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Matthew Sisk: It's time for your pup's 3-week check-up
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Lemmy bounds into the waiting room, his owners trailing behind a taut leash. That’s not the worst habit a puppy can have, but it is something to work on going forward.

I happen to be in the reception area when he arrives and ask if Lemmy has some sled dog in him. His owners laugh and we’ve all comfortably acknowledged the mild behavior problem.

The little yellow fuzzball from three weeks prior is still yellow and fuzzy, but the “little” is fading. The puppy breath is gone, and he’s now 14 pounds. Not a bit of it is fat. This rate of growth suggests he’ll be a bigger dog. Not Andre the Giant big, but probably in the 60-pound range.

No problems are reported, and potty training is now complete. Dedication pays off for puppy owners.

During his examination, no abnormalities are noted, and I give Lemmy his next set of puppy vaccines. Since he will attend doggy day care, his lifestyle necessitates the “kennel cough” vaccination in addition to the core puppy vaccines. Thus, he gets twice as many needle pokes.

Lemmy yelps and shoots me an accusatory look. A treat mends the fence. Even better, the treat is a drugless-flavored sample that matches the taste of a heartworm prevention. Lemmy likes the taste, and I send him home with his first dose of a monthly pill to protect him from worms. In his heart! The medicine will also prevent some common intestinal worms.

Lemmy’s fecal sample shows no parasites at this time. And he leaves the exam room with a wagging tail.

However, as he’s checking out, another owner comes in with a puppy, which is profusely spraying bloody diarrhea all over the waiting area. The puppy looks horrible, and I’m concerned. Both for it and Lemmy.

Lemmy is not yet fully vaccinated. If this puppy has parvo, he could get it.

We clean up and Lemmy heads home, happy. But for the next two weeks, I’ll worry.

Matthew Sisk is a practicing veterinarian from Habersham County. Have questions about your pet? He can be reached at