The 12 week check up

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by the weekly blog for Assistance Dogs New Zealand. This is where we give you a little insight into the work, training, effort and success of raising these amazing assets to the community.

Last week, we looked at how the Assistance Dogs are transported safely around town, and between towns.

This week, I joined Robyn, the Puppy Development Manager, at the vets with the K litter for their 12 week vaccinations.

Before we get to the vets though, just imagine having six 12 week old puppies in the car!  Those sort of trips just emphasise how important it is to have the right restraints in place, to keep all of them (and the driver) safe! As it was, little Katie was causing trouble with her siblings so was moved to the front passenger seat well. Of course, at that young age, she needed to be restrained there, but that kept her from causing too much more trouble :-).

Assistance Dogs New Zealand has a great relationship with their vet practice, Vetora in Te Awamutu.

The practice has even named one of the ‘K’ pups, Kevin, so were very keen to see him as well as his brother and sisters.

With six puppies to get through, and all of them in the room at the same time, organisation is the key. Thank goodness Robyn is so good at that! As each puppy is seen by the vet, they have their ID number cross checked on their vet card, to make sure it’s the right one.

This visit is not just about getting their vaccinations. The puppies have a thorough check over by Dr Brittany, the vet, to make sure their development is in line with expectations, and if there is anything that needs to be addressed it can be done so quickly and efficiently.

Each puppy went through the routine one at a time, but the photos are taken (on my phone) throughout the visit.

First up, the puppies get weighed. Some need a little bit of encouragement to sit still, others need a hand so they feel safe, and others are quite happy to do whatever is asked.

The puppies then all have their teeth and gums checked. The vet lets Robyn know of anything that needs to be done to help with the correct development.

While she’s working at the head end, the vet also checked the puppies’ ears.

Very importantly, the puppies all get checked for any early signs of hip dysplasia. The vet told me that there is a small window between 12 and 16 weeks where the early signs can be addressed to avoid the need for drastic action later.

All ADNZT puppies are bred from stock that has been x-rayed and scored for their hips, so it would be a surprise if anything showed up. Thankfully, they all came through with flying colours!

The vet checks for any signs of umbilical hernia. And on the boys she has a quick count of things in the under carriage.

The vet checks for any signs of umbilical hernia. And on the boys she has a quick count of things in the under carriage.

The 12 week vaccine is administered.

Some puppies didn’t even notice, but others yelped like it was the end of the world!

At the same time, Robyn gives them the flea treatment.

Then there is a little bit of indignity, as the vet needs to check all their temperatures too!

Of course, it helps the process if there is a little something to nibble on at the other end :-)

And a cuddle when it’s all over!

The vet signs off the books…..each one after each puppy. And we’re done! The whole experience has left the puppies exhausted, so that should make for a quieter trip home, but Katie is still separated from her siblings and gets to ride in the front.

Phew! All have a clean bill of health and are up to date with their vaccinations. It wont be long before they’re out an about like their older role models.

Assistance Dogs New Zealand is a charitable trust that is funded solely by the generosity of sponsors, donors and supporters. If you’d like to help support this outstanding organisation, puppy sponsorship just might be the way you can. Check out our puppy sponsorship page here. If that’s not your cup of tea, one off donations are all gratefully received. :-).

Have a great week.