Puppy, like children, are prone to sickness. If you’re raising your first puppy, you may want to learn what health risks your puppy is facing and learn more about them. That way, you’ll have general idea about the symptoms and when you recognize any of them in your puppy, you know what treatment to take and to expect. There are a quite a number of disease your puppy can catch, but here are the most common five amongst them.
Parvovirus is a disease that attack dog cell tissues, particularly in intestinal area. It is highly contagious and should be immediately treated or it can lead into fatal condition. At first the puppy will get a fever – during this time the parvovirus is highly contagious. It doesn’t affect human but can transmit to other dog through human, so always disinfect your hand after treating dog with parvo. After the fever, comes the diarrhea, bloody feces, and vomiting. This can lead to dehydration that can cause fatality.
Since it attacks the intestinal area, the symptoms will look like digestive problem at first with:
- Bloody feces
Parvovirus is extremely though to kill. It spreads through a lot of medium – from another dog via excrement or contact and from human as well. It can even stay alive in inanimate object such as shoes, plate, or clothes. Dog can get infected simply after she get in touch with something a previously infected dog has touched.
Call your vet immediately. If it is left too long, the puppy may develop sepsis and from there on the fatality risk increases. Your vet will usually recommend hospitalization from three to seven days. During hospitalization, the puppy will receive IV to stay hydrated and antibiotics to stop the vomiting.
To prevent parvo, you should vaccinate your puppy since young. The vaccine is 5-in-1 vaccine that can prevent parvo, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and parainfluenza.
Distemper virus attacks respiratory, gastrointestinal, respiratory and central nervous systems in puppy. It is potentially fatal and currently there is no medication to kill the virus yet.
The symptoms are often misdiagnosed by puppy owner as cold and therefore they are often brought to medical attention late. This is dangerous, since the distemper virus spread rapidly. The moment you suspect distemper, bring your dog to the vet immediately.
Distemper virus that is transmitted through contact with infected dog’s feces, urine or saliva.
Medical treatment is absolutely necessary. Even if there is no medication to cure the virus, the veterinarian will attach your puppy to IV drip to prevent dehydration followed with medication to stop the vomiting and diarrhea. Some puppies can pass this treatment while some don’t. Some puppies whose central nervous systems have already attacked by the virus may develop seizures in their older age.
Prevent your puppy from getting infected by vaccinating him with distemper shot or 5-in-1 shot.
Leptospirosis or lepto for short is caused by bacteria and it attacks kidneys and liver in the dog’s body. There is no medication that can kill the bacteria yet, but medical treatment in hospital to wait for the symptoms to pass away can be pretty effective to get your dog healthy again.
- Muscle pain
- Blood in urine
- Jaundice, or yellowing membrane
Bacteria is transmitted by dog’s urine and it goes inside your dog’s body if he drinks puddle of water contaminated by that urine. The bacteria can also stay alive on the ground for 6 months and may enter the dog’s body through cuts or gashes in the skin.
Just like how parvo and distemper is treated, bring your dog to the hospital to wait for the symptoms to pass safely. IV drip will help the hydration and antibiotic can help with the vomiting and diarrhea.
There is a vaccine for lepto, but not all veterinarians are convinced on its efficacy and more concerned over its risk, so not all clinics can give this vaccine. Consult your vet first before deciding whether you want your dog to be vaccinated or not.
Vomiting can happens for literally any reason. Your puppy may just swallow something inedible, eat the wrong food, or have upset stomach. But, it can also be the symptoms of more dangerous disease. Check how many times he vomits and what he vomits before determining to call the vet.
- Muscle cramping
- Throwing up
Symptoms of a more dangerous disease, intestinal parasites, food allergies, or eating food not appropriate for puppy
- Pay attention to your dog. If he vomits only once and still looks fine, it’s not necessary to call your vet or give him medication
- If he vomits several times, supply him with plenty of clean water and give him bland food when he asks
- If the vomits doesn’t disappear after 24 hours or if the vomits is accompanied with other worrying symptoms (stomach bloating, diarrhea, jaundice, lethargy, pain, etc) or if your puppy hasn’t received any vaccination yet, bring him to the hospital.
Adenovirus causes illness commonly known as hepatitis. This virus attacks liver, kidneys, and also eyes.
Symptoms of hepatitis depend on the severity of the infection, but typically include
- Loss of appetite
- Cloudy eyes
- In severe case, edema (liquid swelling) in neck and head
- In severe case, jaundice
It is caused by a family of adenovirus. It spreads through an infected dog’s eyes and nose discharge, as well as urine. Direct contact with these secretions will transmit the disease to healthy dog without enough immune system.
Again, like other disease causes by virus such as parvo and distemper, the specific medication to cure the illness is not available. Instead, your puppy will need to be hospitalized to be treated while the symptoms passes and its body build the necessary immunity.
Vaccination for hepatitis is one of the core vaccines that a puppy should complete along with parvo and distemper. It can help both you and your puppy in the future to complete his vaccinations now.