Parvo Symptoms in Older Dogs

Parvo symptoms in older dogs are much like the symptoms a puppy would have when infected with parvo. Parvo is more likely to infect a young puppy because of the lowered immune systems in young dogs. Even so, older dogs can still become infected with the parvo virus. To learn more about parvo symptoms in older dogs, read on.

What Is Parvo?

Parvo, also known as CPV, is a contagious and potentially lethal disease in dogs. It is only passed on through dogs, and cannot be transmitted to other animals or humans. It is usually transmitted through feces, or anything that comes into contact with feces. The parvo virus can survive for nearly a year in the right temperatures and environment. Vaccinations are available to prevent the disease in dogs.

Symptoms of Parvo in Older Dogs

Parvo signs and symptoms may include the following:

  • High fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Yellow, watery stool
  • Bloody stool

As mentioned earlier, parvo is more common in puppies than adult dogs, but can still infect older canines. If left untreated, parvo can cause heart failure, shock or sudden death. It is very important to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible when you notice any signs or symptoms of parvo in your pet. Treatment will be needed quickly to ensure a full recovery.

Treating Parvo in Older Dogs

Dogs infected with the parvo virus will show signs of malnutrition and weight loss, in most cases. For this particular symptom, pet owners can inject fluids that contain sugar, minerals, vitamins and potassium into their pet's body for a quick treatment before visiting the veterinarian's office.

A veterinarian will likely give your pet an anti-nausea medication. Once your dog is feeling better after the medication, he will be given food. Antibiotics and medications will be given to pet owners to be administered to their pet for the next several weeks, until the condition is fully treated. Treatment may take several weeks or months to complete.

Preventing Parvo in Older Dogs

The best way to prevent parvo in older dogs is to vaccinate your dog frequently. After the puppy stages, only one parvo vaccination a year is needed for older dogs. It is also recommended to keep your pet away from areas that are full of dog feces, such as the park or pet stores. This does not mean you must keep your dog indoors at all times, but pet owners should be cautious around areas infested with dog feces or unvaccinated animals.

Try to avoid contact with unvaccinated animals as much as possible. Parvo can take awhile to show signs or symptoms in other dogs, so it can be hard to tell when another animal has the virus. Puppies in particular are more prone to parvo, so if your pet is unvaccinated, it is best to avoid puppies until he receives a vaccination.