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Wellness Care for Your Best Friend
Wellness Care for Your Best Friend

Health Conditions to Watch Out for With Your New Puppy

When you bring a new puppy into your home, whether you adopted them from a shelter or you purchased them from a licensed breeder, there are many factors that you will need to consider in the process. And while you want to think that your new puppy is as healthy as can be, there is always a possibility of health issues. 

Get to know some of the health conditions and issues to watch out for in your new puppy. Then, you can be certain you are doing everything possible to take great care of them as they get settled into your household. 

Leptospirosis is one of the most common health conditions found in young puppies. Part of the reason that this is such a common health condition in puppies is that dogs cannot be vaccinated against the condition until they are between 10 and 12 weeks old.

During those first 10 weeks, they could develop the condition. Additionally, the owner before you may not have asked their veterinarian to vaccinate the puppy against leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is not one of the required vaccines for puppies, and some veterinarians do not automatically offer it to patients unless specifically asked.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that dogs can contract by coming into contact with infected urine or with contaminated water. Additionally, leptospirosis is a rare condition in puppies in that it can spread from your infected puppy to the humans in your household.

If your puppy has leptospirosis, they will exhibit flu-like symptoms. Your puppy may have a fever, shake or shiver, have problems with vomiting or diarrhea, and act lethargic or sore to the touch. Any of these symptoms should send you and your puppy straight to the veterinarian for testing and treatment.

Luckily, leptospirosis is treatable. Antibiotics can help to clear up the infection and supportive care like IV fluids, and anti-nausea medications can help to treat the symptoms in the meantime.   
Parvovirus is another illness that many young puppies develop and have trouble with. It is a viral infection that is highly contagious and dangerous to dogs, especially young puppies. In fact, without management and care, parvovirus can be deadly to young puppies.

Parvovirus spreads through bodily fluids including urine and saliva and even the slightest contact with those bodily fluids can lead to transmission. When a dog has parvovirus, they generally experience gastrointestinal symptoms.

Many puppies with parvovirus will refuse to eat and suffer from anorexia. Other symptoms can include excessive and even bloody diarrhea, vomiting, general nausea, lethargy and malaise, weakness, and fever.

Unlike leptospirosis, you cannot treat parvovirus with antibiotics. But it does require immediate and extensive veterinary care to be dealt with. When you notice any of the symptoms of parvovirus (which are admittedly similar to leptospirosis), you need to take your puppy to the veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Parvovirus can cause what is known as a secondary infection because it reduces the ability of their immune system to fight off infections. Because of this, if your veterinarian even suspects that your puppy has parvovirus, they will recommend that your dog remains under veterinarian care fulltime until the virus passes through the system.

At the veterinarian's office, they will isolate your puppy from exposure to other dogs which will prevent them from spreading the illness but will also prevent them from coming into contact with other infectious illnesses. Your veterinarian will monitor them and provide supportive care like fluids and even tube feeding if necessary.

If your puppy develops secondary infections, the veterinarian may also prescribe antibiotics. Once your puppy has gotten over the illness and is healthy again, they will be able to return home.

Now that you know more about two of the most common illness that can affect your puppy, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to protect their health going forward.