, we advise you wait for 2 months after the season has ended before having her spayed.

Male and female cats can be neutered from 6 months old. Cats can still be neutered if they are in season.

Rabbits can be neutered from 4 months onwards. Apart from preventing unwanted offspring, it may help to improve the temperament of rabbits who are more difficult to handle.

What is Fly Strike in rabbits?

Fly-Strike is more common in warmer weather and it occurs when the rabbit becomes dirty around its rear end. Flies lay eggs in the soiled area which then hatch out into maggots and these then eat their way into the rabbits skin. This process usually occurs extremely quickly and is often not noticed by the owner. If immediate Veterinary attention is not sought, then this condition can often be fatal. We advise that you check your rabbit every day for signs of Fly-strike and discuss preventative treatments with your vet.

How regularly should I treat my pet for fleas?

We recommend that you treat your dog and cat for fleas every month. Don’t forget that fleas are present all year round, so it is important to continue the treatment during the winter months.

I have found fleas on my cat or dog, what should I do?

We recommend you contact the Surgery for advice. It is important to treat both your pets and your house immediately and continue with repeat treatments to avoid further infestations.

How regularly should I treat my pet for worms?

Puppies and kittens need to start being wormed from 2 weeks old and then they need to continue being treated for worms every 2 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. They then need to be wormed every 4 weeks until they are 6 months old.

Cats and dogs need to be wormed every 3 months.

Rabbits need to be wormed every 4 months.

What is Microchipping?

A Microchip is a tiny capsule inserted under the skin at the back of the animals neck. The chip contains a unique number that can be read by a hand held scanner. Vets, Police and Rescue Centers all have scanners and the first thing they will do if a stray animal is handed in, is to check for a Microchip.

From 6th April 2016, it became a legal requirement for ALL dogs to be microchipped and registered on a database by 8 weeks old. Failure to comply with this legislation, could mean the authorities giving an owner 21 days to rectify the situation, after which they could issue a £500 fine. If you move house or rehome your dog, the new details need to be registered on a microchip database.

What should I look for when taking out pet insurance?

Not all pet Insurance is the same, there are three main types of cover to consider:

  • Maximum Benefit Cover – cover is provided up to a maximum amount per condition, therefore complex and skilled medical procedures that often require referral to Specialists may not be covered.
  • Time limited Policies – usually have a 12 month limit on paying for a condition, therefore, long term conditions such as arthritis, dermatitis or diabetes will not be covered after 12 months.
  • Lifetime Policies – these policies allow you to claim year after year for your pet’s treatment provided you renew your policy each year without a break in cover.  Therefore, if your pet developed an ongoing condition such as diabetes, the Veterinary Fees benefit would re-fresh each year for the rest of the pet’s life.         At Barnhouse, we are affiliated with Pet Plan Insurance who offer a Lifetime (cover for life) policy.
How do I order Food or Medication?

Please ring us to place any food or medication orders.  We ask that you allow at least 24 hours to enable items to be ordered and delivered to us.  Please collect any orders after 1pm. 

What should I do if my pet needs emergency treatment?

Please call us immediately on 01244 335550 and we will advise you.  If we are closed, our answerphone message will provide you with the details of our Out of Hours Emergency Service provider MiNightVet.  For further information please go to the ‘Emergencies’ section on our website.

My pet has had its first vaccination at the breeders, what happens at the second vaccination?

We can arrange for the second vaccination to be given so please call us to book in.  At the second vaccination your pet will receive a health check,  you have the opportunity to ask any questions and you can discuss any issues or concerns. 

What is VHD in Rabbits?

VHD is spread via contact with other rabbits, through the air or by insect bites.  There are two strains of RVHD and our vaccine covers both.  Sadly both strains are lethal and therefore we strongly advise that you vaccinate your rabbit against both strains.  Unfortunately, the disease causes internal bleeding and sudden death for the rabbit. 

What is Myxomatosis in Rabbits?

Myxomatosis is a highly contagious disease spread by fleas and wild rabbits and unfortunately is usually fatal.   The only way to protect your rabbit is by the annual Myxomatosis vaccination. 

How many times am I allowed to order Repeat Prescriptions?

This is on a case by case basis and depends on the medication that your pet is taking. The Vet will advise you at the time of treatment. 


Written Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may obtain prescription only medicines veterinary (POM-V’s) from your veterinary surgeon OR ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or pharmacy.  The charge for a written prescription is *£16 including VAT per item.


Your veterinary surgeon may prescribe POM-V’s only for animals under their care.  A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or immediate treatment is necessary.  You will be informed on request, of the price of any medicine that may be dispensed for your animal. 


*Correct at this time, but may be subject to change. 

What are the requirements for my pet to travel to the EU?
  • Pet travel to the EU changed on 1st January 2021 and EU Pet Passports are no longer valid for entry onto the EU.  An Animal Health Certificate (AHC) will now have to be issued by your Vet and we can provide this service. 
  • The cost is £160 per certificate, which covers up to 5 pets.
  • General Rules for all countries: Pets need to be vaccinated against rabies and also must be microchipped. Pets must be at least 12 weeks old to travel and cannot travel until 21 days after they have had their rabies vaccination.
  • An AHC is valid 4 months from the date of issue and allows up to 5 pets to travel on the one AHC.
  • Dogs travelling to Northern Ireland, Ireland, Malta and Finland also require a tapeworm treatment, which needs to be given 1-5 days before leaving the UK.  
  • Returning to the UK: dogs will require a treatment for tapeworm 1-5 days before entry and this needs to be issued by a Vet in the country of departure.  This needs to be entered on the AHC.
  • Pets that are in the EU after the 1st January 2021 can enter the UK with a current valid UK passport. 
  • Please give as much notice as possible when booking ahead for an AHC.
  • Visit the DEFRA website for further information and advice.
Are you able to provide an Animal Health Certificate for travel to the EU?

Yes we can provide this service at Barnhouse. The cost  for this service is £180 per certificate, which covers up to 5 pets. 

For more information, please refer to the Q&A  ‘What are the requirements for my pet to travel to the EU?  Alternatively, please call us to discuss your planned travel.