Our policy is to de-worm Montegrino Mummies from day 40 of pregnancy to 2 days post whelping with Fenbendazole (Panacur). This is based on veterinary research which has shown that daily de-worming for 25 days significantly reduces the transmission of worms to the puppies. Worm burdens in puppies have been associated with fading puppy syndrome, gastrointestinal disease, anaemia, ill thrift and poor coat quality. From 2 weeks of age all Montegrino puppies are de-wormed every 2 weeks, this should continue until they are 3 months of age.
Puppies are vaccinated against Parvovirus at 6 weeks of age. Parvovirus is a devastating disease which is expensive and difficult to treat, unfortunately many infected puppies die despite receiving appropriate veterinary care. If the bitch is up to date with her vaccinations then her maternal antibodies, which are transferred via the milk, usually provide adequate protection against Parvovirus, Distemper, Adenovirus. Although all our dogs are up to date with their core vaccinations the transfer of antibodies is variable and difficult to predict, some puppies may be protected until 10 weeks of age and some may only receive sufficient antibodies to protect them until 5 weeks of age.
If the puppy is vaccinated whilst the maternal antibodies are still high then the vaccine will not stimulate the puppies immune system to produce its own antibodies. If vaccination is left too late then maternal antibodies are no longer present, because the puppy has not been vaccinated it does not have any antibodies of its own so is therefore susceptible to the disease. This is why vets routinely vaccinate puppies at 8 and 10 weeks, the aim is to vaccinate the puppy when the maternal antibodies are decreasing but still present, this ensures the puppy is not left vulnerable to disease but because the maternal antibodies are decreasing the vaccine is not neutralised and therefore is able to stimulate the puppies immune system to produce its own antibodies. We vaccinate early against Parvovirus to ensure that puppies who have not recieved sufficient maternal antibodies are given the opportunity to make their own antibodies to protect them before they leave for their new home. Your puppy will still require the full course of core vaccinations at 8 and 10 weeks.
- Rachael Smith DVM MRCVS