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Beagle Puppyhood   part II
Lets bring us up to date, you have your pup, you have your crate and all of your miscellaneous puppy care items. Lets start from the beginning!

   After you bring the pup home make an appointment with the vet for a "well puppy" visit. Take along a stool sample, the fresher the better! Some intestinal parasites the vet will check for are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, coccidea, and whipworms. I would take up another whole web site describing the life cycles of these parasites. (Perhaps in the future I will.)

   Before you go to the vet make a list of questions you may have. You will be amazed at what you forget  to ask while trying to hold a squirming puppy on that exam table!

   If you aren't familiar with ear cleaning or nail trimming, have the vet show you how at the office. It is fairly easy, and when started young most don't mind having these routine acts of hygiene performed on them.

   Your vet will start your pup on a series of vaccinations, just like human children go through, except of course for different diseases!   
The vaccines recommended for this area of the country are:
            Bordetella brochiseptica
            Lyme disease
Whew. Seems like a lot, but these diseases are prevalent here and in most parts of the country.
You may find your breeder has already started the vaccine series. Find out which ones the pup has had and give the information to the vet.
Pups are protected from many things through antibodies in the mother's milk. If a vaccine is given while pups are still nursing it will not have any effect. The pups immune system won't be in "antibody" making mode until after they are weaned. Giving a vaccine while pups are nursing is really a waste of money, time, and undue stress on the pup. Most breeders are aware of this fact and do not even try to vaccinate unweaned pups.
It is of utmost importance to find out when your pup had his first inoculation, and at what age he was weaned. If the two are in the same time frame, you better repeat the vaccine, as the first is null and void!

Vaccines are most often given in a combination, so the poor pup doesn't have to get poked with a needle too much. Most get Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo, and Parainfluenza in one shot, occasionally with the Corona virus added. These are referred to as the DHLPP or DHLPP+C respectively. Some call these the 5 (or 6) in one puppy vaccines. DHLPP should be boostered yearly.

Pups should receive their first DHLPP at 7 or 8 weeks of age, and they get the next  DHLPP at 11 or 12 weeks of age, and their final DHLPP at 16 weeks of age. This is for pet dogs, if your dog will hunt or show you may have to start vaccinations at an earlier age, and you may have to get more than 3 in a row.

Bordetella is recommended for pups who will board, show, be groomed, or be exposed to other dogs. This vaccine can be given with the first DHLPP at 7 or 8 weeks of age, or during any of the following vet visits at 11 to 16 weeks of age. This vaccine also needs to be boostered yearly.

Lyme is given at around 16 weeks, and a booster is given in 2 to 3 weeks from the first inoculation. The Lyme vaccine is then effective for about a year.

Rabies can be given to pups as young as 14 weeks, but most are inoculated at 16 weeks old. This vaccine is boostered in one year and is then effective for up to 3 years. HOWEVER, because of the problem of rabies in this area a 3 year rabies vaccine is NOT good for 3 years. Pets in this area must be vaccinated EVERY OTHER YEAR!  Some parts of the country require rabies to be boostered EVERY YEAR Check with your local veterinarian, they will know how often to booster your pet for rabies.
*Also note, in some states rabies vaccinations MUST BE ADMINISTERED by a Veterinarian or they will not be recognized. For example, if an owner or breeder gives their dogs the rabies vaccine and the animal bites someone, the animal may have to be quarantined or destroyed (depending on the circumstances) because the vaccine was not given by a veterinarian.*

This area (Southern PA, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and ALL POINTS south) are plagued with the problem of Heartworms. If a pet isn't on preventative is isn't a question of whether they will get heartworms, it is just a matter of time.

Heartworm prevention, like monthly tablets of Interceptor, are safe for puppies as young as 6 weeks old, but we don't usually start the preventative until the pups are 4 months old.

Heartworm preventative in this area is given year round, and pets are tested yearly if the owner misses a month's dose, and some owners are in the bad habit of taking their pets off of the preventative during the winter months. This is an old practice that should be stopped. All it takes is one infected mosquito to give your dog heartworms, and I have seen mosquitoes in February during those odd warm spells.

There are some added benefits of some monthly heartworm preventatives also! Most control intestinal parasites as well, such as roundworms, whipworms, and even the dreaded hookworms!

Some heartworm prevention like Sentinel has the added bonus of the intestinal parasites mentioned above as well as flea control. Something to ask your vets office about!

Fleas are nasty insects who feed on your pets blood, and can carry nasty things to your dog like tapeworms. Not to mention the discomfort and possible allergies or skin infections that they can cause!

What do you do if you discover your pet has fleas?
Number one, realize that by the time you notice adult fleas your home is already infected. Adult fleas only stay on the dog long enough to drink lots of blood, reproduce, and lay eggs. The eggs roll off the dog and live in carpets, bedding, and areas outside where the pet frequents.

I commonly hear, "I see them on my dog, but I don't have any in the house!"
I feel sorry for these misinformed folks. You have to tackle fleas by killing the adults, as well as the larva and eggs that DO LIVE IN THE HOUSE!!!!!

You can buy bombs, sprays, and the like, but calling an exterminator can turn out to be the easiest route to take. The day the exterminator comes have your pet bathed and treated with a topical insecticide like Advantage. The makers of Sentinel also have a single dose product, Capstar, that is NOT a pesticide. This may be an option for those who wish to limit their pets exposure to pesticides. Capstar kills fleas within a few hours and has no pesticide residue like conventional insecticides. Ask the vet which is the best for your pet.

Most exterminators will treat the yard as well, so this may be an option you will want. Or you can use products specifically targeted for yard use and that are safe around pets.

I don't have any of these problems, because my pets are all on Sentinel. Sentinel, and Program, both break the flea life cycle by not letting any flea eggs develop. Flea eggs and larva can account for more than 80% of the total flea population. So if you see fleas, you can bet you have their babies IN YOUR HOUSE!

There are TONS of options for flea control, and different methods work for different pets, so contact your veterinarian for more information.

Just a hint COLLARS AND POWDERS DON'T WORK, so don't waste your money.

Even the name sounds disgusting! Ticks are not insects, they are arachnids, related to mites and even spiders! Therefore, insecticides will not work on them!
There are some chemicals, like amitraz, that are highly effective at killing ticks, but most products containing things that kill ticks are not safe to use around cats or horses. And I certainly wouldn't trust them around children.

Ticks like the deer tick can also transmit Lyme disease.

There are products like Frontline that are effective, but because I don't use  Frontline I can't say much about it. (Sorry!)

It is best to ask the vet what is the best product to use, as I have mentioned effective methods of parasite control are practiced by different owners.

However, if a tick or flea problem exists it will get worse, not magically resolve itself, so get on a preventative program now!

Tuff and Ruger, their second day home.

There are other health/parasite issues that should be explained to you by your vet, some of these can vary depending on where you live, where your pet came from, and what your beagle does for a "living."

Yuk! I hate it when mom puts that cold ear cleaner stuff in my  ears!
Love your new pup already?

Now is the time to socialize that pup! Once settled, invite a neighbor or two over! Let the pup get to meet as many new people as possible!

I take my pups with me to the drive up at the bank, to the local feed/seed dealer, to the pet supply store, and even the walk up ice cream shop. Then they can meet new people and go to new places without fear of new situations, the car or strangers. (And they even get to taste new flavors, like vanilla ice cream drips on moms shoe!)

They gain experiences, like riding in the car (in a seatbelt for dogs) meet new creatures like birds, cats, or squirrels, and even get to see and sniff that first bunny!

Do not keep your pup locked up in your house all the time!

They need to get out and explore the world!

And proper socialization makes them easier to live with as adults.

Pets that aren't socialized properly can end up with behavior problems, so start them early.

These two are socializing with each other, and destroying the flower bed at the same time! Awe, who needs flowers anyway !!

Now if you are ready, onward to Beagle Adolescence