While health problems are a serious issue for any dog, there are several conditions that are especially dangerous for young puppies. Because puppies are not as developed or physically mature as older dogs, conditions that may not be dangerous for adult dogs can have serious health consequences for young puppies.
Fortunately, pet parents can help their puppies stay in tip-top health by recognizing these dangerous health signs:
For puppies, vomiting is a serious condition. Vomiting can occur for a variety of reasons; they may have eaten something that is causing a blockage or something which has given them food poisoning.They can also be sick if they have worms or an infection or if they are stressed.
Unfortunately, since puppies are still young and underdeveloped, vomiting can easily lead to severe dehydration. As it stands now, vomiting is one of the primary reasons that puppies land in the vet emergency room.
If your puppy has just begun vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, you can give him a bit of room temperature water, but you should avoid giving him anything to eat until he has not vomited for a couple of hours. It is important to not starve them for too long, unlike adult dogs, which should not be fed for 24 hours if they are being sick. If the dog seems lethargic, bloated, or dehydrated, take him to the vet immediately.
Consuming Inappropriate Substances
Much like kids, puppies explore the world using their tongues. They lick, bite, and chew everything and, as such, they're at an increased risk for eating things they shouldn't. While some substances may not harm puppies, matter like electric cables, plastic, toxins, and drugs can all kill a dog if ingested.
It's important to be aware that puppies will try to get into everything and you should puppy-proof your home accordingly. If your dog ingests a toxic substance or a foreign body becomes lodged in his throat, take him to the vet immediately. These conditions are dangerous and potentially deadly and will have the best prognosis if detected and treated early.
TraumaBecause of their size, curiosity, and perpetual movement, puppies are at a high risk of being stepped on or crushed beneath falling objects. If your puppy has experienced physical trauma, it's important to remember that puppies have a lower pain tolerance than older dogs and that since their bones are still growing, puppies are at an increased risk for dislocations and broken bones. Take the dog to see the vet immediately for the best outcome.
While all dogs pant, puppies may occasionally experience respiratory problems. A sure sign of dangerous respiratory problems is large gasping chest movements or coughing, wheezing, and abnormal breathing noises.
Respiratory problems can be the result of everything from ingestion of toxic substances or foreign bodies to broken bones, trauma or infections. If you notice your dog struggling to breathe, take him to the vet immediately.
Occasionally, puppies will experience allergic reactions.The symptoms are most commonly localized swellings (which can be painful), hives on the skin, vomiting and very occasionally collapse. Common causes include insect stings or bites, plants, or something they have eaten. If your dog has any of these symptoms, a vet should see him immediately.
Low Blood Sugar
Toy breeds such as Pomeranians and Chihuahuas are tiny as it is, but their puppies have very small stomachs and fast metabolisms. As such, they are vulnerable to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar if they are not fed regularly or are stressed or ill in some way. Hypoglycemia can be fatal and warning signs include wobbliness, lethargy, and weakness, which could lead to seizures, coma, or collapse. If your puppy shows any of these symptoms, give them a little bit of honey or powdered sugar immediately and then take them to the vet.
While nobody wants to deal with puppy health emergencies, pet parents who know what they are and how to spot them are likely to have better outcomes with their dogs.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.