Canine Health Recommendations
PUPPY EXAM / ANNUAL EXAM: We highly encourage having your new puppy examined within 48 hours of arriving at your home. Finding any existing issues quickly after purchase helps you to resolve them with the breeder. Getting your new puppy off to a good start following our recommendations sets him/her (and you) up for success. We provide a comprehensive physical exam every time your dog visits us, that exam helps find growing problems early when they are easiest and least expensive to resolve. Dogs should be seen on a yearly basis to receive vaccinations.
PACKAGES: We have packages that help you control the expenses of having a dog. Click here to explore this option.
VACCINATIONS: Our core vaccinations for dogs are Rabies and Distemper/Parvo and Lyme. Bordetella and Leptospirosis vaccines are given based on the dog’s lifestyle and risk factors.
Parvovirus is a virus that causes severe diarrhea with high risk of death. We see parvovirus only in patients who are no current with this vaccine.
- (DA2PPC): 2 or 3 doses depending on age at first dose
- Starting at 6-8 weeks of age – Give at 6, 8 and 12 weeks, followed by yearly boosters.
- Starting at >8 weeks of age – Give at 8 and 12 weeks, followed by yearly boosters.
Rabies can kill people. The chance of any of our patients getting rabies and spreading it to a person is very low, but the end result if it happens if very severe, so it is legally required. Patients who are not current for this vaccine may represent legal liability for their family.
- Given at 12 weeks of age, one year later, and then every 3 years thereafter.
Lyme disease is one of the tick diseases that we see, and the only one with a vaccine. We regularly have both city and country dogs test positive, so we recommend this vaccine for all of our canine patients.
- Give at 8 and 12 weeks, followed by yearly boosters.
- Bordetella (kennel cough)
Bordetella is a bacterial infection which causes a deep, raspy cough. Dogs can contract this from each other through close contact (boarding, grooming, puppy classes, dog park, etc).
- Generally recommended at 8 weeks of age. First dose lasts one year. Recommend before being commingled with other dogs.
- Annual boosters for adults.
Leptospirosis can cause severe kidney problems and is spread through wildlife (especially raccoons) urine. There is not a good practical test available for Lepto, so we are unsure how frequently it occurs. We recommend vaccinating patients at high risk of exposure.
- Administered at 8 and 12 weeks, followed by yearly boosters.
Canine Influenza is an evolving health issue in our area, we recommend patients who are at risk for contracting it be vaccinating, please see canine influenza to address your pets risk.
- Recommended at 6 weeks of age, boostered 3-4 weeks after initial dose.
- Annual boosters for adults.
INTESTINAL WORMS: The most common intestinal worms (roundworms and hookworms) can infest people. Worming your pet monthly helps to protect your family and your pet.
- Puppies: Should be de-wormed at least twice at 6 and 8 weeks of age.
- Adults: If Heartgard Plus or Iverhart are used, these products contain intestinal de-wormers.
HEARTWORM DISEASE: The American Heartworm Association recommends all dogs receive preventative every month, all year long, and have an annual blood test. We have several dogs each year that test positive.Most clients use Heartgard Plus + Nexgard or Frontline for comprehensive parasite control.
- Heartgard Plus: a tasty chewable given monthly, prevents heartworm disease, kills and prevents roundworms and hookworms.
- Iverhart Max: chewable tablet given monthly, prevents heartworm disease, kills and prevents roundworms and hookworms.
FLEA and TICK CONTROL: Fleas and Ticks also bite people and can transmit disease, controlling fleas and ticks monthly helps to protect your family and your pet. Any fleas will multiply rapidly, the presence of pets that have Nexgard or Frontline monthly prevent this situation.
- Nexgard: Beef flavored chewable administered once monthly to treat and control flea and tick infestation.
- Frontline Plus: a small amount of liquid that is placed on the skin over the dog’s shoulder blades. Apply monthly. Controls fleas and ticks. Most clients use Frontline + Heartgard for comprehensive parasite protection.
SPAY or NEUTERING: Recommended between 4 and 6 months of age (before puberty). Decreases the incidence of certain cancers and undesirable behaviors. Also, dogs that are not spayed or neutered are more likely to roam when a neighboring dog is in heat, having them spayed or neutered reduces the risk of being hit by a car, fighting with other animals, and other injuries.
NUTRITION: We recommend Science Diet. Puppies should be given puppy food fed at least 3 times daily until 1 year of age. Adult food should be feed between 1 and 8 years of age. Starting at 8 years of age senior food is recommended. Most adult dogs should be fed at least twice daily, but not free choice. Develop “household” feeding habits that promote a healthy weight for your dog.
MICROCHIP: A microchip is a very small chip placed under the skin above the shoulder blades. It provides permanent identification in case your dog is lost and the collar/tags come off (many clients put tear away collars to prevent choking if the dog gets caught on something) or if the collar is removed (especially if your dog is stolen). Most animal shelters use microchip scanners, and we scan every stray dog that is brought to our clinic.
SENIOR BLOOD PROFILE: We recommend a yearly blood test to screen for liver/kidney problems and diabetes starting at the age of six. We are unable to tell if these problems persist from the outside. Early intervention and treatment for liver/kidney disease and diabetes is important.