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Puppy Illnesses

This information is relative to puppies in "general" not specific to the Cane Corso breed.

If you are a new puppy parent, or are about to be one, it is important to learn about some common puppy illnesses and their symptoms, so that appropriate action can be taken if your puppy gets sick. This information is just to keep you informed and is not intended to be a subsitute for verterinary care.

Puppies are active and generally full of energy. If you notice that your puppy has suddenly become weak and lethargic or is eating less than usual or not eating at all then you should pay close attention, identify and note all symptoms that your puppy may exhibit and take him/her to the vet at the first signs of illness. Most times early treatment can save your puppies life.

Common puppy health problems and their symptoms:

Puppy Parvo

Parvo is a viral disease that is highly contagious. It spreas quickly. Parvovirus affects mainly puppies and younger dogs. Puppies between 4 weeks to 6 months of age are the most at risk. There are two forms of parvo - intestinal (more common) and cardiac (less common but more deadly).

Puppies with parvo usually show a loss of appetite and are lethargic. They suffer from vomiting and diarrhea which can quickly lead to dehydration. Quite often, they also have a fever. In serious cases, puppy parvo is fatal if timely treatment is not given.

Puppy Cough

If your puppy has developed a dry, hacking cough, he may have contracted kennel cough, which is caused by either viral (e.g. parainfluenza) or bacterial infection (e.g. Bordetella bronchiseptica). Usually, the puppy will gag or retch at the end of a coughing spell. Kennel cough is not a very serious illness and the puppy will usually get over the cough in one or two weeks.

There are natural remedies such as herbs that can be used to ease the cough. Please visit our pages on Kennel Cough for more information.

Of course, just because your puppy is coughing does not necessarily mean that he has kennel cough. There are many other reasons why he may be coughing, since coughing is one way for the body to get rid of foreign particles and infectious bacteria from the respiratory tract. For example, if the puppy is allergic to some irritants (such as cigarette smoke), he may also develop a cough (usually a "moist" one).

In some cases, coughing can be a sign of something more serious, such as heartworm infection or distemper. Therefore, if your puppy's cough does not go away in a couple days, you should get her to the vet for a check-up.

Puppy Mange

There are two types of mange: sarcoptic mange, commonly known as scabies, and demodectic mange, also known as red mange.

Scabies can agonies puppies due to the intense itch it causes. In addition to itching, it also causes hair loss. You may also see crusty brown lesions on the skin. Scabies is contagious and can even infect people, so great care must be exercised if you suspect your puppy has scabies.

Red mange is non-contagious and is caused by another type of mites that live in the hair follicle. It causes hair loss and the area first affected is usually around the eyes, but it may spread to the head and other parts of the body. Puppies and dogs with a healthy immune system are normally not affected by red mange, although the mites can be found in most pups a strong immune system will help fend off problems such as mange.

There are natural and gentle remedies that can be used to tackle puppy mange and to strengthen the immune system. Visit our page on Home Remedies for Mange for more information.

Ear Mites in Puppies

If your puppy is constantly shaking her head and scratching its ears, take a look at the inside of her ears. If you see dark brown crumbly wax in the ear(s), or if the affected ear gives off a bad odor he/she may have ear mites. Mite infestation can cause outer ear infection. As is the case with most puppy illnesses, mites usually affect puppies with a weakened immune system.

Visit our page on Dog Ear Mites for more information on how to use natural remedies to treat this puppy health problem.

Puppy Diarrhea

One of the most common puppy illnesses is perhaps diarrhea. Puppy diarrhea can have a wide range of causes - some can be serious. If your puppy has developed diarrhea and is not getting better in a couple of days or so, and especially if she has mucoid or bloody diarrhea, take her to the vet immediately.

Visit our page on Puppy Diarrhea for more information on this puppy health problem.

Puppy Constipation

Constipation is also one of the most common puppy illnesses. Occasional constipation is not a serious concern, especially if the constipated puppy is eating normally and does not show any other illness symptoms, such as pain, lethargy, etc. Make sure that the puppy has sufficient exercise and a lot of fresh clean water to drink. You may also add 1 TBSP canned pumpkin (not pie filling) OR you may also try fiber by mixing 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed or psyllium husk with her food.

However, if your puppy is straining to poop but fails to produce anything, or if he/she seems to be in pain, then you should consult a vet immediately. It may be possible that the puppy/dog swallowed something and has an intestinal blockage.

If your puppy is suffering from chronic constipation, consult with your vet. In addition, make sure that she is fed a natural diet, supplemented by probiotics and fatty acids - both are essential in maintaining a strong digestive system.

Puppy Vomiting

Puppies often vomit when they have been eating too fast or too much (or both!), they have started exercising too soon after eating, or when they are under stress. These are not serious causes and vomiting should not be too frequent nor should it continue. Try to monitor the duration and frequency of the vomiting. If your puppy vomits only once or twice, and thereafter eats normally, has a normal bowel movement, and is not lethargic, then the problem may resolve on its own. Just make sure she has plenty of clean water to drink, since puppies get dehydrated very quickly.

If your puppy is vomiting and is also showing signs of pain (e.g. drooling, whining), you should take him/her to the vet immediately. It may be possible that she has eaten something indigestible or even poisonous.

If your puppy has chronic vomiting, or if he/she is lethargic or has lost her appetite, consult your vet immediately. Chronic vomiting may be due to a number of reasons, such as food allergies, worm infestation, or infectious diseases (e.g. parvo, distemper).



Worldwide Cane Corsos
North Branch, MI
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