Responsible animal ownership includes the management of your pet's basic health.
Pet owners can book an appointment at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s general outpatient department regardless of where they live in Finland. If a pet needs extensive further investigations or surgical treatment, the necessary appointments can be made on referral from a veterinarian or following a visit to the general outpatient department.
Further information on these services is available from the patient office.
The purpose of health examinations is to ensure that pets are able to live as good and long lives as possible. Your pet's health status should be determined at least once a year. Health examinations are often performed in conjunction with vaccination appointments.
These examinations are of particular importance to ageing pets that are susceptible to a number of diseases. Health examinations carried out every year can often help identify diseases before any symptoms appear. With the appropriate medication and the right diet adopted in good time, many problems can be treated, and their progress slowed down.
When performing a health examination, the owner is asked about the health of the pet, the pet’s condition is determined, and when necessary, blood and urine samples are collected. Regular sample collection provides information on the functioning of the pet’s internal organs. Testing also helps determine the baseline levels of the pet’s blood values and any changes to them.
We also carry out official examinations and related scans. Further details are available from the patient office.
Pets need an identification marking to be able to, for example, take part in official animal shows. Just in case an animal breaks loose, mixed-breed dogs and housecats should also be registered. Having the owner's details findable through a marking expedites the return of lost pets. Identification markings can be made with a microchip or a tattoo.
According to a decision by the Finnish Kennel Club, identification markings are required for all dogs used in breeding as well as dogs entered into the Club’s register.
In official shows organised by Suomen Kissaliitto (‘Finnish Cat Federation’), identification markings are compulsory. Identification markings are also required when travelling to certain countries.
Vaccinations are part of primary animal healthcare and an easy way of protecting pets against dangerous viral diseases. This makes it important to have as many pets as possible appropriately vaccinated. Regular revaccination is important to ensure the required level of protection.
At the time of vaccination, the pet must be healthy for its body to be able to react to the vaccination and to receive the best possible protection from it. This is why animals must be healthy, and their health is examined at vaccination appointments.
When travelling with pets, EU/country-specific requirements apply, which should be checked well in advance of the trip. As travelling with pets is becoming increasingly common, increasing the risk of contagion abroad, it is advisable to discuss the risks associated with communicable diseases and their prevention with a veterinarian before travelling. In addition to travelling, certain vaccinations are in fact a requirement for shows and competitions. If you are planning to take part in a show or competition, further information is available, for example, on the websites of the Finnish Kennel Club and the Suomen Kissaliitto association (‘Finnish Cat Federation’).
Veterinary specialists at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital actively monitor the communicable disease situation in Finland and international vaccination recommendations, on the basis of which the Small Animal Hospital recommends the following immunisation programme for dogs:
The risk for communicable diseases for cats varies considerably depending on their environment, which is why vaccinations necessary for cats should be discussed with the attending veterinarian at the vaccination appointment.
When travelling within the European Union, dogs and cats must have a pet passport. The passport is also required for travelling to many countries outside the EU.
Euthanasia as a procedure is often a psychologically difficult decision. The decision may be arrived at as a result of the sudden deterioration of the pet’s condition or due to age-related ailments. Owners can always be present at the procedure. The pet is first given a sedative into a muscle, which often results in the animal lying down and visibly falling asleep. After this, exotic animals receive another drug as an intramuscular injection. For cats and dogs, the aim is to establish a vascular access, through which the subsequent drugs are administered. The pet is always auscultated by two people.
Euthanasia can also be performed during on-call hours.
The University offers three options for looking after a pet’s remains: individual cremation, communal cremation and donation for teaching and research purposes. Otherwise, owners can also take the body with them for burial, or the body can be delivered to the pathology department for autopsy.
In individual cremation, the ashes of the pet will be delivered to the owner within a few weeks by post, in a urn chosen by the owner. Our partner in individual cremation is Verna, whose Finnish-language website (https://www.verna.fi/) provides information on the urn options.
In communal cremation, the ashes of the pet are scattered by the cremator on the crematorium grounds. In the case of communal cremation, owners do not have the opportunity to obtain the ashes. Our partner in communal cremation is SET Oy (https://www.suomenelaintuhkaus.fi/, only in Finnish).
A pet that has been euthanised at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital can be donated for teaching and research purposes. Donating to teaching and research is an option that enables the pet to posthumously help other members of their species, for example, through the research-based development of novel treatment forms.