Puppy health is a major concern for anyone who has just adopted a new furry friend into the family.
One big issue that can be a little unnerving is diarrhea. It’s not uncommon for new arrivals to suffer from this condition. It is important, however, that you pay very close attention to your puppy at this time.
Puppies can become dehydrated extremely fast, so be sure to give him or her plenty of water. Water intake does not cause diarrhea. It’s usually something else:
- intestinal parasites
- digestive-tract viruses
- something the puppy ate
It’s quite common for a puppy to have diarrhea right after she comes into your home. Think about it. Everything is new – and scary. New surroundings, new people, new sounds and perhaps most important, she’s suddenly separated from her siblings and parents.
Imagine how you’d feel under such circumstances. Give her a day or so settle in before taking her to the vet. Unless, of course, she is in distress from it, such as the appearance of blood or mucus. This could be a sign of colitis or other condition requiring medical attention quickly.
So the time to watch out is if the diarrhea is persistent and/or lasts more than a day. Treat it as an emergency if these conditions exist:
- her sides and belly look swollen or bloated
- she has swallowed a foreign object: string, stones, cloth, rope, etc. which can become lodged in her intestinal tract
- the diarrhea appears like coffee grounds or almost all blood
- if she has not completed her parvo vaccines.
- apparent abdominal pains with persistent vomiting and loss of appetite
- a puppy less than 6 months of age who is weak and lethargic.
- whites of the eyes, inside the ears and gums look yellow (jaundice) could be a sign of liver or blood disease
- she is taking antibiotics and has diarrhea
- vomiting yellow bile (indicates she is vomiting even though her stomach is empty)
In many cases, you can simply treat your puppy at home, for instance if the cause is stress or something she ate. In which case, waiting a day might be sufficient.
Never delay seeking a vet’s advice, however, because the quicker she is treated for whatever is causing the diarrhea, the less damage will occur.