Health Care

Fortunately, Australian Labradoodles are generally a healthy breed. Ear infections are probably their most common health complaint, but this is more often than not due to owners shying away from ear plucking, which significantly reduces the chance of your Australian Labradoodle getting an ear infection. Nonetheless, it is important to select a vet for your Australian Labradoodle in order to provide routine preventative healthcare and to be available should your dog ever become ill or have an accident. When selecting your vet, bear in mind that veterinary practices are profit-making businesses like any other. Do your research and try to select a vet you believe will be an advocate for your dog's health and well-being first and foremost.

Preventative health care generally includes vaccinations, worming and protection against fleas, ticks and ear mites. You should educate yourself about what your dog needs - you don't want to fall short and you don't want to go overkill either. You probably wouldn't take yourself off to the doctor for a rabies vaccine unless you were travelling to a country where there was a high risk of contracting rabies... likewise, your dog probably shouldn't be vaccinated against Kennel Cough if he is never going into boarding kennels. Your vet may try to sell you an all-inclusive preventative health care package for a monthly fee but before signing up, ask yourself if that is really in the best interest of your dog. Be an advocate for your dog's health and well-being.

Vaccinations

Different vets follow different vaccination protocols depending on what they believe to be best, and perhaps on how good a deal they get from the manufacturer. Whilst it seems safe to assume that a vet will be knowledgeable about their own protocol, please do not assume they are knowledgeable about others - it wouldn't be the first time we've received false information from a vet on vaccine compatibility.

At Lomond Hills, we have a strong opinion on vaccination, and therefore a strict protocol which we stick to religiously. We advise that our customers follow this protocol, but ultimately, it is up to you to decide what to do for your puppy moving forwards. Please remember that most vets will only have one brand/programme of vaccinations and will only be interested in selling you that programme, which may or may not be for the best - particularly given that we have started vaccinating your puppy already. Do your research and select a vet based on your findings.

Our protocol:

Firstly, we do not believe in unnecessary over-vaccination. We believe that over-vaccination may actually be more harmful than not vaccinating at all. We take a balanced view and work with our vet (of 10 years+) to provide our puppies with what is necessary, and nothing more.

We vaccinate all of our puppies against Canine Parvovirus and Leptospirosis when they are 6 weeks old. We believe these are the most severe threats, so we like to give our puppies protection as early as possible, and this is the youngest age at which it is safe to administer these vaccines. The specific brand and vaccine type we use at the 6-week stage are: Canigen Parvo-C (for Parvovirus) and Canigen Lepto 2 (for Leptospirosis).

Once the puppies are 10 weeks old, they require one further vaccination to provide complete cover and they will be safe to go out in public one week after this vaccination. At this time, they should be vaccinated against Canine Distemper, Canine Hepatitis, Canine Parvovirus (again) and Leptospirosis (again). The specific brand and vaccine type we recommend are used at this stage are: Canigen DHP (for Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus) and Canigen Lepto 2 (for Leptospirosis). Please note that the Nobivac brand of vaccine IS compatible with the Canigen brand, so it is safe and consistent with our protocol to give Nobivac DHP and Nobivac Lepto 2 instead. It should be noted however, that the Vanguard brand is NOT compatible with Canigen or Nobivac, and Lepto 4 is NOT compatible with Lepto 2.

If you want to follow our protocol, you need to find a vet that stocks Canigen or Nobivac DHP and Lepto 2.

After this, nothing further is required until the annual booster is due, which will be Canigen/Nobivac DHP and Canigen/Nobivac Lepto 2. After that, you will want to vaccinate against Leptospirosis on an annual basis using Canigen/Nobivac Lepto 2 as the vaccine offers immunity for one year only. The Canigen/Nobivac DHP vaccine offers immunity for 3 years though, so this will only need repeated once every three years to keep your dog covered. Please see the table below taken directly from the manufacturer's website which we have annotated:

What your puppy has already had
What we recommend you should continue with

If you change protocols and vaccinate with the Vanguard brand, Canigen/NobivacLepto 4, Canigen/Nobivac DHPPi or Canigen/Nobivac Pi - further puppy vaccinations after the 10-week stage will be required, and your puppy will not be safe to go out in public at 11 weeks old as s/he otherwise would have been.

Canine PARAInfluenza

We choose not to vaccinate against Canine Parainfluenza (i.e. we do not use the Pi or DHPPi vaccines you see in the table above) because we do not believe that dogs get flu! If your vet tries to persuade you to vaccinate your dog against Canine Parainfluenza, ask him/her to cite a confirmed case of Canine Parainfluenza - we would be very surprised if they could!

Lepto 2 or Lepto 4?

We also choose to use the Lepto 2 vaccination for Leptospirosis as opposed to the “new and improved” Lepto 4. There are multiple reasons for this.

1. The two additional serogroups in the Lepto 4 vaccine are not a present threat in the UK - most data was collected from elsewhere in Europe.

2.Many more adverse side-effects have been reported as a result of the Lepto 4 vaccine versus the Lepto 2 vaccine.

3.The time for the Lepto 4 primary vaccination course is much longer - first vaccine at 9 weeks, a second vaccine 4 weeks later, and active immunity does not start until 3 weeks after the second vaccine is given. This means your puppy would not be safe to go out in public until s/he is 16 weeks old - 5 weeks later than if you used Lepto 2 instead. This 5 week period is key socialisation time for your puppy that you do not want to miss out on.

Kennel Cough

The Kennel Cough vaccine is classified as non-core. It is not something which we tend to recommend and not something that we vaccinate our own dogs against. You might want to vaccinate against Kennel Cough if you are going to be leaving your dog in boarding kennels when you’re on holiday. Otherwise, we see little need.

Healthcare

Worming

Wormers can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by your vet, the latter is usually better. Again, different vets have different protocols.

All puppies are born with worms - regardless of how intensively their mother is wormed in the third trimester of pregnancy. We worm our puppies at 2, 5 and 7.5 weeks old with Panacur 10%. We suggest they are wormed again at 3, 4, 5 and 6 months old. After that, we suggest quarterly worming.

If you want to do it yourself, you could use a product such as Drontal Plus - we believe it to be quite good. Beware of cheap over-the-counter products, they tend not to be very good. Alternatively, your vet can prescribe a good wormer and will usually weigh your dog and give you exactly the right dose which is handy. It is also an opportunity for the vet to see your dog and you can raise any questions or concerns.

FLEAS/TICKS/EAR MITES

Whilst we are fortunate to have never had an issue with fleas, we do treat our puppies with Stronghold, purely as a precaution, when they are 6-7 weeks old. This is a spot-on treatment and covers fleas, ear mites, worms and a number of other parasites.

Whether you continue to treat preventatively will really depend on where you live and walk, and if you have a problem. Stronghold can be sourced from your vet and covers just about everything except ticks. For ticks, you might want to consider using Frontline which can be purchased easily online.

We do not recommend the all-in-one tablets, Bravecto. If you would like to discuss Bravecto with us, please get in touch and we will be happy to speak with you.

NON-ROUTINE HEALTH CARE

Whilst we do our very best and have an extensive health screening regime here at Lomond Hills, this does not guarantee that your puppy will never be unwell or have an accident. An important part of responsible dog ownership is ensuring that you are in a position to pay for any veterinary care that your dog might require. This means having a reasonably high level of disposable income, a good level of savings that you are willing to spend on your dog if need be, or a good insurance policy.

Vet’s fees are expensive. If your dog requires major surgery, it could cause even the best financial planners some cash-flow issues depending on exactly what is required.

If you are taking out insurance, we suggest opting for ‘lifetime cover’ rather than a policy that is renewed annually. This means that the insurer does not have the opportunity to exclude certain conditions when it comes to renewal time. Usually for around the cost of a mobile phone contract, you can have the peace of mind that should major veterinary treatment be needed, you're in a position to pay for it.