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Park Grove Pet Hospital Park Grove Pet Hospital
7663 79th St South, Cottage Grove, MN 55016 (651) 459-9663 pgph@parkgrovepethospital.com

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Sunday: Closed

Cute Puppy

Congratulations! Bringing a new puppy into your family can be a very exciting time for both you and your new pup. To keep the newest member of your family happy and healthy, there are several things you need to take into consideration as your puppy grows. This packet includes information on preventative care and procedures that will be discussed during your first appointment. Please take the time to read it over carefully so that we can answer any of your questions.

Vaccines

Vaccines are a vital tool to keeping your new puppy healthy by preventing potentially life-threatening diseases. The following discusses common diseases that we vaccinate for at our hospital:

DHPP: This is a combination vaccine that protects against Distemper, canine Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and canine Parvovirus.

  • Distemper virus causes diarrhea, fever, respiratory disease, seizures, muscular twitches and discharge from the eyes and nose. Infection with distemper virus is virtually always fatal in dogs. Fortunately, the vast majority of companion dogs receive this vaccination, so cases of canine distemper in domestic dogs are rare.
  • Canine Hepatitis attacks multiple organs producing fever, respiratory disease, enlarged lymph nodes, and abdominal pain.
  • Parainfluenza causes respiratory disease and is one of the organisms that is implicated in kennel cough.
  • Parvovirus attacks the dog’s gastrointestinal tract causing bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and dehydration. Dogs can survive this infection in some cases, but usually only with many days of very intense hospital care.

Rabies: This is a virus that is spread when saliva from an infected animal enters an open wound (often because the infected animal bites the victim). Rabies is carried by several common wild animals, including raccoons, skunks, bats, coyotes and foxes. The virus attacks the nervous system and can cause animals to withdraw and avoid contact with people. Other animals may become unusually aggressive. There is no cure for Rabies, and death always occurs once infected animals begin to show signs of the disease.

Bordetella: One of the organisms thought to contribute to kennel cough infection. Kennel cough is transmitted via exchange of respiratory secretions when dogs are in close contact. Infected dogs commonly develop a dry cough that can persist for days to even weeks. Many boarding, grooming and training facilities require this vaccine.

Leptospirosis: This is a bacterial infection that is spread by the urine of wild animals. This disease attacks the liver and the kidneys of dogs and can be transmitted to humans.

Lyme: Lyme disease is a tick borne disease that causes lethargy, joint stiffness, and fever. The mainstay for prevention of Lyme disease is regular, monthly use of an effective flea and tick preventative (see below). However, Lyme vaccine can provide additional protection for dogs with particularly high tick exposure.

When will my puppy need these vaccines?

When creating a vaccine schedule for your puppy, we will take into account your puppy’s age, his or her anticipated activity profile, and what vaccines have been given already. This enables us to tailor your pup’s vaccination schedule to his or her individual needs.

In general, a typical puppy vaccine schedule is as follows:

  • 8 weeks: DHPP
  • 12 weeks: DHPP
  • 16 weeks: DHPP, Rabies, and Bordetella
  • 19 weeks: Leptospirosis and Lyme
  • 22 weeks: Leptospirosis and Lyme

Intestinal Parasites

There are multiple intestinal parasites that can infect your puppy, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Other microorganisms that can affect your puppy’s intestinal tract include Coccidia and Giardia. Some of these can be transmitted to humans (especially children) if not prevented. To maintain your puppy’s health we recommend that you bring a stool sample to your first visit so we can test for these parasites.

Heartworm and Flea & Tick Preventatives

Heartworm disease is a life-threatening disease that is transmitted through mosquito bites. To prevent this disease, we recommend giving your puppy a monthly chewable preventative known as Heartgard. Heartgard not only prevents heartworm disease but also has a preventative dewormer in it, so it helps to prevent roundworms and hookworms as well. This product is guaranteed by the manufacturer when it is prescribed by a licensed veterinarian and is used consistently on a monthly basis throughout the year.

Fleas and Ticks can be uncomfortable for your pet. They also can transmit potentially life-endangering diseases such as Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis. To prevent fleas and ticks there are two monthly products available; Frontline is a topical product while Nexgard is a chewable.

Spaying and Neutering

As your puppy gets older you will need to start considering spaying (females) or neutering (males). The age your puppy should have this procedure depends on his/her breed. In general, we recommend spaying at about 6 months of age and neutering at about one year of age.

Feeding

What to feed

Feed a puppy formula until your pup has reached 80–90% of his/her adult weight. This generally occurs at about 12-18 months of age. If your puppy is a large or giant breed, a food formulated specifically for large-breed puppies is recommended until he/she is skeletally mature (again, 80–90% of adult weight) to support healthy growth. For these breeds, this may take up to 18–24 months.

Feeding the recommended amount of calcium and maintaining an appropriate body condition (see below) is critical in the prevention of orthopedic diseases in large/giant breed dogs.

There is not one single “best” choice of diet for your pup. Royal Canin, Purina, Hill’s, and Iams are the predominant pet food brands with extensive research and clinical trials backing their products.  All of these brands have lines of puppy, large breed puppy, adult, and senior foods.  Of course, there are other quality pet foods to choose from; just be sure to choose a product that is labeled as “Complete and Balanced” and is appropriate for your pet’s life stage (for example, during puppyhood, a food labelled specifically for puppies).  Individual pups respond differently to different foods, and what is best for one may not be best for another. You should not feel obligated to keep your pup on a food that has been recommended (unless for medical reasons), if he or she does not seem to do well on it. Your goal is to find a formula that your pet thrives on — proper rate of growth, healthy skin and coat, and formed stools.

How often to feed

Very young toy or small-breed puppies may have difficulty maintaining their blood sugar. For these breeds, it may be appropriate to start out with “free choice” feeding (i.e., some food is always available) until 12 weeks of age. Medium- to large-breed dogs should do fine with 3–4 meals daily when very young. Beyond 12 weeks of age, most pups should be able to tolerate being fed in discrete meals — initially three times daily, and eventually transitioning to twice daily.

How much to feed

Obviously, what amount is appropriate changes with age. Calorie requirements will increase with an increase in size, but will decrease with the transition from growing puppy into adult. Assuming your pup is currently an appropriate body condition, as a starting point, feed based on the recommendations listed on the pet food bag (for example, if the bag calls for 1 and 1/2 cups total daily, feed 2 meals of 3/4 cup or 3 meals of 1/2 cup). If the bag lists a recommended range, start at the bottom of the range. The goal is to maintain proper body condition, and required calorie intake will need to be reassessed as your puppy grows and matures. To assess body condition, feel the chest alongside the ribs. You should be able to feel your puppy's ribs beneath a thin fat pad, but they should not be easily visible. He/she should also have an hourglass figure when viewed from above.

Puppy Training and Socialization

We recommend that you take your puppy to a training class not only for the training benefits but to get your puppy socialized with other puppies and people. We also recommend you stop by the clinic from time to time for “happy visits”, just to get weighed and say hello to the staff. This gives your puppy an opportunity to see us without getting poked or examined, so that coming to the clinic will be less stressful in the future.

Pet insurance

Pet insurance is becoming more and more common and is something you should consider when your puppy is still young. Some available companies to include Trupanion, Pet’s Best, and Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI). Every company is different but in general pet insurance typically only covers the unexpected — illness and injury. Unlike human health insurance, most plans do not cover preventative care.

Wellness Plans

We offer wellness plans that break down the cost of your puppy’s vaccines and exams with monthly payments over a 12 month period. Two puppy plans are available, as shown in the chart below. Both the Pawsitive and Pawsitive Plus plans cover 2 complete physical exams, 2 follow up exams, 2 fecal exams, 1 nail trim and all vaccinations. The Pawsitive Plus plan also includes a $300 surgery credit toward spay or neuter surgery. Medications and additional services are not included.

  • Puppy Plans

    • Monthly Payment:
    • One-Time Enrollment Fee:
    • Complete Physical Examinations (2x)
    • Follow Up Examinations (2x)
    • Fecal Examinations (2x)
    • Vaccinations
    • Nail Trim
    • $300 Credit Towards Spay or Neuter
  • Cuddly Plan

    • $39.95
    • $30.00
  • Cuddly Plus Plan

    • $61.95
    • $30.00

To ensure your dog’s health we make the following recommendations during your dog’s annual exam:

Vaccinations:

DHPP: This is a combination vaccine that protects against Distemper, canine Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and canine Parvovirus.

  • Distemper virus causes diarrhea, fever, respiratory disease, seizures, muscular twitches and discharge from the eyes and nose. Infection with distemper virus is virtually always fatal in dogs. Fortunately, the vast majority of companion dogs receive this vaccination, so cases of canine distemper in domestic dogs are rare.
  • Canine Hepatitis attacks multiple organs producing fever, respiratory disease, enlarged lymph nodes, and abdominal pain.
  • Parainfluenza causes respiratory disease and is one of the organisms that is implicated in kennel cough.
  • Parvovirus attacks the dog’s gastrointestinal tract causing bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and dehydration. Dogs can survive this infection in some cases, but usually only with many days of very intense hospital care.

Vaccination recommendations:
Revaccination 1 year after puppy series, and then every 3 years to maintain adequate protection.

Rabies: This is a virus that is spread when saliva from an infected animal enters an open wound (often because the infected animal bites the victim). Rabies is carried by several common wild animals, including raccoons, skunks, bats, coyotes and foxes. The virus attacks the nervous system and can cause animals to withdraw and avoid contact with people. Other animals may become unusually aggressive. There is no cure for Rabies, and death always occurs once infected animals begin to show signs of the disease.

Vaccination recommendations:
First vaccination is given at 4 months of age or older.
Revaccinate in 1 year, and then every 3 years after that.

Bordetella (kennel cough): One of the organisms thought to contribute to kennel cough infection. Kennel cough is transmitted via exchange of respiratory secretions when dogs are in close contact. Infected dogs commonly develop a dry cough that can persist for days to even weeks. Many boarding, grooming and training facilities require this vaccine.

Vaccination recommendation:
At least 2 weeks before boarding, and then annually as indicated.

Lyme disease: Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease that causes lethargy, joint stiffness, and fever. The mainstay for prevention of Lyme disease is regular, monthly use of an effective flea and tick preventative (see below). However, Lyme vaccine can provide additional protection for dogs with particularly high tick exposure.

Vaccination recommendation:
Two initial vaccinations, given 2-3 weeks apart, and then revaccination every year for dogs with moderate to high tick exposure.

Leptospirosis vaccination: This is a bacterial infection that is spread by the urine of wild animals. This disease attacks the liver and the kidneys of dogs and can be transmitted to humans.

Vaccination recommendations:
Two initial vaccinations, given 2-3 weeks apart, and then revaccination every year for dogs with exposure to outdoor areas where there is wildlife.

Intestinal Parasites:

There are multiple intestinal parasites that can infect your dog’s, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Other microorganisms that can affect your dog’s intestinal tract include Coccidia and Giardia, two protozoal parasites. Some of these can be transmitted to humans (especially children) if not prevented. To maintain your dog’s health, we recommend that you bring a stool sample to your wellness exam so we can test for these parasites.  If evidence of parasites is found, we will typically treat with an appropriate medication, then run a fecal test again a few weeks after treatment to ensure the parasite infestation has been cleared.

Heartworm and Flea & Tick Preventives:

Heartworm disease is a life-threatening disease that is transmitted through mosquito bites. To prevent this disease, we recommend giving your dog a monthly chewable preventative known as Heartgard. Heartgard not only prevents heartworm disease but also has a preventative dewormer in it, so it helps to prevent roundworms and hookworms as well. This product is guaranteed by the manufacturer when it is prescribed by a licensed veterinarian and is used consistently on a monthly basis throughout the year.

Fleas and Ticks can be uncomfortable for your pet. They also can transmit potentially life-endangering diseases such as Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis. To prevent fleas and ticks there are two monthly products available; Frontline is a topical product while Nexgard is a chewable.

4Dx Test (Heartworm/Lyme/Anaplasmosis/Ehrlichiosis test):

Because heartworm disease is such a serious and potentially fatal disease, we recommend testing for heartworm disease yearly, even in dogs that are consistently on monthly Heartgard preventative. Treatment is much more likely to be successful if it is initiated early in the course of the disease.

The 4Dx test that is used to test for heartworm disease also tests for exposure to three different tick-borne diseases: Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis. Dogs can be suffering effects of exposure to these diseases even if they are not showing obvious clinical signs of being ill. Screening for exposure yearly allows for further testing to assess whether treatment may be indicated, even if it is not obvious a dog is sick.

Test recommendation: Yearly 4Dx test in all dogs.

Our canine companions age faster than their human caretakers. After the age of 7, your pet is considered a senior. When that time comes, it is especially important to take extra steps to ensure a long, healthy life. These special patients should be examined at least annually, if not twice a year.

During a senior wellness appointment, your veterinarian will perform a head-to-toe examination, paying specific attention to problems common in older pets. We will also discuss dental health, nutrition, vaccinations, and behavioral concerns relevant to your senior companion.

Annual wellness labwork is recommended to evaluate organ function, monitor for age-related changes, and identify developing concerns. A Senior Wellness Profile consists of the following diagnostic tests:

  • CBC (complete blood count): A CBC evaluates numbers and morphology (shape, size) of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
  • Serum chemistry: This test analyzes blood proteins, electrolytes, and organ function.
  • Thyroid hormone level: A total T4 screens for excessively low thyroid hormone.
  • Urinalysis: A urinalysis screens for impaired kidney function, lower urinary tract disease/infection, and diabetes.