Epping Road Veterinary Hospital

120 Epping Road
Exeter, NH 03833



Puppy Health Recommendations

Puppies come to our hospital from various previous settings.  Some will come with all of their core vaccinations and others may have not had any, or minimal, veterinary care.  Most puppies are somewhere in-between.  During your initial puppy visit, one of our team members will thoroughly review any medical history that you may have and formulate a plan tailor made plan for your puppy with one of our veterinarians.  We will also discuss recommendations for dental care, nail trimming, behavior training, diet, and house-breaking tips.  Our puppy recommendations are as follows:

Canine Distemper/Parvovirus Vaccine- (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza)  Canine Distemper/Parvovirus combo vaccine is an extremely important core vaccine for all dogs.  We recommend that puppies receive this vaccine as a 3 part series with booster vaccinations every 3-4 weeks from 8-16 weeks of age.  Many of the illnesses that this vaccine protects against have no cure other than supportive care and can be fatal, especially for young dogs.

Bordetella (Kennel Cough) Vaccine- Bordetella (Kennel Cough) vaccine protects against common bacterial respiratory infection.  This infection is highly contagious and easily transferable.  Therefore, we highly recommend it for all puppies and any dogs who will spend time around canine companions.  Although this vaccination will not completely prevent this infection, it will greatly reduce the likelihood of your pet contracting it and help accelerate the healing process if they do contract it.  We use an oral Bordetella vaccine that is effective for 1 year after administration.

Leptospirosis Vaccine- The Leptospirosis vaccine is given in a 2 part series for puppies, with a booster given 3 weeks after the initial vaccine is administered.  Leptospirosis can be a serious, even deadly, bacterial infection that can then be spread to humans.  It is obtained through contact with an infected animals urine.  Therefore, we recommend that all pets receive this vaccination, and especially those who spend any amount of time outside or near wildlife.  

Lyme Vaccine- The Lyme vaccine is given in a 2 part series to puppies, with a booster given 3 weeks after the initial vaccine is administered.  New Hampshire is now the most Lyme endemic state in the United States.  Therefore, we recommend this vaccine for all dogs in our area.  Although this vaccine does not completely prevent the possibility of Lyme infection, it does decrease the likelihood of contracting it and prevents against the advance stages of Lyme infection which can be fatal.  Administering the Lyme vaccine and maintaining regular flea/tick prevention is our greatest protection against this serious illness.

Rabies Vaccine- Rabies vaccination is required by law and highly important as there is no cure for Rabies infection.  We typically will plan for this vaccine at the end of your puppies vaccine series, around 16 weeks of age and offers protection for one year after administration.

Spay/NeuterWe recommend having your pet spayed/neutered around 6 months of age.  It is important to have this procedure performed before a female pet's first heat cycle to limit the risk of Ovarian Cancer later in life.  Pet's who are spayed/neutered at this age tend to experience less behavioral issues as well as fewer health concerns.  Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure.  Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery.  Also a pre-anesthetic blood screen is recommended prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery.

Pre-anesthetic Blood ScreeningThis is a blood test that is run prior to surgery. It tests the organ functions, blood counts and clotting function of your pet. The pre-anesthetic blood screening is done to assure safety during surgery and the ability to heal following surgery.  This screening is also important for setting a baseline for future blood screening tests.

Microchip Identification-  Lost pets who have microchip identification are 20 times more likely to return to their homes.  We recommend that all pets have this identification administered.  The process includes having a microchip injected into their skin, which then can be scanned to obtain information on returning them to their homes.  Although this procedure can be performed at any time, we typically will recommend it at the time of a spay/neuter or other surgical procedure as your pet will be under anesthesia and will not feel the injection.

Heartworm Prevention- We recommend that all dogs be on monthly oral heartworm prevention given every 30 days.  We offer Tri-Heart prevention here in our hospital.

Flea/Tick Prevention- We recommend that all dogs be on flea and tick prevention.  For puppies, we recommend Nexgard monthly oral prevention given every 30 days.  After 6 months of age, many dogs will then transition to Bravecto oral prevention, which last for 90 days.  Seresto collars are another great option, which last for 8 months once applied.

Deworming Series- At your first puppy visit, we will dispense deworming medication and a schedule appropriate for your dogs age and weight to be sure that we treat the normal internal parasites that puppies carry.

Internal Parasite Screening- All puppies will go through a deworming series, however, not one deworming medication will treat every internal parasite.  Therefore, we recommend having a comprehensive fecal screening performed to be sure that your puppy is free of internal parasites.