Harley had his first vet visit today, since we brought him home from the breeder's. I couldn't go, because I had to work, but my boyfriend Evan took him during his lunch time. Harley weighs a bit over 8 lbs. He will be 12 weeks old next Monday. The vet was a bit concerned with Harley's front legs. He has little knots on the sides of his legs above his paws, and she thinks it may just be because of growing, but he might have bowed legs when he grows up. Let's hope not, because bowed legs is associated with early arthritis. He got his Kennel Cough and Bordetella boosters today, and he will need his 3rd Distemper and Parvo shots in 2 weeks. It will be a few weeks after that when he can get his Rabies shot, and then he will be able to go on walks with Bo, which we are looking forward to. So far, one of us has to carry Harley while the other walks Bo.

Evan takes Harley to work with him during the 3 days that we both work. This morning, Harley threw up a bit after they got to his office. Evan brought that up to the vet, and she gave him another de-wormer, his 4th since he was 3 weeks old. She wasn't certain that it was worms, but she said he felt a little bloated, so better safe than sorry. We have to bring in a stool sample when he goes back for his next shots.

On a non-medical note, Harley has turned the water bowl (he shares one with Bo) into a swimming pool. After we got home from work today, Harley walked all over the bowl 3 times in about 10 minutes. It is nearly impossible to keep that pup clean and dry. It has been raining on and off since we brought him home on Tuesday, and we have to dry him off almost every time we take him outside. The wetter the grass is, the more he seems to enjoy rolling around in it!!

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Comment by Beth on July 31, 2009 at 11:06pm
It sounds like Harley is doing well, and I hope his legs are ok! That's something that I know nothing about.

Now if it were me, I'd start walking him places one week after his second parvo/distemper shots. I know some people recommend waiting til after the final shot. However, our breeder, our vet, and another breeder who helped us out all said ok to walk after the 2nd shot, using basic precautions of course (I wouldn't go in the woods where there were wild animals, or in an area with lots of stray dogs, or to the dog park). I would make an exception if there was an active Parvo outbreak in your area, or yours was an area hit by that dog flu that a couple places had.

The thing is, there is a risk either way, but most behaviorists agree that socialization before the critical 16 week point is most important. Before 16 weeks, pup should have experience walking on different surfaces, hearing different sounds, meeting dogs and kids and old people, etc. It is very difficult to get that socialization in if you wait til after the 3rd shot. By the timetable you have listed, he would be over 16 weeks by the time his shots are finished, and out of the critical socialization window.

Good luck with Harley!

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