Puppy Health Care
The responsible breeder is obliged to prepare the bitch for future motherhood by conducting antihelminthic therapy (deworming) and vaccination against infectious diseases a month before the alleged estrus. At the same time, born puppies receive, with the first portion of mother’s milk (colostrum), the most important basis for passive clostral immunity – ready-made antibodies that protect them during infancy. Thanks to this natural mechanism, the safety of suckling puppies from viruses and bacteria is ensured. If the necessary vaccinations have not been given to the mother, the amount of antibodies (antibody titer) in the puppies’ blood is markedly reduced, which affects the viability of the babies.
At the age of 4 to 12 weeks, the puppy’s immune system goes through a critical period of development. The number of immune bodies transmitted with breast milk (colostrum) is gradually decreasing, while their own immune defenses are not yet fully formed. In such a vulnerable condition, the baby stays until the full program of preventive vaccinations, which the owner of the puppy is required to complete, is completed.
The most dangerous diseases of dogs, especially for young animals, are the following diseases: canine distemper virus, parvovirus (causative agent of parvovirus enteritis), adenovirus (causative agent of adenovirus infection), infectious hepatitis virus of dogs, parainfluenza virus, leptospirosis (bacterial infection).
Diseases caused by these pathogens, unvaccinated dogs are difficult to tolerate, and puppies often die, especially if veterinary care was provided out of time.
Before vaccination, it is necessary to conduct antihelminthic therapy. The presence of intestinal parasites weakens the puppy’s body and impedes the production of antibodies during vaccination. Usually the first treatment from roundworms is carried out by the owner of the mother-bitch, when the puppies are 3 weeks old. The most commonly used pyrantel in the form of a suspension. Typically, 10-12 hours after taking pyrantel, puppies are ridded of immobilized parasites from the intestines of puppies, similar to white hard pasta. If such an early deworming was not carried out, then by four weeks of age the infected puppies are clearly stunted, have dull hair, watery eyes, pale gums, a swollen stomach and various digestive problems.
I advise you to carry out control anthelmintic therapy during the first days after the appearance of a puppy in your house. Do this even if the breeder reports early deworming. It is better to use anthelmintic drugs with a wide spectrum of activity: drontal plus, vacationer, praziquatel plus, pratel, atazole. One tablet is designed for 10 kg of dog weight, so be sure to weigh your pet and calculate the dose of the drug. If a lot of dead parasites are found in the stool of a puppy, then repeat the procedure of their expulsion in 10-12 days. Vaccination is carried out a week after deworming.
The introduction of a vaccine (attenuated pathogen) causes the immune response of the animal. It was previously believed that vaccination can trigger a disease, and therefore dangerous for a small puppy. Indeed, 20-30 years ago, vaccination was often accompanied by a painful condition of the dog during the development of immunity. Doggie became lethargic, drowsy, refused to feed and tempered for several days. Sometimes such consequences became serious and required urgent intervention by a veterinarian. To reduce the burden on the baby’s body, it was recommended to do monovalent vaccinations, that is, use vaccines from only one pathogen. Moreover, often the entire vaccination course was extended for 3 months.
Caring for puppy health At the present stage of development of veterinary medicine, highly effective vaccines have been created that include from 2 to 12 valencies and provide reliable protection for dogs from the complex of the most dangerous viral and bacterial infections. The antigens that are in the vaccine activate a number of protective mechanisms of the dog’s body, which creates a stable immunity with the production of specific antibodies. Thanks to the special selection and genetic selection of vaccine strains, the most complete and long-lasting immunity in combination with the low allergenicity of the drug is recorded. Modern complex vaccines have a mild effect on the animal organism and do not have the negative immunosuppressive effect observed earlier in the post-vaccination period, especially in puppies.
The following vaccines from well-known manufacturers of veterinary drugs can be recommended for dog owners: Vangard-5L from Pfizer; Duramune from Fort Dodge Animal Health; “Nobivac DHPPI” + “Nobivac Lepto” from the company “Intervet”.
Sometimes they also use Russian vaccines “Multikan” or “Biovak”.
All vaccines are administered to clinically healthy animals. Store vaccines in the refrigerator at a temperature not exceeding 8 ° C; freezing is not permissible. A week before the proposed vaccination, observe the puppy, analyzing his health.