Basic Health Check
Desexing your puppy
Your puppy’s basic health check
Your new puppy should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. The first visit will probably include:
- A thorough physical examination to determine his state of health.
- Check for external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice, ear mites).
- Check for internal parasites (tapeworm, roundworm, etc.), if you can bring a fresh stool sample for analysis. Blood tests may also be done.
- Initial vaccination and/or a discussion of the types of vaccinations your puppy needs and when they should be scheduled.
- Discussion about whether your puppy should be desexed (spayed or castrated) and when.
Show your puppy the special places where he or she can eat, sleep and eliminate and, since they’re probably quite overwhelmed, give him or her some quiet time to themselves to let them adjust to the unfamiliar sights and sounds of their new home. Be sure, if there are also young children in the home, that they are taught that a puppy is not a toy, but a living creature who must be treated with gentleness and respect. As early as 8 weeks old, your puppy is capable of learning specific lessons – so start house-breaking and teaching simple obedience commands the day you bring him or her home. Your veterinarian can suggest the best training methods and, if you wish, recommend a good obedience school. Your pup will find learning fun and easy and, with your positive reinforcement, they should remember their lessons well!
Your Geriatric Dog
When is the best time to start caring for your ageing pet? When they’re a puppy. Starting off your dog’s life with good nutrition, regular exercise, scheduled veterinary appointments and a happy home life sets the blueprint for a high quality of life in their older years. However, as your dog ages, much like humans, changes to the metabolism will occur. Paying attention to your dog’s behaviour will make detecting problems easier.
What you can do at home
- Check your dog’s mouth, eyes and ears regularly. Watch for loose teeth, redness, swelling or discharge.
- Keep your pet’s sleeping area clean and warm.
- Groom your pet often. You’ll detect any unusual sores or lumps and keep their coat healthy.
- Make fresh water available at all times.
- Maintain a regime of proper nutrition, exercise and loving attention.
How old is your dog?
If your dog is…
|In human terms, that’s|
|* Please note, these equivalencies refer to small breeds.|
Intolerance to hot and cold temperatures occurs because your dog produces less of the hormones which regulate the body’s normal temperature. Move his bed closer to a heater and bring him indoors on cold days.
Tooth loss or decay not only makes it harder to chew but also increases the likelihood of nasty infections. Brushing and cleaning the teeth will keep these to a minimum.
Prostate enlargement or Mammary Gland Tumours is mostly diagnosed in uncastrated or unspayed dogs. Have the prostate or mammary glands examined at checkups.
Separation Anxiety presents itself when older dogs can’t cope with stress. Aggressive behaviour, noise phobia, increased barking and whining or restless sleep are the signs. Medication combined with behaviour modification techniques are key.
Skin or coat problems Ageing means the skin loses elasticity, making your pet more susceptible to injury while the coat’s hair thins and dulls over time. Grooming more often and fatty acid supplements are highly beneficial.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction manifests itself in confusion, disorientation or decreased activity. Medication can help solve some of these issues.