A new puppy! Congratulations! A puppy can be so much fun!
Comprehensive physical exams are the foundation of good health. Your puppy's first exam should take place as soon as possible after adoption. Your puppy should have exams every three-four weeks until he has completed his puppy wellness series at 16 weeks of age (or older). * Up to four exams may be needed if your puppy is very young at adoption.
DAPP Vaccine: DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza & Parvovirus combination) vaccines should be administered every three - four weeks starting at 8 weeks of age. At least two boosters are needed, ending at 16 weeks or older. * Up to 4 DAPP vaccines may be needed if your puppy is very young at adoption.
Rabies Vaccine: One rabies vaccine is needed at 16 weeks of age.
Bordetella: One bordetella (kennel cough) oral vaccine is needed if your puppy will be going to puppy classes, a boarding kennel, the dog park, a groomer or going to other places where many dogs visit. Boosters are needed every 12 months.
Fleas & Ticks
Fleas and ticks are a problem in Shelbyville in all months except the coldest winter months. It is much more cost effective to treat fleas before you have an infestation. Fleas cause discomfort to your puppy. Some puppies are allergic to flea bites and can get secondary skin infections due to licking, biting and scratching the affected area.
Every dog should be on monthly heartworm preventative to protect against heartworms as well as intestinal parasites. Monthly heartworm prevention should begin between 8 & 12 weeks of age. We will provide a puppy pack with a heartworm prevention tablet at your first visit. The heartworm preventatives are weight specific so we will prescribe one monthly pill at each visit until the weight has stabilized. Then we can prescribe a 6 or 12 month supply. Heartworm prevention is one of the easiest ways to protect your puppy. Heartworms can be treated, but the treatment can be quite expensive.
Dewormings: Virtually all puppies are born with intestinal parasites because of transmission of parasites from mother to puppy during pregnancy and nursing.
Fecal Exams: Because many different intestinal parasites infect puppies and no one dewormer controls every parasite, we need to check your puppy's stool for parasites. Since parasites are evident on fecal exam only at certain stages of their lifecycle, a "negative" fecal does NOT mean that your puppy is clear of parasites but just that we were unable to see them today. If a fecal is "negative", your puppy will receive a dewormer that is effective against the most common parasites. A "positive" fecal allows the veterinarian to choose a dewormer that is effective against the parasites we know your puppy has. Your puppy needs at least two fecal exams during the first few months (usually at the first and last puppy visits). After the puppy series, fecal exams are needed every 12 months.
Spay or Neuter
It is a good idea to brush your puppy's teeth daily. Begin by using your finger to simply rub the teeth until the puppy becomes accustomed to your finger in the mouth. Then use a toothbrush and some "doggie" toothpaste. The toothpaste we carry is poultry flavored and generally well liked by our patients. Healthy teeth will be your reward for your hard work!
Permanent identification with a microchip helps ensure that your puppy will be returned to you if he or she is ever lost or stolen. Animal shelters routinely scan all pets they receive. A microchip can be implanted at any time, but we usually do it at the time of spay or neuter. We use the PetLink microchip.