WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE FIRST VET APPOINTMENT
Different veterinarians will offer different options at your first visit,
but we will include the basics so that you will be prepared.
You should always take a stool sample with you when you go to
your appointment, even if you have done so previously and have
gotten a negative result. You only need a small sample that you can
take in any covered container or even a ziploc bag.
When they check the stool sample and give you the result of
negative - you should realize that this does not mean that your
puppy does not have worms. It only means that they did not see any
in that particular sample. When the vet looks at your sample they are
actually searching for eggs from the worms - not always the worms
themselves. If the worms were not shedding eggs you will not get a
positive result even though the pup maybe loaded with worms.
You should feel confident that the puppy is worm free after several
stool samples in a row have been negative and the pup is showing
no signs of parasite infestation. These signs can be weight loss, poor
coat, diarrhea, bloody stool, poor appetite, lack of energy etc...
Your puppy may not be ready for a second vaccination at the first
visit. Check the date that your puppy had it's first shot and do not let
him be revaccinated for another 3-4 weeks from that date.
Your vet will listen to the puppies heart in order to rule out heart
murmurs. It is possible for your vet to hear a murmur that our vet did
not hear. This can happen due to stress or just timing. Most heart
murmurs go away within a short time if they are detected. Heart
murmurs are not common but it is a possibility. They will also look in
their eyes and do a complete physical examination.
Your vet will probably discuss heartworm and flea prevention
products with you. If you have not had a dog for several years, you
might not be aware of the growing risk of heartworm in dogs.
Heartworm is transmitted by the common mosquito and is a
dangerous and life threatening disease. Ask your vet about the
prevalence of heartworm in the area you live before deciding if you
will give it to your puppy or not. Different areas of the country are
more likely to have this problem than others. Fleas are much more
common in every area of the country and some sort of prevention
will be necessary. You have a wide range of choices for fleas that
you can discuss with your vet from natural products like brewers
yeast and garlic tablets, monthly topical chemicals, monthly pills or
sprays and powders. Ask questions and find the best option for you
and your pet. Many of the monthly flea and or heartworm prevention
products will also help to eliminate or prevent other pests like ear
mites and other intestinal worms. Be sure to ask about these
benefits as well when you are choosing the right product.