Puppy care can be overwhelming. Not only do our little guys needs all kinds of attention for potty and obedience training alongside their play time; they also need proper medical care. Just like caring for our children, puppy care involves proper inoculation, medical exams, deworming and more. It can be a lot to take in. In fact, I recently came across a post in one of the threads asking this very question.
What’s a good age for my puppy to get all of her shots? My puppy is turning 10 weeks in a few days and I’ve been calling around the animal hospitals around me and it seems they all give me different information regarding her shots. I was under the impression that they get distemper at 7-8 weeks old, 10-11 weeks old, and 12-13 weeks old with rabies. A vet clinic has given me a price for $140 which includes bordetella, distemper, lepto, parvo. They said all four would be done at once. Is that okay? Others are around the same price with just distemper and lepto included. Obviously, I’m tempted to get all four since it seems I get more bang for my buck, but I’m skeptical since it seems four shots for a puppy seems a lot to me. I was also wondering when she needs to get dewormed and if a stool sample is necessary. I know heartworm medication is due around June but don’t you need to get blood work done to make sure she doesn’t HAVE heartworm? Is a 10-week old puppy too young to get blood work done?
The owner wanted to know about vaccination scheduling, as well as if it was okay for his vet to give his puppy four vaccines on the same day. In addition, he asked about heartworm testing and blood testing in general. The depth and scope of his question was such that I decided a post on puppy care was to help all new puppy owners out there.
Puppy Care – Everything You Need to Know for the First Weeks
I’m going to approach this by breaking down the guy’s question. He asked about the price, but as every vet is different, I’m going to stick to the medical side of things. So without further ado, the info.
Puppy Care Question 1
Is it okay for the vet to give bordetella, distemper, lepto, and parvo together?
The depends on when the vaccines are given. At around 14 to 16 weeks, puppies get the DHPP vaccine, which is actually a combo of distemper, hepatitis, parvo, and parainfluenza. It’s a 4 in 1, so your pup will always get these four at once. However, this combo is given on its own due to the amount of inoculation in one syringe.
In this case, the poster’s vet wants to give his pup bordetella, distemper, lepto, and parvo at the same time at ten weeks. While both distemper and parvo are included in the initial DHPP that’s due at ten weeks before the 14-16 week booster, lepto and bordetella are not. While many vets do all vaccines at the same time, studies have shown that it’s better to break them up. A better approach would be to get the initial DHPP vaccine and then come back in a few days or a week for the bordetella and distemper.
Related:The Great Dog Vaccine Debate: Should You or Shouldn’t You?
Puppy Care Question 2
When does my puppy need to be dewormed, and is a stool sample necessary?
Your puppy should be dewormed on his first visit. No matter how clean your breeder was, there is always a chance that the puppy could have either picked up worms or had worms transferred to him in utero. If you adopted from a shelter, the chances are high that your little pooch could have intestinal parasites.
It’s important to have a fecal exam done at your first appointment so that the vet can see what kinds of parasites might be lurking in your puppy’s stool. Some vets like to do follow up fecal exams after the initial deworming to make sure no parasites remain.
Puppy Care Question 3
Is 10 weeks too young for heartworm/general blood testing?
Ten weeks isn’t too young for blood work. In fact, getting blood work early is advantageous to get a baseline for what to look for down the road as well as to see if any counts are off to begin with. Some puppies can be born with congenital defects which are only detectable at that young age with blood work.
However, there’s no reason for a heartworm test in a puppy. A puppy’s first dose of heartworm preventative is generally given at around eight weeks of age. Heartworm needs several months to mature, so all you really need to do is treat your pup, and you’re good to go. If there are any heartworm eggs or larva in your puppy’s bloodstream, the medication will do its job and clear it right up.
Puppy Care – Know What to Do and When
Puppy care is an important part of the early days of your little pooch’s life. It’s vital to know what you need to do and when. In general breaking vaccines up over the course of a few days is beneficial, because it helps reduce the impact of those vaccines on your puppy’s body. It’s also never too early for blood work, a fecal exam, and treatment for both intestinal parasites and heartworms.
Knowing what to do and when can help ensure that your level of puppy care is the utmost. So be proactive, talk to your vet, and make sure all your bases are covered. If you do that, you should be good.