Initial Puppy Care-
****You need to assume the puppy has gut type parasites as we live in the SE United States and we "ALWAYS" have hookworm, round worms, and whip worm infestations. We also have Giardhia and Coccidia outbreaks sometimes. REGARDLESS OF FECAL SAMPLE RESULTS
Your pups will have been dewormed at least 3 times and given their first vaccines (Distemper/Parvo only) at seven weeks old. IF they remain healthy they will not need to visit your vet until they are 11-12 weeks old. Very important not to be exposed to sick animals in vet waiting rooms unless it is necessary. I usually keep them in my vehicle until appt. time and then carry them in to put on exam table. When exam is over I carry them back to vehicle without letting them down on ground. After a 7-10 period after their second vaccine it will be safer for the pups to become exposed to other dogs.
Swissy pups normally walk like a cow with a corn cob jammed up their butt. <g> NORMAL!!! Has NOTHING to do with Hip joint conformation or future hip issues at all. Many vets who have not seen these pups are very alarmed at this,,, no need to be.
Sometimes the reasons your pup may be sold as companion can be slight overbites, small hernias, mismarks which will not affect your pups health as they grow to adulthood. If they were absolutely perfect they would have been retained or sold as a show breeding animal. I do not sell anything that needs immediate surgical corrections. Small hernias can be fixed at time of nuetering.
It is not uncommon for growing pups to have slight heart murmurs. They normally grow out of this. If they do not and it impacts their health please call me.
When you get your pup home, they will be stressed from traveling. Stools can be loose for first few days. Can mix rice or pumpkin with food to firm up stools.
Since my pups are used to being outside from 5-8 weeks, they may take a couple days to acclimate to inside flooring. After a few days they will settle right in. Please remember to place carpet renmants or mats down on slick hard surfaces. Very important that puppies play areas be non slick, padded or be on a grassy yard. Doing the splits or slipping or falling can cause serious injury to young developing joints.
For first few days please mix the food they come with half and half with commercial kibble you have so they are slowly exposed to new foods. Would also use bottled water at first. Would hold off on introducing raw foods into diet for the first 4-5 days until their system gets used to new food sources and your drinking water.
Please review feeding, worming, and vaccine recommendations under Diet/Vaccine section and first vet visit section on my website .
Please restrict your pup to places in your house that are safe for them to be. Do NOT let them have access to all areas of your house. Would have a temporary expen set up outside that has shade, shelter, and water at all times during the day. Pups have a tendency to eat stones, sticks, and anything else they can chew and swallow, BEWARE!. Please use large leg bones or large sticks for puppy chew toys. Would only let them loose outside of expen when you have the time to SUPERVISE them.
Normal growth- Until puppies growth plates stop growing at 18-20 months these pups normally are loosy goosy, clutzy, prone to accidents, ankles are loose, legs go in all directions and it is normal for them to go through some periods of soreness or growing pains. IF you know the dog has been injured I would exray the leg to rule out a broken bone,,, but if there is soreness for more than a couple days I would start the pup on both MSM and Glucosamine at the same time at a dose of 1000-1500 mg per day or use Equinly Plus horse supplement for first two years. . Would make sure the pups are encouraged to use low impact exercise a few times per day, EVERY DAY. Examples are hiking and walking. Would keep them on the MSM and Glucoasamine for at least 60 days past the soreness stage. Sometimes if I have a large male pup that is fast growing and has intermittent soreness issues I will keep that pup on the MSM/Glucoasamine or Equinyl Plus horse supplement until 24-26 months of age.
Unless the puppy has joint mice or flaps of cartilage on exray examination linked to ocd injury syndrome I would NOT do surgery on a pup under 20 months of age.
Exrays taken before 18 months are not reliable as pups have not stopped growing or maturing.
If surgery is done before 20 months old without Sellers express written permission all Health Gaurentees are null and void.
Preventative Joint Health* I am having good success with a horse joint supplement called Equinyl plus that has Ester C, glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin and minerals in it. Great for sore pups under 20 months old and aging swissys over 7 years old. Also think about using heavy duty rubber mats in areas that your family uses for outdoor gathering places so when the pup plops down they do not injure their shoulder or elbow joints.
-Do NOT make permanent orthopedic decisions until you exray at over 20 months old. Exrays taken at young ages are not reliable as pups joints are loose, and soft.
Do NOT NUETER until growth plates stop growing at 18-20 months of age ie AFTER their bone plates stop growing. Always use a reversible or short acting anaesthesia and check blood for clotting factors before surgeries.
Diet- Read feeding recommendations. I would use a good wheat, soy and corn free commercial food supplemented with raw bones and meat (starting at six months old) and slightly cooked green and orange veggies until their growth plates are done growing. After 18-20 months it is then safe to switch to all raw or stay on a good commercial food supplemented with raw food. Make sure they are on a human grade multivitamin and kelp whatever diet you have them on.
Pups on Kelp and Multivitamins tend to eat less rocks, soil and sticks.
Low Stress Potty training=
Would recommended setting up a night time enclosed area inside or out with an expen where you can secure the crate door in the open position so pup can have a dry clean place to lie down and if they need to use the bathroom they can go out of the crate and use bathroom on newspapers. This will help them distinguish a clean/dry area and a potty area. First week use your crate, put food just inside the door. Second week , start putting the food bowl half way back so pup has to have front feet in the crate. Third week onwards, put food bowl in the back of the crate so the pup has to have all four feet inside their crate to eat. Do NOT lock the puppy in the crate at this time. Infants do not have enough bladder control to last the night and you do not want them to get used to going potty in their crates.
Take pup outside right before you go to bed and take them out first thing in the morning. When you look at the newspapers and there are no more accidents for a week or more then you can start locking the pup in the crate for the night as they will have enough bladder control to last the night.
Would also have a six ft high expen outside the back door of your house so you can put the pup outside periodically without supervision. This is a great place to have water and shelter available so if you have to leave the house or do chores or work on the computer the pup has a safe place to be.
I NEVER leave my dogs loose in the house if I am not their to supervise them. They can destroy your belongings, furniture, chew electric wires , tear down curtains, cause house fires etc. if you are not their to prevent it.
Remember we are in this together for the lifetime of your puppy.
Call me in non- emergency situations. Can save you tons of money and a lot of mental grief. <g>