Your puppy just came home, and you want to protect his health as much as possible-;and feeding a balanced puppy food is an easy way to do just that. Balanced feeding gives the puppy’s immune system what it needs to fight infection, but it can’t do everything. Below are three health issues puppy owners can face in a dog’s first year.

Parvovirus

Parvo is a very contagious virus that can affect dogs from 12 weeks to three years of age. It is transmitted through bodily fluids, and most dogs are vaccinated at 6-8 weeks of age, with more shots coming every three weeks until the dog is four months old. Symptoms of parvo include fever, diarrhea, vomiting and weakness. The best treatment is prevention, but puppies can be treated by an Animal Doctor in Honolulu with antibiotics and IV fluids. It can take up to seven days for a dog to recover from parvovirus.

Distemper

Distemper vaccinations are quite effective, with the first shot being given at six to eight weeks of age and a booster given after nine weeks. The Honolulu Pet Clinic can recommend an appropriate dosing schedule. Distemper is a nasty disease that starts with eye discharge and sneezing; it can develop into neurological issues or pneumonia. It is often misdiagnosed as a cold, and it can take weeks to recover completely.

The unfortunate thing about distemper is that if the puppy survives, the disease can remain dormant within his or her body and show up again when the dog is older. At that time, the dog’s prognosis would likely be worse because distemper can lead to seizures and other neurological issues.

Kennel Cough

Canine parainfluenza and bacteria can cause kennel cough in puppies. Contrary to its name, animals who are not confined to kennels can contract this disease. Puppies can receive vaccinations starting at six weeks of age, and they should get booster shots at least once per year after that. Kennel cough starts with fever, low appetite and lethargy, and it can lead to pneumonia if not treated. Most infections clear up within ten to 14 days with help from an Animal Doctor in Honolulu. You can also visit them on Facebook for more information.