Puppy Wellness Care:
The Puppy Plan at AMC
Puppies are very vulnerable to contagious diseases such as parvovirus. Until your puppy has completed his or her series of puppy visits and vaccines (usually at 18 to 20 weeks of age), please keep him or her at home as much as possible.
Avoid places where your puppy will encounter other dogs or their droppings. Don't take him to the pet store, dog park, groomer's or to visit friends with animals.
Carefully scoop all of your puppy's poop from your yard as soon as he goes to avoid a long-term parasite contamination of your yard. And, of course, make sure that any other pets in your home are up to date on their wellness care!
Exams: Comprehensive veterinary exams are the foundation of good health. Your puppy's first exam should take place as soon as possible after adoption. If possible, schedule a stop by AMC on your way home from the adoption center (or breeder). Your puppy should have exams every three weeks until he has completed his puppy wellness series at 18 weeks of age (or older). * Up to four exams may be needed if your puppy is very young at adoption or if he receives non-core vaccines such as Leptospirosis or Lyme which are given at older ages.
Fleas & Ticks: Fleas and ticks are a year-round problem in Morgantown. In addition to being gross and irritating, they also spread serious diseases (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, etc.) as well as intestinal parasites (Tapeworm, etc). Never use over-the-counter flea and tick products as they can be extremely poisonous as well as ineffective. Monthly flea & tick protection should begin at 8 weeks of age.
Heartworm Preventative: Every dog should be on monthly heartworm preventative (HWP) to protect against heartworms (yes, these are deadly worms that infect the heart!) as well as intestinal parasites. Monthly HWP should begin between 8 & 12 weeks of age.
Dewormings: Virtually all puppies (and kittens) are born with intestinal parasites because of transmission of parasites from mother to puppy during pregnancy and nursing. Every puppy should be dewormed every 2 weeks until 3 months of age, starting as early as possible (ideally beginning at 2 weeks old). Monthly deworming (usually starting at 3 months) is needed after the series of biweekly dewormings. In our heartworm endemic region, we take care of the need to deworm for intestinal parasites monthly by using a Heartworm Preventative that also controls common intestinal parasites.
Fecal Exams: Because many different intestinal parasites infect puppies and no one dewormer controls every parasite, we need to check your puppy's stool for parasites. Since parasites are evident on fecal exam only at certain stages of their lifecycle, a "negative" fecal does NOT mean that your puppy is clear of parasites but just that we weren't lucky enough to catch them today. If a fecal is "negative", your puppy will receive a dewormer that is effective against the most common parasites. A "positive" fecal allows the veterinarian to choose a dewormer that is effective against the parasites we know your puppy has. Your puppy needs at least two fecal exams during the first few months (usually at the first and last puppy visits). After the puppy series, fecal exams are needed every 6 month
DAPP Vaccine: DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza & Parvovirus combination) vaccines should be administered every three weeks starting as young as 6 weeks. At least two boosters are needed, ending at 18 weeks or older. * Up to 5 DAPP vaccines may be needed if your puppy is very young at adoption.
Rabies Vaccine: One rabies vaccine is needed at at least 12 weeks of age.
Bordetella Vaccine: One bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine is needed if your puppy will be going to puppy classes, a boarding kennel, the dog park, a groomer or going to other places where many dogs visit. Boosters are needed every 6 months.
Leptospirosis, Lyme & other non-core vaccines are needed only if your puppy is at high risk for these diseases. Most puppies in our area won't need these vaccines.
Spay or Neuter Every puppy should be spayed or neutered between 4 & 6 months of age unless you are planning on breeding your pet. Timely spay or neuter prevents many serious medical (cancers, infections, etc.) and behavioral problems and adds years to your pet's life expectancy.
Protect your puppy's pearly whites and good health with daily tooth brushing! Fluoride & OraVet Sealant help strengthen & protect the teeth and can be applied at the time of spay or neuter.
Permanent identification with a microchip helps ensure that your puppy will be returned to you if he or she is ever lost or stolen. A microchip can be implanted at any time, but we usually do it at the time of spay or neuter. Also use an ID tag!!! Recommended, but not required for Puppy Plan.
Puppy Preschool at AMC
By taking a little time now to teach your puppy good manners, basic obedience and to enjoy and accept handling and grooming, you will reap rewards for years to come. Pick up a good book on puppy training or consider taking a puppy class at AMC or another training facility.
Please consider enrolling in our Puppy Preschool classes. We focus on teaching you how to help your puppy grow up into a loving, patient dog who responds to your commands (sit, down, stay, etc.), walks nicely on a lead, enjoys your company and graciously accepts grooming, nail trims, tooth brushing, etc.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (304) 292-0126 or request your pet's appointment online!