Hund Tierarzt

Routine visits to the veterinary practice over the course of a dog's life

Dr. Karin Schlotterbeck explains

Have you just adopted a dog, perhaps even a puppy, and are not sure when you should take your little darling to the vet's office? There are a few routine checkups and vaccinations that you should get depending on your pet's age.

Taking the puppy to the vet: basic immunization

The first visit to the vet takes place when the dog is a puppy as part of the basic immunization. Normally, the breeder has already taken care of the first vaccination against distemper , hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and, if necessary, kennel cough , as well as chipping and issuing the pet ID card.  

Second vaccination and major examination at 12 weeks

After a period of getting used to it and getting to know the dog and the person for the first time, the second vaccination takes place at twelve weeks. The rabies vaccination can then be carried out in addition to the other vaccinations. This first visit to the vet is very exciting for all participants and should, if possible, be carried out in a relaxed and loving manner in the interests of the little newcomer so that this event remains a fond memory. The following will be examined in more detail during the investigation:  

  • General condition of the puppy (coat, attention)  
  • Examination of the oral cavity (misalignment of the teeth, color of the mucous membrane)  
  • Examination of the eyes and surrounding area (conjunctivitis)  
  • Examination of the ears (e.g. ear mites)  
  • Palpation of the lymph nodes  
  • Auscultation of the heart (congenital heart defect), feeling for a pulse (inner thigh)  
  • Examination of the abdomen (umbilical hernia)  
  • In male dogs, the presence of the testicles in the scrotum (from the twelfth week)  

It's best to write down questions about keeping, feeding, training, parasite prevention, etc. in advance. A possible second revaccination will then take place after another four weeks.  

After one year: completion of the basic immunization

After a year, the basic immunization is completed during another visit to the veterinary practice with another vaccination against distemper , hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and, if necessary, kennel cough .  

As the dog's life progresses, an annual vaccination against leptospirosis and, if necessary, kennel cough is carried out, which automatically results in a regular examination of the four-legged companion by the veterinarian.  

The remaining vaccinations should be repeated every three years.  

When do you have to visit the practice in between?

It is difficult to say in general how often you should visit a veterinary practice. In principle, it is certainly better to go once more than to wait too long. If you have prolonged increased thirst, changed behavior, pain, discharge of blood or pus, digestive problems, cough, movement disorders or poor appetite, you should definitely visit the practice. A good, detailed preliminary report from you is always a great advantage for the veterinarian when making a diagnosis.  

Development into seniors

From the age of seven onwards, it is advisable to have a few preventive examinations carried out every year, as the dog is now slowly developing into a senior.  

In addition to switching to senior food, it is advisable to have a so-called geriatric profile drawn up in the laboratory and a urine test at the vet after a thorough general examination and a blood sample. The internal organs as well as the spine can be examined more closely using ultrasound and possibly also an additional X-ray and changes (possibly spleen tumors, arthrosis , heart changes, etc.) can be identified and corrected in a timely manner.  

The last and most difficult visit to the practice

Every pet owner wants his or her loyal friend to stay healthy for as long as possible and, in the end, to fall asleep peacefully at home. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, so the final euthanasia procedure has to take place at the vet's - a difficult decision and implementation for everyone involved.  

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