FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
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  • Pet Nutrition: Can My Cat Be Vegan?

    Embarking on a vegan diet might be suitable for some people but what about our feline friends? The truth is that a cat cannot survive on a vegan diet. These diets simply do not provide all of the nutrients that your cat requires for a healthy life. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they require meat in their diet and have specific nutrient needs that can only be supplied through the ingestion of animal meat.

    Taurine is an amino acid that all cats need in their bodies – and they can’t create it themselves. If they’re low in taurine, cats can experience heart disease, vision problems, and other health issues. Taurine can only be provided through the diet, and is only available through animal sources. Although there are synthetic supplements available these are not recommended.

    Vitamin A and arachidonic acid also need to be provided in your cat’s food and these are primarily available through animal sources.As a result of these unique dietary requirements, a cat is unable to safely eat a vegan diet. Even with synthetic supplementation, producing a cat food that is complete and fills all of the nutritional needs of a cat is difficult (and dangerous) without adding meat to the diet. So if you choose to adopt a vegan diet, we ask that you please do not expect your cat to eat the same way!

  • How Do I Get My Cat Used To The Carrier?

    Getting your cat into a carrier can be a very stressful event and can put you off taking your cat to the vet. In your cat’s mind, nothing good really follows being shoved into a carrier. Dogs leave the house for pleasurable walks but cats are invariably taken somewhere a lot less exciting (i.e to see us!).

    Cats should be secured in the car, not just for their safety but also yours.

    Some tips for reducing cat carrier stress:

    • Store the carrier in a part of your house that smells like home (not with mothballs or in the dusty garage). Give your cat the chance to rub her scent on the carrier
    • Get your cat to associate the carrier with good things. Place food in the carrier or special treats. Close the door for a few minutes while she’s inside. Then use the same process when a trip to the vet is on the cards
    • Cats are smart (“Hmmm, why does my owner have her car keys in her hand? That’s it, I’m outta here!”) so vary your cues and mix up your routine
    • Bring a towel that smells like home to cover the carrier when you arrive here. Also – don’t put the carrier down near a strange dog – it instantly creates stress
    • Ask us about Feliway pheromone spray to help your cat feel more secure and safe while in the carrier

    We will happily recommend the best carrier for your cat – ask us for advice.

  • Is My Pet A Senior Citizen?

    Most pets are considered senior citizens from between 6-8 years of age. As they reach their golden years there are a few things you need to watch out for.

    Obvious changes might include:

    • Forgetting Toilet Training
    • Hearing Loss
    • Stiff Legs
    • Weight Loss or Gain

    It’s crucial to arrange more regular check-ups with us during these senior years.

    We will monitor your pet closely for:

    • Sore Joints
    • New Lumps
    • Dental Disease
    • Vision Changes
    • Heart Changes


    We may also suggest blood tests, urine tests and blood pressure measurements to make sure your pet’s organs are all healthy. Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis can be successfully managed if detected early.

    Ask us for more information about keeping your senior pet happy and healthy.

  • Can Dementia Affect Pets Too?

    It is well known that ageing takes a toll on our entire body including our brain – and the same goes for our pets.

    Research confirms that our pets can suffer from dementia and the disease that affects dogs (known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) has many similarities to Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

    Common signs of canine dementia may include:

    • Disorientation and confusion
    • Lack or decreased levels of interaction with family members or other pets
    • A disturbance in sleep patterns
    • Forgetting toilet training
    • Reduced activity levels


    While canine dementia has been recognised for some time, there is now increasing evidence that cats may suffer from senility too and signs commonly include vocalising, lack of grooming, agitation and forgetting how to use the litter tray.

    The most important point to remember is that there are many other diseases that can lead to any of the signs of dementia so diagnosis involves assessment of your pet and is a process of elimination.

    The best news is that we have have prescription diets and medication available that may help improve brain function. Ask us for more information.

  • What vaccines does my puppy need?

    We recommend regular vaccinations to keep your dog healthy. The vaccinations we use are highly effective and have a very low rate of side effects. Puppies are first vaccinated at 6-8 weeks old, with another round at 10 weeks. 2 weeks after the 10 week vaccination you can take your puppy out in public. The final puppy vaccination is given at 16 weeks of age. We use vaccines against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and bordetella bronchiseptica (C5).

  • What should I feed my puppy?

    Puppies grow quickly and need a well balanced diet for healthy bone & teeth development. We can advise on the best food for your puppy depending on your pet's breed, age and lifestyle.

  • Do I need to worm my puppy?

    Puppies can be infected with roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm. These are easily treated with a worm treatment. Puppies should be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old, then monthly until 6 months of age. After 6 months dogs should be wormed every 3 months.

  • Does my dog need heartworm prevention?

    Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes. These long, thin worms live in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs, and can be up to 30cm in length. Prevention is through a monthly or yearly treatment, and should be started when your puppy is 12 weeks old.

  • Should I use flea treatment on my dog?

    Fleas will show up uninvited and make themselves at home, making a pet's life miserable. There are excellent flea control products available that area safe, effective and easy to use. We can help you choose a product that will work for you and your pets.

  • What vaccines does my kitten need?

    We recommend regular vaccinations to keep your cat healthy. The vaccinations we use are highly effective and have a very low rate of side effects. We will recommend vaccines for your kitten depending on lifestyle factors, such as if your kitten goes outside. Kittens are first vaccinated at 6-8 weeks old, with the next round at 12 weeks of age. The final kitten vaccination is given at 16 weeks of age.

  • What should I feed my kitten?

    Kittens grow quickly and need a well balanced diet for healthy bone & teeth development. We can advise on the best food for your kitten depending on your pet's breed, age and lifestyle.

  • Do I need to worm my kitten?

    Kittens can be infected with roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm. These are easily treated with a worm treatment. Kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old, then monthly until 6 months of age. After 6 months old cats should be wormed every 3 months.

  • Does my cat need heartworm prevention?

    Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes, and though heartworm disease isn't common in cats, it does happen. And one of the symptoms of heartworm in cats is sudden death. These long, thin worms live in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs, and can be up to 30cm in length. Prevention is through a monthly or yearly treatment, and should be started when your kitten is 12 weeks old.

  • Should I use flea treatment on my cat?

    Fleas will show up uninvited and make themselves at home, making a pet's life miserable. There are excellent flea control products available that area safe, effective and easy to use. We can help you choose a product that will work for you and your pets.

  • When does puppy preschool run? How much is it? How long does puppy school run for?

    Our puppy preschool runs for 4 weeks, and is complementary. Due to demand, we run a number of classes on different times and days. This is adjusted as needed. It's a great chance for your puppy to practice their socialisation skills, and for you learn some of the basics of caring for your pup.

  • Is Pet Insurance worth it?

    Hell yes! It is important if your pet is injured or becomes ill. In this stressful and difficult situation it helps to make the best decision for your pet knowing the insurance company will cover most of the cost.

  • What age do I desex my dog / cat?

    Desexed animals usually live longer, so we highly suggest this procedure for pets. Cats and small dogs are usually desexed at 6 months of age. There are benefits for larger breeds of dog in delaying the desexing until 12 to 18 months old allowing them to develop more fully. We can talk to you about the best time for your individual pet.

  • How do I get my pet's microchip details?

    If we implanted the microchip, we will have the number on your pet's record. If not, we can scan your pet and get the number for you.

  • How do I update the address for my pet's microchip details?

    A good starting place is the website petaddress.com.au. Enter your pet’s microchip number and they'll show you how to get it done.

  • How often do I need to vaccinate my dog / cat?

    What vaccines your pet needs depends on their lifestyle and age, so the schedule can vary. But it is important for your pet to have regular check ups - at least every 12 months, or every 6 months for senior pets.




Pets Health is a full service animal hospital with clinics located in Hilton and O’Halloran Hill. We are dedicated to helping you keep your best mate happy and healthy through each stage of their life.

Free Puppy Preschool

A well-behaved puppy will bring many years of joy and many moments of laughter!


O’Halloran Hill Vet Centre

123 Main South Road
O’Halloran Hill, SA 5158

Hilton Vet Centre

142 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Hilton, SA 5033