Your Puppy’s First Vaccinations

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Congratulations on your decision to adopt a new puppy! We will do everything possible to help acquaint you with information on raising and health care to make your pet more enjoyable and insure the best health possible.

A veterinarian should give new puppies a thorough physical examination; ideally within 48 hours of you acquiring your new puppy, to insure he is healthy.

Immunizations should include distemper, hepatitis, parvo virus, corona virus, rabies, Bordetella, and sometimes Leptospirosis depending on your puppy’s lifestyle. A series of vaccinations is required to build the resistance the puppy requires. The puppy must be a minimum of 6 weeks old before the series of immunizations are started. After the vaccinations are given, the puppy will most likely be a little sore and lethargic for the rest of the day.

Puppies are also dewormed on their first visits for several different internal parasites, depending on which worm’s ova show up on their fecal examination. Hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms, giardia, and coccidia are the most common diarrhea causing organisms for puppies to have. You may see roundworms or tapeworms pass in the stool following the deworming; roundworms are thin long worms and tapeworms will look like rice in your dog’s stool. Your puppy should not vomit or develop diarrhea from the medications they are given, please let us know if this should occur.

After exposure to a disease, it takes time for the puppy to show clinical signs of illness. Therefore it is impossible to be absolutely sure that your puppy is healthy and free of contagious disease for at least two weeks after you obtain the puppy. Please call us if any abnormal changes are seen, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, coughing, or loss of appetite.

Heartworm preventative is usually started at 2-3 months of age. We recommend the contemporary preventatives that need only be given once monthly. It is much more convenient and economical to use this type of medication as opposed to older, out of date preventative methods. Heartworm preventative should be given year-round.

Female dogs should be spayed at 5-6 months of age. It is much easier on the dog when spayed before she goes through her first “heat” cycle. Male dogs should be neutered prior to 6 months of age.

Return in 3-4 weeks for the next boosters in the vaccination series. Feel free to call us for additional information, advice, or concerns.

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