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Newton 01-01-2013 08:40 PM

First Puppy
Hello Everyone,

I am new to a German Shepherd, and I am new to this forum.

Well I recently got a German Shepherd puppy just over a week and a half ago. We brought him home at 6weeks, which seemed a tad early, but the breeder mentioned this is common for the bread (I assumed this is correct).

We had no trouble potty training him (his name is Newton), in fact by the end of day one, he was scratching at the door to let us know he had to go out (I was amazed).

At about the 2nd/3rd day home, we took him to the vet for a general check up, to make sure he was in good health. The vet said he seemed healthy.

There are some things I am beginning to wonder about though, namely diarrhea, whining, and some runny nose/heavy breathing.

I have been reading countless threads regarding diet and diarrhea, this is a problem we are dealing with. The breeder had the pups on Puppy Chow, and we have spent almost the last 2 weeks trying to wean him onto something a little better. We started the first week with Performatrin, to no avail. This food caused incredible diarrhea at any quantity. For the better part of the second week we have been trying to work Wellness into his diet, and although it is not as severe, we are beginning to run into the same result we had with Performatrin. (any suggestions in the matter would be appreciated). I am not sure if his stomach ever really tolerated just puppy chow, as he seemed to have soft stool since coming home, but it has definitely gotten worse with the new food.

Some other things I have noticed are more about general behavior. Having never owned a puppy, in my adult life, I am not really sure what is healthy and what is unhealthy behavior.

I have noticed that Newton will sometime whine, and seem restless. This behavior is erratic and occurs maybe 5% of the time he is awake. Not sure if this is normal.

Another thing I noticed occurred last night. I was laying down with Newton when I noticed he was breathing a little heavily, and when I looked at him I noticed his nose was dripping slightly. I am not sure whether or not this is an indicator of illness or not. (I have not noticed this again today)

All things said, when Newton is up and about he is a happy playful puppy, and he has been growing quickly over the past couple weeks. I will be discussing the same issues with the vet in the coming days (he has an appointment for Friday for first shots, etc that we are trying to get moved up to tomorrow), but I was hoping to get the opinions of some experienced owners.

Thank you all, and sorry for the long post.

Jag 01-01-2013 08:47 PM

Did the breeder ever worm this pup? When the pup went to the vet the first time, did they check his stool? At his age, my guess is the diarrhea is worms. All pups need to be wormed on a regular schedule. If you're in the US, I believe it's illegal in most states to sell a pup less than 8 weeks. It's certainly NOT advisable! The breeder should have given the first set of shots at least and at least one round of worming meds. I'd have the appt. moved up and make sure they do a fecal check for all types of worms and infections. Then you'll know if it was the food or not. Be sure to take the pup back for another stool check... which may be before he's due for more vaccines.

Newton 01-01-2013 08:52 PM


Thank you for the quick response. He has been through two rounds of deworming. I had this basic discussion with the vet last week as well, because he hadn't had his shots yet. We will surely get the vet appointment moved to sooner.

Thank you,

onyx'girl 01-01-2013 09:00 PM

I would be happy that the breeder didn't vax him at 6 weeks. That would have been useless as the immunity from the mother would still be in the pups system, deeming the vax worthless, and risky at best. Look at this site for vax'ing protocol, and read about the risks with over vax'ing. Dr-Dodds-ChangingVaccProtocol
Puppies don't regulate their body tems easily, so overheating or chills may happen easily. Puppies also breathe quickly, with shallower patterns than normal, especially when sleeping.

If you are over feeding the pup may have runny stools...Wellness is pretty rich, compared to puppy chow, so be sure you aren't over feeding. I agree, worming may have the stools pudding like too. I'd feed three meals per day and make sure you go by pups weight per portion for now. Until puppy is more active and growing, then adjust according to growth spurts and activity levels.

Newton 01-01-2013 09:04 PM

I had a look, I believe he is going for the shots listed under the 9weeks heading in the link you provided. The vet we take him to recommends doing the shots no earlier than 8 weeks. I will discuss with them tomorrow evening.

We are going to try reducing quantities a tad. It is hard to go by weight when mixing. I am hoping it is something this simple.

Thank you again,

Kejasa 01-01-2013 10:00 PM

I would have him checked for giardia. Does his diarrhea smell really bad?

Verivus 01-01-2013 10:06 PM

How are you transitioning his food? Has he been checked for giardia?

Newton 01-01-2013 10:19 PM

He has not been checked for giadria, I will request this of the vet tomorrow. We have been increasing wellness/puppy chow ratio gradually, that said i am not sure of his stool was even firm on just puppy chow. His diarrhea was quite odorous. He has a few accidents in the house that smelled rather unpleasant.

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Lauri & The Gang 01-01-2013 10:50 PM

What food are you feeding? Some foods are much better than others.

You didn't know (and it won't be any help now but for future reference) but a puppy should NOT leave the mom and litter until they are 8 weeks of age - unless there are extenuating circumstances (like mom died, a singleton puppy or going to a highly experienced owner).

Spending those extra few weeks with their siblings and mom help teach the pups things like bite inhibition (siblings won't play with them if they bite too hard and mom usually won't put up with ANY biting :) ).

The young age could be the cause of the whining and restlessness but since he's happy in all other respects I wouldn't worry too much.

msvette2u 01-02-2013 01:26 AM

Definitely do a stool sample. Good luck at the vet :)

Here's the vaccine schedule recommended by the leading vet school in our corner of the country, btw. In our rescue we start puppies at 6-7 weeks of age, but only use 5-way vaccines.
Please start with 5-ways and do not let the vet give your puppy Leptospirosis vaccine. You will need to specify or else they may use it routinely.

Community Practice Vaccination Protocols from the College of Veterinary Medicine

Puppies 6,10 and 14 weeks or 8, 12 and 16 weeks
Repeat 1 year later
Then repeat every 3 years
Each patient should be evaluated for increased risk of exposure – may consider yearly protocols for these patients
Give in right shoulder

Start puppies at 12-16 weeks of age
Repeat 1 year later
Then repeat every 3 years or as required by state, provincial, and/or local requirements
Give in right rear limb

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