What Vaccinations and Treatments Does Your Labrador need before Arrival in Your Home?
Having a Labrador Retriever as a pet can be a very rewarding experience. They provide love, companionship and can increase your quality of life overall. However, the decision to adopt a dog into your family is not one that you should take lightly, as dogs require lots of time, money, and responsibility. One crucial responsibility you will have as an owner of a Labrador Retriever is the commitment to the dog’s health. In addition to providing your dog with healthy food, adequate exercise, and a safe environment to call home, you must also ensure that they receive appropriate vet care. Your dog will require yearly vaccinations and treatments to keep them in good health and prevent any unwanted illness or disease.
When you choose your Labrador Retriever puppy, it is critical that you find a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder will not allow puppies to go to their new homes before they are old enough to be weaned from their mother. By the time the puppies reach this age, usually eight weeks, they will have already needed some vital vaccinations. A reputable breeder will make sure that they have already received these vaccinations on time, and will be able to provide you with documentation.
Many common diseases that a dog can acquire over his lifetime are easily preventable. Through the use of appropriately timed vaccines, your dog can be spared the pain and discomfort of these common diseases and conditions. A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular disease. Vaccines contain agents that closely resemble the organisms that cause the disease. Though these agents are smaller, weakened form of the organism, they are enough to stimulate the dog’s immune system. Simply put, the dog’s immune system responds to the agents as a threat and then works to destroy it. Since it is a weakened version of the disease, the immune system can quickly eliminate it, usually without any noticeable symptoms or discomfort. After this process takes place, your dog’s body will remember this disease that it fought off and will be able to do so quickly again if it were to return. The vaccine works as practice, allowing the dog’s immune system to train itself to fight off the disease in a weakened state, rather than trying to do so at full strength. Therefore, these vaccines are critical to protecting your dog from fatal and life-threatening diseases.
Before you bring home your new Labrador, they should have already received two vaccinations. The first vaccination takes place when your Lab is six weeks old. They will receive the second vaccine at eight weeks, just before you bring them home. These are the vaccinations they will receive during sixth and eighth week appointments:
- Distemper – this is a very contagious disease that causes symptoms such as nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, convulsive seizures and even spinal cord damage. Your dog needs to be vaccinated against this disease as treatments are often ineffective.
- Coronavirus – this is an intestinal disease that is highly contagious. The symptoms of this virus can vary. Most of the time, this disease will present without symptoms, but may also cause vomiting, diarrhea and even anorexia and fever among dogs.
- Parvovirus – this is another very contagious viral gastroenteritis that can be accompanied by symptoms such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, and severe vomiting. Parvovirus can affect your dog’s body tremendously that it can cause death very quickly.
- Adenovirus – Adenovirus can cause illnesses in the respiratory system that can range from common colds to pneumonia and bronchitis.
- Parainfluenza – this is another respiratory virus which is also very contagious. Parainfluenza virus can cause symptoms such as coughing, fever, nasal discharge, lack of appetite and loss of energy.
- Hepatitis – In puppies, hepatitis can cause sudden death while it can cause weakness, diarrhea, fever, bleeding and loss of appetite in adult dogs.
Though this may seem like too much for such a small animal, all the vaccines are contained in one injection, and the dose is minuscule. Also, since it is administered subcutaneously, it is over very quickly and causes minimal discomfort.
DEWORMING YOUR LABRADOR RETRIEVER
In addition to immunizing your dog with the proper vaccines, another treatment that your dog needs to have prior to arriving at your home is deworming. Many intestinal worms can pose a threat to your dogs, such as roundworm, whipworm, tapeworm, and hookworm. When your Labrador retriever experiences a worm infestation, symptoms can include a lack of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting and even death. For this reason, your Labrador should be routinely dewormed as part of a healthy, preventative routine. The first deworming should occur as early as six weeks of age. Here is an example of a deworming schedule that your dog should undertake before arriving in your home:
- The fourth week – Dogs should be given pyrantel. Pyrantel is a deworming agent used to treat hookworms and roundworms.
- The fifth week – Dogs should be given pyrantel or febantel. Febantel is a deworming agent like pyrantel. This is used to kill tapeworms and whipworms in dogs.
- The sixth week – Dog should receive another dose of pyrantel or febantel.
- The eighth week – The dog should be given Ivermectin. This is another anti-parasitic drug with a broader function than the previous two deworming agents, allowing it to fight more worm infestations.
Bringing a new puppy into your home is a very exciting time. You may go out and buy new toys, bedding, treats and other necessities that your new dog will need. But it is also crucial to fully understand the medical requirements of a new dog. You will want to confirm that your puppy has already been given the vaccines that it needs, as well as continue to follow the proper vaccination schedule. Ensuring that your Labrador Retriever receives all the vaccines that they need will help to ensure that they live a long, healthy life.