A visit to the vest can be an anxious time for both pup and pet owner. Steve Leanoard offers advice on visiting the vets.
The Healthy Puppy
1. Vet Your Vet
You and your pet should feel welcomed and relaxed when you come to the vet. Visit a few practices to get a good feel for the teams. When a puppy enjoys coming to the vet it reduces everybody’s stress - including ours!
2. First Visit
Even if your pup has had its primary vaccinations you should book a health-check within the first few days - problems found at this early stage can save a lot of heartache later on. You also want to ensure your pup’s microchip has been implanted correctly and contains up-to-date contact info.
3. Puppy Social Club
Our practice runs a free ‘Puppy Club’ service with monthly visits - along with being weighed and examined, puppies get the chance to socialize and receive a lot of fuss! Ask if this is an option with your local vet.
All puppies will have some worms as they are naturally passed from mum to pup. These roundworms are very active in the first 6 months of life so regular worming is essential. Some areas of the country have more dangerous parasites such as lungworm so discuss prevention with your vet.
5. Fleas, Ticks & Mites
Ticks can transmit particularly nasty diseases but I have seen flea infestations cause severe anaemia in puppies so neither should be ignored. There are treatments to prevent external parasites from biting but different areas have different disease risks so your local vet will be the best person to inform you of these.
6. Pet Insurance
No one can predict when the worst will happen. I see emergencies with puppies on a weekly basis. Having funds available for the best veterinary care is vital. Ask other dog owners about their experiences as there are both good and bad policies out there.
A wet nose is not a sign of health, despite it being traditionally thought so. Here are some other signs to watch for:
Your puppy becomes uncharacteristically quiet and lethargic.
2. Protracted vomiting
Dogs vomit much more readily than people, so if your puppy vomits once or twice but is then playful & happy, there is no need to worry.
Blood loss is even more serious in smaller dogs as they have less reserves. In an emergency, any clean cloth can act as a bandage. Apply direct but gentle pressure while contacting your vet.
Run the affected area under a cold tap for 10 minutes. Fur can mask the severity of a burn so always check for pain in the potentially scalded area.
Any visible pain or discomfort is always worth contacting the vet about. If in doubt, phone the vet.