What BFDR Does and Does Not Do For Its Dogs

As a rescue, we strive to provide top notch care. It is expensive to do this, but cost has never been the determinative factor in taking in a dog with medical needs. Every dog gets the same general care: On arrival, our dogs see a vet nearly instantaneously for a full exam. The vet checks ears, eyes, teeth and skin. Dogs over 6 years old get what we call a senior protocol. This is a panel of blood work that checks basic organ functions and alerts us to potential problems. Any dog who arrives in physically

poor condition gets blood work checked if the vet thinks it’s a good idea. We do what the vets tell
us to do.

All dogs get this treatment:

  • Distemper parvo
  • Corona (where available – not all vets carry this version of the vaccine)
  • Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Bordetella
  • Rabies
  • Canine influenza (where available – not many vets carry this vaccine)
  • Fecal exam and treatment for any parasites
  • Test for heartworms/lyme disease/ehrlychia and anaplasma.
  • Spay/neuter
  • Microchip and registration of the chip
  • Seresto collar
  • Heartgard
  • All dogs are bathed and if necessary, groomed.
  • Dog collar with ID

If the dog tests positive for any tick borne disease, we treat with 30 days of doxycycline.

If the dog tests positive for heartworms, the dog is staged to determine how advanced the disease is. We perform x-rays, blood work and urinalysis on each dog. All dogs are treated with doxycycline and prednisone and then go through immiticide treatment. Immiticide is expensive and dangerous and it can be very painful for the dog. We do not use this drug lightly and our vets dislike giving it, but it is the only approved drug currently in existence. If the dog is Stage 2 or less, the dog receives two shots of immiticide back to back on successive days. If the dog is Stage 3 or above, the dog gets one shot of immiticide, and then two shots back to back on successive days a month later. One month later, the dog finishes up with Advantage Multi (or moxidectin by syringe). Then you just need to give your dog heartgard or Advantage Multi every month like normal. It can take six months plus to get a negative heartworm test after treatment because it takes that long for the antigen to get out of the body. If you have any problems, we want to know.

If a dog has a suspected orthopedic issue, the dog will get x-rays and then a determination will be made as to whether surgery is needed. We follow the recommendations of the vets and the orthopedic vets on this and do whatever is suggested. We fix hips, bones, shoulders, OCD issues, ACL injuries, luxating patellas, etc.

If a recommendation is made for a dental, that care is also provided. Any specialist care needed is referred out, including eyes, orthopedics, and any other specialty needed. If we know about it, we do our best to fix it.

We do not do lyme vaccines or titers. Lyme vaccines are controversial and our vets can’t even agree on whether they are worth it or not. If your vet does them, that’s fine with us, but it’s up to you and your vet to provide it. Titers are also fine with us, but we do not do them unless the vet has a very good reason to do so.

Boostering shots: If the dog is a puppy less than 16 weeks old, we generally vaccinate every three weeks as our vet recommends. We do not send puppies with less than two sets of vaccines to a home and the second set must have been no less than 2 weeks before we adopt the puppy. This means we never have very young dogs for adoption. This is for your protection and the dog’s protection. If the dog is an adult when we get the dog, we give them the vaccines set out above, but we don’t booster them again unless one of our vets wants us to. We follow the AAHA guidelines which you can find HERE. You are welcome to vaccinate again as you see fit, but that is a decision for you and your vet to make.

We strive to provide excellent care and we work hard to do it. This does not mean that things can’t get missed, but it’s not for lack of trying or concern. We rely on the vets to decide what kind of care is needed and if our vets miss something, it doesn’t mean they are bad vets or that we failed to provide care. Not everything is obvious and if we know about it, we treat it. We also rely on our vets to determine what vaccinations/treatments/tests are needed just like you do. We are not vets. If our vet does something differently than your vet does, that does not mean your vet is better or worse than our vet. Professionals have different opinions on what care should be done and it has been our experience that vets will frequently have a difference of opinion. If you have any questions about the care your dog received, you need to ask. We care about our dogs and our adopters and we do our very best to make sure that the dog is right for the adopter and in good condition.

Seresto collars: These are expensive, but they look like cheap grey flea collars. DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY. They are designed to last about eight months if your dog does not get wet all the time. Five months if your dog is wet. These provide protection against fleas and ticks. They do not provide any protection from other parasites, including heartworms.

We recommend Advantage Multi for heartworm prevention which is moxidectin-based. Since Seresto collars contain imidacloprid and so does Advantage Multi, when the dog first leaves us we provide two months’ worth of compounded moxidectin and praziquantel in syringes for you to give your dog. These are just a courtesy until you can get to your vet to buy whatever you and your vet decide on. We are big fans of Advantage Multi and recommend it, but it does not protect against ticks.

If you have any questions, please let us know.