The 7 Most Common Illnesses in Veterinary Puppy Care

Puppy care is especially important for owners who have brought home a new pet. Puppies are at risk of contracting diseases due to bacteria, and viruses as they might not be vaccinated and their immune system is still immature. There are certain commonly known puppy problems that vets come across.

The 7 Most Common Puppy Problems:

  • Vomiting
  • Parvo virus
  • Diarrhea
  • ITB (Infectious tracheobronchitis)
  • Mites
  • Parasite infections
  • Panosteitis
  • Vomiting

Puppy vomiting can be attributed to both serious and minor problems. Puppies by nature are playful and curious. Very often they ingest food from the trash which causes the vomiting. They may also swallow objects which could be potentially dangerous as it could get lodged in the intestines. It's important to distinguish vomiting from regurgitating and retching. When puppies vomit they eject food from their mouth along with signs of stomach muscle contractions. Regurgitating is caused when puppies ingest or swallow food too fast. The food is eliminated without force or contractions. However, if your pet is coughing and gagging it's most likely an attempt to remove an object stuck in his throat or intestine.

Parvo Virus

Parvo virus is a contagious infection mostly seen in puppies that haven't received the entire series of vaccinations. The virus is present in contaminated dog feces. It exists in the environment after its shed through contaminated feces. Since the virus is fatal, it's necessary to seek prompt vet care if you notice symptoms of bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting in your pet.


Diarrhea is the most common puppy illness that occurs due to varying reasons. Diarrhea that's accompanied with symptoms of vomiting and lack of food intake requires medical attention. Bacterial infections, inappropriate diet, ingestion of toxins and intestinal disease are the most common causes of diarrhea.


Puppies are highly susceptible to infectious tracheobronchitis (ITB) which is caused by a contagious virus such as the parainfluenza virus or the canine distemper virus. The symptom is a high pitched kennel cough that's often accompanied by sneezing and rhinitis. This infection has to be treated soon after diagnosis, as it could lead to severe respiratory illness such as pneumonia.


Mites are parasites that live in your pet's ear canal. They survive on tissue and fluids present in the pets ears. Owners may sometimes notice ear discharge, foul smelling ears and debris around the ear canal. The ear mite infection can be easily treated with ear cleansing solutions and prescribed medication.

Parasite Infections

Puppies are often born with intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and heartworms. Hookworm larvae pass from the mother's milk to the puppies. Due to this reason routine worm treatment should be prescribed for both puppies and older dogs. Worms utilize essential nutrients from your dog's body. This is particularly harmful for younger pets as they have lower immune system functioning.


This disease occurs in dogs between 5 to 12 months of age. It causes inflammation in the bones of large dog breeds like German shepherds. The dog may experience difficulty walking or pain in the legs. Panosteitis eventually subsides on its own. The vet will prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to bring relief to the pet.

It's best to conduct routine vet checks on new puppies. Parasite screening and fecal examinations are effective diagnostic aids. Along with proper nutrition, remember to keep your puppy in a clean environment, away from other diseased pets.