Raising a Great Puppy, Part 6: Dangers of the Waiting Room, First Vet Visit

Vet Visit

The Dangers of the Waiting Room

Vet Visit
Vet Visit

Previous Installments: Raising a Great Puppy, Part 1 &
Raising a Great Puppy, Part 2: Six To Fourteen Months: Puberty And Adolescence &
Raising a Great Puppy, Part 3: Teen Fears &
Raising a Great Puppy, Part 4: Socialization Recommendations And Tips &
Raising a Great Puppy, Part 5: Puppy Peculiarities

You should be cautious about where your puppy walks and sniffs when he is still very young and doesn’t yet have his full immunity against disease. This means he shouldn’t walk into the vet’s office, where there has been a steady flow of sick dogs. Carry him. Do not let him interact with any other dogs, especially other young ones who have also not finished their full set of inoculations against disease. This ban against interaction means especially not touching noses.

Don’t put your puppy on the table in the examination room until you are sure it has been wiped down with disinfectant. Puppies are vulnerable to many diseases and are easy hosts for parasites — don’t take this lightly. We Americans are so accustomed to dogs being vaccinated that most of us haven’t had the occasion to see the misery and often death that a common disease like distemper can wreak on an unsuspecting little puppy.

What Happens at the First Vet Visit

  • Weigh puppy (for a base weight to compare to over time).
  • Listen to heart and lungs for pulse and breathing rate and heart or lung abnormalities.
  • Feel puppy’s belly to check internal organs.
  • Take temperature — normal is 100° F to 102.5° F. (Ask the vet to show you how to use a rectal thermometer, so you can do this if your puppy is ever feeling under the weather.)
  • Check male’s testicles to be sure two testicles are present and descended; in any case, discuss when/ if neutering is planned.
  • Check female’s genitals for discharge or other signs of infection.
  • Check skin, eyes, ears, anal region for normalcy and good health.
  • Check mouth for signs that teeth and gums are healthy.
  • Vaccinate depending on what puppy has already received.
  • Start heartworm preventive tablets

photo credit: sean94110 via photopin cc