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Author: Sarah Heather

Puppy Preventive Healthcare

Puppy Vaccination & Safe Socialisation Guidelines

Newtown Veterinary Clinic offers a preventative healthcare program tailored to the unique needs of your pet. This program is based on current research and recommendations from global vaccination guidelines and information from vaccine and preventative care medication manufacturers.

The guidelines are continually evolving, and recommendations may vary depending on disease prevalence, environmental conditions and your puppy’s lifestyle and risk of disease exposure. Our vets work collaboratively with pet owners to create the best preventative healthcare plan.

There are 4 main infectious diseases that we routinely vaccinate for:

  • Canine Parvovirus (aka. Parvo)
  • Canine Infectious Hepatitis (aka Adenovirus)
  • Canine Distemper Virus (aka Distemper)
  • Canine Cough (aka Kennel cough)
    • Bordetella Bronchisepta 
    • Parainfluenza Virus

We vaccinate for Parvo, Distemper and Adenovirus because they have the propensity to become very severe, even fatal, in dogs and even more so in puppies. Through routine vaccination, we can minimise the likelihood of your pet contracting these diseases.

Kennel Cough is caused by two main viral factors (some bacteria are also involved; however, we cannot vaccinate against bacteria). It is a disease that is spread rapidly through large congregations of dogs (such as those in a boarding kennel or at a dog park). It causes clinical signs of coughing with lots of mucous production. Through vaccination, these clinical signs can be minimised, and the effects disease lessened.

Vaccinations for puppies require a total of 3 boosters.
The timeline for these is as follows:

  • 1st vaccination: 6-8 weeks of age
  • 2nd vaccination: 10-12 weeks of age
  • 3rd vaccination: 16 weeks of age
  • Adult vaccinations: occur yearly after the completion of the 3rd puppy vaccine 

The chart at the end of this document displays how this coincides with other preventative healthcare measures.

Parasites (Internal and External)
There are 4 main parasites that we prevent for:

  • Fleas
  • Ticks / mites
  • Intestinal worms
  • Heartworm

Current recommendations suggest that puppies should receive a worming product once every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old, then once a month until they are 6 months old, and finally at regular intervals for life. Some products require monthly application, others require once every 3 months. Your vet/nurses will discuss with you which option may be best for your family.

Fleas and Ticks/Mites
These parasites attach to the animal on the skin. These ectoparasites are easily prevented by the application of a parasite prevention product.

Intestinal Worms
Dogs can be affected by a few different kinds of worms, namely roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tapeworm. All of these find homes in the intestines of our pets and can cause varying signs of disease (some cause diarrhoea, others cause intestinal bleeding). These intestinal parasites can be prevented by the application of a parasite prevention product.

As is suggested by the name, heartworm is a worm that lives in the heart. This worm can go undetected, and some animals can live with this parasite and never show clinical signs. However, for those that do show clinical signs, treatment options are limited. It is for this reason that we strongly suggest finding a parasite prevention product which covers heartworm in addition to the intestinal worms and ectoparasites.

All puppies require a diet that is rich in nutrients and suited to the needs of growing. As such, we recommend a diet that is specifically for puppies. Your vet can assist you in choosing a pet food suited for your family.

Desexing is not recommended before 6 months of age. When to desex your dog does depend on various factors including breed, size and health. We will discuss the ideal time to desex your dog to ensure the best outcome.

We advocate for the early socialisation of puppies between 6 and 16 weeks of age, which is the essential learning stage for behavioural development.
For all puppy social experiences before vaccinations are complete, owners should maintain vigilance by following these steps:

  • Avoid areas frequently visited by dogs with unknown vaccination or disease status
  • Early socialisation is best achieved if you know and can organise socialisation with other puppies or dogs that are known to be healthy and vaccinated

NVC’s Puppy Preschool classes are conducted in a safe and clean environment, each puppy that attends must be up to date with vaccinations. This is the best way to ensure we don’t exposure you puppy to any potential illnesses and diseases. 

All dogs are required to be microchipped. Most often, the microchip is implanted when the puppies are still with the breeder. It is the new owner’s responsibility to ensure that the details are updated. This requires a “change of ownership” form to be completed. Once this form is completed, it must be submitted to council, where it will be processed and updated on the registry. 
Our team can assist you in checking that your details are up-to-date.

Recommended Timing of Vaccinations (based on World Veterinary Vaccination Guidelines)

Dental SPA


A Dental SPA Day at Newtown Vet Clinic involves a Scale & Polish and Assessment of your pets teeth.

Once the Vet has assesed the health of your pets teeth, we are able to book your pet in for a SPA. Under general anaesthetic we do a full mouth of radiographs and scale and polish the teeth. We chart the mouth and make a plan for any future oral surgery/extractions that may be required.

At Newtown Veterinary Clinic, we like to provide options to our clients. Dental disease can often be hidden beneath the gum line, making it difficult to assess its extent without radiographs. These X-rays allow us to accurately evaluate your pet’s oral health and determine the necessary treatments.

When we usually book your pet’s dental procedure, we send through an estimate of the costs as prices for oral surgery can vary. Your pet may require no extractions or multiple extractions, resulting in a wide range of potential costs. We understand that the uncertainty around costs can be concerning for many pet owners.
A Dental SPA means your pet has their scale, polish and assessment including radiographs first, this allows us to see if extractions are required, and we can schedule this next procedure for a few weeks time.
This saves you money as the radiographs and scale and polish are not repeated, the extractions are planned and a definitive dental cost provided for the procedure.

We will always call you during the procedure, to inform you of any teeth that need to be extracted and the associated costs. You will be able to make the decision if you would like to continue with the extractions at this time or schedule for a later date. This cost is in addition to the Dental Spa fee and priced based on oral surgery time.
Note-: we do not like to continue dental procedures beyond 2 hours. If the required oral surgery is extensive, then we will sometimes stage the procedure to ensure safety for our patients under anaesthetic.

Dog Care

Dog Care

Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. They offer companionship, loyalty, and affection that is unmatched by any other animal. However, owning a dog is not just about having a cute pet to play with – it comes with a great deal of responsibility.

Before you decide to adopt a dog, it is important to do your research and choose a breed that best suits your lifestyle. Different breeds have different temperaments, energy levels, and health concerns, and it is crucial to find a dog that fits your living situation and activity level.

Once you have brought your new furry friend home, there are several important aspects of their care to consider. Firstly, we strongly recommend that you look into pet insurance for your new dog, this can help you cover unexpected veterinary bills and provide peace of mind.
It is essential to keep your dog in a secure area such as a dog-proof yard or indoor space, your dog should never be left unsupervised when tethered. We have a checklist of what you will need for your new pet here.

All dogs need daily exercise and mental stimulation, including socialisation with people and other dogs, to avoid behavioural and health problems. It is also important to ensure that your dog receives regular veterinary care, including routine health checks and vaccinations, desexing, and flea & worm control.

Regular grooming and brushing keeps your dog looking and feeling good, it also promotes good health. Helping to remove dust, dead skin, loose hairs, grass seeds, preventing tangles, skin irritation, matting, and other coat problems.
Nutrition is important for your dog’s overall wellbeing. A healthy and balanced diet is essential, providing protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. If you are unsure what to feed your dog, make an appointment with us to discuss the best options for your particular breed.
Dental care is a crucial aspect of your dog’s overall health and well-being. Tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth can lead to more serious dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. To prevent these issues, it’s important to establish a regular dental care routine for your furry friend, you can read about how to brush your dog’s teeth here. In addition to regular brushing, other ways to promote good dental health for your dog is through chew toys, antlers and dental treats. It is important to choose the right products for your dog’s size, age, and dental health.

Our team are always happy to discuss your current or future pets health care. We can provide advice on everything from nutrition and behavior to vaccinations and grooming.

Dog Rehab


Dog Rehabilitation

Dogs are very resilient creatures, but sometimes they need help recovering from an injury, illness or a bit of extra support for our senior arthritic friends. This is where canine rehabilitation comes in.

What is canine rehabilitation?

Canine rehabilitation is a form of physical therapy that focuses on restoring a dog’s mobility, strength, function and can give relief from pain and discomfort. 
Rehab can help dogs recover faster and more completely than if they were left to heal on their own.
It can also help prevent future injuries by strengthening muscles and improving their range of motion. Dogs of all ages can benefit from rehabilitation, from puppies with developmental issues to senior dogs with arthritis.

What does rehabilitation involve?

Rehabilitation involves a specifically trained vet nurse working with the dog to complete a combination of therapeutic exercises and techniques to help regain their mobility, strength, and function.
The rehab nurse will create and implement a rehabilitation plan that is tailored to your dog’s specific needs, they will monitor the dog’s progress and make adjustments to the plan as needed. They can also provide owners with guidance on how to continue rehabilitation exercises at home.

What exercises and techniques does my dog complete?

Depending on the requirements and plan for your dog’s rehabilitation, there are a number of options for exercises and techniques that will be personally tailored to fit your dogs needs. 

We also have the option to measure and fit your dog for a custom made brace to support their recovery.

Brace wearing – A brace is a specialised device designed to provide support and aid in the rehabilitation of dogs with injuries or conditions affecting their limbs. Such as hip dysplasia, arthritis and ligament tears. These braces are often used to support the joint or limb affected by the injury or condition, reducing pain and inflammation, and promoting healing and recovery. In addition to providing support and facilitating healing, they can also help prevent further injury by stabilising the affected limb or joint during physical activity

Range of motion exercises – ROM exercises aim to maintain or improve the motion and flexibility of their joints. The ROM can be assessed by gently manipulating each joint in a dog’s body through its natural flow of movement.

Strengthening exercises – These exercises help build a dog’s strength and muscle mass to improve their balance and coordination, and enhance their overall physical fitness.

Balance and coordination exercises  These may involve standing on a balance board or performing other activities that challenge a dog’s stability to help improve their physical fitness and coordination. 

Hydrotherapy – Hydrotherapy involves using water’s resistance to help dogs recover from injuries. It can help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and increase range of motion, while exercising in a low impact environment. 

Massage therapy – Massage therapy can help reduce pain and stiffness in dogs. It can also help improve circulation and promote relaxation.

If your dog is in need of rehabilitation, having someone to offer encouragement and guidance can make all the difference. 
Talk to us about how our rehab nurse can help get you and your furry friend off on the right paw. 


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Insuring your Pet

Pets are part of our families, they bring joy, companionship, and unconditional love. However, as much as we love them, they can also become a financial burden if they require unexpected medical attention. This is where pet insurance comes in. Pet insurance can help you cover unexpected veterinary bills and provide peace of mind in knowing that your pet will receive the best possible care without the added stress of a financial burden.

Pet Insurance provides financial protection, like humans, pets can fall ill or get injured unexpectedly. In some cases, these illnesses or injuries can require expensive medical attention, such as surgeries or hospitalisations. Pet insurance can help you cover these costs, ensuring that your pet receives the necessary care without breaking the bank. It can also:

  • Prevent difficult decisions: When faced with a sick or injured pet, the last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for their care. Without pet insurance, you may be forced to make difficult decisions about your pet’s treatment or even consider euthanasia if the cost of treatment is too high. Pet insurance can prevent these difficult decisions by providing the financial support you need to provide your pet with the best possible care.
  • Cover a variety of treatments: Pet insurance can cover a wide range of treatments, including surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, and potentially even alternative therapies like acupuncture or hydrotherapy. This means that no matter what your pet needs, you can rest assured that you will be able to provide it without worrying about the cost.
  • Save money in the long run: While pet insurance does require a monthly premium, it can save you money in the long run by reducing the cost of unexpected veterinary bills. By paying a small amount each month, you can avoid large bills down the road, which can be especially important if your pet requires ongoing medical care.
  • Provide peace of mind: Perhaps most importantly, pet insurance provides peace of mind. You never know when your pet may require unexpected medical attention, and having pet insurance can provide comfort in knowing that you will be able to provide them with the care they need without the added stress of a financial burden.

Pet insurance is an important investment for pet owners. It can provide financial protection, prevent difficult decisions, cover a wide range of treatments, save money in the long run, and provide peace of mind. So, if you haven’t already, consider investing in pet insurance for your furry friend, have a chat with us today.

Traveling With Pets

Taking a road trip with your pet in Australia can be a great way to explore the country and create lasting memories with your furry friend. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared and have everything you need to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your pet.

Here are some tips for road tripping with your pet in Australia:

  • Plan your route and accommodation in advance
    Before hitting the road, plan out your route and make sure you know where you’ll be staying along the way. Look for pet-friendly accommodations, such as hotels or campgrounds, and make sure you book in advance to ensure availability. Remember pets are not allowed into National Parks.
  • Pack for your pet’s needs
    Make sure you pack all the essentials your pet will need for the trip, such as food, water, bowls, toys, and bedding. It’s also important to bring any necessary medication and a first aid kit for emergencies. We can help with a first aid kit.
  • Ensure your pet is comfortable during the drive
    Make sure your pet is comfortable during the drive by providing them with a comfortable spot to rest and plenty of ventilation. If your pet gets anxious during car rides, consider using a calming spray like Adaptil or bringing along their favorite toy or blanket to help them feel more secure.
  • Take breaks and give your pet exercise
    It’s important to take breaks every few hours to give your pet a chance to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. Look for rest stops or dog parks along your route where your pet can get some exercise and play.
  • Follow the local laws and regulations

It’s important to be aware of the potential risks of certain diseases that your pet may encounter. One of the most common and dangerous diseases is tick paralysis. The ixodes holocyclus tick is located on the eastern seaboard of Victoria, this causes an ascending paralysis that is fatal if not treated. Bravecto and Nexgard spectra are two effective flea/tick preventatives we recommend to help reduce the chance of a tick bite.
Heartworm, which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes is another potentially fatal disease. Heartworm can cause serious damage to your pet’s heart, lungs, and other organs, and can even be fatal if left untreated. To protect your pet from heartworm, make sure they are up-to-date on their preventative medication, this is available in various forms, including pills, topical treatments, and injections. Speak with us about the best option for your pet and make sure to administer it as directed.

In addition to heartworm disease and paralysis tick, there is a new emerging disease in Australia called Ehrlichliosis. This disease is transmitted by the bite of the brown dog tick and causes potentially fatal disease including organ shutdown, Bravecto and Nextgard are recommended for dogs traveling into the northern parts of Australia.

Whilst we have no treatments to prevent encounters with cane toads, they also pose a threat to our domestic pets. The toxin they excrete on the backs is dangerous when ingested. If a dog was to mouth or bite a cane toad they will likely be exposed. So keep your pets on leash and be aware of toads, snakes, spiders, crocodiles and other deadly creatures found in Australia.

Overall, traveling with your pet can be a wonderful experience, but it’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep them safe and healthy. By staying informed and prepared, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for both you and your furry friend.
It is so important for you to see us before you travel so our team can ensure you have all the information you need for a safe adventure!

Parasite Protection

You can sign up to the Parasite Prevention Program, which sends you out monthly parasite control so you never forget an application!

Intestinal Worms

When it comes to intestinal worms in your pet, such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworm and tapeworm, prevention is much better than cure.
Intestinal worms are parasites, if your pet is not protected they can easily become infected resulting in serious illness. Some intestinal worms are also transmittable to humans, simply by patting your infected pet the parasites can infect you.

The worms affect your dog or cat’s digestive system, and only take a couple of weeks to mature from larvae to adult worms. Once the larvae have matured the cycle begins, the worms lay eggs which mature into adult worms etc.
It can be difficult to see symptoms of an intestinal parasite until the late stages, which is why it is important to have regular worm treatment in place.

Signs your pet could have worms include:

  • You may see worms in faeces or vomit
  • Your pet starts losing weight
  • A change in fur, becoming dry and coarse
  • Increased appetite, weakness and diarrhoea

If you notice any of these symptoms make an appointment for a consult, we will assess your pet and ensure the appropriate treatment is provided.
There are so many different worming and parasite protection products on the market, you can make an appointment to discuss the best option for your dog or cat with one of our nursing team.


Fleas are external parasites that live on the coat and skin of animals and survive by feeding on the blood of their host. What can start as 1 or 2 fleas can quickly turn into an infestation, and breaking the life cycle of the fleas can take months as the flea eggs can lay dormant for up to 6 months.
Initially, the fleas will cause small irritations from biting your pet, if not quickly treated this can lead to severe itchiness, secondary skin infections and even anaemia!

As with all parasites, prevention is the key. It is very important to discuss the best preventative treatment for your pet with us, there is a huge amount of options on the market. Some products are not cat friendly, others can vary in frequency of application, depend on the weight of your pet, and have options of spot-on or tablet treatments. We can recommend the best product to suit your lifestyle and send you reminders when your animal is due for their next treatment, ensuring you stay on top of the medication.


Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal disease that affects dogs and cats. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis, which is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

The life cycle of the heartworm is complex and involves several stages. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up microfilariae, which are immature heartworms, along with its blood meal. The microfilariae develop into infective larvae inside the mosquito and are then transmitted to a new host when the mosquito bites again.

Once inside the new host, the larvae migrate to the heart and lungs, where they grow into adult worms. As the worms mature in the heart they can cause physical blockages and thickening of the heart and associated blood vessels, leading to a range of symptoms including coughing, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, heartworm infection can result in heart failure and death.

Fortunately, there are very effective preventative treatment options available including tablets, chews, spot-on’s and even an annual injection for dogs administered by one of our vets. If your pet has not been on heartworm prevention we strongly recommend a heartworm test prior to starting a prevention program, followed by a repeat test 6 months after commencing.

Regular heartworm testing is also recommended for dogs and cats, even if they are already on a preventative regimen. Testing can detect the presence of heartworms before clinical signs appear, allowing for early treatment and better outcomes.

Please call us to discuss the best parasite prevention for your pet

Common Household Toxins


There are lots of things around the house that can be toxic to your cat or dog, it is important to know what they are so you can keep them out of reach. If you suspect or know that your dog has ingested something toxic, call us for advice. We can assess your pet and induce vomiting to get the toxins out of your pet’s system, we can also hospitalise your pet if they require further support.

Chocolate is the first one that comes to mind when you think about food that is poisonous to dogs, but there are a number of other human foods and products that are also toxic to dogs

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Grapes and grapes products such as sultanas
  • Fruit stones inc apple seeds, cherry pips, peach, apricot and plum stones
  • Coffee and caffeine
  • Xylitol (sugar-free sweetener)
  • Alcohol
  • Potato peelings, green potatoes and rhubarb leaves
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts including macadamia nuts
  • Tobacco
  • Corn cobs
  • Spoiled or mouldy food

Besides foods, there are other items found around the house that are toxic to pets

  • Detergents and cleaning products
  • Human drugs and medication eg vitamins, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Ventolin
  • Some plants and flowers like lilies, tulips and daffodils to name a few
  • Batteries
  • Baits like rat and snail bait

If your pet is displaying signs they have eaten something toxic, like vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking, seizures or trouble breathing call us so we can assess your pet. If it is outside of our business hours call Geelong Animal Emergency.

Call Now – 03 5221 5333

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Mast Cell Tumor Treatment

Mast Cell Tumor Treatment

Newtown Veterinary Clinic was involved in the early trial work for a now registered Mast Cell Tumor treatment drug. The Veterinary registered drug is injected directly into the tumor mass.  Treatment is performed under sedation and generally only requires only a half day of hospitalization. As a result of these trials, the team at NVC has treated over 200 animals.

During the treatment process, we support you with regular follow-up checks during the tumor breakdown period and are available on the phone 6 days per week.  Virbac also provides access to a technical veterinarian should help be required when we are not available.

If you would like to discuss the potential use of this treatment in your dog, then please call the clinic and schedule an appointment.


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