How to Protect Your Puppy from Common Ailments - The Trupanion Blog
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How to Protect Your Puppy from Common Ailments

puppy in the grassDogs are faithful companions, and they depend on us to take care of them. If you want to help your little pooch live a healthy and happy life, you should know some common health problems it faces. This article explains five of the most common puppy ailments and ways to protect your puppy from these dangerous conditions.

1. Parvovirus (Parvo)

It is a highly contagious canine illness that attacks puppies between 12 weeks and 3 years old. This disorder is transmitted through unvaccinated dogs and bodily secretions. It is easily passed on, though most dogs are vaccinated against this virus starting at 6-8 weeks old, then again every 3 weeks until they are 4 months old (or until your veterinarian recommends).

                                                                        Parvovirus (Parvo)
Symptoms It starts with fever, and at this stage puppies are very contagious (to other dogs, not humans). After some days, your pooch may experience bloody diarrhea and vomiting and become weak and dehydrated.
Treatment Vaccination is available against parvovirus. If you haven’t done vaccination, your pet will need to be hospitalized, where your canine companion will be given IV fluids and antibiotics to prevent sepsis.
Recovery time 3- 7 days. Puppies suffering from parvo are usually hospitalized for 3-4 days then can go home with medications.



2. Distemper

The distemper vaccination is quite effective. The first vaccination takes place when your puppy is 6-8 weeks, and again after 9 weeks. When your puppy has had 1-2 vaccines, they become immune to this disorder. You can consult your veterinarian for the best course of action for your canine companion concerning the distemper vaccine.

Symptoms It appears in puppies in two ways: first it appears as an upper respiratory disease with severe eye discharge and sneezing. Second, it can lead to neurological problems such as a fatal encephalopathy (puppy brain damage) or can develop into pneumonia. It’s frequently misdiagnosed in puppies, as owners think they just have a cold.
Treatment Seek medical attention, which usually involves inpatient supportive care.
Recovery time Recovery can take a few weeks and pets usually go home from the hospital with some respiratory medications.



3. Kennel Cough

Kennel cough in dogs is caused by bacterial infection or canine parainfluenza viruses, both of these are airborne. It is also known as infectious tracheobronchitis. Puppies can be vaccinated against this disease starting at 6-8 weeks, and then every 6-12 months after that, though the vaccine does not necessarily protect against the disorder, but does lead to milder symptoms.

                                                                        Kennel Cough
Symptoms It starts with decreased appetite, lethargy and fever, after that your puppy develops a deep, often productive, cough. If untreated, it can lead to pneumonia.
Treatment In case of any unusual coughing in puppy, it is best to get him checked out to make sure he is not developing pneumonia.
Recovery time It usually runs its course in 10 to 14 days.


4. Adenovirus

In puppies, Adenovirus causes infectious canine hepatitis, but it is rarely seen because of the efficacy of vaccines. Often, the adenovirus vaccine is given with the distemper vaccine, though you should ask your veterinarian about canine adenovirus type-1 and type-2.

Symptoms It is quite difficult to know if your puppy has adenovirus, but it typically starts with gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting. It can also develop into jaundice.
Treatment Nutritional support and inpatient fluid therapy is required. Your doctor will prescribe some antibiotics and/or fluid reducers as required
Recovery time Your puppy should start recovering in 1 week


5. Leptospirosis

It’s a bacterial infection that can affect kidneys and liver of your puppy. It is transmitted through infected urine and contaminated water. Your pooch can be vaccinated against this disease at 10 to 12 weeks, then again at 13 to 15 weeks. Not all clinics vaccinate for leptospirosis, so ask your veterinarian if it is appropriate for your puppy.

Symptoms Symptoms of this disorder include flu-like: fever, vomiting and/or lethargy, but they are very vague to being with
Treatment Antibiotics
Recovery time Depending on infection severity, antibiotic course can last 4 weeks or more.

About the Author: Olivia Austin is a professional blogger covering nature, animals, wildlife, pets and more.


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