Congratulations on your new puppy! We've created this page to help you understand the usual protocol for new puppy exams and vaccines and provide some other helpful information:
Between the ages of 8-10 weeks, you will start a series of vaccinations, given three to four weeks apart until your puppy is 16 weeks of age, to protect them against the following: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. A vaccination for Kennel Cough may also be given at this time. We also Strongly recommend vaccinating for Lyme Disease and Leptospirosis. We typically start this combo vaccine around 12 weeks of age and booster once in three to four weeks. A Rabies vaccine will usually be given close to the end of the vaccine series, between 14-16 weeks of age. Depending on the age of your puppy at his/her first visit, the doctor will come up with a scheduled plan for all the recommended vaccines and visits.
Your puppy will receive a full physical exam with the first visit. Subsequent "booster" visits can be scheduled with a technician as long as you don't have any concerns. We strongly recommend bringing a fecal (stool) sample to check for any intestinal parasites such as roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and coccidia and giardia. Your dog will be treated with an appropriate dewormer, as needed.
At the age of four to six months to 1 year, we recommend that your dog be neutered (ovariohysterectomy or castration) if you are not planning on breeding the dog.
Throughout your dog’s life, we recommend year-round protection against heartworm, intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks. We usually perform the first heartworm test, by blood sample, around one year of age. We currently recommend Simparica Trio, Interceptor Plus or Heartgard for those wanting oral heartworm prevention (these also include intestinal parasite prevention). We also offer Proheart 6 and Proheart 12; injectable heartworm prevention that lasts 6 and 12 months respectively.
Flea and tick prevention is important too, and in addition to Credelio and Bravecto, which are very effective oral flea and tick preventatives, we also carry Simparica Trio, which is a monthly all-in-one preventative, protecting against heartworm, intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks.
One year after the last puppy vaccination, you will need to bring your dog in for an annual exam and adult vaccinations. We will send you an email or post card reminder. We also recommend testing a fecal sample at this time in addition to having an annual heartworm and tick born disease test, which is required to continue your heartworm preventatives.
Going forward into adulthood, plan on bringing your dog in at least yearly for a physical exam and any needed vaccines. A yearly exam is required to allow us to dispense prescription medications if your dog is on them, including preventatives, and/or prescription food.
Below are some helpful links on topics such as potty and crate training, barking, chewing, worms, fleas and other helpful topics. Please feel free to call the hospital should you have any questions or concerns about your newest family member.