Saturday, 23 June 2012

Importance Of Good Veterinary Care For Your Puppy

It is important to have all of the equipment needed to raise a puppy, but good veterinary care for your growing puppy is essential to good health. Puppies need to be vaccinated every couple of weeks or so just like human babies to ensure that they will grow up to be happy healthy family members.
Most veterinary hospitals start vaccines at or around 8 weeks of age and vaccinate until at least 16 weeks. If you have an older puppy or adult dog that you need to get vaccinated, that is okay, vaccines can be started at any age. Your breeder may have started some of your puppies vaccines at 6 or 7 weeks of age and that is fine as well. Your breeder may have also started deworming your dog for internal parasites as well. If they have not, your veterinarian will request a stool sample to be brought in at the first visit to check for internal parasites such as round worms, hook worms, whip worms, coccidia, and giardia.
As soon as you get your new puppy you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure that your puppy is happy and healthy. They will check for congenital defects such as cleft palate, open fontanel (soft spot on top of the head), loose knee caps, heart murmurs and loose hips. If you have any questions about house training, behavior, what kind of food, toys, crate, or any health questions, be sure to ask your veterinarian.
Through out your puppies next few months it will be getting vaccinated every 2-4 weeks. These vaccines are important to stop the transmission of some viruses and diseases that can be transferred from mother to puppy and puppy to puppy. Some examples would be Bordetella: a very contagious upper respiratory virus that causes a goose like honking cough. It is usually treated with an antibiotic and causes no long term damage. Another example would be Parvovirus: a very contagious gastrointestinal virus that causes vomiting, bloody diarrhea, inappetence, and sloughing of the GI tract. This virus is treatable if caught early, but can be expensive to treat and is potentially fatal.
At around age 5-6 months you will want to have your puppy spayed or castrated. In males this will help with marking of their territory and aggression issues, and decrease the likelihood of testicular cancer and prostate issues when they are older as well as not having unwanted litters of puppies. In females it helps decrease the likelihood of breast and ovarian cancer when they get older as well as not having unwanted litters.
With good veterinary care you can ensure that your puppy will grow into a happy and healthy adult dog.
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