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Common Diseases in Puppies


This is a well-known fact that as we grow up, we gradually become more and more impervious to various diseases and infections. And, that is because as we grow and develop, our immune system, which is known to provide resistance to several toxins and microorganisms, also develops. And, same is the case with our dogs. When they get past a certain age (around 12 months), they begin to mature and their immune system also matures along with them. But, when they are at the puppy stage, they are more prone to various diseases and illnesses and a dog parent should remain extremely careful and aware of his/her pup’s health and well-being.

There are various diseases that can affect a small pup, but if given proper care, nutrition and vaccinations, a lot of these diseases can be prevented. Some of the most common illnesses found in young canines or puppies are as follows:

  • Canine Distemper

Symptoms: Coughing, Sneezing, Yellow-colored Diarrhea, Loss of Appetite, Eye Discharge, Lethargy, Fever.

This is an extremely common disease among puppies and is mostly spread by unvaccinated dogs. It can be quite severe and if not treated well, distemper can be fatal (in some cases). But it can be easily prevented through proper vaccinations. The first vaccination is given at 6-8 weeks of age and the second shot is usually provided 9 weeks after the first one.

  • Parvovirus (Parvo)

Symptoms: Vomiting, Lethargy, Bloody Diarrhea, Fever, Loss of Appetite.

Commonly known as Parvo, this disease is spread by a virus and is easily transmitted through direct or indirect contact with contaminated fecal matter. Vaccination is the best way to prevent Parvovirus in puppies but if the canine still gets affected by this disease, consulting a skilled vet is the right option to choose. Puppies are usually hospitalized for 3-4 days for proper treatment and then a regular medicinal course is advised by the vet.

  • Kennel Cough

Symptoms: Dry Honking Cough, Lethargy, Fever, Loss of Appetite.

Kennel Cough is a highly contagious disease which is mostly spread in crowded conditions such as kennels, dog shows et cetera. It is mostly transmitted by airborne contaminants such as the parainfluenza virus or the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica. It is not fully prevented by means of vaccinations which are given at 6-8 week of age and then every 6-12 months after that, but the symptoms of the disease become a lot milder because of the vaccination. If remain untreated, Kennel cough can lead to Pneumonia which is even more dangerous for the puppies.

  • Vomiting and Diarrhea

Symptoms: Loss of Appetite, Loose stool, Improper Digestion. Vomiting and Diarrhea are themselves considered to be symptoms of a serious disease.

These can be seen in puppies due to several reasons such as Intestinal worms, distemper, parvo et cetera. These can also occur if a puppy eats something unsuitable or wrong. Consulting a vet and proper medication are the best route to take in the case of these nasty diseases.

  • Leptospirosis

Symptoms: Fever, Lethargy, Vomiting, Loss of Appetite.

This bacterial disease is transmitted through contaminated water and infected urine and it affects the canine’s kidneys and liver. A vaccination shot can be given to the puppy at 10-12 weeks of age but first it is important to consult a skilled vet. The best course of action, if a puppy is suffering from this disease, is Antibiotics and that course may last for about 4-5 weeks.

  • Intestinal Parasites

Symptoms: Upset Stomach, Loose Stool, Loss of Appetite.

This is very common is small dogs or pups and intestinal parasites such as Hookworms and Roundworms can be frequently found in a young canine’s tummy. A puppy should be given monthly medication to stay away from these parasites. If they are already present inside a canine, then the vet can provide an oral drug that paralyzes the parasites and then the pup can easily pass them out through his poop.