General Health Procedures-Dogs and Puppies
Congratulations on your new dog or puppy! It is always a good idea to take your adopted pet to see your veterinarian within a few days of you adopting them. Many vets will offer a free vet check when you adopt from a rescue agency, so make sure to ask them when you make the appointment! All of our animals are up to date on their vaccinations; however being adopted can be a very stressful time. Bringing your pet to the vet right away allows you and your new pet to establish a good relationship with your veterinarian. This also allows your veterinarian to enter your and your pet’s information into their computer system, most vets will send out a reminder card when your pet is due for vaccines.
Mothers pass on immunities to their babies while nursing, however depending on the mother’s health, vaccine history, and the babies’ immunities, the passed on immunities wear off in the babies sometime between 9 weeks and 16 weeks. This is why puppies need so many shots when they are young. Below is a generic schedule for vaccinating your dog throughout their life.
6 weeks: distemper combo
9 weeks: distemper combo
12 weeks: distemper combo, bordatella, Lyme
16 weeks: distemper combo, bordatella, Lyme, rabies, heartworm preventative
1 year: distemper combo, bordatella, Lyme, rabies, heartworm test, heartworm preventative
Every year after: Exam, heartworm test, heartworm preventative, and vaccines (see note below)
After age 7 years: Same yearly as listed above and blood work
A distemper combo can consist of: distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, leptospirosis, and corona. The combo given may vary slightly based on the kind of dog you have as some breeds are more prone to some diseases than others. You veterinarian will select the best fit for your dog.
Puppies under 1 year also commonly have intestinal parasites which cause diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and even anemia. Most puppies will get a routine de-wormer; however most vets will recommend a fecal test to see if they have any more parasites.
After 1 year of age, depending on the city in, the kind of vaccine your vet uses, and your dog’s exposure, the 1 year vaccines will be repeated somewhere between every 1-3 years. Heartworm tests and exams are still highly recommended each year.
Rabies is given every 2-3 years after the first intial one.
Once your dog is 7 years old vets will often recommend geriatric testing for liver and kidney functions.