by Olivia Austin
Dogs are faithful companions, and they depend on us for their good care. 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).
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.
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.
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.
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 begin with.
Recovery time: Depending on infection severity, antibiotic course can last 4 weeks or more.