Characteristics of a Healthy Puppy

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Signs of Good Health

Gild and puppyWhen you visit your veterinarian, be sure to bring up any questions or concerns regarding your puppy's health. To help you determine abnormalities you need to discuss with your veterinarian, please review the following lists.

What's Normal

  • Eyes: Should be bright and clear. Report any discharge to your veterinarian.
  • Ears: Should be clean and free of discharge, odor and redness. Untreated ear problems are painful and can cause hearing loss.
  • Nose: Should be clean, without discharge or sores.
  • Mouth: Should smell fresh. Gums should be pink. Teeth should be free of tartar or plaque. Mouth and lips should be free of sores or growths.
  • Coat: Should be shiny and clean.
  • Weight: Active, playful puppies are rarely overweight. Ask your veterinarian for nutritional advice on maintaining your dog's healthy weight.
  • Bladder/Bowel: Report changes in the frequency or consistency of your puppy's urine or stool to your veterinarian immediately.

What's Not Normal

  • Diarrhea: This common ailment can be caused by many factors including bacteria, viruses, internal parasites, toxic substances, too much food or psychological upsets. Call your veterinarian if stools are bloody, if there is a large volume of watery stools, if your pet is thin or potbellied or if the diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours.
  • Constipation: Like diarrhea, constipation can be caused by many factors, including, ingesting substances such as hair, bones or foreign materials, or because of disease or insufficient water intake. Your veterinarian may recommend blood tests, radiographs or perform other tests to find the cause.
  • Vomiting: It is not uncommon for a pet to vomit occasionally, but frequent or persistent vomiting is not normal. Call your veterinarian if vomiting occurs more than five times in a few hours, large volumes are vomited, vomit contains blood, or is accompanied by diarrhea or abdominal pain.
  • Abnormal Urination: Straining to urinate or bloody urine may indicate a painful infection of the urinary tract. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

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