3 Diseases You Need to Watch Out for in Puppies

Chocolate wool coat Labradoodle puppy

3 Diseases You Need to Watch Out for in Puppies

Your puppy is young and seems defenseless, which makes you want to protect him. The first way to protect his health is feeding him a healthy and balanced diet. This way, you allow him to build a good immune system to fight off common diseases that he is likely to get. It also allows for faster recovery.

Nonetheless, it is helpful to know that you can’t possibly protect him from everything. Here are three common diseases you should watch out for in the puppy’s first years of life –

Parvovirus (Parvo)

Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that infects puppies of all ages. It can be transmitted through bodily secretions and most puppies are vaccinated at the age of six to eight weeks of age then every four weeks until they are 16 weeks old or until recommended by vets. Vaccination and isolation from areas where other dogs have been is the only way to protect your puppy from this horrible disease.

Signs and Symptoms: Parvo starts with fever followed by a drop of temperature. This is the time when the puppies are highly contagious to other dogs. Vomiting and large amounts of bloody diarrhea will ensue, where the dog will become weak and dehydrated.

Treatment and Management: If you haven’t already, and your dog is healthy, take your puppy for vaccination against parvovirus. This saves you from the expenses of the puppy’s hospitalization, where IV fluids and drugs are given. The disease is fatal if not treated immediately.

Recovery Period: The recovery period takes at least three days to one week. The puppy will be hospitalized for three to four days and allowed to go home to complete medications.

Kennel Cough

Airborne organisms like bacteria and parainfluenza viruses can cause kennel cough otherwise known as infectious tracheobronchitis. The term is a misnomer because even when your puppy or dog is not in kennel they can still be infected with it. Vaccination against kennel cough is available and is given at the age of ten to twelve weeks followed by once a year (every 12 months). Even though the vaccine cannot protect your puppy from every strain of organism that can cause kennel cough, it can reduce the likelihood of catching the more common varieties significantly.

Signs and Symptoms: The disease begins with lethargy, fever and reduced appetite. The puppies will then develop deep and productive cough. If this remains untreated, it can result in pneumonia but usually the disease is of low severity and dogs will make a full recovery.

Treatment and Management: If your puppy develops unusual and persistent coughing, take him to your vet immediately to get him checked out.

Recovery Period: The disease can last 10-14 days.


This is a bacterial disease that can damage the kidneys and liver. It is transmitted through the infected urine of rodents and water contaminated by this urine. There is a vaccination available, which is given at 6-12 weeks of age followed by another a few weeks later. Always remember that not all vet clinics will vaccinate against leptospirosis so make sure you ask your vet if it is necessary for your puppy.

Signs and Symptoms: The symptoms of leptospirosis are similar to flu, which includes vomiting, lethargy and fever but can include other symptoms. If you suspect your puppy may have Leptospirosis, take them to a vet to get checked out.

Treatment and Management: Antibiotic treatment is available.

Recovery Period: The antibiotic regimen is given for four weeks or more depending on how severe the disease is.


3 thoughts on “3 Diseases You Need to Watch Out for in Puppies

  1. Your comments were useful thank you. Bijou my 4 1/2 month old Cavoodle pup has not shown any signs of the above symptoms, and has been vaccinated against most. She is, at this stage, and inside puppy. If puppies have teething problems, then perhaps I can put her lack of interest in chewing her Hills Puppy bites down to her picking up a pellet and then trying to chew it away form her food bowl. Since have been soaking the pellets in boiling water and adding a few pieces of boiled chicken she has been getting through her meals – but often with some coaxing – PLEASE, if u feel she should see a vet I would appreciate you letting me know. She is not lethargic, is full of beans and her gums are a healthy pink colour. She sleeps and plays normally. Just not as enthusiastic about her pellets as she was when I brought her home at the age of 10 weeks.
    THANK YOU Zanny Blew

  2. Hey Zanny,
    Thanks for your comment. All pups will go through a teething stage from about 4 months of age that will last a few months and usually you will notice an increased interest in chewing things but she may have sore teeth and gums during this time as well. If she is due for her 3rd vaccination at the age of 4-5 months, then letting your vet know would be a good idea. She might not be interested in her food for a number of reasons from lack of interest in that particular food or learning that she will get offered a more preferable food if she make a fuss or refuses to eat what you initially provide. You can try offering her something you know she loves and if she gobbles this down, then it might be just that. I can’t give you veterinary advice but if you are ever unsure about your dog’s health you should consult your veterinarian

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