10 Most Common Puppy Incidents

Data Reveals Afflictions in 2015

Puppy yawning

If you have, or have had a puppy you’re quite aware how curiosity and an endless amount of energy can bring on unexpected trouble. All that jumping, running, chewing and sniffing can lead to potentially serious accidents.

Nationwide pet insurance took a look at its database of claims submitted by more than 500,000 current policyholders to determine the most common puppy incidents diagnosed during the first year of life.

1.  Soft Tissue Trauma

What is soft tissue trauma in dogs? This refers to minor injuries to muscles or joints and is the most common reason dogs limp. Since limping can also indicate another health concern, it’s important to know whether your puppy has soft tissue trauma or torn ligaments or broken bones, which are more serious conditions to treat.

2. Foreign Body Ingestion

Like toddlers, puppies have a tendency to chew anything they can get into their mouths. This becomes a serious and potentially life-threatening problem if the objects are swallowed and become obstructed in the stomach or within the small intestine. Most dogs with ingested foreign bodies can’t keep much down, including water, and will frequently vomit. This is very serious and requires urgent care. Learn more about how foreign body ingestion threatens pets.

3.  Laceration or Bite Wound

Your puppy may suffer a bite wound while playing with another dog — or while fighting. This can result in significant injury. Blood vessels, the jugular vein, carotid artery, nerves, eyes, mouth and even injury to the chest wall that could collapse a lung are all very serious injuries. In addition, a dog’s mouth is full of bacteria, which can quickly infect a wound and spread to underlying tissue. Wounds that appear minor on the surface can potentially be life threatening.

Dog lays on grass with ball

4.  Sprain

Active puppies are constantly running, jumping and putting a great deal of stress on their muscles and joints. Sometimes this leads to injury. Yelping when walking, or limping, can indicate your puppy has a sprain. Your veterinarian will want to rule out torn ligaments and tendons. Puppies that don’t show signs of improvement under the care of your veterinarian may need surgery.

5. Insect Bites and Stings

Like us, puppies can be bitten by bugs and spiders. The problem is that insects can transmit life-threatening bacteria, parasites and viruses. Fleas, ticks, mites, bees, hornets, wasps, mosquitoes, flies, even ants can bite and irritate your dog. See your veterinarian for treatment.

6. Torn Nail

All that romping around can lead to a painful injury if your puppy happens to step the wrong way at the wrong time. A torn nail in dogs can lead to bleeding which won’t stop until treated, especially if the nail is torn at the quick. If the tear is bad enough, your veterinarian may need to remove the nail. Temporary medications and bandaging will help your puppy on the road to recovery.

7. Drug Toxicity or Overdose

Ibuprofen tablets

Unfortunately, most dogs are accidentally poisoned by drugs because they were left within reach. Many of these drugs happen to be their own — medications prescribed by your veterinarian that are beef flavored, making them more tempting to consume. Frequently used human medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are also toxic to dogs. If you suspect your dog has ingested any medications, urgent care is strongly recommended. Learn more about toxic medications and pets.

8.  Eye Trauma

Puppies can suffer eye trauma in numerous ways such as running through garden shrubbery and scratching an eye, having something thrown or projected at his eyes, playing or fighting with other dogs, or running excitedly through the house (or yard) and simply running into an object. You may notice your puppy pawing at an eye repetitively, blinking rapidly, or his eye may be swollen or inflamed. Veterinary treatment is recommended.

9.  Oral Trauma or Fractured Tooth

Broken teeth are common in puppies due to trauma or chewing on hard objects. It’s important to seek immediate veterinary treatment because the bacteria in your dog’s mouth can quickly infect the exposed pulp of the tooth. If untreated, the tooth will die and the bacteria will infect the bone — an even more serious issue as the infection will continue to spread to other parts of the body including vital organs.

10. Plant Toxicity

Eating poisonous plants is one of the most common ways that puppies ingest a toxic substance. There are more than 700 plants that produce physiologically active or toxic substances that are dangerous to pets. The effects of these poisonous plants can range from mild nausea to death. Vulnerability to plant toxicities depends on pet species, amount ingested and the size of your pet. Before bringing home a houseplant or planting your spring and summer garden, be sure to understand more about pets and toxic plants.


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