As a PetParent it can be overwhelming to take on a new pet, especially a new puppy. Like human babies, puppies are also susceptible to more diseases because their immune systems are still developing. As you are raising your new pup, you need to be mindful of disease that could develop.
1. Vomiting and Diarrhea
First thing you need to rule out, is if your puppy has intestinal parasites. Most likely your puppy has consumed something they should not, and that is causing your pup to feel sick. Give your dog plenty of water for 24 hours and food if they seem to have an appetite. If your puppy does not feel better the next day, then you need to take them immediately to the vet.
2. Kennel Cough
Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, can even be found in dogs that have not been to a kennel yet. You can start vaccinating your puppy when they are around 6-8 weeks old. However be mindful of the signs which include: lethargy, fever, and a very deep cough. If you start to notice these signs, take your pup to your vet for treatment. Luckily this will only last around 10-12 days, but you want to make sure that you can get the proper care for your pup from your vet.
3. Parvo or Parvovirus
Parvo is an easily spreadable virus that can affect puppies around 12 weeks old. You can start to vaccine your puppy when they are around 6-8 weeks, followed by a follow up shots every three weeks until your puppy is 4 months old. Note that Parvo is one of the worst diseases that your puppy can get, and can be fatal for a lot of pups that contract it. It is very important that you vaccinate your puppy against the disease, and keep them away from other dogs until they are done with their shots. However if your puppy does contract Parvo, here are some symptoms to look for: Fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration. If your pup starts to show symptoms, then take them to your vet immediately.
Distemper can be an ugly disease, but the good news is the vaccine is very effective. You should have your puppy vaccinated when they are around 6 to 8 weeks old and then again when they are 9 weeks. After that they are typically considered ‘immune’ to the disease. However if you puppy does catch distemper some symptoms to watch for are: sneezing, eye discharge, can also be mistaken for pneumonia. The biggest problem with distemper is that is can live in your puppy until they are older and then comeback even worse. So even if your puppy survives, the chances of the pup contracting it again is high.
Hookworms are these tiny little worms that can live in your puppies intestines. They have also been known to affect people by migrating through the skin (gross!). Some symptoms of hookworms are: weight loss (or failure to gain any), diarrhea, bloody stools, skin irritation. If you think your puppy has hookworms you will have to collect some of their stool and take it to your vet for testing. If your vet determines that your dog does have hookworms, you will begin a simple treatment for around 2-3 weeks. If you puppy does in fact have hookworms, you will want to pick up there feces and deposit of them so rodents cannot get to them, ingest them, and possible infect your dog.
Make sure that you consult your vet if you think your puppy is showing any signs of any of these diseases. Also make sure to pay close attention to your pup for the first few months of their lives when these diseases can occur.