CHECKING A DOG’S HEART RATE
To count your dog’s Heart rate, gently place your fingers on the chest inside of the dog’s elbow. Press lightly and will feel the beats. A normal rate is between 80 and 140 beats per minute. After obtaining your puppy, you should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. Ask your dog-owning Friends to recommend a good doctor or call your local humane society or veterinary association for a referral. At the first visit, your veterinarian will give your puppy a thorough physical examination to make sure she is healthy, will check her feces for intestinal parasites and will set up a vaccination schedule for you to follow.
Puppies are susceptible to several life-threatening contagious diseases that are easily prevented through vaccination. Most vaccines are given two or three times at three-to-four week intervals until the puppy is 12 to 14 weeks old (see chart, p.39). The vaccines are given several times because most puppies carry temporary protection (antibodies) from their mothers that may interfere with their ability to develop their own protection. Most vaccines are boostered annually. Bear in mind that your puppy is not fully protected until she has received all for her puppy vaccines. If your puppy is not fully immunized, don’t take her places where she will come into contact with unvaccinated dogs. Depending on where you live and what your dog is likely to be exposed to, your veterinarian may also recommend vaccines for Lyme Disease, a tick-transmitted disease that affects many body systems, and Coronavirus, another intestinal viral disease that can be serious for puppies. An Intranasal form of the kennel cough vaccine is often recommended for dogs who are going to be housed with other dogs (as at dog shows or in boarding kennels). Your veterinarian may also suggest an oral heartworm preventive, although this is not a vaccine.
Most dogs are not complainers and will hide their discomfort. It’s up to you to observe your dog’s behavior and vital signs and know when to seek help. A dog’s behavior and vital signs and know when to seek help. A dog’s normal heart rate is between 80 and 140 beats per minute. The heartbeat can be felt by placing your hands around the chest just behind the elbow and gently pressing. To check for respiration, look for movement in the chest. If a dog is unconscious and appears lifeless, place a thread or hair in front of the nose to detect the slightest flow of air. The normal body temperature for a dog is between 101 and 102.50F (38-390C). To take your dog’s temperature just put a dab of lubricating jelly on the tip of rectal or digital thermometer and carefully insert it about 2 inches (5cm) into the rectum. Hold on to the thermometer throughout and read it after two minutes. Anything over 1030F (39-50C).
Is a fever and deserves immediate attention. Most feverish dogs have poor appetites, are inactive and have a “dull” look to their eyes. They tend to have warm. Dry noses, but so do many healthy dogs, so your dog’s nose is not a good barometer of a fever. The only sure way to tell if your dog has a fever is to take her temperature.
BETTER SAFW THAN SORRY
Vaccines for many of the common canine diseases are given together in one injection. These days, vaccination is such a quick and simple procedure, why take a chance on your pet’s life?