Choosing a Healthy Puppy
Healthy puppies are active, energetic, playful and cheerful. At first glance, they are all fluffy little buns that you want to caress. The size and weight of puppies depends on the number of babies in the litter, but to a greater extent on the proper care and feeding. Keep in mind that a healthy large breed puppy at the age of 30 days must weigh at least 2.5 kg, and at two months of age – at least 6 kg. He should not be either fat or thin, but rather – downed and strong. In all cases, the features of the exterior and temperament must correspond to the breed type.
It is quite simple to distinguish a seriously ill puppy: boring, watery eyes, dry nose, ruffled hair, sunken or, conversely, swollen tummy, weakness of the extremities. The unfortunate baby is lying all the time, trying to get into a secluded dark place, whimpers or groans. He may have vomiting and diarrhea, a staggering or hunched gait. Ask the breeder to feed the babies in your presence – the sick puppy will refuse food. Naturally, taking such a puppy is not recommended.
However, cute babies can also have hidden ailments, the symptoms of which are not evident. That is why take your time with the final choice. First of all, examine the puppy’s head. The nose should be cold and damp in a calm state, however, it can be dry in a sleeping dog, and warm during exercise and high temperatures. By squeezing your nostrils for a few seconds, you will find out if the puppy has mucous discharge. Their presence and frequent sneezing may indicate inflammation or allergies in the airways. The nostrils of the puppy should be wide open when inhaling. However, in short-faced breeds (boxers, pugs, bulldogs), the nostrils are often compressed, and compression (clumping) occurs on inspiration.
Carefully inspect the puppy’s teeth. In most breeds, the standard requires a scissor bite when the upper incisors closely overlap the lower. If the match head passes between the upper and lower incisors, then there is a lack of focus, which is unlikely to correct with age. A more pronounced underdevelopment and shortening of the lower jaw in veterinary practice has the name “parrot mouth.” When snacking, the lower incisors are in front of the upper. Such a structure is the norm for bullmastiffs, bulldogs, pugs, Bordeaux dogs, boxers and other dogs with a brachycephalic skull; however, for other breeds – a disqualifying defect. Count the number of front teeth (incisors) – there should be six on the upper and six on the lower jaw. It is desirable that the incisors are located in one line. Gums should be pink and strong. Pale gums indicate anemia, most often caused by massive intestinal invasion of round parasitic worms. On examination of the pharynx, enlarged tonsils in combination with coughing indicate tonsillitis (tonsillitis).
Choosing a Healthy Puppy Touch the crown of the puppy’s head to exclude an overgrown fontanel – a soft area in the parietal-occipital region. Eyes should look strictly forward, without deviation in one direction or another. Watery, reddened eyes and brown streaks on the face are eloquent signs of conjunctivitis, which can indicate a variety of pathologies in the body. The eyelids should cover the eyeball tightly, however, in some sandy breeds with a loose constitution of constitution (Neapolitan mastiffs, Basset hounds, blood hounds), the standard implies saggy, twisted eyelids. In young puppies, the cornea is bluish, but turns brown with age. The dark brown eyes in adult dogs of most breeds indicate good general pigmentation and are welcomed by the standard. The pupils should be black, with no visible furrows or white patches. The third eyelid in the inner corner of the eye can be clearly seen, which is not a sign of the disease, if it is not enlarged and not inflamed.
Ears should be aligned with pedigree traits. German and Belgian shepherds have small puppies with hanging ears, which rise with age due to the strengthening of cartilage. Be sure to check the condition of the auricles and external auditory canals – they should also be clean, without redness, wounds and accumulation of sulfur. Shaking the head, the forced position of the tilted head and obvious pain in the ear indicate inflammation of the ear canal – otitis media. The tips of the ears should be healthy and evenly covered with hair. The presence of bald patches, crusts and wounds in this place indicates itchy scabies. Check the acuity of hearing in the selected puppy, because some white dogs (Dalmatians, bull terriers, etc.) carry the gene for congenital deafness.
Gently squeeze the trachea on the front of the puppy’s neck. A coughing attack indicates inflammation of the trachea or bronchi. Putting a palm on the chest on the left, you can feel a heart beat and vibration, which can be used to judge the presence of heart disease. However, in small, thin puppies with a thin-walled chest, often visible ribs of the ribs during a heart beat are recorded.