Puppy Vaccination

Vaccination will stimulate your puppy's immune system to generate a protective response to several serious diseases including parvovirus and distemper. For the vaccine to be effective, two injections are needed, the second 2-4 weeks after the first. The earliest a puppy can be vaccinated is 7 weeks of age but the second must be carried out at 10 weeks of age or older. We recommend puppies should be vaccinated at8 and 10 weeks of age. You shouldwait a further 2 weeks after the second before taking your puppy outto allow the vaccine to fully take effect. An annual booster will be required to keep your dog protected. Your puppy may be a little sleepy after their vaccine and you may notice a small lump at the site of the injection. This should resolve in 24-48 hours. If your puppy becomes unwell after their vaccine, please let us know. Adverse reactions to the vaccine are very rare.

Other vaccines available protect against kennel cough, which is recommended if your dog is going into kennels, and rabies, which is required for obtaining a pet passport.

Puppy Worming

Puppies can be infected with worms from several sources. They can be passed to the puppies before they are born and they can also be infected after eating worm eggs or drinking larvae from their mother's milk. It is important to worm puppies for several reasons. Worms can cause damage to the lining of the puppy's gut, resulting in poor absorption of nutrients from their diet, which may result in diarrhoea and poor weight gain. Some worms can also infect humans, especially children, which can result in blindness. We recommend worming puppies every month until they are 6 months old. After 6 monthsthe frequency of worming depends on the product being used, however it is recommended that adult dogs are wormed a minimum of every 3 months. It may be tempting to use products from pet shops. Although these products may be cheaper, they are not effective compared with products available from the practice and do not kill the full range of worms.

Puppy Microchipping

A microchip is a small device (the size of a grain of rice), which is implanted under the skin in the scruff of the neck. Each microchip has an individual number (detectable when scanned), which can be used to trace your pet back to you if they are lost. Microchipping can be carried out from the second vaccination onwards. Some owners opt to microchip their puppy at the same time as neutering when they are asleep.

Puppy Flea control

Fleas can be picked up at any time from other animals or visiting areas where fleas are breeding. They bite and feed on blood and can also transmit infections, for example tapeworms. You may see flea dirt as a brown fleck in your puppy's coat which turns red when they are placed on damp cotton wool. We recommend Advocate®, a monthly spot-on which also protects against some worms.  Again, it may be tempting to use pet shop flea treatments; however, these are not as effective compared to products available from vets.

Puppy Neutering

Neutering is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs; in females, this involves removing the ovaries and uterus (spaying), and in males, the testicles are removed (castration), which prevents reproduction. We recommend neutering from 6 months old. Neutering should not affect the personality of your pet.

Females: neutering will prevent her coming into season. Spaying before her first season massively reduces the risk of mammary cancer. The risk of developing mammary cancer increases with every season up until the third season, after which there is no further benefit of spaying. Spaying also prevents the development of pyometra (womb infection), a potentially fatal condition affecting older females. Older spayed bitches are at an increased risk of urinary incontinence, which can be easily treated.

Males: castration will reduce the risk of conditions affecting the prostrate (except certain cancers), perianal adenomas and perianal hernias. It will also help reduce certain behaviours such as mounting and dominance caused by testosterone (produced by the testicles).  

It is a common belief that neutering causes pets to become overweight. Instead neutering reduces the amount of food required due to changes in metabolism. After neutering, regular weighing is recommended and alterations to diet as required.