Protecting your puppy from disease and illness is the most important duty of a responsible pet owner. There are some common illnesses and their symptoms that you should be aware of.
Parvo is probably the most common and well- known illnesses among puppies. This virus is one that every dog breeder and pet owner should be concerned with. It is highly contagious and can be deadly, especially if not caught in its earliest stages. Parvo is a hardy virus that can live for months. It can be spread by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with the tainted feces. It will attack your dog’s white blood cells and other cells, taking the biggest toll on the digestive system. Once infected, if the dog survives, it may suffer lifelong cardiac issues. The number one way to prevent Parvo is by vaccine. Most likely an infected dog will have to be treated by hospitalization with IV fluids and antibiotics.
Symptoms of Parvovirus include:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
Kennel cough is an airborne infection that can either be caused by bacteria or parainfluenza viruses. Don’t be fooled by the name, whether in a kennel or not, all puppies can be infected by kennel cough. If not treated in a timely manner puppies can contract pneumonia. Vaccination does not guarantee immunity, but you puppy will have a far less severe case if contracted than they would without it.
Symptoms of kennel cough:
- Persistent productive cough
- Loss of appetite
Canine Distemper is another airborne illness, and one that should be taken very seriously. This normally starts as an upper respiratory infection and can end up attacking all major organs. It can be deadly, and if the puppy does survive, the disease can lie dormant and be recurrent over the span of your dog’s life. The good news is, it is very responsive to vaccine, which should be administered starting at 6 weeks for effective prevention.
Symptoms of Distemper:
- Nose and eye discharge
Intestinal parasites are a common problem in canines of all ages, but are frequently seen in puppies. There are several types that can attack a puppy’s digestive tract, including roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, protozoa and others. Parasites can cause weight loss, dehydration, malnourishment, diarrhea and vomiting. There are so many places a dog may contract these pests in their environment, such as water, dirt, food and feces. Your dog should receive a monthly parasite treatment throughout its life.
Symptoms of intestinal parasites:
- Dragging or scooting
- Weight loss
- Bloated abdomen