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Guide to your new puppy

 

Congratulations on your new puppy! At Arrowfield Veterinary Practice we are always delighted to meet new additions to the family. Getting a puppy is very exciting but can also be a bit daunting especially if it’s your first puppy or if it’s been a while since you last had a puppy. We have put together some information for you which covers the areas we are frequently asked about. 

Vaccinations

Vaccinating your dog helps to protect him/her against several serious and/or life threatening diseases. Our vaccinations cover:

 

·         Canine distemper virus – causes sore discharging eyes and nose, pneumonia, diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration. In approximately half of the cases the nervous system is affected too, causing fits. If veterinary treatment is delayed, distemper is usually fatal.

·         Canine parvovirus - severity of this disease can vary. It can cause severe vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, dehydration and collapse. In some cases, death can occur within 24 hours.

·         Canine adenovirus (infectious canine hepatitis) – usually affects dogs under two years old. It destroys the liver cells and causes the organ to become enlarged and inflamed. Dogs that recover from the disease can spread infection in their urine for up to 6-9months.

·         Leptospirosis – is a bacterial infection that can cause damage the liver, kidneys and blood vessels and can be fatal. The main source of infection is urine of infected animals. It is also carried by foxes and rats. Leptospirosis can also cause serious or fatal disease in man.

·         Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza virus (kennel cough vaccine). This vaccine is a liquid given via the nose and is optional.

 

Your puppy may start their initial course of vaccinations from 6-8 weeks old provided the second part of the vaccination is after 10 weeks – for further details please discuss with either a vet or a nurse. Your puppy will require yearly boosters to ensure a good level of continued protection. Vaccinations do occasionally have some side effects but these are very rare.

 

Worming

Your pet is likely to pick up worms whilst out and about and it’s not always easy to tell if your pet has them. However, in sufficient numbers worms can cause weight loss and/or sickness and diarrhoea. They also pose a potential risk to human health, which is why prevention is so important. The two most commonly found groups of worms in pets are:

 

·         Roundworms - Our pets pick up roundworms by eating their larvae and the adult worm then develops inside the animal's body, with worms and eggs being passed out in faeces. The most common species of roundworm in dogs is Toxocara canis which can also infect people; children are particularly vulnerable as eggs can be picked up in contaminated soil.

·         Tapeworms - The most common species is acquired by swallowing fleas carrying larvae, when grooming. Once inside the animal's gut, the larva develops into an adult worm that can grow up to 5 metres in length.

 

It is therefore evident that preventing a worm infestation is much better than waiting till there is a problem. Therefore we would recommend that you worm your new puppy every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age then monthly until 6 months. For adult dogs the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) recommends that dogs are wormed at least every 3 months.

 

Flea treatment

Flea infestations are no longer a seasonal issue. They are now an all year round problem, because our pets spend much of their time in centrally heated houses. For every 1 flea you can see on your pet there are potentially 50 more you cannot! Therefore prevention is easier than treatment. As fleas can also contribute to your pet getting tapeworm, routine flea treatment is an important part of worm control. Many people do not realise that just 5% of the total flea population is on their pet, while 95% is on the carpet, curtains and sofas, so in addition to treating your pet, the house should also be done.

For further information on both flea and worm products please discuss with either the vet or nurse at your appointment.

 

Microchipping

We advise that you microchip your pet as should he/she ever go missing it allows for a quicker reunion. The microchip is implanted using a specifically designed device under the skin between the shoulder blades. This can be done when you have your pet vaccinated or when they are neutered. From March 2015 (Wales) and April 2016 (England) it will be compulsory to have your dog microchipped.

 

Neutering

Unless you plan to breed from your pet we recommend neutering him/her. This prevents any unwanted litters as well as reducing any undesirable behaviours related to a hormonal influence. Neutering also reduces the risk more long term of your pet developing certain diseases, for instance mammary and ovarian tumours and uterine disease in females as well as prostate and testicular tumours in males.

Depending on the size and breed of your dog, males may be neutered from 6 months of age whilst females are normally spayed 3 months after their first season. For further information please don't hesitate to discuss it with either a vet or a nurse.

 

Insurance

Pet insurance principally provides cover for veterinary fees if your dog is injured or sick. It may also include other benefits such as the cost of advertising if your pet is lost or care for your pet should you be taken ill. An affordable and reliable pet insurance policy can therefore provide peace of mind in the event of an emergency. We cannot recommend insurance companies but we advise that you look at the different policies available and choose which company and level of protection suits your needs.

Please also see the Puppy care section under Advice and care of Dogs on this website.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the practice on 01544 230567.