Parasite Prevention and Vaccination

Worms

Puppies can be wormed at two weeks of age as a preventive measure. A multipurpose dewormer is used, usually consisting of a mixture of several anthelmintics providing a broad spectrum of protection. The dose should be adjusted for the puppy's weight. The puppy can be treated 2 or times until the worms are out of his system. He still can be dewormed later on depending on how much time he spends outside. 

Stool analysis reveals worm eggs, and the worms can then be more specifically targeted. Your veterinarian can recommend the best suited anthelmintic for your particular puppy. 

Ticks

Ticks attach to a dog's skin, preferring the most delicate areas. They use their mouth parts to pierce the skin and inject a special saliva that solidifies into a very strong attachment point. The tick then consumes it meal of blood. Once the tick has finished its meal, another type of saliva is used to dissolve the attachment point so the tick can drop off.

If a tick is found on your puppy, do not try to remove it if you don't know the proper way. Removing the tick incorrectly may result in leaving the head behind or injecting bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Contact someone who can help or call your veterinarian.

Fleas

To effectively combat fleas, the dog owner must understand how he can intervene in the various stages of the parasite's life cycle. Flea larvae hide from the light: bedding, under rugs, in cushions and between floorboards. After one or two weeks of life, the larva forms a cocoon, which is resistant to flea treatments and can lie dormant for up to five months. The presence of animals or humans triggers the hatching of an adult flea from the cocoon. A large number of cocoons can hatch all at once, leading to an infestation of leas within a matter of hours.

The adult flea jumps onto a dog and bites him to consume the blood. The females are the most ravenous, eating up to fifteen times their own weight in blood.

Treatment usually take one of three forms: preventing reproduction, halting the development of larvae and killing adult fleas.

The purpose of insecticides is to kill all the adult fleas on the dogs living in the area. Anti-parasitic sprays or "spot-on" treatments (direct application of a very concentrated solution that then diffuses throughout the dog's body) kill fleas as they feed. Spot-on treatments must be repeated every moth. Another form of treatment that must be repeated monthly is a pill that sterilizes the fleas as they infest. Insect growth regulators prevent fleas from developing in the environment as well as killing adult fleas. Insect growth regulators have the advantage of being completely harmless to domestic animals and humans. Before applying this treatment, the entire area must be thoroughly cleaned. The vacuum cleaner as well as the closet where it is kept could be a haven for fleas. In good weather, it may be necessary to treat the yard as well.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations help prevent contagious and sometimes fatal diseases. Some are mandatory, while others are recommended. They are most effective when they are given at fixed dates with booster vaccinations. Puppies usually begin a vaccination program at the age of 6 to 8 weeks. 

Your veterinarian can recommend the vaccination program best suited for your puppy, depending on the risks he face from lifestyle and environment. Tell the veterinarian where your puppy will spend time (boarding, kennels, outdoors, traveling outside the country, etc.) and what activities he will participate in (such as sporting events), as special vaccinations may be required.


Important


Keep your puppy away from public places like dog park or dog walking trails until it finishes it's 3 shot. First shot can be done between 6 - 8 weeks of age (depending on dog breed and size) and then 30 days later the second shot and another 30 days later the third shot. Only then is your puppy immune against viruses an older dog can carry. Always talk to your veterinarian about vaccinations.