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Veterinary Care

by Dr. Shelby

What does my vet need to do for my new adult dog before I bring him home?

Your dog should be tested for heartworms, intestinal parasites, checked for fleas and have complete blood work done if the dog does not appear to be healthy.


How often should I take my adult dog to the Vet?

All adult dogs should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year. 


Should my adult dog be spayed/neutered?

Absolutely, as long as your dog is healthy enough to undergo the surgery. Failure to spay or neuter your dog can lead to behavioral problems as well as physical problems, including cancer.

Does my adult dog need vaccinations?

Adult Dogs should have a Rabies virus vaccine every three years, starting one year after their puppy series ended, because it is required by law.  A DHPP vaccine protects against 4 other viruses that are contagious between dogs. If your dog is around any other dogs, they should have this vaccine every 3 years as well.   Bordetella (kennel cough) is a highly contagious disease your dog can be exposed to in kennels, pet stores, and grooming facilities, so all dogs should have this vaccine once per year.


What tests does the vet need to run on my adult dog?

Dogs should be blood tested for Heartworms before they are put on Heartworm Prevention and then annually to detect any infection early.  Your dog's stool should be tested for intestinal worms annually as well.  Adult dogs should have blood testing performed anytime they are ill in order to detect health problems early.  If your adult dog is diagnosed with a chronic illness, your vet will set up a schedule to monitor these problems more often than once per year.   


Does my indoor dog need to be on heartworm and flea prevention?

Heartworms come from mosquito bites and all dogs are at risk for exposure when they go outdoors for walks or to eliminate.  If your dog lives at very high altitudes, consistently cold temperatures or exclusively indoors, he may not need preventative.  Some dogs need preventative all year round and others only during the warmer months. Discuss your dog's individual risk with your veterinarian.  Flea populations are variable as well.  Dogs that are high risk for flea infestations should be on preventative all the time; whereas, other dogs may not need it at all until fleas are actually seen on the pet.


What heartworm and/or flea preventative is best for my adult dog?

There are so many different products on the market that it can get very confusing.  Your vet is the best source for a recommendation, based on your dog’s risk and current health status.  Avoid using over the counter (non-prescription) products without first getting your veterinarian's approval, since many of these may not be safe for any dog.      



Does my adult dog need to go to the dentist?

Your regular veterinarian will let you know when your dog needs a professional teeth cleaning under general anesthesia.  If you are brushing your dog’s teeth every day, you can delay the onset of dental disease.  Severe dental disease left untreated can lead to other health problems, such as heart failure.  Infected teeth need to be removed and healthy teeth cleaned usually on an annual basis once a dog reaches a certain age.  Your vet can refer you to a Veterinary Dental Specialist if you want to save your dog's teeth from extraction, but most dogs have no problem eating even when all of their teeth are gone because they don't need to chew their food for proper digestion.


Should my dog be microchipped?

Yes! Lost pets can be reunited with their pet parents if they are microchipped.  It is a relatively inexpensive, non-painful procedure performed by your veterinarian.


Does my dog need pet insurance?

Yes! You never know when there will be a medical crisis that could be very expensive.  Pet insurance is inexpensive but gives you the peace of mind you want about your special pet.



How do I know if my adult dog is sick?

Watch for anything out of the ordinary--you will get to know your dog! Loss of appetite, drinking more water than usual, losing weight, difficulty urinating or defecating, losing hair, and changes in behavior can all be signs if illness.  Take your dog to the veterinarian!                                          ,