5 Common Diseases in Puppies

1. Puppy Pyoderma

What is Puppy Pyoderma?

Puppy pyoderma is a rash usually caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. In most cases, the infection is harmless there is usually no underlying cause to the infection. It is fairly common in puppies.

What are the symptoms of puppy pyoderma?

Common symptoms include

  • small red bumps on the belly, they can become scaly
  • itchiness

What do I do if I think my puppy has puppy pyoderma?

If you suspect your puppy of having puppy pyoderma, take them to the veterinarian where they will prescribe antibiotics. While the infection is common, it is something you want to get treated as soon as possible.

The infection usually clears up without any lingering side-effects

Can I prevent puppy pyoderma from occurring?

You can make sure your puppy is clean in that area throughout regular grooming to help prevent the infection

2. Worms

Why do puppies get worms?

Most puppies get worms from their mother’s milk when nursing or from an infected mother while in the womb via the placenta. It is extremely common for puppies to have worms.

What are the common intestinal worms in puppies?

While puppies can get any type of worms, puppies usually have one of four types: roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and hookworms.


Roundworms look like thin long pieces of spaghetti, I know gross right and they are usually moving. Depending on the length of infection many puppies can vomit worms or more commonly you will see them in their feces.

Because roundworms take nutrients away from your puppy it is important to deworm them multiple times, especially if you have seen worms in the feces. If the infection is severe the worms can cause malnourishment and bloody stool.


Puppies usually pick up whipworms from their environment, usually eating infected feces (I know gross right!). If your pup eats their own feces I wrote this article to help you out, so check it out after you read this blog. They can cause bloody stool, diarrhea, weight loss, and in severe cases general malaise. This is one reason it so important that people pick up their dog’s feces because they can live in the environment for up to 5 years and are pretty heat resistant.


Hookworms are dangerous because they actually suck the blood from your puppy which can cause severe anemia and can be fatal in puppies. Puppies acquire the infection in many of the same ways mentioned above.


Tapeworms usually look like small grains of rice if you suspect your pup may have them. You want to treat them quickly as humans can also be infected with them as with many of the worms pups can get

How are worms detected

Many times owners see worms in the puppies poop. It is also important to bring a stool sample with you during your first puppy visit so that your vet can detect worm eggs

How do you treat worms

Fortunately, treating these infections in puppies is pretty easy to do in most cases and your veterinarian will be able to prescribe the medication needed. Most vets include several dewormers with your puppy shots however, this is usually a general dewormer of pyrantel pamoate, which will not rid of all types of worms which is why it’s important that you check their stool for other types of worm eggs. They will also place your puppy on a preventative care regimen

3. Puppy Vaginitis

What is puppy vaginitis?

Puppy vaginitis is basically the inflammation of the vagina that usually occurs in pups between the ages of 6 weeks to 7 or 8 months.

What are the clinical signs of puppy vaginitis?

The clinical signs may not show at all or your pup may have a combination of the following

  • Many times there will be no signs, but there may also be a white, sticky, vaginal discharge which can sometimes turn light green or yellow.
  • Frequent urination
  • You may notice your puppy licking their vulva a lot and subsequent redness due to irritation

How long does puppy vaginitis last?

It can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months

How do you treat puppy vaginitis?

Most veterinarians will start your puppy on a round of oral antibiotics after testing to determine the cause. Depending on the reason a surgery may be necessary, but this is less common.

Time is also part of the treatment as most cases of puppy vaginitis resolve after the first heat cycle.

Prevent irritation of the skin around the vulva by keeping the area clean and discouraging licking by your pup


Fleas are little common annoyances that left untreated can turn into huge problems for not only your pet but you as well. To prevent an infestation you want to treat your pet and home if needed as soon as possible and put them on a preventative.

4. Gastrointestinal upset from food changes

It is fairly common for owners to come into the clinic because their new pup has watery diarrhea or vomiting. Many times it is one of two things, their pet ate something they should not have or the owners switched the food too quickly. If you want a chart for successfully and safely switching your pup’s food I created one here.

5. Urine Burn

Urine burn or scalding occurs commonly in pups that are being diaper trained or pets that are crated for long periods of time and urinate in the kennel then lay in the urine. Because urine is fairly acidic if your pup’s skin comes into contact with it for long periods of time it can basically burn the top layer of skin.

These burns are usually red, painful rashes that can subsequently turn into raging bacterial infections if not gotten out of control

Practicing good hygiene is critical if you are going to diaper or crate train your pup to prevent them from acquiring the rash.

This is also a common occurrence in senior pets if you want to read more about common diseases in senior pets you can read my article here.

How do you prevent urine burn?

  • Change any diapers regularly
  • if you must crate train, do not leave your pup in the kennel for extended periods of time
  • bathe your pup regularly
  • use super absorbant diapers

Have more questions about your new puppy? We’ve got answers, download our new 35-page puppy guide now!

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