Like human babies, puppy immune systems are still developing. That leaves them vulnerable to a number of conditions that can quickly become serious if you don’t seek treatment right away. Diarrhea is of particular concern. Puppies can succumb to dehydration much more quickly than older dogs, so you want to get help immediately if you notice this symptom in your young dog.
Diarrhea in puppies can originate from a number of causes, from mundane to serious. The more common ones include…
Eating “people food.” Sometimes puppies are simply curious and get into the family trash can. Or you might have felt tempted to share a meal with your adorable new friend. Unfamiliar foods or expired foods from the trash can unfortunately trigger diarrhea, but in most cases the problem resolves itself in a few hours.
Bacteria and viruses. Like us, puppies can get sick from sharing food or water with other dogs, or even just coming into casual contact with them. But even if you keep your puppy at home, bacteria and viruses are just a part of life. They can contract illnesses like E.coli, listeria, and salmonella from a variety of sources around the house. And if your puppy isn’t up to date on vaccinations for parvo and distemper, he could contract one of these very serious (and sometimes fatal) diseases.
Parasites. If you notice diarrhea, especially along with symptoms like a distended belly, vomiting, or lethargy, certain intestinal parasites could be to blame. Puppies can pick up hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms very easily, and you might not notice the worms in their stool. However, with prompt treatment, deworming medication can almost always remedy the problem.
If your puppy’s diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours, give us a call to schedule an appointment. And if you notice blood in their stool, vomiting, weakness, or pale gums, don’t hesitate to ask for an emergency visit. Puppies can be a bit more fragile than adult dogs, but with prompt treatment we can help you resolve most causes of diarrhea.