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Dog Care

 

Vaccination Schedule for Dogs

 

Puppies (6 weeks to 1 year)

Adult Dogs

 

Preventative Measures


Heartworm Prevention:  Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs.  It is caused by Dirofilaria immitus.  These worms live in the heart and adjacent blood vessels of infected dogs.  This disease is transmitted by mosquitoes.  In Texas, ALL dogs (even those that spend all of their time indoors) need to be on heartworm preventive YEAR-ROUND.  Do not stop giving preventive in the winter months.  Dogs need to be put on preventive for the rest of their lives.  We recommend yearly heartworm checks so that if a dog is found to be infected, we can treat the heartworms before they cause damage to the heart and other internal organs.  The most common clinical signs of heartworms include chronic coughing, tires easily, unwillingness to exercise, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and enlarging abdomen.  Dogs who have heartworms should not be put on heartworm preventive unless you have talked to a veterinarian first.  Prevention is safer and less costly than treatment.

Stool checks:  Veterinarians check your dog’s fecal material for different parasites that may cause illness in your pet.  This is especially important for puppies and strays.  Fecal checks are recommended yearly.

Health exam:  It is very important to have your dog examined at least once a year.  This is to help detect hidden health problems (such as a heart murmur, dental tartar, or ear infection) so that they may be treated and controlled before your pet develops a serious condition.

Spaying and neutering:  This operation will help to make your dog a better pet and also prevent potential future health problems.  Research shows that females should be spayed at 6 months of age.  Each heat cycle that your pet has increases the risk of her getting breast cancer.  It is also common for the middle-aged and elderly female dogs to get uterine infections (which can be fatal).  Male dogs can get cancer in their testicles and around their rear end.  They can also get inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis).  These conditions occur because of the hormone testosterone, which is produced in the testicles.  Most people think that neutering their pet in unnecessary and cruel; or, that their dog needs to have one litter or go through a heat cycle.  Please realize that these are old wives tales.  Neutering does not alter the pet’s personality (it does help with certain types of aggression) or cause your dog to become fat, decreased exercise and overfeeding cause obesity.