February 19, 2010, Newsletter Issue #85: Veterinary Care for Puppies

Tip of the Week

When their dog is sick, many people tend to wait a day or two to see if it gets better, especially if there is no blood involved. After all, dogs get viruses and upset stomachs from eating too much too fast just like people do. However, when you need veterinary care for puppies, delaying treatment is a bad idea.

Puppies are small and often much more sensitive to changes than adult dogs. A dog bone can give a young puppy diarrhea for several hours if it has a delicate digestive system. If it isn't drinking enough liquid, it could be dehydrated before 24 hours have passed. A more serious illness or a longer period of vomiting or diarrhea could lead to severe dehydration or even death.

When you have a sick puppy, make it as comfortable as possible and call your veterinarian for advice. He or she may want to see the puppy right away or may give recommendations like providing broth or pedialyte and waiting several hours to see if the puppy improves. If it is a Sunday and your vet isn't in the office, you still may want to give the office number a call. Most vets provide an emergency number for dog owners to call during the weekend.

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Jerry Mayo