What To Expect When You are Expecting a New Puppy

Care & Wellness, Dogs, Puppies

Since the pandemic began, we have seen an increase in owners getting puppies. Spring is also around the corner and that is another time people consider getting a new addition to their family.

One of the first considerations for your new puppy is vaccination. Vaccination is important to puppy health as it protects them from diseases caused by viruses. The core vaccines we recommend are:

  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Canine Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rabies

Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, other vaccines to consider are:

  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)- grooming, boarding in a kennel, doggie daycare, dog parks, etc.
  • Canine Influenza- boarding, doggie daycare
  • Lyme- hiking, camping, being in areas when ticks are prevalent

A typical vaccine schedule for puppies would be:

  • 8-10 weeks- DHPP, Bordetella
  • 11-14 weeks- DHPP, Leptospirosis, Lyme
  • 14-18 weeks- DHLPP, Lyme, Rabies

Vaccines are spaced out to try to make sure the puppy is protected after his mother’s protective antibodies have worn off. In early puppyhood the mother’s antibodies can interfere with the vaccine so they are vaccinated several times to prevent this.

Another important consideration is intestinal parasites. We do recommend bringing a stool sample with you for the first visit to screen for this. We may also recommend one at a later visit to ensure the parasites are gone after deworming. Common parasites include roundworms, hookworms, coccidia and sometimes Giardia. Signs of parasites include diarrhea, scooting, a thin appearance or a pot-bellied appearance.

At your visit we may recommend a dewormer or other preventatives for fleas, ticks or heartworm disease. Many intestinal parasites come from the puppy’s previous environment or from the mother herself.

Heartworm infection is spread by mosquitoes and is found in the bloodstream. Heartworm infection does take 6 months to develop worms in the heart and this is screened for at a later visit, usually the visit one year after the last puppy visit.

Preventatives we may recommend include:

  • Sentinel- Monthly heartworm, intestinal worm and flea prevention
  • Interceptor- Monthly heartworm, intestinal worm prevention (including tapeworm)
  • Bravecto- Flea/tick prevention

One last thing to consider is microchipping your pet which identifies your pet and can aid in its return if your pet gets lost. We are happy to answer questions you may have on your puppy’s health, behavior, training or diet.

– Dr. Anne Hicks

Essex Middle River Veterinary Center provides medical and surgical care for cats and dogs at our animal hospital and veterinary clinic in Essex, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. Our services include preventive wellness care exams, vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care. Our state-of-the-art veterinary offices are conveniently located near I-695 where we see pets from Towson, Honeygo, White Marsh, and other neighboring Baltimore areas.

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