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Health Guidelines for the Alaskan Klee Kai Puppy

  • At age 3 to 7 days of life, dewclaws are removed and a basic health exam is performed by a qualified veterinarian. (a few breeders remove them on their own pups)

  • At 6-8 weeks of age, a health assessment is performed, and includes eyes, ears, mouth (teeth), lungs, heart, testicle status (males only) and check patellae bilaterally (refer to the Patellar Luxation section in OFA area).

  • Vaccinations should be given according to your veterinarian’s schedule. However, do not allow the veterinarian to give both the rabies vaccine and the last set of puppy shot together because a reaction may occur. There have been reports from several AKK owners whose puppies experienced a reaction when this occurred.

  • De-worming should be done on all puppies. However, follow the recommendation of your veterinarian for a schedule of dosing and frequency. If you live in those areas of the country that do not have the weather to support the usual intestinal parasites, your veterinarian may advise you that routine worming is not necessary. This is particularly true in the Southwest and other desert areas, and routine stool samples for fecal parasite testing provides helpful information. Heartworm testing should be done on the puppy prior to starting on heartworm medication before 6 months of age. However, if the mother has been on year-round heartworm preventative medication, and you are in that part of the country where heartworm is not present, your veterinarian may advise you that testing may not be necessary prior to starting medication. Those living in areas where venomous snakes reside may want to consider vaccinating against snake bite. Please follow your veterinarian’s advice.

  • Factor VII DNA testing needs to be done on all AKK since Factor VII Deficiency has been found within our breed. Testing can be done as early as 6 weeks of age, as long as there has been an interval of at least 3-4 hours from nursing until the DNA swab is done. Offspring of a breeding between parents that are other than Clear, should be done to determine Factor VII status. Ideally, Factor VII Deficiency will be eradicated from the Alaskan Klee Kai breed rather quickly, as dedicated breeders seek to breed this health issue out completely.

  • Frequently check your AKK puppy for retained baby teeth, since these can present a problem if left unchecked as the dog matures and the adult teeth come in. This can cause interference with the proper scissor bite in this breed if retained baby teeth are not removed by the time the puppy is 6 months of age or the adult teeth have grown.

  • If you will be spaying or neutering your AKK puppy, consult with your veterinarian about timing and consideration of health issues. Small breed males usually reach sexual maturity between 7-9 months of age; females sometimes take a bit longer. While they may be sexually mature, the female will likely not be emotionally mature enough to have puppies at a young age. There are advantages and disadvantages to early spaying and neutering.  Reference information can be found at:

  • If the AKK is going to be used for show/breeding purposes, then neither the male nor female should be bred before the age of 12 months, and then only after the health exam is done and is within normal or acceptable limits.

  • Initial health exam (for breeding suitability) should be done for the Alaskan Klee Kai at 12 to 15 months of age and not before that time. This recommendation is based upon the developing physical maturity of the Alaskan Klee Kai.

  • Emotional maturity occurs, as with humans, over an extended period of time and in stages. As in other areas, development of giant breeds is slightly delayed when compared to other breeds, and as with humans, there is a difference between adulthood and full maturity (compare humans age 20 and age 40 for example). In all but large breeds, social-sexual interest arises around 6 to 9 months, becoming emotionally adult around 15 to 18 months, and full maturity around 3 to 4 years, although, as with humans, learning and refinement continue thereafter. 

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