Puppies and kittens are particularly susceptible to disease. Their bodies are going through many changes and need our support to keep them healthy. They will require vaccination boosters given at 3 week intervals starting by the time they are 8 weeks old until they are at least 16 weeks old. The reason we need to repeat these vaccinations is maternal antibodies are still present in the body and will compete with the vaccination and result in the effects waning over a few weeks. By the time they are 16 weeks old, the immune system is developed enough and maternal antibodies are no longer present allowing young pets to maintain immunity for a year. Deworming will be done even if done through your breeder and needs to be repeated at least once 2-3 weeks apart.
We repeat this deworming because many parasites spend part of their life cycle OUTSIDE the gastro-intestinal tract and will not be treated until they return there. Intestinal parasite screening needs to be done as soon as possible when you get your new pet. The importance is multi-fold. There is no “one size fits all” dewormer, some are broad spectrum and will cover MOST parasites typically found but not all. We need to know if your pet has other parasitic organisms so that we can treat them and give them the tools to grow healthy. Also, multiple parasites are transmittable to humans as well as your other pets. It is important to not only clean up and dispose of stools properly but to be aware of this risk and treat for the parasite as soon as possible. We will start all pets on a parasite prevention program as soon as they are 8 weeks old.
This is very important to be given for the entire life of your pet even if they will be 100% indoors as they can still be exposed to multiple parasites regularly. As puppies grow it is important to weigh them regularly after completing vaccinations to ensure of proper dosing. Puppies will ALL need to receive Bordetella vaccination if they have not already received this even if they will not be going to a groomer, dog park, boarding, etc. In puppies, kennel cough can very quickly turn into a serious pneumonia if not prevented. Besides, you will want to have them spayed/neutered, be able to go through training classes, be socialized to other dogs as well as their regular visits into the hospital setting where other sick pets may have been.