Worst case scenario your puppy is exposed to and contracts a communicable disease before they are fully vaccinated. The further along they are with their vaccinations, and the earlier you recognize the illness and get puppy medical treatment, the greater their chances of survival.
One of the first signs of illness is loss of appetite. While every puppy will skip a meal every now and then, if they refuse to eat two meals in a row, this is definitely cause for concern. If you suspect puppy is loosing their appetite, offer canned food or even canned tuna or chicken/chicken broth (something puppy does not eat every day and is a treat for them). If puppy gobbles it down they are probably OK. If they refuse to eat or just kind of pick at it, monitor their behavior and try offering again in a couple hours.
How is puppy acting? Are they their usual active,
playful self? Are they somewhat lethargic, less active, laying
down or sleeping more than usual?
Another thing to monitor is puppy's stools.
They should be firm to somewhat mushy (consistency of mashed
potatoes). Dewormings, stress, and change of diet often cause
loose stools in puppies, but those gradually improve (within a few
days) and are not usually accompanied by other symptoms (such as
lethargy and loss of appetite). After a deworming treatment, you
may see tiny drops of blood or even worms in the stool. This is
normal. Lots of blood is not normal. If stools are extremely
loose, have an unusual color or odor, and you are seeing other
signs of illness please take puppy to the vet immediately.
Think about where and who puppy has been
around in the last 3-5 days. All viruses have an incubation period
(the period of time from when the virus enters the body to the
time when the body begins to show signs of illness). Parvo is 3-5
days, corona is 24 hours, distemper is longer. During this time
the virus replicates and multiplies in the body and if puppy
cannot mount an immune response the virus will take over and puppy
will decline rapidly. IV fluids and hospitalization are the best
chance puppy has of survival. If it is caught early enough and it
is almost time for puppy's next set of shots, your vet may choose
to vaccinate. This will give puppy an immune boost and improve
their ability to fight of the virus. It is also possible to treat
puppy at home if caught early enough, but it will require around
the clock care. I could go on for pages and pages, but if you or
someone you know ever find yourself in this most unfortunate
situation, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be
there for you to offer our advice and guidance based on our
previous experiences. It is an extremely difficult and painful
experience to go through and we hope no one ever has to.