Puppy Vaccines and Health

8 – 10 Weeks of Age

Physical Exam – Included with every vaccine and heartworm check at our hospital, regardless of age. We will check your puppy out from nose to tail for any abnormalities or potential future concerns.

1st DHPP – Initially a series of 3 vaccines, which protect against the following diseases:

  • Distemper — A highly contagious and deadly viral disease causing a variety of symptoms, from respiratory signs to neurologic disease. Thanks to vaccinations, this disease is rarely seen in this area!
  • Hepatitis — Adenovirus type 1 and 2 cause hepatitis (liver disease) and respiratory infections respectively.
  • Parainfluenza — Combination of bacteria and virus causing respiratory infections. Very contagious to other dogs.
  • Parvovirus — A highly contagious viral disease causing potentially fatal bloody diarrhea, vomiting or in rare instances cardiac disease. Puppies are the most susceptible to this deadly disease.

Fecal (stool) Exam – Please bring in a fresh stool sample so that we can check for intestinal parasites. Results are generally available the next day. Because many puppies have intestinal worms, your doctor may choose to use a routine de-worming medication regardless of results of initial fecal exam.

Heartworm Prevention — Your puppy will receive their first dose of heartworm preventative at this age. Your Veterinarian will discuss what type of preventative is best for your dog. You will give them one dose once per month, every month, for life. We will begin annual heartworm testing at the time of your puppy’s spay/neuter or at your puppy’s first birthday.

Flea and Tick Prevention – Start if appropriate. Flea/Tick season is usually May-Nov.

12 – 14 Weeks of Age

Physical Exam – Things are starting to change now. Your puppy is probably teething and not as sleepy as it was. Have you starting brushing your puppy’s teeth yet?

2nd DHPP

1st Lepto 4 – Initially a series of 2 vaccines, then an annual vaccination. Vaccine protects against 4 of the most common strains of leptospirosis in Michigan.

  • Leptospirosis — A possibly fatal bacterial infection that attacks the kidneys and liver. Spread through urine and contaminated water sources. This disease is Contagious to Humans! Raccoons, oppossums and other wildlife bring this disease into our yards!
  • This vaccine can cause vaccine reactions in Small Dogs (under 12 pounds) and in some dog breeds such as Weimeriners. For this reason your doctor may choose to wait until your puppy is larger or not vaccinate for Leptospirosis at all. Signs of a vaccine reaction – Vomiting, Diarrhea, Skin Rash, Itching, Hives, Swelling around the Face. (Please see www.brinkervet.com, Animal Health link for more information.) If you see any of these signs or have questions, please call us or OVRS emergency right away so that proper treatment can be administered!

Rabies — The initial Rabies vaccine is approved for 1 year. The subsequent vaccines are approved for 3 years. Rabies is a viral disease of the nervous system. It is spread through saliva or blood (bite wounds) and is Always Fatal. This disease is also Contagious to Humans, and is a Vaccine Required By State Law For All Dogs.

Fecal Exam and/or Dewormer

Heartworm Preventative – We usually only sell one pill at a time because your puppy is growing so fast and this medication is dosed in weight classes.

Flea Prevention – Also based on weight, so we usually sell one dose at a time. Next dose if appropriate.

16 – 20 Weeks of Age

Physical Exam – Is your puppy losing its front teeth? Is potty training going well?

  • 3rd DHPP – This last booster is good for 1 year. Next year’s vaccine will be good for 3 years!
  • 2nd Lepto 4 – This final vaccine booster is good for 1 year
  • Heartworm Preventative – Next dose… Has your puppy gained weight?
  • Flea Prevention – If appropriate
  • Fecal Exam and/or Dewormer

Spay or Neuter Time!!!!

We perform these surgeries on puppies 4 months of age and older, Monday through Friday. We ask that you drop your puppy off in the morning between 8:15 and 9:00 am. We will call you after surgery and your doctor will decide when to send your puppy home. Most go home the following morning after 9 am though some will go home the same day.

Physical Exam – Your dog probably has all of their adult teeth now! Your may want to gradually switch to adult food so your puppy does not start to become overweight or develop orthopedic issues.

Fluoride Treatment – While under anesthesia for surgery, we recommend a Fluoride Treatment be applied to your puppy’s teeth. This only takes a few moments and can give your puppy’s dental health a great jump start!

Microchip Identification – This is a microchip about the size of a grain of rice. It will be implanted under the skin between your puppy’s shoulders. If your dog is lost and brought to a clinic or humane society, they will scan for the microchip. Your dog’s microchip number is linked in a computer data base with the Home Again company to your name and phone numbers. Please Don’t Forget To Sign Up With The Company!

Heartworm Test – Your dog will have its first Heartworm Test today! We will draw a small amount of blood and the test will be run in our on-site lab. This test will be repeated once per year and your prescription for preventative will be renewed at that time.

Heartworm Preventative – Your dog is probably old enough so that you can purchase the entire year of Heartworm Preventative at this time. Your may still purchase this monthly if you choose.

Flea Prevention – If appropriate.

Fecal Exam or Dewormer – Your doctor will decide if this last Fecal Exam or De-wormer is necessary. We ask that you bring a fresh stool sample in at least once per year to check for intestinal parasites.

Optional Vaccines

Bordetella – Also called Kennel Cough.
This vaccine is required for any dog who:

  • Is Boarded
  • Is Groomed
  • Goes to the Bark Park
  • Goes to Puppy Classes
  • The first vaccine is given Intra-nasally (in the nose, no needle!), Then is a regular injection every 6-12 months.
  • Bordatella vaccine should be boosted 1-2 times per year based on frequency of the above events

Lyme Disease – Lyme is a disease spread to dogs, and humans, through Ticks.

  • This vaccine should be given to Hunting Dogs, dogs who have a lot of deer ion their yard/environment and dogs who travel to Northern Michigan or to the Eastern U.S.
  • Initially your dog will need a series of 2 vaccines, 3-4 weeks apart
  • It is then boosted annually.
  • Don’t forget to keep Frontline on your dog each month during flea/tick season or when traveling to avoid the ticks!

What We Offer

Brinker Veterinary Hospital offers a wide range of veterinary services for pets in the following areas:

• Pet wellness and vaccinations
• Animal medical services
• Pet surgery incl spay and neuter
• Pet dental cleanings and treatment
• And many more


Learn More



Location Hours
Monday9:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday9:00am – 8:00pm
Wednesday9:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday9:00am – 8:00pm
Friday9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday9:00am – 2:00pm
SundayClosed