Ten Common Illnesses and Diseases in Puppies


Ten common Illnesses and Diseases in Puppies; There are many different illnesses and disease can affect a puppy especially during the first year of life. This is a crucial time of growth and development and it is important to do everything possible to prevent as many of these problems as possible. For illnesses that cannot be or are not prevented it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as a problem is detected. This will help to ensure that your pet gets the best treatment possible as well as prevent long lasting effects of the illness.


There are a variety of different parasites that can attack both the inside and outside of your pet’s body. Those which affect the inside of the body are referred to as internal parasites and include worms and other parasites that are found inside your pet. External parasites are those which attack the outside of your pet and include fleas and ticks. Any type of parasite that affects your pet should be dealt with as quickly as possible. The longer it is allowed to stay in or on your pet the more damage it can cause.


Like humans puppies are susceptible to many different illness such as pneumonia and colds. While bacteria is generally the culprit for pneumonia the stress of being moved to a pet store or new home can also play a part in the contraction of this illness. Pneumonia is a very serious problem for puppies and requires the treatment of a veterinarian and more often than not hospitalization.

Gastrointestinal System

Because the gastrointestinal system of young canines is not fully developed they are more vulnerable to stress as well as many other problems. Even something like going to a new home can be stressful and therefore cause problems. Common symptoms often include diarrhea, vomiting, bloating and loss of appetite.


This illness often referred to as simply parvo is very common among young puppies that are between the ages of 3 months and 3 years. Although this disease can be easily transmitted from one dog to another it can not be transferred from dog to human. Routine vaccinations at the proper times can help to prevent this illness.


Like parvo, distemper can often be prevented with the proper vaccinations. In many cases this illness is mistaken for a cold and often leads to the need for hospitalization. After receiving the proper immunizations puppies become immune to distemper.

Kennel Cough

Don’t let the name fool you. Even if your pet has never been in a kennel he can still contract kennel cough. Although vaccination does offer some protection against this illness it does not always prevent it. It does however make the symptoms of kennel cough much less severe.


This, like many other illnesses, can be prevented by early vaccinations. Adenovirus causes canine hepatitis and is often difficult to diagnose. The symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting and can even progress into jaundice.


While hernias are not as common as other problems that can affect puppies they can occur. Umbilical or inguinal hernias are the most common types and both are relatively easy to correct unless the hernia becomes entangled with internal organs.

Portosystemic Shunts

This refers to abnormal blood vessels that carry blood from the liver. This results in the liver being unable to process the blood properly which allows toxins to accumulate in the bloodstream.


Low blood sugar is when a puppy uses more energy than he has fuel for. Fuel is provided by food and when a pet eats less than he plays it can result in hypoglycemia. This is particularly common in small breeds.

Not all illnesses in puppies can be prevented but a great many of them can. For those that can’t be prevented it is important to know what to look for and what to do should your pet be affected by these conditions.

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Based in Toronto Canada, Animal Rights Advocate and Relentless Volunteer!

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