Mild and isolated episodes of diarrhea aren’t all that uncommon among younger puppies. However, owners should become concerned when the diarrhea is prolonged and severe because it could be indicative that your puppy is suffering from a major underlying condition.
Monitoring the stools of younger dogs is instrumental. Their immune system and organism are still in the developmental stages, and that makes them more prone to various illnesses than older, fully matured dogs. When two or more of their stools are excessively liquid, you may have to consider taking the puppy to an emergency vet clinic. Bear in mind that severe dehydration occurs during the course of a single day in puppies with severe diarrhea episodes. Let’s find out the main triggers.
1. Stressful environment and stimuli
Stress is a known major factor for diarrhea in both animals and humans. Puppies that have been separated from their mother and the rest of the litter to be transported into a new and frightening environment often experience stress-induced watery stools.
In addition to the separation anxiety, most owners are so excited about the new member of their household that they ceaselessly shower the puppy with attention. It takes time for the puppy to adjust to their new environment and the abrupt behavioral changes could have an impact on the gastrointestinal tract, causing bouts of diarrhea.
2. Sudden diet modifications
Another common explanation for the fluid stools is that the new owners are unfamiliar with the puppies’ past diet when they decide to adopt him. Consequentially, they feed him foods that the puppy’s organism isn’t accustomed to. It’s necessary to point out that diarrhea may occur even if the food you’re feeding the young dog is qualitatively superior to the old diet and more appropriate for the specific breed. Vets recommend learning what your pet was fed before you adopt him and gradually introducing him to the new food, by placing increasing quantities of it in the bowl.
3. Having ingested foreign objects
Puppies, but older dogs too, display a propensity towards chewing and swallowing various non-food items, in an attempt to understand them. Should the puppy swallow a dangerous or toxic foreign object, diarrhea is probably the least problematic outcome. To prevent the young canine from exploring the environment using his teeth and tongue, constant monitoring and physical barriers – cages, kennels, etc. – can be utilized.
4. Parasites and worms
Intestinal worms may be transmitted genetically from the mother, but can also enter the puppy’s system during the nursing stage. Tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms are the most frequently encountered species, but the infestation is relatively easy to treat by your vet. Protozoan parasites, on the other hand, are more complicated to deal with, because the medication’s side effects are somewhat risky in younger puppies and the substances are not 100% effective.
5. Viral infections
The parvovirus (CPV) constitutes the greatest hazard for young puppies because their immune system is not yet equipped to fight this viral infection. If you notice blood in the stools, depression, foul smells and vomiting, it’s best to take your puppy to a vet emergency clinic right away, and he might have a fighting chance.