Exam, Care, and Vaccination Recommendations 
 For Puppies
FoxNest Veterinary Hospital
The picture above taken about 2001, is of my youngest son Will and of our dog Tucker. Many of you know Tucker, because she comes with me to the clinic each day. And quite a few of you have dogs that are alive because of her blood donations.  Alas, neither Will nor Tucker are babies anymore.

This page is about our Vaccine recommendations for puppies

On Other Pages

Vaccine recommendations for:




The Importance of and comments about:

Wellness Exams

Preventive Medicine

Parasite Control 


Laboratory Screening Tests

What, Why, When
& about How Much?

Puppies are extremely likely to die of either parvo disease or intestinal parasites if not vaccinated and dewormed effectively.  Coccidia, distemper, and other disease are also real dangers.  All these things are easily prevented.


About 2 weeks old

No vaccines needed, but momma and the pups should be dewormed at about this age.  Parasites take advantage of a pregnant dog's turned off immune system to multiply like crazy and are able to infest the pups through the milk.  It's only $3 a pup to bring them in for a little mini exam and deworming

6 weeks old

By 6 weeks old, most puppies are eating solid food and getting little or no milk from nursing.  And this means no protection from the antibodies in mom's milk.  The period from 6 weeks old until approximately 12-14 weeks old when a puppy's immune system develops is an extremely vulnerable time in  a pup's life.  Without vaccinations and repeated dewormings, about 1 in 10 puppies will die from dysentery.  So please, don't dink around; it's critical that pups be vaccinated before 7 weeks old.

Here's what I recommend for 6 week old pups:

A good pediatric examination for defects like cleft palette, eye problems, hernias, anal-gentital-urinary tract problems, and heart murmurs.  We'll also look for evidence of vitamin/mineral deficiencies, anemia, and a host of other problems such as puppy mange, impetigo, ear mites, paw infections and so forth.  
Our puppy exams are $30

We'll discuss nutrition and the best puppy food for your breed of dog.  We'll consider vitamin and mineral supplementation if needed.

Deworming with high dose pyrantel $6

Treatment, if needed, for coccidia  $14

A Capstar flea pill if needed  $6

Vaccination for Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitis, and Flu.  
All these vaccines are combined in a single injection and are especially designed for young puppies.  Vaccine companies keep improving their products making them more effective and less likely to cause reactions.  Don't buy your vaccines from some catalog.  It only costs $12 for us to vaccinate your puppy using the very best and latest vaccines  kept under professionally controlled conditions.

At this visit, we'll also discuss shampoos and other hygiene topics, I'll introduce you to the best urine removers/carpet cleaners, and I'll load you up with things like brochures for pet insurance, and a container for bringing in a stool sample at the next visit.

And, of course, we'll enjoy playing and cuddling with your new puppy.

Note:  Because a puppy's immune system is poorly developed at this age, this early vaccine will give fairly good protection from these deadly diseases for only about 3-5 weeks, which is why we highly recommend giving booster vaccines a month later at 10 weeks old

10 weeks old; Here's what we recommend for puppies at this age.

By this time, our early puppy vaccine protection will be wearing off and your puppy should have made huge strides in it's development comparable to 1 or 2 years of human infant development!

It's time for:

A good exam to make sure all the puppy's organs, openings, and joints are working and developing correctly, to make sure we don't have any ingrown eye lashes or lids, to make sure we don't have any glandular swellings, and to double check for anything we might have missed at the 6 week old exam.  $35

A screening test for ringworm. Free

A microscopic and chemical analysis of the stool for occult blood, resistant nematode worms, tapeworms, coccidia, and giardia.  A lot of these parasites are not easily killed by ordinary deworming, so it's important to test; they're quite common.  (Please bring a teaspoonful or so of stool with you.  Any type of appropriate container/plastic bag is fine, or we'll gladly provide you with a handy little poop sampler device)

Vaccination boosters for Parvo, Distemper,Hepatitis, & Flu.
This vaccine is slightly different from the vaccine we give to 6 week old puppies in that it also contains 4 strains of Lepto to prevent Kidney and liver disease.  $14

Pyrantel high dose dewormer $6

Start Revolution or other Heartworm preventive.  We'll give you a free sample if you didn't already get one at the earlier visit.

We'll also give you a free sample of TD which helps in the removal of baby teeth.

And, of course, we'll take great delight in seeing your puppy and discussing it's development, training, and any little problems we detect.

Later that day, we'll send you the results of your puppy's fecal exam by phone or email.

14 weeks old; Here's what we recommend:

By 14 weeks old, your puppy will be well on it's way into "pre teen" development and it's immune system will be matured.

It's time for a repeat exam, the final round of puppy shots, Rabies vaccination, and to make sure your pup is started on heartworm prevention and flea control.

A head to toe exam looking for all the problems that are associated with pre-puberty and rapid growth.  To make sure that jaw and dental development is coming along correctly.  We'll establish your dog's normal temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate.  We'll check for early signs of weight problems. $30

Blood work to rule out juvenile diabetes, low blood sugar, and to make sure the kidneys and liver are normal.  These inexpensive tests not only allow us to pick up these problems early in life, they'll increase anesthetic safety when you return in a few weeks for spaying and neutering
We can do this at this visit or when you return for surgery.

"Adult Vaccines" for Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitis, Flu, and Lepto.  This combination of vaccines will generally give your young dog great protection from the most common viral diseases affecting dogs for at least one year.  $12

But, parvo disease is so rampant and deadly, we do encourage you to give your puppy an extra parvo vaccine booster when your puppy comes in for it's mid year wellness exam 6 months later. $14

Optional Vaccines to Consider:

Kennel Cough Vaccination is recommended for most dogs of this age.  We'll discuss whether or not it's appropriate for your dog.  It's a must for dogs being boarded, going to obedience classes, or just out and about a lot.  $14

Lymes Vaccination is not a routine vaccine for dogs in the South at this time.  But its probably a good idea if your dog is exposed to a lot of ticks and it's highly recommended if your pet is traveling to the NorthEast US.   $32.   Best if boostered in 3 weeks.

NonOptional Vaccines to consider:

Rabies Vaccination.  Rabies is still a national and local threat, the vaccine is very inexpensive, and required by law before 6 months of age. $12

And Finally:

Consider Microchip implantation and registration  $34

Make sure you're puppy is started on once a month heartworm prevention

Discuss the few products that actually work for flea control

Repeat the fecal test if needed

Consider getting TD teeth cleaning treats

And, of course, we'll enjoy playing with your pre-teen puppy during the exam and discuss with you all your concerns about house training, behavior, chew toys, and so forth.

And finally, we'll talk about your puppy's upcoming surgery for spaying or castration.

$25 Mid Year Wellness Exam, Parvo Booster, Lepto Booster if appropriate, Deworming & Fecal Check

As part of our Preventive Medicine Recommendations we recommend a midyear wellness exam for dogs and cats of all ages.  The exam fee is minimal for pets who get their annual wellness exams and vaccines at our hospital.

But in addition to the exam, we recommend the following for young dogs:

Parvo is such a deadly and common disease among young dogs, and so effectively prevented by the inexpensive vaccine, we highly recommend getting a booster if your dog is under 1 year of age. We use the new, improved high titer vaccine, which is the best available.  $14

This is also a good time to deworm your pet.  The newer dewormers are nearly side effect free and inexpensive ($5-8) depending on the size of your dog)

We usually dispense a fecal collector at this time for you to bring a sample in later.  The purpose is to make sure the dewormer we used was successful.  Intestinal worms, like fleas have become resistant, and it's sometimes necessary to give repeated doses.

And midyear is normally a convenient time to renew your flea control,  Revolution or heartworm prevention supply.  Consider giving the new 12 month injection ProHeart for heartworm control.

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