Congratulations, you have a new puppy!
Not only are we eager to meet your newest family member but we recommend a physical exam on any new puppy to ensure health issues are addressed as early as possible. We can help you avoid common house training mistakes, behavioral challenges, breed specific health problems and address food related questions. Please bring all pertinent medical paperwork and a fresh (within 8 hours) stool sample with you to your first appointment.
Just like children, puppies require a series of vaccines to help build optimal immunity against common illnesses. Initial vaccines begin at 6-8 weeks old and boosters are given every 3-4 weeks. The puppy vaccination series is usually completed with a rabies vaccine at 4 months of age. At that point, vaccines and heartworm testing become an annual event.
There are an abundance of vaccines available that are not routinely necessary. “Core” vaccines are recommended for most pets, and “non-core” vaccines are reserved for pets with unique needs. Together we will decide on a vaccination schedule that best suits your puppy.
Heartworm is a parasite that your puppy can get from mosquito bites. All puppies should be started on heartworm preventative during initial vet visits. These medications prevent heartworm disease as well as the common intestinal parasites roundworms and hookworms. We recommend testing your dog for heartworm disease every year with your annual visit, a recommendation that is supported by the American Heartworm Society.
In addition to being annoying and gross, fleas and ticks can transmit a number of parasites or pathogens that can develop into serious and potentially life threatening diseases. Flea allergies and related skin infections are also a common sequela of these parasites. Fleas and ticks can easily be avoided with appropriate monthly preventatives. These options will be discussed during your initial visits to help get your puppy the right coverage.