Puppy Health Maintenance

Labradoodle Puppy Parasites, Viruses and Maintenance

There are many different types of parasites that can affect your Labradoodle puppy, however most are preventable with medications and using care as to where you let your puppy go. A preventative method is the best way to avoid these diseases. Regular visit to a vet and taking a fecal sample with you if suspected. Further information on preventable options can be found here: https://www.puppywire.com/get-rid-worms-in-dogs/

Here is a list of the most common parasites and puppy maintenance suggestions:

1. Heartworms are parasites that can invade your puppy’s heart and circulatory system. An adult heartworm will produce offspring, which circulate in the puppy’s blood. These heartworm larvae migrate throughout the pup’s tissues and reach the heart in 5 to 6 months, where they become small worms and will grow and reproduce. Needless to say, this is not something you want for your puppy. The way that heartworm is transmitted is through the bite of a mosquito. The mosquito bites an infected dog, ingesting the blood and then transfers the infective heartworm larvae into your healthy puppy when it bites. The good news is that this is preventable by giving your puppy a monthly medication. Please check with your veterinarian as to the best option for you and your Labradoodle puppy.

2. Fleas are parasites that live on your puppy and can cause serious scratching and itching. They reproduce at a rapid rate in optimum conditions and a new batch can hatch out every 3 weeks. Once your puppy is infected, it won’t take long before your home and yard are also infested with fleas. Your veterinarian can recommend a good preventative treatment for fleas such as Advantage, Advantix or Frontline. I recommend you rotate these products every 6 months as fleas can build up resistance to them. This will also prevent ticks, which are more of a nuisance, but can transmit Lyme disease. We do not advise any “all-in-one” oral medication for this. We advise topical only or consider a flea collar. For natural options look into Wondercide.

3. Tapeworms, Roundworms, Whipworms, Hookworms, Giardia and Coccidia are all internal parasites that can affect the health of your puppy. It is a good plan to use a preventative treatment for worms and also take a fecal sample in to your vet periodically to check and make sure your puppy is not affected with parasites. You can protect your puppy by removing his/her feces from your yard often, avoid areas where other dogs and animals have eliminated and avoid allowing your puppy to lick or sniff the rear end or feces of another dog. It is also advised that you do not let your puppy lick you or your children in the mouth.

4. Kennel cough or Canine cough is a highly contagious infectious disease that affects the respiratory tract of your puppy/dog. This spreads in dogs the same way a cold spreads in humans by direct contact, cough or sneeze and contact with contaminated hands, clothing or other surfaces. Your puppy can catch canine cough in places such as kennels, salons, training classes etc. You can quickly assess your puppy’s risk by answering: do you plan to board your puppy at a kennel or doggie daycare, attend puppy classes, visit the groomer or dog park or attend any function where there are many other dogs? Kennel cough is preventable by having your veterinarian vaccinate him/her for Bordetella along with your other vaccinations against parvo, parainfluenza and canine adenovirus.

5. Ear mites or ear infection is another common ailment for any dog who has ears that hang down. When you give your puppy a bath I recommend you put cotton balls in their ears to prevent water from getting into the ear canal. We also use a product called MalAcetic Otic as a good ear cleanser and dryer to prevent infections. If your dog has been swimming, bathing or you simply have not done it for a while, clean their ears out with the MalAcetic Otic. I can show you how to clean your puppy’s ears, or you can ask your veterinarian to show you the best method.

6. Toenail trimming can be a little intimidating for some people and you may prefer to have your veterinarian do this for you. We do all of our own trimming, however, and it’s good to keep your puppy’s nails trimmed regularly. If you want to do your own trimming, just nip the tips off of the nails weekly, making sure you don’t take too much at one time. This way they will never get too long and you won’t have to worry about cutting into the quick. If for some reason you do “quick” them, you can use cornstarch on the nail to stop the bleeding.

7. Dental care for your puppy can start with providing him with some good chews like C.E.T. Veggiedent for Tartar Control. You may also want to start brushing your puppy’s teeth and you can pick up a doggie toothbrush and toothpaste at your veterinarian’s office. They will instruct you as to how to go about brushing your puppy’s teeth.