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Should puppies get heartworm preventative and rabies shots?

Dr Mike,

We have a breeding pair of imported Braque d' Auvergne's from France. In France they don't have or treat for heartworm so our dogs did not receive any imunity at all from the mother. Also we live in Alaska where we don't have or treat for it either. We plan to breed in the spring which would make the pups old enough to travel in late July or early August at 2 months of age (after 1st rabies which we will do). We plan to sell the pups all over the USA. My question is should we get some medication for the pups before we ship them? Or are they ok and do we just tell the buyers to get them into the vet ASAP for it? I need to plan ahead on this issue as the vets here don't even stock the medicine. Incidentially, we also don't have fleas. If a dog comes into the state with fleas they're killed off in the first winter. The vet here said something about the ground being too cold for part of the fleas lifecycle. Thanks for your help, Lori Noble of Glacier Bleu Braque d' Auvergne (listed on this site under pointers)

Lori, sounds like an exciting life jetting between Alaska and France. If I travel 60 miles south to Belen, New Mexico I think I'm a world traveler. As far as the pups go a couple of things, heartworm is spread by mosquitos so immunity from the mother isnt an issue. Because of the life cycle of the heartworm,dogs are around 6 months of age before they will test positive on a blood test so pups should be on a heartworm preventative before that time. Since you will be shipping the pups at 8 weeks I would let the new owners take care of heartworm prevention. As far as vaccination, puppies dont get a "first rabies" at 8 weeks ( they have to be at least 12 weeks in most states). The first puppy shot , usually a parvo or parvo combination shot happens at 6-8 weeks.

Dr. Mike

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