We, as their caretakers, feel so sorry for them, but all puppies go through it — yes, I’m talking about teething. We can tell by how our puppies act that teething is painful for them, but when they start having symptoms of illness, sometimes, it’s hard for us to tell whether it’s a side-effect of teething or whether something else is the matter. Here are the facts about puppies and teething.
Does teething cause diarrhea in puppies?
Puppies get their 28 baby teeth or “milk teeth” by the time they are 8 weeks or 2 months old. Their milk teeth are quite sharp, and they are able to chew through just about anything, including your furniture legs and your shoes.
As early as around 3 months old, a puppy’s incisors begin falling out. Next, their canine teeth fall out, followed by their premolars.
There are usually adult teeth already waiting to come in when their milk teeth are falling out. By the time a puppy is one year old, they will have 42 adult teeth.
When your puppy starts teething, it won’t be hard to tell, as they will start drooling a lot, and they may swallow the drool. This may cause them to lose their appetite and get an upset stomach or diarrhea.
They may come down with a mild fever. Your puppy may also try to chew on anything they can get their teeth on and paw at their mouth.
You may find blood spots on objects they’ve chewed on and even teeth lying around, as well. This is the time to make your home “puppy-proof” by putting your shoes and other items that you don’t want to be chewed up where your puppy does not have access to them.
Chances are, though, that you can’t put up your furniture, so you may have to put up your puppy. You may have to confine them to a small room or even a dog crate. If you don’t have to leave your dog alone, you can try just distracting them away from your nice things with chew toys.
Fill Kong toys with freezable treats and freeze the toys with the treats in them. Chewing on their frozen Kong toys and treats will help keep them busy and soothe their sore, aching gums.
How long does diarrhea from teething last?
As long as your puppy is drooling excessively, there is the possibility that they are swallowing much of the drool, and swallowing drool can cause your puppy to lose their appetite and get an upset stomach or diarrhea.
So, your dog may continue to have a smaller than normal appetite and often suffer from an upset stomach and diarrhea for the duration of the time that they are teething.
So, generally, if you already know your dog is teething and they are having recurring bouts of mild diarrhea, it is probably nothing to worry about, as long as they are eating and functioning normally.
However, if their diarrhea becomes severe or it is accompanied by vomiting (especially vomiting blood), abdominal pain, lethargy, or fever, you should see a veterinarian at the soonest possible moment.
In the meantime, you shouldn’t continue feeding your dog their regular diet. As a matter of fact, if their diarrhea is severe, especially when accompanied by other symptoms, you shouldn’t feed your dog anything solid for at least 12 hours, but make certain you make water available 24 hours a day, as dogs can become dehydrated quite easily when they are suffering from diarrhea.
If you even suspect that your dog may have reasons other than teething for their diarrhea, you should get them to your vet immediately. There are some very serious illnesses that can cause severe diarrhea, and these are three of the best suspects.
Your puppy has already had worms, and hopefully, been dewormed by whomever you adopted them from, because all puppies inherit worms from their mothers. Worm eggs exist in the mother’s body for years, but when she has her puppies, the worm eggs are passed to them and hatch in their digestive tracts.
This is why it is a common practice to deworm puppies with medications like Ivermectin and Pyrantal. These anti-parasite drugs will rid your dog of worm infestations and should be administered to them at the proper ages, which are every 2 weeks from the age of 2 weeks to 8 weeks. At 8 weeks, most puppies leave their mothers to be rehomed, leaving their new owners responsible for further worming treatments.
At 8 weeks or 2 months old, your puppy can take heartworm medication. Heartworm drugs are administered as a puppy treat that your puppy will probably take happily. They will need to take heartworm medication once a month, taking special care not to miss it during mosquito season, as heartworm spreads through a mosquito bite.
Worm infestation may be the top reason for dogs having diarrhea, but it is a problem that is easily solvable, so if your dog is having bout after bout of diarrhea, ask yourself if they are current on their worming treatments.
If your puppy has distemper, diarrhea may be one of the first symptoms you notice, but the diarrhea is usually accompanied by other symptoms like liquid oozing from the eyes that may be a thick, tacky, “mucousy” discharge. They may also suffer from respiratory distress, vomiting, and lethargy, but with distemper, the vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy are much more severe than with teething.
The distemper vaccine should be administered 3 times by the time your puppy is 6 months old. It is vital that your puppy gets their distemper vaccines. If you suspect the cause of your puppy’s diarrhea is distemper and not teething, see your veterinarian immediately, as your dog could die.
Parvovirus is a virus that can be deadly to your puppy, especially if they are of certain breeds such as Rottweilers, German shepherds, American pit bulls, Labs, and Dobermans. While this virus can remain in adult dogs leaving them virtually unaffected, it often kills puppies. So, it is absolutely vital that you get your dog their Parvo vaccines when they are due for them.
Make sure you get a copy of your dog’s vaccination records from their former owner or the shelter, and keep up with all their shots, including their Parvo vaccines. Also, remember to keep track of your worming treatments, and keep them in the same place as your dog’s vaccination records. There are three Parvo vaccines.
The first Parvo shot is usually given when a puppy is weaned, so your dog has probably already had it and their first distemper shot along with it. You are responsible for the second and third Parbo shots.
One of the primary signs of Parvovirus is diarrhea, so, if you are in question, you should get a stool sample from your dog. It will need to be tested to find out whether they have Parvovirus.
Is it normal for puppies to have diarrhea?
It is not abnormal at all for puppies to have diarrhea, but you should be sure that their diarrhea is due to teething and not something more serious. The diarrhea that comes with teething is mild and not serious, but if your dog’s diarrhea is severe or is accompanied by vomiting (especially vomiting blood), abdominal pain, lethargy, fever, eye discharge, or respiratory distress, they may have a much more serious, even deadly condition, so you should take them to their vet immediately.
Mild diarrhea from teething can be treated with a human medication called Imodium AD that is considered by most veterinary professionals to be safe for dogs. It can help stop your dog’s diarrhea by firming their stool and avoiding dehydration.
However, most human medications are totally unsafe for dogs, so never give human medications to your dogs except under the advice of your vet.
It may also help to feed your dog a more bland, dry diet while they are teething. If they aren’t doing well on kibble, cooking for them may be the answer.
Try boiled boneless chicken or hamburger sauteed with the fat drained. You can serve either meat with dry, white rice. Just ensure you don’t add ingredients like onions and garlic or spices.