The 5 Most Common Puppy Health Problems

Puppy health is always a concern for pet owners with puppy health care prices on the rise. When owners know what types of health problems are the most common in puppies, preventative measures can be better enforced.

1. Parasites

Parasites can affect a puppy on the inside and outside of his or her little body. Internal parasites are usually worms that are made up of a single cell and can live in a puppy's tissues, intestinal tract and even the heart. External parasites include fleas, ticks and ear mites. Parasites can transmit diseases and cause a puppy to fall ill.

The best prevention against parasites is making sure the puppy is clean, has been vaccinated against parasites, and uses anti-flea products that are safe for puppies. Many puppy health insurance policies help cover the cost of puppy shots.

2. Parvo

Parvo, a virus, is dangerous for puppies that are under the age of six months. This virus can spread quickly from dog to dog and affect a puppy's intestines or heart. A puppy with parvo will be lethargic, dehydrated and will lack in appetite. He or she will also have gastro intestinal problems like diarrhea and/or vomiting.

To help prevent the spread of the parvovirus, one should always pick up a dog's feces around the home (inside and out) and while on walks. Cleaning a puppy's crate, bed, the floor, toys and other items with water and chlorine can also help prevent the spread of parvo.

3. Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a common illness to affect dog health. This type of cough is spread from dog to dog and can be caused by a bacterial infection or virus.

A puppy with this illness will typically have a dry cough and may gag at the end of a coughing fit. If a puppy's cough persists for more than a week, take him or her to see a veterinarian for an examination as a cough could be a symptom of a parasitic infection, distemper, or another illness.

The best prevention against kennel cough is to keep a puppy's immune system strong and keep him or her away from sick dogs.

4. Mange

Mange, or scabies, can make a puppy miserably itchy. Caused by mites, mange can result in hair loss, lesions that appear to have a crust or discharge, and can make a puppy have an offensive smell.

There are various treatments for mange that include commercial products and natural remedies. The best way to prevent mange in puppies is with proper hygiene and keeping him or her away from other animals that have mange.

5. Intestinal Problems

Gastrointestinal problems in puppies include diarrhea, constipation and vomiting. These incidents can happen because of a food or non-food item a puppy ate. If gastrointestinal problems persist for more than 24 hours, or are accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy or pain, the puppy should be taken to a veterinary clinic for treatment.

Puppies can be affected by many health problems. A watchful eye and prompt treatment can help a puppy bounce back to its playful self quickly.