At the Vet

Sunday, July 8, 2007

At the Vet

Finn's first trip to the vet was a massive success. He was great in the car and the office despite the presence of at least 10 other dogs. Although he did pull on the leash a few times he never barked at the other dogs and could not have cared less about the one cat who was there.

Our Vet was Dr. Vicki Torrens at The Brentwood Pet Clinic. She was a polite woman who was great at answering questions and made the entire experience a rather enjoyable one. Dr. Torrens cleared Finn's health and went over a variety of things that he will need in the future.

First, since the breeder opted not to get him vaccinated for it, I went ahead and got him his first of two rounds of vaccinations for Kennel Cough (Bordetella injection). Mostly this is spread from places with heavy pet populations (Dog parks, kennels, etc) and the vaccination is required for some kennels and travel. To err on the side of caution I decided Finn should get it. The vaccination was inhaled nasally which necessitated my holding Finn down while the Vet made him sniff from a little bottle, which was less of a production then it would seem.

Finn also had a weigh-in, tipping the scales at an impressive 32 lbs. which is just right for a 3.5 month old golden.

Other notes from this trip:
At 16 weeks will need:
Rabies vaccine
3rd DHLPP booster
Revolution vaccine, for heartworm/fleas/ticks.

All of these can be done at the vet or at any of the local pet shops who do weekly vaccinations.

At 6 Months:
He can be neutered ($200-250 weight sensitive) at the office or at one of local places that does them (pet shops, humane society)
Also during the neutering is the best time to put in a microchip ($75) because the dog will already be under anesthesia.
Dr. Torrens suggested Finn have an X-ray done for hip dysplasia. From wikipedia:

The classic diagnostic technique is with appropriate x-Rays and hip scoring tests. These should be done at an appropriate age, and perhaps repeated at adulthood - if done too young they will not show anything. Since the condition is to a large degree inherited, the hip scores of parents should be professionally checked before buying a pup, and the hip scores of dogs should be checked before relying upon them for breeding. Despite the fact that the condition is inherited, it can occasionally arise even to animals with impeccable hip scored parents.

In diagnosing suspected dysplasia, the x-ray to evaluate the internal state of the joints, is usually combined with a study of the animal and how it moves, to confirm whether its quality of life is being affected. Evidence of lameness or abnormal hip or spine use, difficulty or reduced movement when running or navigating steps, are all evidence of a problem. Both aspects have to be taken into account since there can be serious pain with little X-ray evidence.

It is also common to X-ray the spine and legs, as well as the hips, where dysplasia is suspected, since soft tissues can be affected by the extra strain of a dysplastic hip, or there may be other undetected factors such as neurological issues (eg nerve damage) involved.

His parents dboth had great hips so hoepfully he will get lucky and not have problems with it.

The vet also said his peeing like a girl (yeah he squats) is not unusual to see in puppies and he will likely grow out of it. All in all it seems Finn is as healthy as he is beautiful and for that I am very thankful.