I knew having a puppy would be difficult, I just didn’t think it would be so stressful.
Today, January 10, 2017, marks 4 weeks of Dexter’s life. He was born in December 13, 2016 from what the previous owners told me. I don’t know how to even calculate how old he is. If I go with every 13 of every month that would make it more than 4 weeks. Instead, I like to count by the day he was born; He was born on a Tuesday so every Tuesday means one more week to me.
I know what some of you dog owners might be thinking, “He should still be with his mother at this age!” I did some research but most of it entitled things like how to potty train him etc. Nothing about what age it was appropriate for a puppy to be given to a new potential owner. From the research I did I gathered that puppies are given to new owners starting at around 6-8 weeks. That’s when they already have their first round of shots. Dexter is only 4 weeks and unable to take his first round of shots. The owner did say that he was around 4 weeks and that he would be ready in another 4 weeks, I didn’t understand what she meant with being ready at 4 weeks but now I do. I was so blinded by the idea of finally being able to have a puppy that I didn’t look at all the signs of how the puppy was given to me.
First of all, The owners were around the same age as me (early twenties) and from the looks of it, they were into some illegal stuff. At first I was a little hesitant to get Dexter because I thought the owners would scam me. Technically they did. I met up with them and I got Dexter and went home. Everyone was happy, everything was good…Until the next night. We noticed Dexter kept scratching himself and I didn’t think much of it. He was probably just doing something every puppy did right? WRONG! Turns out he had fleas. My dad checked him over and found a good amount of fleas on him. I was so devastated! The previous owners didn’t mention anything about fleas. Another thing that worried me was his bowel movements. He had diarrhea and it really stunk. I had a hint that this couldn’t be normal and look up online what to do. It said that it was probably caused by a switch in environment, food, or other underlying problems. I blame myself for his nasty bowels because when I got him I ended up getting the wrong puppy milk (milk replacement) for him. I quickly fix that but the fleas were a completely separate matter.
I was already beginning to stress out because he was so tiny and I had to check on him often to see if he needed to go to the restroom or if he was hungry. Him having fleas just made things more difficult especially with my mother. My mother doesn’t like having pets and that’s one of the reasons why we never got one. She got really upset that he had fleas and started going on a tantrum because she was scared that he might infest the house. She sprayed the house with flea killing spray and washes anything he touched. I washed him once a day with flea shampoo and got most of them out. The only problem was that they all ended up going into his face and made it difficult for myself to wash him there.
I ended up taking him to the vet to see if there was anything we could give him but unfortunately he was still too young to get any sort of medication or vaccines. However, I made them do a intestinal test on him and they found he had hookworms. I was freaking out! WHAT!? The vet gave him this medicine that would help treat it but didn’t really explain much to me. Honestly, they didn’t really help me at all or ease any of my confusion and stress. I had to do my own research and seek out other dog owners to give me their opinion and advise. Later on in the night, I took him to do potty and guess what? He ends up pooping a ton of worms. I got so scared and thought something was wrong since the vet didn’t mention that he would be eliminating the hookworms literally. I did my research again and found out its normal and he’s suppose to take another dose of the medication 2 weeks later until he is ready to take his vaccines and medication for deworming and fleas. The pressure is on but I’m taking things one thing at a time. I’m just ready for Dexter to grow up so hopefully it can get easier.
As of today, I believe he is flea free! I gave him a Capstar tablet and comb him out. I was only able to find one flea on him and that was where I had found the last bit of them the day before. He isn’t scratching anymore but I can’t be fully sure that he is completely flea free. Many people have recommend using wondercide as a natural way of killing fleas on pets and in the house. I will be using this as a precaution in case there was any left over and I will spray around his sleeping area for any that escape. So far things are looking up!
He is also now slowly transitioning into eating dry food. I soak kibble in water and wait until they’re mushy then make his regular milk replacement and mix them together. He really seems to like the kibble. He can’t get enough and ends up whining to get more.
Well that’s it for now! Keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck. I still have many more weeks to go!