As much as it is scary and painful to think about, your pet could contract a disease in their young age. There are several common illnesses that puppies are vulnerable to. The good news is that these illnesses are treatable and preventable. While most of these diseases are not severe, they can cause serious health problems if they go undetected and unaddressed.
So, What Are the Most Common Diseases in Puppies?
The most common diseases include:
Parvovirus is a contagious disease that affects the stomach and small intestines of puppies between the ages of 12 weeks and 3 years. It easily transfers through contact with an unvaccinated dog or by licking contaminated surfaces and eating infected feces. It can be fatal.
Kennel cough is a highly infectious respiratory disease. Puppies often get it from places with crowded dogs, such as dog parks, daycares, dog shows, and pet resorts. The disease manifests as an intense cough and sounds like something stuck in your puppy's throat. Other signs that show the puppy has the condition include sneezing, fever, runny nose, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
Dog flu, also called canine influenza virus, is a respiratory illness caused by an influenza virus. The virus spreads through the air in droplets that infected dogs release when they cough, sneeze, or bark.
Canine distemper is a severe and contagious disease your puppy can get through airborne droplets, contact with infected dogs, or a contaminated object. The condition resembles measles and can be challenging to treat because it causes illness in various body parts.
Ticks and worms are a big reason vets advise dog owners to take preventative medication and clean up their puppies' poop. Puppies can get parasites if they encounter another puppy's feces or play with other infected dogs. Because parasites vary, telltale signs will depend on the parasite. But stomach pain, swelling, diarrhea, appetite loss, and weight loss are some of the common symptoms.
All puppies scratch daily, but if you observe your puppy itching nonstop, there could be a problem. The most common culprit for itchy skin in puppies is a food allergy. Changing your pet's diet to low-allergen foods can help.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
Dogs will have digestive problems from time to time, but these problems clear up on their own after a couple of days. If symptoms do not clear up, see your vet right away.
How Can You Prevent These Illnesses?
Most of these diseases are not fatal, but it is critical to:
Watch for Symptoms
Any unusual changes in your puppy's behavior may signal a health problem. A quick medical exam by your vet can help identify and treat health problems before they become severe.
Stay Current With Vaccinations and Preventative Medications
Vaccines are the best way to keep your puppy safe from illnesses. Follow your vet's vaccination plan for your puppy to lower the risk for diseases and boost your pup's overall health. Also stay on a consistent schedule of preventatives such as heartworm medication and flea/tick medication.
Go for Regular Vet Checkups
While your pup may show symptoms of illnesses, some signs may not always appear immediately. Annual or biannual health checkups by a vet can help expose diseases you do not know your puppy has. With these tips, you can help prevent these common puppy illnesses or get your puppy immediate medical care when they catch them.
For more information on common diseases in puppies and how to prevent them, contact Highland Veterinary Clinic at our Evansville, Indiana office. Call 812-710-4300 to book an appointment today.