It’s A New Puppy!
Congratulations on your new puppy! Whether this is your 1st puppy or your 40th, everything old becomes new again. The following is a brief breakdown of what our doctors at Claiborne Hill Veterinary Hospital recommend for a puppy’s first year of routine care.
Deworming: Most puppies will have intestinal worms, such as roundworms and hookworms, from birth. We recommend the first deworming at two weeks of age with the second deworming two weeks later. A fecal examination (stool check) is usually performed at 6-8 weeks of age to be sure that all the worms are gone. The fecal examination may also show other intestinal parasite such as tapeworms, coccidia, giardia, etc., which can then be treated appropriately.
Vaccinations: Because there is no easy way to determine when an individual puppy out of a litter will lose its maternal antibody protection it received through its mother’s milk, it is recommended that puppies receive several vaccination boosters. The following is the schedule that our hospital recommends:
|5-7 weeks||Distemper, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Hepatitis, Corona virus, Leptospirosis|
|8-11 weeks||Distemper, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Hepatitis, Corona virus, Leptospirosis|
|12-15 weeks||Rabies, Distemper, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Hepatitis, Corona virus, Leptospirosis|
|16-19 weeks||Distemper, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Hepatitis, Corona virus, Leptospirosis|
Lyme vaccination is available to all dogs 16 weeks or older and is recommended in all tick-prone areas.
Annual vaccinations, along with fecal and heartworm examinations, are usually performed on or around your pet’s birthday. This makes it easier to remember when they are due.
Heartworms: Dogs are the normal host for heartworms, which are worms that live in the heart and lungs. Mosquito bites are the mode of transmission for this parasite, and since mosquitoes flourish in our area, we recommend that all dogs be on heartworm preventative year round. Puppies usually begin preventative between 6 and 8 weeks of age. We recommend that any puppy over 4 months of age and not already on preventative be tested prior to beginning preventative. We carry a large selection of heartworm preventatives; your veterinarian can help select the most appropriate for your pet.
External Parasites: Fleas are a nuisance to both the dog and the owner. Fleas cause the dog to become uncomfortable and scratch or bite themselves frequently. Most owners will notice ‘flea dirt’ as black specks on the dog’s bedding or in their fur. Fleas can be easily prevented with topical medication. If you are finding them in your house, you must thoroughly wash your dog’s bedding and vacuum.
Ticks are usually picked up in wooded areas during spring or summer. Bites from certain ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and other diseases. If you find a tick on your pet’s skin, you can reduce the chance of infection by removing it promptly and carefully.
We carry a large selection of flea and tick preventatives. Our staff would be happy to help you select the best one that fits you and your pet’s needs!
Diet: We recommend feeding a good, name brand puppy food for the first year of life. Dry food is preferred over canned because it helps to promote healthy teeth and gums. Free choice water is a must. Milk should be avoided as dogs generally lose the ability to digest the proteins and can cause diarrhea. Table scraps are strongly discouraged since adequate nutrition cannot be assured.
Microchipping: We strongly recommend for all pets to be microchipped. This is a permanent identification in case your pet is lost or stolen. A small chip is placed underneath the skin via a large bore needle. The procedure is quick and virtually painless. Afterwards, any clinic or shelter will be able to scan the microchip in your pet and acquire your information to promptly and safely return your beloved pet to you!
Neutering: If your pet is not going to be used for breeding, we usually recommend that they be neutered (spayed or castrated) between 4 – 12 months of age.
Female dogs will receive an ovariohysterectomy which is the removal of the female’s uterus and ovaries. Spaying a female will help reduce the risk of uterine infections, tumors of the reproductive system, false pregnancies and conditions related to hormonal imbalances. Spaying a female prior to her first heat lowers the risk of developing mammary cancer to 0.5%. Spaying after her first heat raises the relative risk to 8%. After 2 years of age, spaying offers no significant protection against the development of mammary tumors, but may delay the growth or metastasis of tumors already present. Overall, an intact femaleâ³ risk of mammary cancer is 7 times greater than a dog which has been spayed prior to her first heat.
Castrating a male is the removal of both testicles. Castrating can help discourage roaming and aggression. It can even prevent prostatic problems such as infection and cancer that may develop as he ages.