Getting Ready for Hunting Season!

Hunting dogs are one of the best athletes we see! They must move over rough terrain running a marathon picking up the smell of birds. I marvel every time at their ability to lock onto a bird scent when running at near full speed and stay still enough for the hunting partner to catch up. You need to protect your investment in your hunting dog by protecting them during hunting season.


The hunting dog is often asked to hunt with dogs they do not know and get exposed to bugs they are not immune to. Most of these issues can be handled if we vaccinate them against the bad one, kennel cough. You want to keep your dog's immunity high for kennel cough because a dog with kennel cough cannot smell and will not hunt! Kennel cough disease runs its course in three weeks. If kennel cough happens during the time you took vacation – your hunting alone.

Give an intranasal vaccine kennel cough booster 2-4 weeks before hunting season. Immunity will be high and resistance at its best when you hunt! Just drip vaccine in the nostril and your dog will do the rest. While you’re protecting your dog, vaccinate with a 7-way vaccine, such as Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPvL2, at the same time to get immunity high. Your dog will drink from water pools in the field and may get Lepto from those pools – not an issue if vaccinated!


Get your dog ready for a marathon! We ask them to hunt all morning and while we refuel they get a break then have to run a marathon again in the afternoon. Most owners do well at getting their dogs in shape and still we run into dogs that literally run “out of gas”! They won’t quit and run out of glucose. Dogs begin to stagger then have seizures as the brain only runs on glucose. If we are not careful, they will overheat and die!

The prevention is easy to give. Call your dog in occasionally and give a high energy treat. FORTI CAL soft chews will solve their energy shortage. Whenever they retrieve or you call them in to keep them hunting close, give them FORTI CAL soft chews to booster their energy. The treat will make them anxious to recall and the carbohydrate will make the body efficient at utilizing the fat stores to make glucose. You essentially catch them up on energy if they are running off too much glucose too fast.


Emergencies happen to all of us and an emergency kit should be in the hunting vehicle. A cut from moving fast through fences or over brush is common. Bind wounds with Co-Flex wrap. Co-Flex only sticks to itself and will apply pressure until the bleeding stops. When the bleeding stops (approximately 10 minutes), apply Triple Antibiotic Ointment cover with 3X3 gauze pads and rewrap again. This Co-Flex field dressing will prevent infection until other care can be given.

Gaping wounds on chest are usually caused by barb wire. These wounds cannot be wrapped as there is nothing to wrap around! Chest skin wounds are tears and little bleeding is seen. Skin Staples are used to close until we can get care. Put Triple Antibiotic Ointment on the wound and pull the skin together with your fingers or a tweezers is easier. Place a Skin Staple across the two halves of skin to cover the wound until veterinary care can be given. Covering wounds when they happen keeps them clean until we get out of the field.


After the hunting season is over, eliminate the intestinal parasites before they pull your dog down. Raccoon roundworm has been an increasing problem. It is bigger than the canine roundworm and lives well in the dog. We don’t need to diagnose this just deworm with Panacur® C and prevent the issue from ever emerging. Panacur® C will also get most other parasites your dog could pick up! Don’t wait to see if the issue arises several months later, deworm when season is over!

Hunting is a great hobby but our dogs require investment of both dollars and time! A bit of planning and care in the field will protect your hunting dog and make this season the experience you hope for!

If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.

-Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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