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Diarrhea in Newborn Puppies

| Updated September 26, 2017

When newborn puppies have diarrhea it can be frightening for pet owners. You automatically assume that there must be something wrong with the puppies and you'd be right to assume so. There are a few reasons that newborn puppies experience diarrhea, however, regardless of the cause it's important to take the puppies to a veterinarian at the first sign of loose stools. There is always the chance that the puppies have an infection and need medical attention right away.


Diarrhea in newborn puppies is pretty easy to diagnose. It is characterized by loose, runny stools. If the puppies are experiencing diarrhea and either discomfort or bloating, they may also experience a loss of appetite and either stop eating entirely or eat only small portions of food. If the baby puppy is vomiting along with the diarrhea, contact your veterinarian immediately, as this is a sure sign of something serious.


There are many different causes of diarrhea in puppies. One of the most common is a change in diet. Most pet owners will allow the mother dog to nurse her puppies, however, sometimes the mother does not have enough milk for her puppies and in other cases, she will refuse to feed them. If this happens, pet owners often bottle feed the puppies so they get the proper nutrients. Bottle feeding in conjunction with nursing can produce a too-rich diet, which can cause diarrhea.


It is never safe to give animals any type of human medication. This holds true for diarrhea medication, as well. It is not safe to give puppies Pepto-Bismol, Maalox or Kaopectate. Not only can this be harmful to the puppies, but it can also make a bad situation worse.


If you are not sure whether to take your puppy to the veterinarian, consider the symptoms before you make a decision. If you have changed your puppies' diet recently or have been supplementing their mother's milk with bottle milk, you can use an enzyme drop that helps with the oxidization of microbes and can help get your puppies' digestive systems back on track. Check your local pet store to see what enzyme products are available.


While diarrhea in newborn puppies is most likely fixed with a change of diet, there are more severe causes of diarrhea. One of these is the presence of roundworms in the digestive system. Mothers who have roundworms can pass them on to their newborn puppies. The best defense is to get the puppies checked by a veterinarian as soon as they are born.