Taking a puppy to the veterinarian can be a herculean task, juggling a wiggly puppy and filling out paperwork can all lead you to forget a few basic questions you need to ask.
- De-Worm – Puppies need to be de-wormed fairly often, they do not have a mature immune system capable of keeping intestinal parasites at bay. De-worming usually involves a 3-5 day course of medication that is easy to use. Please ask your veterinarian when your puppy should have a fecal (to check for parasites) and when de-worming is recommended. Your puppy has been on a strict parasite control program from the time it was 2 weeks old. Ask your veterinarian even if they don’t bring up the subject, sometimes they forget too.
- Heartworm preventative – ask your veterinarian when is the best time to start. Living in the south we give preventative year round. Buying preventative from your veterinarian may have an advantage over buying it online (even if it’s cheaper). Should your poodle develop a breakthrough case of heartworms while it has been on preventative, often the medication company will pay for their treatment. Ask your veterinarian if the preventative you choose to use has this benefit.
- Flea prevention – Our advice is, if you don’t need it, don’t use it. No need to expose your poodle to pesticides unless you have a flea problem. Regular bathing and vacuuming of your home can go a long way in keeping the fleas at bay. When necessary try using a shorter acting medication vs a 3 month medication to determine if your puppy has any sensitivities to it.
- Bordatella – Also known as kennel cough, may be required for grooming/boarding or daycare. You need to give this vaccination 2 weeks prior to either of these activities, it takes time for the immune system to build a response and for it to provide protection. Giving it the day you leave your puppy for boarding or any other activity does not provide any protection. If you are grooming you dog yourself this may not be needed.
- Dog flu vaccine is a series of two vaccines that has become more widely recommended, like the human flu it is capable of causing severe illness and death. If your puppy will frequent dog parks, dog shows, day care or boarding it may be needed.
- Nail trims – need to be done frequently to ensure your puppy becomes accustomed to it. Don’t forget the dew claw which is located inside of each front foot.
- DA2PP – is a vaccination that needs to be repeated every 3 weeks until your puppy is 16 weeks old.
- Rabies vaccine – usually we give this after the DA2PP series is complete. Ask your veterinarian if your puppy can have a 3 year vaccine instead of a 1 year vaccine.
DON’T over vaccinate your puppy or adult dog, DON’T give too many vaccinations at the same time. Spread out vaccinations over time and don’t over stress your puppies developing immune system. Titer your dog and avoid re-vaccinating when it is not necessary.