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Puppy Pack

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A helpful guide to caring for the newest member of your family


Puppy Pack

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Having a new puppy is very exciting, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Enclosed you will find helpful facts regarding vaccines for your puppy, general information about common health concerns, details about our hospital, and key emergency contact numbers, should you ever need them. 



About us…............................................................4-8
Core vaccinations….......................................9-12
Optional vaccinations….............................13-16
Parasites and their prevention…............17-21
Crate training tips and techniques….22-26
Spaying and neutering…..........................27-31
Dental care….................................................32-34

Toxic foods and poison control............35-38

Helpful brochures and handouts.........39-51


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Appointment Hours

Mon:  7:30am - 6:00pm

Tue:  7:30am - 8:00pm

Wed:  7:30am - 8:00pm

Thurs:  7:30am - 8:00pm

Fri:  7:30am - 6:00pm

Sat:  8:00am - 3:00pm


If you encounter an emergency after our emergency hours,

please call one of the following emergency hospitals:

 Ocean State Veterinary Specialists (401) 886-6787
 Tufts-Cummings Veterinary Emergency (508) 839-5395
 Mass/RI Veterinary ER (508) 730-1112


Hours of Operation

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Here's a little bit more about us:


NorthPaws Veterinary Center is a well-established, full-service, small animal veterinary hospital providing comprehensive medical, surgical and dental care. Additionally we are one of the few hospitals in Rhode Island accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (read more on page 6).


We provide a broad spectrum of diagnostic procedures through in-house testing and the use of external laboratories. We also work closely with local specialists when more advanced procedures are required. Our hospital is equipped with a modern surgical suite, laser therapy, in-house x-ray and ultrasound capabilities, and a closely supervised hospitalization area.  We have a well-stocked pharmacy and provide a large selection of prescription diets.

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Doctors currently practicing at NorthPaws Veterinary Center include:


Dr. Danielle Paradise, VMD, CVA

Dr. Mark Paradise, VMD

Dr. Shannon Arnold, DVM

Dr. Meagan Connolly, VMD

Dr. Stephen Dyer, DVM, DABVP

Dr. Diane Fortier, DVM

Dr. Carolyn Vasquez, DVM


(Feel free to request a preferred doctor when scheduling an appointment.)



We look forward to keeping your pet happy and healthy

as he or she continues to grow through the years!


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The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is an association of veterinary members who primarily treat companion animals, or pets. There are over 32,000 AAHA members, including veterinarians, technicians, managers, receptionists, and more.


AAHA developed their Accreditation Program to improve the level of care being provided to companion animals and raise the bar of veterinary excellence. AAHA, along with a group of veterinary experts, developed the AAHA Standards of Accreditation as benchmarks of excellence. AAHA accredited practices are regularly evaluated by a Practice Consultant to ensure they continue to meet AAHA’s standards.

Veterinary practices choose to become AAHA-accredited for many reasons, including the desire to:


Have challenging benchmarks to reach Ensure that practices are up-to-date on changes in veterinary medicine Improve practice operations and check skills Enhance credibility with peers and clients Encourage leadership development Have their achievements recognized We are accredited!

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The following list is a sample of some of the standards of care used to define an AAHA accredited hospital like NorthPaws:


Anesthesia: Methods for assessing anesthetic needs in patients and appropriateness of equipment Client Service: Communicates well with clients during all aspects of their visit Contagious Disease: Protocols, processes and facilities to handle contagious diseases and avoid outbreaks Continuing Education: Continuing education tools and opportunities for staff members Dentistry: Safe dental procedures that protect both the patient and staff members Diagnostic Imaging: Adequate equipment to generate quality diagnostic images and utilizes proper procedures and equipment to protect staff members from radiation Emergency/Urgent Care: Equipment handling and process for emergencies Examination Facilities: Properly equipped for thorough examinations Housekeeping and Maintenance: Cleanliness Human Resources: Handling of personnel matters Laboratory: Laboratory services for the prompt diagnosis of patients Leadership: Leadership’s commitment to creating a positive work environment and providing highquality care Medical Records: Continuity of care through medical record details Pain Management: Pain assessment, management and training Patient Care: Humane and advantageous care to patients during all aspects of their visit Pharmacy: Proper handling, storing and dispensing of medications Safety: Safety of environment for patients, clients and team Surgery: Patient safety in an aseptic environment with appropriate pre- and post-operative care AAHA Standards

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Core Vaccinations

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A combination vaccine recommended for all canines,

DA2PP protects against 4 common canine diseases:

canine distemper (D), adenovirus2 (A2), parvovirus (P), and parainfluenza (P).



Caused by a virus related to measles. Affects respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI) and central nervous systems.

Transmission- Highly contagious, transmitted via airborne droplets from infected dogs Signs- Fever, runny nose, watery eyes, may progress to twitching muscles, paralysis, seizures Treatment- Fluid therapy, plus antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections Prognosis- Potentially fatal


Viral disease that can damage the liver, kidneys, spleen and lungs. Recovered dogs continue to shed the virus for at least 6 months.

Transmission- By ingestion of urine, feces or saliva of infected dogs Signs- Fever, thirst, runny nose and eyes, vomiting, bleeding, respiratory disease Treatment- Fluid therapy, antibiotics, and blood transfusion may be necessary Prognosis- Mortality rate is high in very young dogs


Canine Core Vaccinations: Distemper

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Viral disease of the GI tract. Resistant to many disinfectants. Puppies and breeds like Rottweilers and Pit Bulls are at higher risk.

Transmission - By contact with infected dogs or their feces Signs – Bloody diarrhea, fever, lethargy. Some show no signs Treatment - Fluid therapy, antibiotics and supportive care Prognosis - Most dogs recover with appropriate care, although can cause lifelong cardiac problems in puppies


Often the primary virus contributing to infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough).

Transmission - Via airborne droplets from infected dogs Signs - Harsh dry cough often followed by retching and gagging Treatment - Supportive care and cough suppressants Prognosis - Can become fatal bronchopneumonia in puppies or chronic bronchitis in elderly dogs


All puppies require a series of initial distemper boosters during their first year

in order to develop adequate protection.

Distemper is boostered one year after finishing the puppy series,

then every three years after that.

Canine Core Vaccinations: Distemper, continued

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RABIES is an acute viral brain disease that can infect any mammal. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means it can spread to humans.

Transmission - Almost always transmitted via the bite of a rabid animal often a skunk, raccoon or bat Signs - Sudden, significant change in behavior (irritability, aggression, fear), unexplained paralysis Treatment - None. Any unvaccinated animal exposed to rabies should be strictly isolated or euthalized following state law.
Prognosis - Always fatal once clinical signs manifest

 Rhode Island law mandates rabies vaccination in all dogs.

Under Rhode Island law, a dog's initial rabies vaccination is good for a period of 1 year.

Any subsequent rabies vaccinations are considered good for 3 years

as long as the booster is given on or before the expiration date of the previous rabies vaccine. 

Any booster given after the due date will revert back to a 1 year status.

Canine Core Vaccinations: Rabies

Mandated by law

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Optional Vaccinations

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Bacterial, zoonotic (can spread to humans) disease that damage the liver, kidneys and other organs.

Transmission – Through water, food or soil contaminated with an infected animal’s urine Signs – Nonspecific early signs include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, joint and muscle pain Treatment – Fluid therapy and antibiotics Prognosis – Acute renal failure occurs in 80%-90% of dogs with clinically significant disease


Acquired from infected ticks by both dogs and humans. Lyme disease bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) damages joints, kidneys and other tissues.

Transmission – Transmitted by the bite of an infected tick Signs – Lameness, fever, lack of appetite, lethargy, joint pain Treatment - Antibiotics Prognosis – If untreated, can cause kidney damage



Canine Optional Vaccinations

Recommended for canines with a high exposure risk

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Often the primary bacteria contributing to infectious tracheobronchitis, an inflammation of the upper airways commonly called kennel cough.

Transmission – Highly contagious, transmitted via airborne droplets from infected dogs Signs – Harsh, dry cough, often followed by retching and gagging Treatment – Supportive care and cough suppressants Prognosis – Can lead to fatal bronchopneumonia in puppies or chronic bronchitis in elderly dogs


This disease, commonly called the “dog flu,” is caused by the newly emerging and highly contagious canine influenza virus (CIV)

Transmission – Highly contagious, transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, direct contact with respiratory secretions or with direct contact with infected bowls, crates, floors, collars, hands, clothes, shoes or other surfaces. Signs – Coughing, sneezing, variable fever, clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus, rapid/difficult breathing, loss of appetite, lethargy Treatment – Supportive care, antibiotics Prognosis - Can lead to bronchopneumonia or chronic bronchitis in elderly dogs and, less commonly, death



Canine Optional Vaccinations, continued

Recommended for canines with a high exposure risk

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Parasites and their prevention

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Symptoms of heartworm disease include exercise intolerance, coughing, difficulty breathing, and weight loss. In many cases, these symptoms are signs of advanced heartworm disease. If heartworm disease is not detected and treated, it can lead to congestive heart failure and death. While treatment is available for dogs with heartworm disease, it can be both costly and dangerous.


A monthly preventative, such as Heartgard or Revolution, is the safest and most effective method of preventing heartworm infection. Heartworm medications prevent heartworm larvae from developing into adult heartworms. These medications should be given every month throughout the year (including during the winter!) for your dog's entire life.


Annual heartworm screening tests are also recommended. These simple blood tests are very accurate in detecting the presence of heartworm. Early detection and treatment are important for a positive outcome.



Heartworm disease is found all over the US and is spread by mosquitoes. Heartworm larvae are transmitted to the dog’s blood stream through a mosquito bite. The larvae live and grow in the blood of the dog’s heart and adjacent blood vessels. Adult heartworms produce offspring that circulate throughout the blood.

Parasites: Heartworm

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Fleas are an external parasite that are a year round problem and found through out the country. They can infest your pet and your home. Like many parasites, fleas need to live on a host. Cats and dogs are the preferred host for the common flea because of the warm, protective environment of pet hair. Pets also provide transportation for the fleas from one host to another.


Some pets are highly sensitive to flea bites and may develop an allergic reaction to even one bite. These pets often become very itchy and uncomfortable, possibly leading to fur loss and skin infections. Fleas can also carry tapeworms, which can infect be ingested by pets during grooming.



Adult fleas are only a small percentage (5%) of the total flea population and are the only life stage that lives on a pet and can be seen. The other 95% of the flea population is made up of eggs, larvae and pupae. These stages may hide everywhere your pet goes in the house including carpeting, bedding, furniture, and crevices in doors and flooring.


The best way to keep fleas off your pet is to use a veterinarian recommended flea product year round. These topical or oral medications will kill the adult fleas on your pet and prevent adults from laying eggs. Not all products are created equal and many simply don't work, so ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.

Parasites: Fleas

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Ticks are common parasites that are found throughout North America. Although they prefer wooded, damp, grassy areas, they can be found anywhere. Ticks generally climb onto grass, bushes or other low-lying vegetation and wait for a person or animal to brush against them.

Ticks obtain all of their nourishment from the blood of their host. Ticks can carry many diseases and, while feeding, may transmit these diseases to their host. Some common tick-borne diseases include Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. These diseases may cause severe health problems and death if untreated. General symptoms of tick-borne disease include inappetance, lethargy, depression, and fever.

Though treatment is available for most tick diseases, repelling and preventing tick attachment is an important way to minimize your dog’s risk of getting sick. Many flea prevention products also protect against ticks, and they come in a variety of easy to use forms. Talk to your veterinarian about the best products to help protect your pet based on your pet's lifestyle.

Parasites: Ticks

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Almost every puppy has been exposed to potentially dangerous intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. These intestinal worms steal vital nutrients and can cause blood loss, discomfort, vomiting, weight loss, and poor growth, especially in puppies. Microscopic protozoa such as coccidia and giardia can also affect your dog. 


 Proper identification of parasites is essential to administer appropriate treatment. A microscopic examination of your pet’s fecal sample will identify any parasite eggs or protozoa (which are not visible with the naked eye). If your pet is treated for a parasite, another fecal sample should be examined 3-4 weeks after treatment to ensure all parasites have been eliminated. To prevent reinfection, remove your pet’s waste from your yard as quickly as possible and keep your dog away from areas where other pets have relieved themselves.


Some of these parasites can affect humans. The risk of exposure to humans (especially small children) should be discussed with your veterinarian. Preventatives and routine fecal screening for pets will help keep everyone in the family healthy.

Parasites: Intestinal Parasites

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Crate Training

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Crate training is an excellent way to teach your dog good behavior as well as give him his own special retreat. Some benefits of crate training include:


Prevents damage to your furniture and other household valuables while you are away or sleeping Helps you teach your dog proper elimination (bathroom) behavior Provides security for your dog and safety for young children in your home Makes traveling easy
Improves your relationship with your dog Gives your dog his own personal den, which is a natural and comforting habitat for dogs Crate Training 101

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When using the crate for house training, bigger is not always better. Make sure the crate is only large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around. Any larger and they can potty in one area and sleep in the other, making crate training ineffective. Pet stores carry many different sizes of crates so you can find the one that best fits your dog.


Because dogs are social animals and need interaction to be happy, it is best to place the crate in a room where it is bright and there is lots of activity, i.e. your family room. If you put the crate in an area that is dark and lonely, the dog will feel it is being punished and will learn to hate the crate.


Finally, the crate should be used as your pet’s retreat, or “sanctuary," not for punishment. It should contain his favorite safe and suitable toys. Use the crate to avoid problems such as chewing before they occur, and use a separate space if you wish to put your dog in “time out.”

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Begin crate training with your puppy early in the day so he has the whole day to adapt to the crate. Place his favorite treats, toys or food in the crate to motivate him to enter the crate on his own. The first time you confine your puppy to the crate he should be ready to take a nap, so schedule this for after a play or exercise session and after he has gone to the bathroom. Leave the room, but stay close enough to be able to hear him. It is normal for your puppy to cry or whine at first, but never reward him by letting him out when he cries. It may be difficult, but you must ignore his cries until they stop before you release him from the crate. Playing “crate” games can help dogs learn to love the crate. One such game is to teach your dog to lie down and stay when you open the door to the crate. Once the dog has done this they are given a “release cue” and are given a treat for their good behavior. Other games include “go to your crate” game. This game is done by hiding treats in the crate or throwing treats in the crate when the dog goes in so that they associate going into the crate with rewards. It is important that the dog not see you put the treats in the crate.









Crate Training Steps

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Spaying and Neutering

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Spaying or neutering your pet is an important decision for all pet owners. It is recommended to have your pet spayed or neutered between the ages of five and six months. Puppies and kittens can reproduce as early as six to nine months of age!

Spaying Benefits (females):

Significantly decreases the possibility for mammary cancers if pets are spayed before their first heat cycle. Almost entirely eliminates the risk for pyometra (an abscessed, pus-filled infected uterus). With pyometra, toxins and bacteria leak across the uterine walls and into the bloodstream causing life-threatening toxic effects. Without rapid treatment, pyometra is fatal. Eliminates unwanted pregnancies and decreases overpopulation. Between three and four million adoptable animals are euthanized in animal shelters each year simply because they do not have homes. A female will not have messy heat cycles. An intact female dog may have a heat two to three times a year. An intact female cat may have a heat cycle three to four times a week at certain times of the year. Avoids potential problems with breeding. If the puppies have problems, it can be a substantial financial responsibility. The mother is also at risk of death.

Neutering Benefits (males):

Neutering at an early age can significantly decrease aggression towards people as well as interdog aggression. Most animals that are hit by a car are intact males. If neutered, males are less likely to roam. Intact males can sense a female in heat up to two miles away! Intact males are at a higher risk for prostatitis (enlarged prostate) and prostate cancer. Eliminates risk for testicular tumors. Unneutered males mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine and are much more likely to urinate in the house. Benefits of Spaying/Neutering Your Pet

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NorthPaws Veterinary Center offers a complimentary pre-surgical exam approximately one week prior to your puppy's spay or neuter surgery. At this time, the doctor will talk to you about our standards of care and what to expect with the surgery and recovery.


We also recommend pre-surgical bloodwork at this time. Just as your doctor would run a blood test before your surgery, we do the same for cats and dogs. A pre-anesthetic screening assesses organ function and identifies any unknown diseases. These tests let us create an individualized anesthetic plan for your puppy in order to avoid possible complications during the procedure. It also give us a baseline to use as a part of your pets medical history. If any results are not within normal ranges, we can alter your pet's anesthetic procedure or take other precautions to ensure your pet's safety.










Presurgical Visit

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1. Does NorthPaws Veterinary Center offer surgical services?
Yes! NorthPaws has a modern, fully equipped surgical facility on the premises.

2. Are all types of surgeries performed at NorthPaws?

Yes. Almost all routine and non-routine surgeries can be performed by NorthPaws’ doctors. We also offer in-house services by a Board Certified veterinary surgeon for the occasional case that falls outside the scope of our regular doctors’ training.

3. What questions should I ask when choosing where my pet should have surgery?
There are several extremely important questions you should be asking any facility that will be performing anesthesia and surgery on your pet. All facilities are not the same. Do not assume the following answers will always be yes!

Will my pet receive a thorough physical exam prior to anesthesia? Will presurgical bloodwork be recommended to determine if there may be any increased risks during anesthesia? Will my pet have an intravenous (IV) catheter for a safety line and IV fluids? Does anesthetic monitoring on my pet consist of a minimum of noninvasive blood pressure, oxygenation (SpO2), respiratory rate, heart rate, temperature, and CO2 (with ventilation), +/- an electrocardiogram (EKG)? Will my pet receive pain medications prior to surgery as well as for me to give at home? Will my pet have someone monitoring them and watching for potential problems from the beginning of surgery until the time where they are fully awake (or are procedures performed in a “production line” fashion)? Common Surgical Questions

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4. Don't all veterinary facilities have to meet or exceed the minimum accepted standards of care in veterinary medicine for surgery and anesthesia?
No. Unfortunately (and surprisingly), there are no state or federal regulations in veterinary medicine to assure that a hospital or spay/neuter program adheres to the profession’s minimum “Standards of Care” for surgery and anesthesia. Comfort levels with subpar and outdated methods are quite common.


5. Do all of NorthPaws’ procedures, surgical and otherwise, exceed the minimum accepted standards of care in veterinary medicine?
YES! NorthPaws is extremely proud to be one of the very few veterinary hospitals in Rhode Island (and the nation) to be accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). This means that every aspect of our operation is routinely and thoroughly inspected and found to exceed the rigorous standards of care set forth by AAHA.







Common Surgical Questions, cont.

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Dental Care

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Your pet’s oral hygiene greatly affects his overall health. Diseases of the mouth are often painful and can contribute to additional health problems. Most cases of dental disease show little clinical signs until very late in the process, so periodontal disease is often under-treated.


You can help your pet’s dental health by taking an active role, especially when your pet is young. There are several ways you can care for your pet’s teeth every day. A complete home dental care program for your pet often will include brushing in addition to a special pet food or treat that helps care for your pet’s teeth while he or she eats. Even if you aren’t able to brush your pet’s teeth every day, by incorporating a special pet food into your pet’s daily routine you can provide the dental care needed to keep your pet healthy. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about the options that exist and which are right for your pet.

The importance of oral hygiene

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STEP 1: Introduce a brushing program to your pet gradually. Avoid over-restraining your pet, and keep brushing sessions short and positive. A cat or small dog can be held in your lap. Praise and reassure your pet throughout the process.


STEP 2: At first, dip a finger into beef bouillon for dogs or tuna water for cats. Rub the soaked finger gently over the pet’s mouth and teeth. Make the initial session short and positive.


STEP 3: Gradually, introduce gauze over the finger and gently scrub the teeth in a circular motion. Start with one tooth and slowly do more teeth if your pet allows. This process may take a few days to a few weeks until your pet is acclimated to it.


STEP 4: Finally, you can introduce a soft toothbrush or fingerbrush designed for pets. Use a sensitive or ultra soft brush designed for people or a brush specifically designed for pets. Special pet toothbrushes are available from your veterinarian or specialty pet store. Always make sure to use veterinary toothpaste. Toothpaste designed for people should never be used, because it could upset your pet’s stomach.

Brushing Your Pet's Teeth

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Toxic Foods and Poison Control

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If you should encounter a possible ingestion of a foreign substance after hours and are unsure of toxicity, please call one of the poison control phone numbers below:

(Please be aware that there may be a fee associated with consultations

with the poison control hotlines)

PET POISON HELPLINE (800) 213-6680

Poison Control Information

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Helpful Brochures and Handouts

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Congratulations! You made it through the puppy pack!   Click below to download a coupon worth $5 off your pet's spay or neuter appointment.











If you have any questions, please call us at 401-949-5030.


We look forward to seeing you soon!