Your puppy is brand new and you want to protect him. The best thing you can do is to feed him a healthy, balanced diet, provide plenty of exercise, and vaccinate for the following preventable infections!
1. Parvovirus (Parvo)
This highly contagious virus attacks puppies aged between 12 weeks and up to 3 years. Transmitted through bodily secretions, parvovirus is easily passed on, though most dogs are vaccinated against it starting at six to eight weeks, then again every three weeks until they are four months old or have received 4 sets of vaccinations.
Symptoms: Parvo in dogs starts with a fever, and at this point puppies are probably very contagious (to other dogs, not humans). Dogs are lethargic and stop eating and drinking. Vomiting and Diarrhea with dehydration are common in the first few days.
Treatment: Vaccinate against parvovirus! If you haven’t, hospitalization is the best route, where your puppy will be given IV fluids and sometimes antibiotics to prevent sepsis, which can be fatal.
Recovery time: Three to seven days. Puppies with parvo are usually hospitalized for three to four days then go home with medications.
The vaccination against distemper is quite effective. The first vaccination takes place at six to eight weeks, and requires a booster vaccinations.
Symptoms: Initially distemper in dogs typically appears as an upper respiratory disease with sneezing and eye discharge. Then it can develop into pneumonia or can lead to neurological problems such as a fatal encephalopathy (brain damage).
Treatment: Seek medical attention for distemper in dogs. This usually involves inpatient supportive care
Recovery time: It can take weeks to recover from canine distemper and pets usually go home from the hospital with respiratory medications.
The bad news about canine distemper is if your puppy survives it, the disease can lie dormant and break out again when she’s older. At that point she has an even worse prognosis because the disease can lead to neurological problems such as seizures.
3. Kennel Cough
Bacteria or parainfluenza viruses, both of which are airborne, cause kennel cough in dogs — also known as infectious tracheobronchitis. Dogs pass this virus similarly to the way Humans pass the common cold and do not need to be kenneld to contract this virus. Puppies can be vaccinated against kennel cough starting at six to eight weeks, and then every six to 12 months after that, though the vaccine doesn’t necessarily protect against the disease, but does lead to milder symptoms and a quicker recovery time!
Symptoms: Kennel cough starts with lethargy, decreased appetite and fever, then puppies develop a deep, often productive, cough. If untreated, kennel cough can lead to pneumonia.
Treatment: If you note any unusual coughing from your puppy.
Recovery time: Kennel cough usually runs its course in 10 to 14 days.
Adenovirus in dogs causes hepatitis, but it’s rarely seen these days because of the efficacy of vaccines. The adenovirus vaccine is given with the canine distemper vaccine.
Symptoms: It’s really difficult to know if your dog has adenovirus, but it typically starts with gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea and can develop into jaundice.
Treatment: Inpatient fluid therapy and nutritional support may be required. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics and/or fluid reducers as necessary.
This bacterial disease can affect the kidneys and the liver and is transmitted through contaminated water and infected urine. Your puppy can be vaccinated against leptospirosis at 10 to 12 weeks, then again at 13 to 15 weeks. Be aware that not all clinics vaccinate for leptospirosis, so ask your veterinarian if it's appropriate for your puppy.
Symptoms: Symptoms of leptospirosis are flu-like: Vomiting and/or fever and/or lethargy.
Recovery time: Depending on the severity of the infection, an antibiotic course can last four weeks or more.
6. Vomiting (and Diarrhea)
If your puppy’s suffering from either of these symptoms, the first thing to rule out is intestinal parasites. If these are not the cause vomiting/diarrhea, your pooch has probably just eaten or licked something he shouldn’t have.
Treatment: Continue to offer water, and provide food if your puppy asks for it but that’s less essential than keeping them hydrated. After 12 hours (vomiting) or 24 hours (diarrhea), take your dog to your veterinarian if he’s not getting better. Your veterinarian can provide you with a therapeutic bland diet to help your puppy feel better.
Recovery time: Your puppy should recover from vomiting or diarrhea that is not related to a parasite within 12 to 24 hours. If longer then follow up with your favorite Veterinarian to ensure there is a not an obstruction.