Even if you have had adult dogs for years, having a young puppy is a whole new ball game. Not only are puppies much more active than older dogs, but their health needs are vastly different. They are also prone to different health problems than those you often see in older dogs. So, how do you know when a young puppy needs to go to the vet hospital? Take them in if you notice any of the following problems.
A Distended Abdomen
If you notice that your puppy has developed a really bloated, distended abdomen, this should be a major reason to take them to the vet. Puppies have pretty sensitive digestive tracts, especially when they are weaning onto solid dog food. This means they are often more prone to intestinal blockages. A distended abdomen and bloating are common signs of a blockage, which needs to be cleared by the vet.
This symptom could also indicate that your puppy has worms, which is not as serious a problem as a blockage, but it is still something the vet will need to address.
Puppies tend to be really energetic, and then really tired. But even when they are sleeping, they tend to perk right back up when you wake them. They should not be so exhausted and lethargic that they don't want to move. If a puppy does act like this, then they may have a severe infection, brain trauma, or even an undiagnosed heart condition. It's best to take them to the vet hospital right away and have them evaluated because a puppy's health, with any of these conditions, can easily start to rapidly decline without treatment.
Diarrhea in an older dog is not always a serious issue, so long as it does not last too long. But in a small puppy, diarrhea is absolutely a sign you need to head to the vet. Diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration in young puppies, and dehydration can be quite deadly. Plus, one possible cause of diarrhea is parvovirus, an infection that is very deadly in young puppies. If your pup does have parvo, getting prompt treatment can mean the difference between them surviving and passing away. And even if the diarrhea has a less sinister cause, the vet will want to give your pup IV fluids to ward off dehydration.
If you have a young puppy, it's important to know when they need vet care. If you notice any of the signs above, take them to the vet hospital sooner rather than later.