New puppies. Balls of fun and excitement! So much to learn together!
At Greater Springfield Vets, we like to make sure all the boxes are ticked, and it’s good to think about what you might need before you start life with a new pup.
- Health Check.
Ask your vet to do a full and comprehensive examination. Our hospitals allocate half an hour to do this, so that everything can be carefully checked by your vet. Sometimes puppies from larger litters can carry worms or contagious diseases such as Coccidiosis, which are usually easily resolved, but best spotted early.
Puppies might also have less obvious congenital issues, such as heart murmurs, that can be picked up. And of course our excited pet owners have lots of questions!
We still see outbreaks of the deadly parvo virus. When I first started practice in 1987 we would regularly admit litters of puppies, and adult dogs, with parvo. Horrendous bloody diarrhoea with abdominal pain and immense suffering would be the best description. Some of the sickest animals we will see in practice; they may not eat for a week. Dogs and puppies with parvo can still die.
We still see cases of the dreaded parvo in unvaccinated pets, and very occasionally vaccinated pets, and have dedicated ‘parvo’ isolation rooms at our Springfield hospitals to treat parvo dogs while preventing any spread of infection. Dogs with parvo are put on fluid therapy and provided with pain relief and medication to stop the incessant vomiting. Plasma infusions can be helpful.
Vaccinations are highly effective. So, I guess that’s my message; please make sure puppies, and adult dogs, stay up to date with all vaccinations.
We also vaccinate puppies and adult dogs for distemper and hepatitis, which are deadly, but now rare in Australia. However, without a vaccinated population I am sure these diseases would rebound!
And finally, we vaccinate for Kennel Cough, which is caused by the Parainfluenza Virus and Bordetella bacteria. Kennel Cough, while not fatal, is highly contagious, and uncomfortable for our pets. They get a deep hacking cough and fever that will spread to other dogs very easily.
Kennel Cough Vaccine can be both injected and intranasal; a little fluid dribbled into the nose.
More on our puppy checklist next month!
Dr Jeannet Kessels
Chair of Vets for Climate Action