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I recently spoke with my vet and got some great advice on puppy vetting -- I wanted to pass this along for information. THANK YOU, DR. M AND DR. L!

First off, bully breeds are susceptible to skin conditions, and all puppies have worms.  Also, placing puppies in homes is traumatizing to them, and their systems respond accordingly to this adjustment.

 

Skin conditions. All dogs have mange mites in their skin, regardless of their health. Dogs' immunities can be compromised when experiencing the trauma of placement and when transitioning from being a littermate to the sole dog. When this occurs, the immune system can't fight off the mites, and this manifests itself as demodex mange - a skin condition that is treated with Goodwinol Oinment, which is 100% natural. Demodex mange is non-transmissible; however, sarcoptic mange is highly transmissible. Demodex mites can bite humans, but tend not to! In the future, all of my placed puppies will have 30ccs of Goodwinol Ointment accompanying them. This is a topical ointment, and is extremely effective. Here is a link to re-order it, if need be, beyond the accompanying ointment to come with the puppy -- click here.

 

Using an over-the-counter anti-bacterial wash on the puppy's stomach will gently clean the puppy from urine and other soiling. Two excellent washes available are Hibiclens or Phisohex – these can be purchased at a pharmacy or googled and purchased online.  

Worms.   All puppies have worms – they are transmitted from the momma to the pup.  I use pyrantel pamoate to de-worm the puppies twice before their placement.  This is effective for killing a range of worms.  Vetting your puppy within the first week or so of placement will ensure a majority of the worms are killed.  This vetting should include a fecal exam to determine the type of worms present. I am not a big fan of using bruiser-strong wormers with newborn puppies -- I don't want to risk compromising their systems for the sake of having them worm-free at placement. Also, due to the parasitic cycle, placing worm-free puppies is not possible – it’s a gradual elimination process.  

 

Coughing, diarrhea and sneezing. Lovely stuff, huh?  This is often a result of stress to the puppy from their placement, causing compromised immune systems.  Just think of it -- the puppy's placement is the most traumatizing event that baby has seen yet -- going from always being with 10 siblings to being the lone ranger is really upsetting to dogs, since they are pack animals, and their systems respond accordingly.  Also, the transporting and new life exposes them to a range of temperatures and foreign viruses, which can give them minor colds.  I never have any puppies outside or exposed to foreign animals before their placement for this reason.  Obviously, they need to go outside after their placement, but this takes some adjusting to their system.

Regarding diarrhea, there is a perfect storm situation of sorts, with the stress of the placement, the change of food and parasites – it will usually take a few days to clear.

 

What should I look for? Signs of a happy, healthy puppy - eating 2-3x a day, pink gums, and high energy level.  All puppies should be vetted within a week after placement -- most importantly, to assess their vaccination needs. No puppy should be exposed to animals at the park, etc. until it is fully vaccinated by your vet. Please, though, realize that placements are not a seamless process -- the puppies are going through a lot of change with their new home, and their systems will respond accordingly.

 

THANK YOU for reading this, and to you new puppy parents, make your newly-arrived miracle an ambassador for the breed!

PS – my vets reviewed and edited this document twice – aren’t you glad with that level of detail they’re doing your babies’ alterations?!