Everyone loves a new puppy, and your first trip to the vet should be informative, fun and stress-free. We do our very best to make you and your new puppy feel welcome. Chances are your life has just changed in a big way, and we’re here to help make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
There are a lot of new things to learn if this is your first puppy. After your visit, we will send you home with a complimentary “puppy care kit”, with tons of great brochures and goodies to help you on the way to being the perfect pet owner. You likely have lots of questions, and it’s hard to remember everything. So here are the important topics that we’ll be covering during those first few visits…
Puppies need a series of vaccination boosters, generally given at about 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. We vaccinate all puppies for parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and rabies. Additional vaccinations for bordetella (kennel cough) and leptospirosis are sometimes given, depending on what circumstances you expect your puppy to encounter as he or she gets older. We will discuss your pet’s unique circumstances, and personalize a vaccine protocol that works for both you and your dog.
A comprehensive and thorough physical examination will check for the common medical problems seen in puppies, such as hernias, undescended testicles, abnormal teeth , and heart murmurs. We perform an examination at each and every one of your puppy’s health visits to ensure that he or she is developing right on schedule.
This is the big one. Teaching your little friend to not pee on your carpet is probably close to the top of your priority list right now. We will discuss the best way to housetrain your puppy, in addition to talking about crate training, biting and chewing, obedience training and anything else that might be on your mind. We will even send you home with tons of great written material to help jog your memory later.
Fecal testing is done in all new puppies to ensure that there are no nasty little parasites living inside of them. Parasites are very common in puppies, and are often aquired from the mother during gestation, or through the mother’s milk shortly after birth. And they’re gross.
Microchipping is a quick, easy and inexpensive way of being able to permanently identify your pet if he or she ever escapes. We recommend microchipping in all pets, because you never know what could happen. Administration is a piece of cake. Just a quick injection and it’s all over. We can do this at any time during your appointment, or schedule it to be done when your puppy comes in for spaying or neutering.
Dental problems are quite common in puppies, and early intervention is imperative to ensure that permanent problems do not develop. Malocclusion is an abnormal bite (such as overbite and underbite) and can commonly be seen in small dogs with short, squishy faces. Malocclusions can cause pain, inflammation and trauma to the teeth or gums. Retained deciduous (baby) teeth is another common problem, where the baby teeth do not fall out in time for the adult teeth to come in properly. Depending on the pet’s age and specific problem, early extraction of the baby teeth can sometimes help to correct these problems, increasing the chance that the adult teeth that eventually grow in a normal position.
Spaying and neutering
Your puppy will need to be spayed or neutered before she or he reaches puberty. Ovariohysterectomy (spay) involves removal of the entire uterus and both ovaries in the female. Aside from preventing unwanted pregnancy, spaying your puppy can help to prevent several potentially dangerous medical conditions, such as breast cancer and pyometra (uterine infection). Castration (neuter) involves removal of the testicles in the male. Neutering will help to prevent unwanted behavioural problems such as urine marking and roaming (trying to get away from home), as well as prevent medical problems such as prostate disease andtesticular cancer.
These procedures are routinely done between five and six months of age, although they can safely and easily be done earlier if necessary. We always perform pre-anaesthetic blood work before surgery, and place all of our surgical patients on intravenous fluids to help ensure their safety during surgery. All patients receive excellent analgesia (pain relief) during and after the procedure, and are always sent home with oral pain killers for several days after surgery.