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New Puppy



Mark Hale, DVM

1661 E. Mt. Gilead Rd.

Bolivar, Missouri 65613


Here are some recommendations to keep your companion healthy!

VACCINATIONS should be started between six and eight weeks of age.  These “puppy shots” include protection against distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvo.  All of this protection is included in one vaccination.  This “puppy shot” should be given every three weeks until your puppy is 12 to 16 weeks of age.  We recommend that Rottweiler and Doberman pups be given at least four vaccinations due to their poor resistance to parvo.  After this initial series, boosters should be administered annually.

RABIES VACCINATIONS may be administered at three months of age.  The City of Bolivar requires this vaccination.  The City also requires an inexpensive license be obtained at City Hall.  You must take proof of vaccination by a licensed veterinarian.  We will print out a certificate for your convenience.  The second rabies vaccination will be due in one year from the first vaccination.

DEWORMING should be done every two to three weeks with a product such as “Nemex” which is formulated for use in puppies.  “Nemex” may be used in puppies as early as three weeks after birth.  After 12 weeks of age, deworming may be done as needed.

FEEDING a good quality growth formula is important for your puppy’s first year.  This is a critical time of development for your growing pet.  We recommend Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, and Purina.

HEARTWORMS are prevalent in this area.  This is a blood parasite that is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito.  The adult worms reside in the heart and may cause congestive heart failure as well as other severe health problems.  We recommend that a monthly preventive be given.  The preventive may be started as early as six weeks of age.    If the preventive is not started before four months of age, a blood test will be required to determine that your pet does not have heartworms.  The preventive is available in a monthly chewable treat which also contains dewormers for certain intestinal parasites.

FLEAS AND TICKS are a continual problem in this area.  As well as being a nuisance, they transmit several diseases that may become life-threatening.  We have many types of control products available at our clinic.  We will be happy to help you find one that will work in your situation.

  1. Nexgard:  A monthly beef-flavored chewable that kills fleas and ticks.  May be given to puppies eight weeks of age who weigh over 4 pounds. In my opinion, Nexgard is THE best choice for flea and tick control in this area.
  2. Frontline Plus or Frontline Spray:  A highly effective monthly topical flea and tick treatment for puppies who are at least eight weeks of age and who weigh over five pounds.
  3. Comfortis:  A chewable tablet given monthly that kills fleas extremely fast.  It is labeled for puppies 14 weeks and older.  (Comfortis comes combined with a heartworm prevention that is called Trifexis.)
  4. Adams Flea Mist:  Kills fleas, lice and ticks on pups over 12 weeks of age.  Application may be repeated in nine days.
  5. Preventic Plus Tick Collars:  A collar that kills ticks, often before they become attached.  It also sterilizes flea eggs.  The collar is for use on puppies 12 weeks of age and older.  It lasts up to three months.
  6. Dips and Shampoos:  Be sure to read label directions for age requirements and frequency of use.
  7. Foggers:  Once fleas are in your home, foggers may be the best solution to ridding the environment of them.  We carry brands that will kill eggs, larvae and adult stages and will last for up to 7 months.  Again, be sure to read label directions for safe and effective use.

SPAYING females and NEUTERING males may be performed as early as four months of age (even earlier in larger breeds).  Spaying females before their first heat significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer.  Neutering males virtually eliminates prostatic diseases later in life.  Young animals recover quickly from these surgeries.  Most owners will benefit from having their family pet spayed or neutered for behavioral reasons.  If you have any questions regarding these procedures, please visit with us.

DENTAL CARE should begin early in life.  Tarter accumulation and gum inflammation affect most pets.  Periodontal disease may lead to infection in the liver, kidneys, and heart.  Prevent disease with regular dental care, beginning at home by brushing or cleaning your pet’s teeth with toothpaste or oral cleansing products formulated for your pet.  Starting when your puppy is young will get it familiar with this procedure.  Your pet’s teeth will be checked during its annual exam/booster vaccinations.