Puppy Health Care Routine And Procedures

Puppy Health Care Routine

This section features procedures which should be part of a routine canine health care program. Some procedures listed are recommended as part of the canine health program for dogs of any age, other procedures may be recommended as part of a canine health care program for individuals within a certain age group.

 

Puppy Health Care Routine

Physical Examination

involves a thorough checkup by your dog’s veterinarian and should be done periodically as part of a responsible canine health care program. A thorough physical examination by your dog’s veterinarian can help detect subtle changes in your dog’s health, such as a heart murmur, evidence of dental disease, enlarged lymph nodes just to name a few. These findings can help direct additional laboratory or diagnostic testing which may need to be done for your dog. If the physical examination is normal, the findings will be recorded for future reference and you should be congratulated on doing a good job taking care of your dog. Regular physical examinations are the centerpiece of a quality canine health care program and should be performed every 6 to 12 months.

Vaccinations

are an essential tool in protecting your dog against disease. Regular vaccination is an essential procedure and should be part of the canine health care program for your dog. Vaccination against canine distemper, canine adenovirus, canine parvovirus, and rabies are considered core vaccines and should be part of every dog’s routine health care program. Other vaccinations should be based on your dog’s lifestyle.
Heartworm Testing should be done periodically to ensure that your dog is free of this devastating disease. Preventive heartworm medication is also critical and should be part of the routine canine health care program for your dog. Heartworms can cause serious damage to your dog’s heart if infected and the damage may be irreversible and severe before your dog is actually diagnosed with heartworm disease. Treatment is not without risk for your dog and is expensive for you. Prevention is simple, safe and effective and recommended year round for all dogs.

Flea And Tick Medications

can help keep your dog free of pests which can not only make your dog uncomfortable but can also pass on serious illnesses to your dog. Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis, even Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Fleas can cause “hot spots”, allergic dermatitis, tapeworms and other problems. Flea infestations can be difficult to eradicate. However, prevention is much more effective and simple to do. Tick and flea prevention should be continued year round as part of your routine canine health care program.

Fecal Exams and Wormings

need to be done periodically to control intestinal parasites such as worms. Fecal examinations are done microscopically by your dog’s veterinarian and should be performed periodically as part of a routine canine health care program. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms are common intestinal parasites for dogs. Routinely performed fecal examinations can detect these parasites and will allow appropriate treatment for your dog. Fecal examinations are recommended to be done at least once yearly as part of a routine canine health care program.

Spaying or Neutering

is recommended for any dog which is not being bred. Reasons for spaying or neutering are numerous and include many health benefits for your dog. Your dog will live longer and be healthier and happier when spayed or neutered. And by spaying or neutering your dog, you’ll be certain that you are not contributing to the dog overpopulation problem. Spaying or neutering is an essential part of a routine canine health care program.

Blood Screening

is important as part of a routine canine health care program. Blood screening often allows detection of disease in the early stages when treatment can be offered which can significantly slow or even halt the progression of a disease. In some situations, the complete cure may be possible if detected early enough. Blood screening is also important in monitoring certain diseases. Blood screening should be considered part of a routine canine health care program and should be done on a regular basis as blood values can change very quickly.

Blood Pressure Monitoring

is a way to determine whether your dog is suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure). Certain types of diseases significantly increase your dog’s chances of developing high blood pressure and blood pressure monitoring can become an important tool in helping to treat your dog for these diseases. Any dog suffering from heart disease or kidney disease should have their blood pressure checked regularly.
An Electrocardiogram is often called an EKG or an ECG. It is a means of measuring the electrical activity of your dog’s heart and can be an early indicator of heart disease. If certain types of heart disease are suspected, such as irregular heartbeats, an electrocardiogram may be recommended for your dog.

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