Routine Health Care

Google Maps location for Forest Animal Hospital

Forest Animal Hospital
612 Warringah Rd, Forestville NSW 2087
NSW 2087

Show location on map

02 9451 4840

Northern Districts Veterinary Hospital
67 May Rd, Narraweena NSW 2099
Dee Why
NSW 2099

Show location on map

02 9971 6562
02 9971 2308

Health Checks 

The best way of keeping your pets in good health throughout their lives is with routine health checks. We recommend a full health check consultation at least once a year (most commonly done at the time of vaccination) and more regular health checks are needed in puppies/ kittens and senior pets, and animals that have health issues.

Routine health checks facilitate early diagnosis of any issue. Even the subtlest changes can hint at an underlying disease which, if diagnosed and dealt with early, may have no ongoing impact on your pets health, and often less impact on your wallet.

As a pet owner, regular health checks also give you peace of mind, which is invaluable.


It is important to vaccinate your pet in order to keep them as well as the general population healthy. Some of the diseased that are vaccinated against such as Canine Distemper and Parvovirus can be fatal.

We start vaccinations at 6-8 weeks (10-12 weeks in rabbits) and continue vaccinations throughout their life. Booster vaccinations are important to 'top up' your pets immunity so that they can continue to fight the diseases they encounter throughout life.

A full health check of your pet will be performed each time they come in for a vaccination.

In dogs we vaccinate against Canine Distemper Virus, Parvovirus, Canine Infectious Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Bordatella Bronchiseptica (a common cause of Kennel Cough).

In cats we start vaccinate against Calicivirus (common cause of cat flu) and panleukopenia (feline enteritis) and in cats that go outside Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Other vaccines available are for Feline Leukaemia virus and Chlamydia, but due to a low risk in this area we do not use them routinely.

In rabbits we vaccinate against Rabbit Calicivirus.This virus causes Viral Haemorrhagic Disease which is commonly fatal and can cause rabbits to die suddenly without warning.


The diet best suited for your pet will depend on many different factors including their age, breed and health status.

However, in general, we would recommend a premium quality food as they provide a balanced diet for your pet and use better quality ingredients, particularly meat derived protein.

It is important to try not to change the diet as this can lead to a fussy eater and stomach upsets. If you do have to change it then it must be down as a slow weaning process over a week to ten days.

Whether to feed bones is your own choice. They can be a good way to clean your pets' teeth but can also break teeth and cause gastrointestinal upsets and blockages. Please contact us for further advice on feeding bones.

Please feel free to contact us for advice on your pet’s specific dietary needs.

Back to top

Flea and tick prevention 

Paralysis ticks are endemic to the East Coast of Australia, especially Sydney's Northern Beaches. The high risk season is September to March (however can be seen at any time of year), so during those months it's crucial to protect your dog by using an effective tick product and doing daily tick searches.

In Sydney, fleas are a year round problem which can easily get out of control. To prevent household infestations, you MUST control fleas on ALL household pets), whilst also controlling flea numbers in your HOME and GARDEN. Ways to control flea numbers in your home and garden include keeping your lawn short, restricting access to well-protected areas such as underneath the house, controlling flea-carrying pests such as mice and rats, vacuuming instead of sweeping, washing animal bedding on a hot 60 C cycle, and household flea bombs.

In dogs and cats that go outside it is important to be using products which provide both flea and tick prevention. In dogs the main products we recommend are Advantix (toxic to cats) or Frontline every 2 weeks which both provide tick and flea cover. In cats the only product available that offers tick protection is Frontline either in spray (licensed) or spot on (off license) formulations. Please see Fleas and Paralysis Ticks for further information.

We have a selection of other products (Capstar, Comfortis, Fido flea Bombs, Sentinel, Panoramis) available which can be used as adjuncts if you are having flea problems. Please feel free to contact us for further information.

Indoor cats have a very low risk of ticks and therefore a top-spot including roundworm prevention is recommended such as Revolution or Advocate. These do not offer any tick prevention. IMPORTANT - even indoor cats can get fleas as you can walk them in on your shoes or clothing, so do keep up to date to prevent a house infestation.

Rabbits can also harbour fleas, so flea prevention can be needed. Some products are toxic to rabbits so please contact us for advice on products that are available.

Gastrointestinal Worming 

It is important to regularly deworm your pet for gastrointestinal worms as they can lead to poor condition and diarrhoea. It is something that needs regular attention as pets will constantly reinfect themselves with gastrointestinal worms.

Some gastrointestinal worms can be transmissible to people especially children and pregnant women, and can potentially lead to devastating health issues.

As a general rule we recommend worming with an all wormer every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every month until 6 months then every 3 months for life.

There are many products available including tablets and top spot preparations. Please feel free to contact us for advice on what is the most appropriate product for you and your pet.

Back to top


Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes who inject tiny larvae into the dog (and rarely cats and ferrets) while biting. The larvae circulate around the body for six months before lodging in the blood vessel of the lungs and the right side of the heart. This results in a persistent cough with irreversible lung damage and ultimately heart failure.

In dogs it is important to instigate some form of heartworm prevention from 12 weeks of age, as treatment of clinical heartworm is difficult, expensive and life threatening.

There are 2 general preventative options

  1. An injectable prevention (SR12 Proheart) which is given at 12 weeks and 6 months of age, then yearly, most commonly with the annual vaccination.
  2. A monthly prevention, in either tablet (Sentinel, Panoramis, Interceptor, Heartgard) or spot on formulation (Revolution, Advocate).

It is personal preference which product you choose, but they all need to be continued for life.

Serious health issues can arise if you stop-start heartworm prevention. If you have missed a treatment or are a little late for one please contact us to discuss to ensure you are not putting your pet at risk.


The amount of grooming your pet will need will depend on the length and type of coat they have. It is an important was to keep your pets coat in good condition, and if done yourself, allows you to check your pet for any cuts or skin issues, and can be a good bonding experience.

Whether they go to a groomer or it is done at home, if instigated early grooming can become a pleasurable experience for your pet. It is also important in young pets to get them used to being touched all over including the feet, ears, eyes, mouth and genital areas.

If you do decide to groom your pet yourself, it is important to only use products such as shampoos that are designed to be used on animals. Never use human products.

We are able to offer grooming here at Forest Animal Hospital with Lauren Audet, who is a Professional Groomer and Qualified Veterinary Nurse.

Back to top