Getting a puppy is exciting, and we want to be there with you every step of the way. Your puppy's first exam should be scheduled when the puppy is between 7-8 weeks old. We will do a comprehensive exam and we recommend checking a stool sample for parasites.
Our vaccine protocol is based on your own pet and their lifestyle. Not every dog gets vaccinated for everything. We start with vaccinating most animals for distemper. Once they reach 12 weeks of age, then we vaccinate for Rabies. Rabies is the only vaccine that is required by law for all domestic animals in the state of Pennsylvania. The first rabies vaccine is a one year shot, and then the next rabies vaccine given will be good for three years.
Puppies are a lot like children, they need to receive a series of shots to build up protection. Distemper vaccines are given 3-4 weeks apart, with the last shot being at or around 16 weeks of age. If your new pet is older than 12 weeks of age, we only do a two shot initial series.
Bordetella (Kennel Cough) and Canine Flu are advised for any dog that does the following: kennels, dog shows, goes to the groomer, goes to the dog park or obedience lessons. Kennel Cough vaccine is only a one time shot, while Canine Flu is a two shot series during the first year.
Lyme Vaccine can be done for animals that are at high risk; however we usually separate them from the puppy series. Lyme Vaccine is a two shot series during the first year.
During your first visit to our office, our caring doctors will go over which vaccine protocol would be best for your pet based on their lifestyle. We also send you home with your first dose of heartworm and flea/tick control free of charge. Our doctors recommend Spaying/Neutering at 5 ½ to 6 months old.
Please call our office to set an appointment for your new family member.
Dog Wellness Visits
When your dog celebrates their first birthday, they should be scheduled to come in for a Well Pet Exam. At this yearly visit, our veterinarian will do a complete exam from head to tail to make sure they are growing and developing. We would also recommend checking a fecal sample and doing their yearly heartworm test.
The fecal sample is collected by you in a zip lock bag then brought to our office. It only takes 15 minutes for us to run and you should have results by the end of your wellness visit. The fecal will check for any unwanted parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, or whipworms. The annual heartworm test is a blood test that also only takes 15 minutes to run. This not only checks for heartworms but also checks for three tick borne diseases: Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis. If your animal test negative for heartworms, then we continue on monthly prevention. We must do this bloodtest if your animal has missed doses of heartworm prevention or has been off of prevention for the winter.
Booster shots are given at this exam as well if your animal is healthy. After discussing your pets lifestyle, we try to make a vaccination protocol that fits your animal best. We want to make sure that they are protected for diseases that they are at risk for, without over vaccinating them. They will receive a DHLPPC (distemper) vaccination good for one year as well as a Rabies vaccination that is good for three years. Any other yearly vaccines would also be giving at this time such as Lyme, Bordetella (Kennel Cough), or Canine Flu.
We switch most dogs over to a three year distemper at their two year birthday. Last year your puppy got a six way distemper that was only good for one year. That six way DHLPPC consisted of: D (Distemper) H (Hepatitis) L (leptospirosis) P (Parainfluenza) P (Parvo Virus) C (Corona Virus).
The three year distemper has been challenged studied and proven to protect dogs for distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo Virus for three straight years. However the three year vaccine does not cover the other three viruses, so we recommend vaccinating against them based on each dog’s lifestyle. Parainfluenza is also in the Bordetella Vaccine (Kennel Cough) so your animal might already be getting this vaccination. Corona Virus is recommended if your animal is around a breeding program with puppies or if they break out with bloody diarrhea when stressed. Most of the time we will drop the Corona Virus if the dog is not at risk for it. We do however recommend the Leptospirosis vaccine every year because it can be contagious to humans causing kidney failure. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease spread by wildlife and domestic animals thru urine found in streams and ponds.
We want to make sure that your pet is protected against these harmful disease without over vaccinating them.