It seems like vaccinations have gotten a bit overwhelming! We won't get into them all or try to persuade one way or the other. We truly feel that is the decision for the family to make. We will mention that there are Core and Non Core vaccinations. Core vaccinations are for Parvovirus, Adenovirus type one and Adenovirus type two, Distemper, Parainfluenza and Rabies. Some Non Core vaccinations are Leptospirosis, Lyme, and Bordetella.
You can do your own research as well as speak to your Vet to find out what vaccines are necessary for your puppy. Your puppy will be up to date on core vaccinations when they leave here. At 10 weeks, they will have had two boosters and need one more plus rabies. At 12 weeks, they will have had three boosters and need rabies. We do provide vaccination records when the puppies go home.
Fleas and ticks require monthly treatment and prevention, especially during the warmer months. You can purchase flea and tick treatment online, at pet stores or through your Vet. There are many different kinds including natural and homeopathic methods. There are dips, collar, topical and oral treatments.
Ask your Vet or do some research to determine which method you prefer. Doing a body check routinely can alert you if there are any issues, and doesn't take much time at all.
We give our puppies a bath and flea treatment at 7 weeks of age and administer it every 4 weeks after that for our training puppies. This info will be listed on your puppy's vaccination record.
For a lot of us Doodle lovers one of the best qualities of our beautiful dogs are their glorious coats! As you probably already know along with that wonderful coat also comes a lot of hair in their ears which can cause discomfort and infections and absolutely must be trimmed on a regular basis.
The weight of the hair in combination with the size of the ear flap itself, may prevent proper air flow inside the ear canal that can cause a number of health problems, which can be avoided by checking your dogs ears often and regular consistent grooming starting when they're puppies. The Most Important Step... trimming ear hair.
Cleaning your puppy's ears
This is something that should be routinely done when the pup is bathed, but doesn't hurt to check in between baths either. Quality ear cleaners can be purchased online or in pet stores. Be sure to read and follow the instructions.
To clean, dry and deodorize the ear canal: Tip your dogs head to the side, hold the ear flap up with one hand and pour a small amount of dog ear cleaning solution into the ear canal with the other hand. Place a large cotton ball into the opening of the ear canal. Massage the ear gently (especially at the base of the ear) to work the solution down into the ear canal and loosen wax and dirt. Let sit a minute. Remove cotton ball. With a second cotton ball gently wipe out the ear canal, removing wax and dirt. It is unnecessary to clean farther down the ear canal than you can see.
We do use doggie ear wipes weekly while the puppies are here to clean their ears, and try to keep their ears trimmed.
Common Ear Problems
Ear infections - These are not uncommon. They can be caused by a number of variants including too much ear hair, lack of air flow, injuries, foreign objects stuck in the ear, and from excessive scratching due to ear mites. Some dogs are simply more prone to them than others. Keeping the ears clean and trimmed can help avoid them.
Ear Infections - Yeast
These ear infections are caused by yeast. A sniff of the ear, will tell you that something is off. Clipping the hair on the ears shorter or shaving them to remove weight and allow more air flow also seems to help in addition to treatment for yeast. A dog that has frequent yeast infections, might need to be upgraded to a better quality dog food, as these can be caused by poor quality feed in addition to other causes as well.
Ear mites are probably the most frequent ear problem and many times you can easily recognize them. If your pup scratches a lot on head and ears, if you pet the head and it leans into your hand, or grumbles when you rub the ear - have a closer look. A bad ear mite infection looks like dirty, crumbly coffee grounds clumped up. It can be from dry and crumbly to being a smeary balled up mess, that when separated looks somewhat flaky.
Ear Mite Treatment
Ear mite treatments can be found online. Earadimite and Miracle care are a couple you can use. Your Vet can also provide you with medication. Follow the instructions exactly. Most treatments need to be repeated within 14 days, in order to get newly hatched mites that emerged after the initial treatment.
The following intestinal parasites are some of the most common types of dog worms:
Roundworms: The most common dog worms of all types. Roundworms in dogs grow reach 3-5” long in adulthood, and they resemble a piece of wet spaghetti. Roundworms in dogs can be transmitted via the nursing process, or by contact with the feces of another animal.
Tapeworms: Tapeworms in dogs have long and flat ⅛” segmented bodies that can grow to 8 inches in length. Tapeworms in dogs happen when a dog encounters or ingests a host that is carrying tapeworm eggs, like a bird or a flea.
Hookworms: Hookworms in dogs are the smallest of all common dog worms varieties. Hookworms in dogs reside primarily in the small intestine. They grow to approximately one inch in length and feed on the blood. They can cause life threatening anemia in dogs of all ages, but especially puppies. Hookworms are passed in the feces.
Whipworms: Whipworms in dogs are about ¼” long and reside in the cecum and colon. Whipworms can cause severe damage to these organs, and are considered one of the most harmful dog worms in existence, but are also more geographically distinct than other dog worms.
Heartworms: Heartworms in dogs live in the heart and pulmonary arteries. They are transmitted by infected mosquitoes, which migrate throughout the body over about 6 months before finally coming to rest in the circulatory system. Heartworms are transmitted only from an infected mosquito’s bite, and not within or between species. They are preventable and treatable, but can be fatal if not diagnosed and arrested before the advanced stages of infestation.
Ringworm: Ringworm, or dermatophytosis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus that results in lesions and sores on the epidermal (or outer skin) layer. Interestingly enough, ringworm is not caused by a worm at all, but rather by an infection of dead layers of skin, hair and nails. Ringworm is curable, but treatment can take time.Worms are very common in dogs because of their nature. They can walk through an infected area and transmit it by cleaning their paws, stepping on their bones/toys etc. For this reason Vets suggest a monthly wormer that can be administered at home.
We follow a very rigorous de-worming schedule to do everything we can to prevent and treat worms. This information is listed on the Vaccination record. Current recommendations from the CDC and the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists are to provide deworming medications against roundworms and hookworms at 2 weeks of age, repeating the dewormer every 2 weeks until the pups are 3 months old. Then treat monthly from 3 months and older.
Even though we follow this protocol, it is possible for puppies to have worms, especially since we have more than one puppy in our litters and our training programs. We send each of our puppies home with a dose of de-wormer that can be administered once the puppy goes home.
Worms are very treatable and steps can be taken for prevention as well. (CLICK HERE to learn about our preventative protocols)
- Monthly dog worms preventive medication, given year round as prescribed by your veterinarian.
- Fecal examinations performed between 2-4 times per year depending on lifestyle habits like hunting, and geographic location.
- Prompt detection and intervention in the form of a dewormer for dogs.
- Clean up backyard feces periodically, at least 2-3 times per week. In public parks, playgrounds and dog parks, immediately dispose of feces with sanitary gloves and sealable bags.
Umbilical hernias usually occur during delivery. It is instinct for mom to deliver her own puppies, clean them up and encourage them to nurse. While we want mom to be in as natural an environment as possible, we also want to ensure that things go well during delivery, so we are always right there and hands on.
We help deliver the puppies, clean away the placenta, cut the umbilical cord, clean and warm the puppy while mom helps. Despite every effort on our part, sometimes, mom is able to do more of the delivery than we would like and unintentionally tugs on the umbilical cord while cleaning the puppy. Sometimes this doesn't have any effect, but other times it can lead to an umbilical hernia. This is a small, soft bump where the belly button is, like an outie. If a puppy has an umbilical hernia it is not a cause for concern. It can be addressed during the puppy's spay/neuter surgery.
We start the puppies off on the recommended worming program at two weeks of age, and for as long as we have them here. At two and four weeks of age, they are able to receive Pyrantel wormer. Once the puppies are 6 weeks of age, they can receive Fenbendazole wormer. The Fenbendazole treats 5 types of worms as well as Guardia. The timing of the dewormer is incredibly important in the treatment. Our puppies receive their first dose of Fenbendazole here, at 6 weeks of age since that is the youngest they can receive it.
Worms have a 30 day life cycle, so they must receive at least 3 doses of Fenbendazole spaced 2 weeks apart (from 6- 10 weeks of age) to eradicate them. We are unable to continue treatment past 8 weeks old, unless they are training here. This is why the dose we send home (which includes the date to administer it), and continuing treatment every two weeks for the next 6 weeks is paramount.
While our training puppies continue to receive Fenbendozole wormer every two weeks while they are here, it is still important to continue treatment once your puppy comes home. Our training puppies also go home with a dose of Fenbendazole to administer once home. After that, they should be able to start on a monthly preventative.
Additionally, all of our puppies also receive a preventative treatment for Coccidia at 5 weeks of age. Our puppies' health is very important to us. While we can't control everything all the time, having these protocols in place ensures that we are doing everything we can to keep our puppies happy and healthy!