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Sick Puppy: Common Illnesses In Young Dogs And How To Treat Them

sick puppyWhile no dog owner ever wants their dog to be sick, there are some illnesses and diseases that are common among young dogs. The following are some of the most common illnesses in young dogs and how they can be prevented and treated.


Young dogs are prone to getting worms of all kinds, and hookworms are one of the most common. Hookworms are an intestinal parasite, and most young dogs that suffer from hookworms are born with the parasite. If you suspect your puppy has hookworms, you should bring them to the vet to be treated. Not only will your vet be able to treat the current parasite, but they can also vaccinate your dog from catching them in the future.


Roundworm is another popular internal parasite that affects many puppies. Like hookworms, most puppies with roundworm are born with the parasite. There are medications your dog can take to get rid of the roundworms, and there are preventative medications your dog can receive to keep them from contracting the disease in the future.


Parvo, technically known as parvovirus, is another common disease in puppies, but unlike roundworm and hookworm, this disease is fatal. Most dogs catch parvo from the feces of infected dogs, and many dogs born in puppy mills tend to have the disease. While parvo can be treated, the treatment is usually too expensive for many dog owners and there’s no guarantee it will work. Most dogs that contract parvo are usually euthanized. As a dog owner, it’s important to have your puppy vaccinated against the fatal disease in order to protect them.

Distemper Virus

When your puppy gets his or her booster shots, the distemper vaccination is usually one of them. The distemper virus attacks the respiratory system and can cause fever and discharge from the nose or eyes. Most puppies that catch the distemper virus usually die from the disease, however, there are vaccinations that can help the disease from spreading.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is another illness commonly found in puppies adopted from shelters or purchased from pet stores. Kennel cough is a respiratory infection that can quickly turn into pneumonia. It is highly contagious, and dogs that catch the disease are usually required to be incubated for at least four days. Antibiotics will be given to your dog to cure the illness, and it’s also important that they become vaccinated before spending time with other dogs.

Fleas and Ticks

While fleas and ticks can be found on dogs of all ages, they’re most commonly found in puppies that have yet to be given preventative medication. While fleas and ticks can simply be a nuisance, they can also carry other diseases that can be harmful to your new dog. When you get your puppy, it’s a good idea to have them checked for fleas and ticks by your vet right away. If they’re clear, you should put them on preventative medication, such as K9 Advantix or Frontline Plus, right away.


Dr. Andrew Webber is a retired veterinarian and writer who is passionate about promoting pet health and safety through his written works online.