We are in the early process of adopting a 3-4 month old puppy from a rescue organization. The dog will see a vet who will hopefully do a point-in-time test for known conditions, but some conditions cannot yet be tested (Heartworm). I've heard sometimes newly adopted puppy becoming seriously ill right away. This is familiar to me since every cat I've rescued had a health condition for at least a month afterwards - usually a parasite.

What conditions might not be caught by the vet and what symptoms should I watch carefully for?

1 Answer 1


I'm afraid your best bet is to look at how long the dog was with the rescue organization and the medical documentation they have. Was the puppy vaccinated and dewormed? Was it there long enough to even notice any health problems?

Puppies are rather extreme in the sense that they can have a life-threatening infection and run and play around like nothing is wrong. All you (and your vet) can do is look for obvious problems and assume that all else is well.

Obvious problems include

  • fever
  • diarrhea, vomiting or reduced appetite (gastro-intestinal infection)
  • skin and fur conditions (parasite or fungal infection)
  • coughing, especially during or after physical activity (lung or heart infection)

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