YVC PUPPY HEALTHCARE CHECKLIST
The following is our YVC Checklist for puppy preventive healthcare. There are alternatives to these services and their timing, and we always create a specific plan to match the needs of each pup and desires of their owners.
PUPPY EXAM / OFFICE VISIT Beginning at 6 to 8 weeks old, one exam/office visit every 3 to 4 weeks until 16 weeks or older. In addition to a comprehensive physical exam we review the puppy's behavior and nutrition, and answer the owner's questions.
HEARTWORM PREVENTIVE We begin monthly year-round heartworm preventive medication at 8 weeks old with Heartgard Plus.
TICK AND FLEA CONTROL We begin monthly year-round preventive at 8 weeks old with Nexgard.
INTESTINAL PARASITES One fecal test at 8 weeks or older, even if the pup has already received a dewormer.
RABIES The first rabies vaccine is given at 12 weeks or older; we often give it at 16 weeks. It is boostered in one year and then once every 3 years.
DA2PPV The first DA2PPv (aka "distemper-parvo" or "puppy shot") is given at 6 to 8 weeks old. It is given once every 3 to 4 weeks until the pup is 16 weeks or older. It is boostered in 1 year then once every 3 years.
KENNEL COUGH The first kennel cough vaccine is given at 8 weeks old. It is boostered yearly.
LYME The first lyme disease vaccine is given at 12 weeks or older, usually included in a DA2PPv shot. It is boostered in 2 to 4 weeks, once yearly.
LEPTOSPIROSIS The first leptospirosis vaccine is given at 12 weeks or older and boostered in 2 to 4 weeks, then once yearly. However, we often wait until two weeks or more after all the other vaccines listed above are completed to start the leptospirosis vaccination series.
DOG FLU When this article was last updated dog flu was not a problem in Maine. We have some owners who travel with their dogs to parts of the country where it is a problem, and we can incorporate the vaccine into their pup's schedule.
SPAY / NEUTER We recommend all pups not intended for breeding be spayed or neutered. We often do this at 4 to 6 months old, coinciding with the last puppy exam and vaccines. Older is fine as well, but, for females, it is ideal to have it done before the first heat cycle, which on average occurs at 10 months old, but can be as early as 7 or 8 months old.
Yarmouth Vet Center