Teething can cause a variety of symptoms in puppies, including diarrhea. When most puppies go through the teething stage, they’ll experience trouble chewing from oral pain. However, some puppies have more severe symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite.
Diarrhea- it’s the last thing you want to be dealing with when you have a brand new little ball of fluff puppy.
When it happens, you wonder what you signed up for when you brought that new puppy home. But you are thoroughly attached, and no amount of excrement will change that.
So, you clean it up and go on with your day. But what if it continues to happen? You can’t be cleaning up messes on your carpet daily. After a while, you wonder what could cause your puppy such gastrointestinal distress.
It could be many reasons, some more serious than others, but a very common reason for a mild case of diarrhea is that your puppy is teething.
Teething may seem like it’s no big deal, and it’s true that some puppies hardly notice it at all. However, for some puppies, it can be painful, and they can experience a range of symptoms.
Teething symptoms in puppies include, first and foremost, the obvious – a loss of teeth. Aside from the obvious sore gums and loss of teeth, symptoms can also be more serious, such as lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.
While this may seem like an extreme reaction to the natural process of teething, for some puppies, teething can be very painful and can cause these more severe symptoms. Other puppies don’t even realize they are teething and show very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Symptoms can vary from one puppy to the next. So how do you know when your puppy has diarrhea because of teething? It begins with ruling out other potential causes for the digestive issue.
Once you rule out all other causes with the help of your vet, you can then assume that his diarrhea is just a side effect of teething.
Could it Be Something Other Than Teething?
You must rule out all other potential causes of your puppy’s gastrointestinal distress before you assume the problem is caused by teething. This is important because there are many other conditions that can cause diarrhea which are severe and need to be treated immediately.
The most serious of these conditions is parvovirus. Parvo kills hundreds of puppies each year, and it is especially dangerous in certain breeds, including the Rottweiler. Parvo is a virus that can live in adult dogs without affecting them in the least, but will often kill puppies.
For this reason, the parvo vaccine is crucial. Whether you purchased your puppy from a breeder or adopted him from a shelter, you will want to ask for all the vaccination records and specifically look for a parvovirus vaccine.
This vaccination should be given three times. Vets differ on exactly when the shots should be given, but most agree that the first set should happen after the puppy has been weaned. This usually means that the new owner is responsible for scheduling the second and third set of parvovirus shots with their vet.
Diarrhea is one of the first signs of this virus. So it is important that if you see diarrhea in your puppy, take a stool sample to your vet to have it tested for parvovirus. If it tests negative, the diarrhea may simply be a symptom of teething.
However, there are still a few other conditions that need to be ruled out.
Distemper presents itself in puppies in much the same way as parvovirus, except that the puppy suffering from distemper will often also exhibit signs of respiratory distress and liquid coming from his eyes.
The distemper vaccination is usually given along with the parvovirus vaccine. It is also given three times during the puppies’ first six months of life. If you notice signs of teething in your puppy, but there are also signs of distemper, you will want to schedule an appointment with your vet.
Even though both teething and distemper symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea, the symptoms are usually mild with teething and much more severe with distemper. Even if you think the symptoms are mild, it is still important to rule out distemper before assuming your puppy is only teething.
Every puppy is born with worms. Worms eggs lay dormant in the mother’s uterus for years, but they hatch in the puppies’ digestive systems. YUCK!
But there is a simple solution to worm infestations: Pyrental and ivermectin. These two powerful anti-parasite medications are perfectly safe when given in the correct doses to your puppy. Your breeder or the shelter where you adopted your puppy should have given him the proper dosing of these medications at the appropriate times.
Responsible breeders will start the deworming treatments when the litter of puppies is only two weeks old. The puppies should receive pyrantel and ivermectin at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks of age.
Eight weeks is about when most puppies leave their mothers and littermates to go to their new homes. At this point, you become responsible for your puppy’s remaining deworming treatments.
When your puppy is eight weeks old, he is old enough for heartworm medication. This usually comes in the form of a little treat that is soft and palatable to your puppy. The treat contains both pyrantel and ivermectin, and you need to give it to your dog once per month.
Heartworm is of particular concern, and it is spread through the bite of a mosquito, so it is very important to keep up on these treatments, especially during the mosquito season.
A worm infestation can cause diarrhea in puppies. In fact, it may be the leading cause of diarrhea in dogs. But it can be remedied easily through a few consistent treatments. Before assuming that your dog’s diarrhea is because of teething, be sure to make sure he is up to date on his deworming treatment.
When is it Safe to Assume it’s Just Teething?
If your puppy is exhibiting mild symptoms of diarrhea and chewing on everything in sight, and if you have ruled out more serious complications, your puppy may simply be teething.
Some puppies have more trouble with teething than others, but the slight digestive upset your puppy is experiencing could be due to teething.
If this is the case, there are some simple ways to treat your puppy’s symptoms and help him get comfortable in the meantime.
Treating Diarrhea in Teething Puppies
Imodium AD is a human medication that is generally considered to be safe for dogs. Imodium AD can help firm up your puppy’s stool and keep him from becoming dehydrated.
This medication can usually be given safely, and it can save you from having to clean up some messes in the house. It can also save your puppy from the discomfort of having constant diarrhea.
While Imodium AD is safe for dogs when given under the guidance of a vet, other human medications are not. Never give your puppy Tylenol or ibuprofen as pain relief for teething. These medications can cause him harm.
Always ask your vet before giving any medication to your puppy so you can provide the proper dosage. The last thing you want to do is cause your puppy further problems when trying to treat the symptoms of teething.
Remember, teething is a very normal process and your puppy will be okay without treatment. However, if you want to make the entire process easier on them, there are safe treatments available to you, but always under the guidance of your vet.
Diet and Nutrition
Changing your puppy’s diet might also help stop the diarrhea he has due to teething. You may need to buy a more bland, dry kibble. Or you may need to cook for him for a while. If you cook for him, a simple recipe of rice and boiled chicken or hamburger would do the trick.
Feeding your puppy something easy on his stomach could treat the symptom of diarrhea while you wait for the teething to pass.
How Long Will My Puppy Have Diarrhea While Teething?
Each puppy handles teething differently. Some will have symptoms longer than others, and some puppies will experience more mild symptoms than others. This makes it difficult to say just how long your puppy will have diarrhea.
However, most puppies are done teething and have all of their adult teeth by the time they are eight months old. That may seem like a long time, but if you figure out the right diet and treat your puppy’s symptoms, time will fly by and your puppy will be back to feeling like himself in no time.
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