56–59 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Puppy
How to Prevent Parvovirus
Parvovirus can be a threat for puppies at any age. But, because your puppy is out and about now and in contact with other dogs, it can be especially dangerous at this age, as it is transferred by contact with canine stools. Luckily, it almost never occurs after 14 months so the time for worry now is short.
Even with preventative actions such as vaccinating, Parvovirus can attack. Parvo is a viral canine disease, and the virus grows in rapidly dividing cells such as the intestinal lining. It attacks and kills these cells and can lead to death. Parvo also causes a suppression of white blood cells and can infect the heart muscle. The key is to know what signs to look for and to get treatment immediately if Parvo is suspected.
Symptoms to Look For
Pain when defecating
Loss of appetite
Testing - There are tests for Parvo in the stool but results can be a false positive for those puppies recently vaccinated.
Going By Symptoms - If the results of the test are positive and there are symptoms present, your vet will likely treat it as Parvovirus even if your puppy was recently vaccinated.
Fluids - Intravenous fluid is the main treatment for Parvo. Serum and colloidal fluids are used, along with traditional fluids. The colloidal fluids appear to be mainly to credit for recovery.
Antibiotics - These prevent secondary bacterial infections. Antibiotics such as Amoxicillin are usually used.
Immunity - Strengthening your puppy's immune system, ideally before catching Parvo but also after infection, can help him fight it. Check with your vet for ideas that correlate with his medical treatment.
The good news is that about 80% of treated puppies with Parvovirus will live. But treatment is essential. Without it, about 80% will die. If your puppy shows one or more of these symptoms for more than a week, contact your vet immediately. Better to find out his stool is loose because he ate a sock than to take a chance on Parvovirus.
Advice from Other Dog Owners
How to Keep Your Puppy Off the Christmas Tree
Puppies should be supervised at all times. She or he should be crated while alone, leashed while you are around. Time to teach the "leave it" command. You will really mean it when you fear for the dogs safety! Baby gates might deter him - unless he's that curious kind that looks to defeat all confinement. If he's leashed it's easy to give a sharp leash correction if he goes near the tree. Put the tree up for a few days without trimming to get the dog used to it without risking fragile ornaments.
~Liz H., owner of German Shepherd mix
When Puppies Lose Their Teeth
Puppies have a full set of 28 milk teeth - 4 canines, 12 incisors and 12 molars. The incisors and canines grow in first, the molars last. At around three to four months of age, your dog is going to start losing milk teeth and growing in her adult set of teeth, which consists of a total of 42 teeth - a lot more than the puppy teeth she has. The first to fall out are going to be her incisors, her front teeth. She will start growing her adult incisors first. Around four to five months of age you will see her adult molars and canines to grow in. By about six months, she should have her full set of adult teeth.
~Chris & Brian C., owner of German Shepherd