Please remember that once your puppy comes home, you will need to keep her current on her annual vet check-ups, vaccinations & de-wormings. We learned SO much about animal health after we began Pom rescue & then breeding, so we do not assume that everyone knows how to best care for a puppy. We thought we were smart until we researched and realized how little we know! Scroll down the page for information about the need for vaccinations, de-worming, & puppy-proofing your home or click on the listed titles to skip down to a specific topic.
Other Health Concerns
Health Concerns Specific to Poms
Vaccinations are important for the prevention of canine diseases. Listed below are canine diseases that are preventable by vaccinations performed by your veterinarian. The first basic "Puppy Shot", the DHPP vaccination, is given before your puppy leaves us. It is important for you to understand that this is only the first shot in a SERIES of shots to protect your puppy. Depending on which area of the country you live, it may also be necessary to incorporate vaccinations for coronavirus or leptospirosis.
The reason you must continue receiving the vaccination until the appropriate age is because it is unknown when maternal antibodies cease to protect the puppy from these diseases. The puppy gets some protection from antibodies in the mother's milk. However, these antibodies can interfere with the DHPP vaccination, making it less effective. You must continue getting the vaccinations until it is sure that the mother's antibodies are out of the puppy's system and the DHPP shot can fully protect the puppy.
There is some controversy about whether it is necessary to continue receiving annual boosters of the modified live DHPP vaccination after the first year. Talk with your veterinarian and stick with whatever preventative measures they prescribe. Rabies vaccinations are, of course, usually always legally required. Your pet's health is paramount!
Canine distemper– A widespread, often fatal neurological disorder. The most feared canine disease in the world.
Canine adenovirus types 1 & 2– Type 1 causes infectious hepatitus and may cause severe kidney damage or death. Type 2 causes respiratory infection, an important factor in kennel cough.
Canine parainfluenza– Another cause of the kennel cough syndrome. It is a respiratory infection.
Canine parvovirus– Parvo is a widespread disease that may cause severely dehydrating diarrhea. A dangerous infection for puppies.
Rabies– A virus that attacks the brain and central nervous system. It is almost always fatal. It can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected animal.
Canine Bordetella– May contribute to the kennel cough syndrome.
Canine leptospirosis– A bacterial infection that can lead to permanent kidney damage; Easily spread to humans and other pets.
Canine coronavirus– A very contagious intestinal disease. Causes vomiting and diarrhea.
Lyme disease– A disease that causes symptoms similar to arthritis; Is spread through direct contact and insects such as flies, fleas and ticks.
Vet-Suggested Vaccination Schedule:
Combination(distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza and parvovirus) Vaccine: 6, 9, 12 & 15 wks. Add coronavirus, leptospirosis and lyme at 12 & 15 wks. in areas where these are of concern. Yearly booster.
Rabies: 3 months in S.C.; Varies from state to state. Yearly booster.
De-worming is just as critical as getting vaccinations. When you get your puppy, they should be free of any parasites, but worms are nasty little creatures and can hide in your puppy's system for a couple of weeks. You may not be able to see any evidence of worms in your puppy's waste so it is imperative that the puppy has a fecal exam performed by your veterinarian to determine the presence of parasites.
Since most worms have a cycle of life inside the intestine, it is necessary to de-worm more than one time so that you are sure you have eradicated all adult worms, plus any eggs, cysts or larvae that mature in the weeks following the initial de-worming. Your vet can prescribe the necessary medications for the treatment and prevention of intestinal worms.
The deadliest parasites for an adult dog are heartworms. Heartworms can be FATAL if not treated. Once your dog has heartworms, it is an expensive and aggravating ordeal. The best way to avoid this is PREVENTION by using Interceptor or some other method of heartworm prevention. Start your puppy on Interceptor while he is young! It could save you a lot of heartache later on.
Listed below are some of the common parasites dogs face. It is not comprehensive, and it is critical that you team up with your vet to ensure the health of your puppy for life.
Roundworms– Most often found in puppies; generally contracted from the mother before pups are even born. Pups may have a “potbelly” and pass worms through feces. Keeping the pups area clean will help avoid infestation.
Hookworms– A parasite that attaches to the small intestine and sucks blood. Can cause blood-stained stools and a failure to eat properly and maintain weight.
Whipworms– A parasite that is passed through feces. They attach and feed on the large intestine. In severe cases, dogs lose weight, become anemic and have recurring diarrhea.
Heartworms– These worms are spread through mosquitoes. The larvae passed by the mosquito travels to the heart where they grow and eventually clog the heart. Your vet can test for these and prescribe preventive treatment.
Tapeworms– A flat, segmented parasite that is transmitted by fleas. They can rob the dog of nutrients, but are rarely life-threatening.
Fleas– These tiny blood-suckers only stay on your pet 10% of the time. Therefore, it is necessary to treat your floors, furniture, the pet’s crate, yard and anywhere else the dog visits. Fleas will also defecate on your pet, leaving what looks like black pepper on your dog’s skin.
Ticks– If your dog acquires a tick, remove it slowly making sure you extricate the head from the dog’s body.
Ear Mites– Microscopic mites can live inside the ear canal causing great irritation. Check for a dark residue in your Pom’s ears.
Mange– Also caused by mites. Can cause hair loss and itching.
Vet-Suggested De-Worming Schedule:
Puppies:2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 10 wks.
Adult Dogs: Treat regularly for prevention. (Interceptor is a monthly pill that prevents heartworms, rounds, hooks & whips. Frontline is a topical liquid applied monthly that prevents fleas & ticks... great products! Talk to your vet about a prevention program suited for you and your puppy.) Also eliminate parasites in pet’s environment.
Other Health Concerns:
Eyes:Gently wipe your Pom’s eye corners with a tissue when you see “tear stains”. Products such as treated wipes are available to remove build-up.
Ears: Check for black residue in your dog’s ears, as well as scratching at ears, evidence of ear mites. Your vet can give you drops to treat this irritating condition.
Nails: Clip nails monthly being careful not to cut into the quick. Also clip the dew claw on the inside of the front paws.
Teeth: Feed your dog a premium-quality dry dog food to prevent tartar build-up. You can obtain an oral care kit from your vet to help keep your Pom’s teeth healthy and promote fresh breath. Preventive care can eliminate most problems.
Puppy-Proof Your Home:
Remove small or sharp objects that can be swallowed by an inquisitive pup. Also look out for electrical wires that are accessible for chewing.
Protect your Pom from poisons such as antifreeze, chocolate, and a number of indoor and yard plants.
Be aware that some insect bites and stings can cause severe allergic reactions in your Pom.
Be alert when letting down recliners and rocking in rocking chairs. Know where your little one is before you get up.
Do not allow children to play roughly with a Pomeranian. They are fragile. Do not place a pup on furniture where they may fall and break tiny bones.
Health Concerns Specific To Pomeranians:
Hypoglycemia isdefined as abnormally low blood glucose (sugar) levels. The brain requires sugar for normal function, and unlike many other organs, the brain has a very limited ability to store glucose. The brain is the organ that is predominantly affected when blood glucose gets too low. Puppies, especially toy breed puppies, are predisposed to developing hypoglycemia because they have less ability to store and mobilize glucose, compared to older animals. Puppies need frequent meals to prevent a hypoglycemic crisis.
Luxating patellas, or slipping kneecaps are actually due to bowed out legs. When bones are straight, the muscles and ligaments that join the kneecap glide back and forth as intended. However, when legs are bowed, the muscles pull inwardly, thus causing the kneecap to slip. This can be congenital or something acquired (trauma induced). Try to keep your Pom from jumping up and down on furniture. This could potentially cause trauma to the legs and knees over time.
A dog with a collapsing trachea may sound like a goose honking or a cat coughing up a hairball. You should see your veterinarian if this is a symptom your pet seems to have so he/she can diagnose the problem. Usually medications are prescribed to help this condition.