Due to their immature immune systems, young pups are unfortunately more susceptible to infectious illnesses than adult dogs. However, if your pup is a toy breed, it can be even more prone to serious unwellness complications.
Toy-breed puppies are prone to these complications because:
- They lose body heat more quickly, so can be prone to hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature)
- They have less capability to store glucose in their bodies, so if they aren’t eating, they can rapidly develop hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
- They become dehydrated more rapidly.
What are common causes of unwellness in puppies?
Puppies commonly suffer from gastrointestinal unwellness due to dietary changes or infections (such as intestinal worms, giardia, or coccidia). However, due to their small body size and naturally lower red blood cell levels than an adult dog, toy breed puppies can also risk dangerous anaemia secondary to heavy flea infestations.
When should you take your puppy to the vet?
We recommend that our veterinary team promptly assess puppies that have missed more than one meal, have had several vomits, have had diarrhoea for more than 24 hours, or seem a bit quieter than usual.
However, we advise urgent treatment if your puppy:
- Is having profuse or bloody diarrhoea or vomiting,
- Is lethargic or withdrawn,
- Has pale gums.
What should I do if my puppy has diarrhoea but seems otherwise OK?
If your puppy is not passing blood, still seems playful, and is eating and drinking, we would advise feeding them small meals three to four times daily of a bland diet (such as plain-cooked skinless chicken breast with boiled rice) and monitoring them closely.
Remember, we recommend a vet check if your pup shows no improvement in 24 hours.