Puppies like to explore the world with their mouths, which means they sometimes ingest harmful or inedible substances. The result is vomiting and diarrhea. While occasional GI upset is not harmful, continual GI issues can lead to chronic inflammation.
It is extremely common for puppies to have either hookworms or roundworms, which can be passed to them through their mother’s milk. A healthy gut will diminish the damage that worms do until they can be eradicated through puppy deworming treatment.
Coccidiosis is the term for the infestation of the coccidia parasite, which is most common in puppies. Although most adult dogs have this parasite and never show symptoms, puppies have a weaker immune system which causes them to show signs such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and dehydration. Puppies develop Coccidiosis by ingesting the parasite, either by licking themselves, licking other dogs, or consuming infected food.
Adenovirus is a form of hepatitis found in dogs. Although an adenovirus vaccine exists, puppies are more susceptible prior to vaccination or while their immune systems are weak. Symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, cloudy eyes, and upper respiratory tract symptoms such as nasal discharge. There is no treatment for adenovirus; rather, immuno-supportive care is provided.