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Taking care of a sick puppy can be worrying, confusing, heartbreaking... and often expensive.
When little Fido isn't feeling well it's easy to panic, and it can be difficult to know if there really is something wrong..... and if so, what you should do about it.
This page will give you insight into the signs and symptoms of illness in puppies, help you to evaluate the seriousness of the problem, and point you in the right direction to get things back on track.
There are many dog illnesses which puppies are at risk of contracting and a variety of symptoms which could mean trouble is brewing.
To make matters even more confusing, certain symptoms can be signs of either a dangerous disease or a much simpler, less worrying one.
In addition to obvious physical issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, lameness and so on, behavioral changes are often early warning signs of illness.
It doesn't take long for you to become familiar with your puppy's' individual pattern of behaviors such as:
Pay close attention to any sudden changes in these areas as they are often one of the very first indications that your puppy is unwell.
There are other, less serious, symptoms that can crop up and suggest that your pup has some type of illness include:
If you think you have a sick puppy on your hands then the first step is to get a veterinary evaluation as quickly as possible.
In serious situations you may need to get a immediate appointment, of if it's after hours, take your puppy to a 24 hour/emergency pet hospital. With conditions such as parvo this can mean the difference between life or death. Check out this article to learn about the symptoms which warrant an emergency vet visit.
If it's not an emergency and your pup just seems mildly unwell, or just not himself, make the first available appointment with your veterinarian. However, if symptoms worsen or new ones appear, follow the advice in the above paragraph for an emergency visit.
Please don't be tempted to treat your puppy at home, or use OTC or human medications without seeing a veterinarian first. Many OTC products can have unexpected, even dangerous, side effects and even dog-safe human medications are not suitable for young puppies
Having a comprehensive source of pet health information that you can turn to is always a good idea :)
If you have The Veterinarian's Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms you'll always be able to find a list of the potential cause of just about any symptom you're likely to see.
Written by veterinarians, it's perfect for everyday reference and points you in the right direction, whether that is a trip to the vet's office or a home remedy.
Some more great books that can help you keep little Fido healthy include:
CLICK HERE to read an article about sickness in puppies, written exclusively for Fidosavvy.com by veterinarian Dr. Megan Teiber, DVM
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