Routine Shots, Vacs, and Hips? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Colorado
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Routine Shots, Vacs, and Hips?

I have a reputable breeder who is going to help me pick the perfect puppy on their next litter. (Hopefully it'll be soon! I'm so excited!) She knows what she's doing, and takes care of all the puppy shots and things until I take my pup home at 8 weeks.

I'm curious if anyone else does their own shots, or if they go into the vet for every set of shots and the pros and cons of each? I know I can save a few dollars by doing my own shots (I've done shots for animals before), but I also want to ensure my pup has the best care etc. I'm not a lazy pet owner that refuses to go to the doc.

I've googled a bit on worms/heartworm/etc and am curious - do you do any preventative treatment? I know my vet will do heartworm at a certain age, but after that, do you do preventatives? With our adult GSD, we will worm him about once a year and that seems to do well for him. He likes to pick up worms now and again, so I want to avoid as many issues as possible.

And as far as hips go. My breeder has had her bitches and stud tested, and all have good hips. Aside from what google says (because we know google is ALWAYS reliable), what can I do to "help" my pup with her hips? I know to avoid excessive strenuous exercise until she's a little older, but is there anything else I can do? Would anyone recommend a daily supplement or anything of that nature? Or just take it easy until she's old enough to really play and be active?

Does anyone on here brush their dog's teeth? does it really make a difference if they have good bones to chew that can help clean the teeth/gums?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 05:04 PM
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I don't do my own shots, vet does.

With worms, heartworm I use Heartguard Plus, all other worms I was using a 12 weekly all wormer, now I am experimenting with diatomaceous earth as is suppose to control all types of worms except heart.

With hips and elbows, dysplasia is genetic so is good her breeding bitches and the stud have been scored, however look a bit further back on their pedigree chart for any high scores on a relative. As a puppy there are things you can do environmentally to help not develop dysplasia such as keeping puppy at a good trim weight (not over weight or underweight for that matter), do not exercise excessively - allow plenty of 'free' exercise such as off lead walking in safe areas and if you walk on lead watch for tiredness then stop, don't make puppy run excessively, watch puppy on stairs, don't encourage high jumps and sprint runs with sudden stops. So keeping puppy at a good weight and avoiding excessive exercise with help.

I give mine glucosamine and chondroitin and sometimes green lipped muscle, so any products with these ingredients that are appropriate for puppies is beneficial.

I have never cleaned a dogs teeth with a tooth brush. I give meaty bones, for puppies I always gave chicken wings and turkey necks to puppies.

Good luck and enjoy your puppy

if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 06:41 PM
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I typically go to my vet for shots but they don't charge through the roof. It's not that much more expensive and I'd have to drive farther to TSC to buy the vaccine. Also if you can't really verify that the vaccine was shipped and stored properly it may not be effective. I don't do as many vaccines as some people though.

I do my own heartworm preventative. I haven't use a flea/tick preventative in years but check my dogs if we're in the woods or tracking in a rural area. Luckily as bad as ticks have been recently, they really aren't bad in the city here.

For GSDs puppies, I do mostly "flat" work. There are a few flyball drills we do but the puppies don't jump/step over anything higher than their elbows and not a lot of repetitions. I don't really restrict "free" activities like running around the yard, going up/down stairs on their own, etc. If I'm playing tug, I keep it low, don't encourage the puppy to jump in the air at the tug.

I've never brushed a dog's teeth.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 95
Thanks for the info. I still have a few months to wait before I get my pup, but I want to get as much info as I can beforehand. I want to be a good fur mama! I'll keep all this in mind and talk to my breeder and vet about what I can do for shots / etc.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 05:52 PM
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Location: Central Maryland
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I don't live in a rural area so doing my own shots is not an option. That being said, I still wouldn't do them myself for various reasons. Vaccines are not that expensive so why not have the vet do them? You know they're coming from a reputable source and have been stored and administered correctly and you'll always have an accurate record for the life of the pet. Heartwork and Flea/Tick I purchase online and administer as directed (there is absolutely no reason at all why any dog owner should not follow a heart worm treatment plan...none). I guess if you're fairly confident that you won't have a problem with fleas and ticks then it's your choice but here in Maryland both are quite bad and if you've never had the issue before, try getting rid of fleas once they're found in your home/vehicle


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Colorado
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We're in the mountains, deserty area...we don't have many fleas or ticks (our male GSD has never had either), so I'm not too concerned about it, but I still use flea/tick shampoo on my boy, just to be safe (and it smells good).

I have no objections to going into my vet for shots, except we're about 45 to an hour away, so it would have to be a full day trip (go to the vet, then walk around our only pet-friendly store, and definitely eat some lunch!) But it's not hard to plan out.

Just looking for some opinions. When I get my pup, she's going to be pampered and spoiled and turned into a schutzhund dog. I hope.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 09:49 PM
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Location: South Carolina
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Because of the need for documentation of shots to do things like obedience classes, etc. I just had the vet do it.

I do my own heartworm as well (Ivomec) and give no flea / tick meds other than Springtime Bug Off Garlic. I am genuinely amazed as I live in the damp, warm, tick and flea infested SE US.

I let my pup do all kinds of natural things (romps with me through the woods) but did not do jumping or running on hard surfaces (like asphalt).


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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We live on about 20 acres of dirt. We have access to a billion other acres of farmland (hay, alfalfa, barley, etc), and on a dirt road. No asphalt here. I'm anxiously waiting to get my pup and start all the fun training stuff. woo!
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