Littleton West Animal Hospital specializes in expert care for your dog’s life from the very early years.  We offer only the best for your new puppy to the family.In the first year of a puppy’s life there are typically more visits and preventative treatments than any other time in the dog’s life.  The first three visits include vaccines, deworming, heartworm preventative, fecal testing and much education regarding this new puppy.  The timing of these appointments are at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.  The spay or neuter surgery is scheduled at the last appointment for approximately 1-2 months later.  Vaccines for a puppy are pretty standard and then once the dog is an adult they are administered more on an individual basis. 

  • DAPPV combo vaccine covers Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza and Parvo.  There must be three injections given 3-4 weeks apart.  Any vaccines given too early in the puppy’s life can be inactivated by maternal antibodies and may need to be repeated.
  • Lepto is given twice, 3-4 weeks apart, and can be in a combo vaccine with DAPPV
  • Bordetella is for kennel cough and is given once
  • Canine Influenza is given twice, 3-4 weeks apart on an as needed basis
  • Rabies vaccine is given once at 16 weeks of age with a tag and rabies certificate

The goal is to separate as many vaccines as we can in order to not give too many at one time.  At any time in a dog’s life they can have a vaccine reaction.  This can be anything from mild lethargy to anaphylactic shock.  The most common reactions are tiredness for 24-48 hours, and less common is facial swelling.  We must be informed of any vaccine reaction, but if there is a symptom other than mild lethargy we must see the pet back right away.  If there is a history of vaccine reactions then that pet’s protocol for the future will be altered accordingly.

Deworming is done on a regular basis for most internal parasites, however the fecal exams are necessary for identifying and treating some additional parasites that are treated only if found on the exam.  We follow the American Heartworm Society guidelines for prevention.  We recommend year around monthly preventative, and testing every other year.  All dogs in all states can get Heartworm disease.  It is a severe disease with an easy prevention, and the treatment if a dog gets it, is expensive and painful.

Spay or neuter appointments are scheduled approximately 1-2 months after the 16 week vaccines are given. The health benefits for this timing are important to prevent many possible problems later in life.

Pet Insurance is an option to look into for everything from preventative care starting as a puppy, to just accident and illness coverage.