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This information is to help adopters review medical records provided by M.A.R.S. This chart* is provided in a handbook upon adoption as well, so that adopters have helpful facts at their fingertips. A copy of your pet's Medical History Report will be available at the adoption event, and you will keep these records.A MARS Team member will review all medical records with adopters PRIOR to adopting a pet, and will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding your pet's vaccinations or medical care.
If a rescue does NOT provide ALL 3 puppy shots PRIOR to adoption, your pet is more suseptible to serious illnesses. Please consider this when researching different rescue groups. Reputable organizations will 'quarantine', or hold animals, for anywhere from 14-21 days to screen for health issues and illnesses.  Getting your puppy's shot series completed is very important in keeping your new puppy healthy, and M.A.R.S. does everything we can to make sure all animals in our program receive top quality care!

Item: Required For: Explanation Frequency:
Parvo Test Indication of Canine Parvovirus. Parvo is a severe intestinal virus that is highly contagious. It causes loss of appetite, loose stool, lethargy, and dehydration. It usually affects puppies under 6 months that are not vaccinated against Parvo, or have a weakened immune system >6 mo, not necessary unless symptomatic
Heartworm Test Indication of Heartworm infection. This is a blood test that is administered to dogs over the age of 6 months. As heartworm infection will take at least 7 months to show a positive test, it is not necessary to test under 6 months. >6 mo, yearly before administration of Heartworm preventative
DA2PPV    Routine Vaccination Distemper/Adenovirus Type-2/Parainfluenza/Parvovirus >1 yr, yearly
Bordatella Kennel Cough Vaccine This is an intranasal vaccination, and is usually required by animal boarding facilities or “doggie daycare”. >6 mo, yearly
Pyrantel Pamoate Oral Deworming medication Used for the treatment/prevention of intestinal parasites. Every 2-4wks, not necessary once started on Heartworm prevention.
Microchip Implant Permanent Identification Insertion of the microchip under the skin in the scruff of the neck between the shoulder blades. This is a very quick, generally painless procedure that only takes about 3 seconds. Once
*This chart was NOT meant to replace the care of a licensed veterinarian, nor to treat/diagnose any condition/illness. It is the owner/adopter's responsibility to provide the pet with routine medical care, or as needed, to make sure that the pet is healthy.
Serious Illnesses:

Parvo is a severe intestinal virus, can progress rapidly and may be fatal. Symptoms include loose, runny stool, loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, and dehydration. Canine Parvo virus has an incubation period of 2-14 days. Parvo can be spread by direct, and indirect contact with bodily fluids. Basically, if a puppy with Parvo uses the bathroom on the grass in a park, and then you accidentally step in the mess in the grass, you will then track Parvo wherever you step for up to two years. This is a big reason that M.A.R.S. does not allow young puppies to run around on the floor at adoption events, and requires adopters to sanitize their hands prior to touching any of the animals. The test for Parvo is done by fecal swab, and takes about 10 minutes to get a result. Click HERE to read more about Parvo.

Distemper is a fatal condition that causes respiratory symptoms, followed by neurological issues, such as seizures. Distemper has an incubation period of 21 days. Distemper is spread in the air. If new puppies are brought into a shelter without being quarantined away from other puppies, and they are coughing, any animals in that room have just been exposed to the respiratory infection. There is no diagnositic test for Distemper currently, but it can be confirmed by autopsy. Distemper is usually diagnosed by its symptoms. Click here to read more about Distemper.

Heartworm Infection occurs when a dog is bitten by a flea or mosquito carrying the infection. Heartworms take between 6 and 7 months to be detected, so puppies are started on Heartworm prevention before 6 months to make sure that they are safe from this infection. Heartworm testing is done with a blood sample, and results are obtained in about 10 minutes. If a dog is positive for Heartworms, it is treated with a series of two very painful injections of Ivermectin (pesticide) that will kill the worms. Please take care of your furry friend and keep them on Heartworm prevention year round! The treatment for this condition is VERY painful, and VERY expensive, and completely PREVENTABLE!
Please be aware that all rescues provide different medical care, vaccinations or medications. This chart was specifically designed to give more details about MARS' Medical History Reports, but can also be used as a reference for pet owners to make sure that their pets are on the right track to a healthy, happy life. Each of the items in the table above can be found on the Medical History Report of animals adopted from MARS, and the information can be used to navigate your way through other rescue's vaccination programs, and give you the information that you need to make sure that a rescued pet has received a thorough health screening, and the appropriate number of vaccinations.