Your puppy requires a series of vaccinations to protect him or her from potentially fatal diseases. The importance of the three boosters relates to the fact that puppies lose the antibodies they received from their mother at different rates up to 16 weeks of age, and to cover all puppies at this vulnerable time, the program is as follows:
|6-8 weeks||C3 (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus – also known as a ‘DHP’)|
|12-14 weeks||C5 (‘DHP’ Intranasal Parainfluenza virus and Bordatella also known as ‘Kennel Cough’)|
Annual boosters are required for life.
Worms can kill puppies, and some are transmissible to humans, especially children. We recommend worming every 2 weeks, up to 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age, then every 3 months for the rest of your dog’s life.
It is important to dose your puppy according to their weight and to use an allwormer such as Drontal, Endogard or Milbemax to kill all intestinal worms including tapeworm, roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm.
If your puppy is on Sentinel or Interceptor (products which are readily available from our hospital) he only needs a tapewormer tablet as these heartworm drugs also treat the other intestinal worms.
Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, so prevention is recommended all year round in Sydney. The immature heartworm is implanted under the skin by the mosquito, then matures in the heart to ultimately obstruct blood flow and interfere with heart function causing death from heart disease. Treatment is available, but is expensive and may be fatal in advanced disease.
Monthly preventative tablets and chewables are available from our hospital and we generally start heartworm prevention at your puppy’s second vaccination. We recommend:
- Sentinel Spectrum – a monthly tablet that prevents heartworm and controls most intestinal worms plus an insect growth regulator that prevents fleas from reproducing.
- Heartgard – a monthly chewable that most dogs love, preventing heartworm.
- Interceptor – a monthly tablet that prevents heartworm and controls intestinal worms.
- Proheart injections – a yearly injection that prevents heartworm.
There are two types of flea products – insecticides and insect growth regulators. Insecticides kill fleas whereas the regulators prevent fleas from breeding. As you may have read above, there are a few products which combine flea control with heartworm. Other new products which promote effective flea control include Nexgard and Bravecto.
Paralysis ticks are present in the Mosman area. Tick season usually extends from September to the end of February, although we have also seen ticks during winter! They are prolific on the northern beaches. The tick injects a toxin which causes paralysis starting in the hindlimbs and which progresses to affect the whole body. Affected dogs also have breathing problems, and sometimes gagging or retching.
Some of the flea products help protect against ticks and some can be used in combination with other preventatives for greater efficacy, but no treatment is 100% effective. Some products that can be used include Nexgard and Bravecto.
Dogs can be desexed from 3 months of age. Speying a female (which involves the removal of her uterus and ovaries) will stop her coming into season and will significantly reduce the incidence of mammary tumours, the most common cancer in female dogs. It also means that infection of the uterus (pyometra) cannot occur, and the prospect of ending up with an unwanted litter is diminished.
Castrating males (which involves removal of the testes) can significantly reduce testosterone-related traits such as aggression, urine-marking, hypersexuality, territorality, and roaming. It reduces the incidence of prostate problems in older dogs, and eliminates testicular cancer. It does NOT alter the personality of your dog.
The operation can be performed on any weekday. We recommend a pre-anaesthetic blood profile to minimise surgical risk. This test is carried out in our in-house laboratory and can be done in the morning just before surgery. We are happy to give you more information on the pre-anaesthetic blood test – please contact us and speak to a nurse. We also recommend intravenous fluids throughout most general anesthetics and can discuss this with you further.