Parvo Symptoms in Puppies

Recognizing parvo symptoms is important, as an early detection can influence the prognosis. The parvo virus may affect dogs of all ages, but puppies are more exposed to the virus, as they have a weaker immune system and they may also not be vaccinated. There is a parvo vaccine that may be administered in puppies, but the virus may be contracted before the administration of the vaccine and some puppies may not respond well to the vaccine.

Parvo Symptoms in Puppies

The symptoms of parvo in puppies may vary from mild to more severe; it depends on the degree of exposure to the parvo virus.

Among the symptoms of parvo you may notice:

  • Elevated fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting and diarrhea leading to dehydration; the diarrhea may contain blood and will have a foul smell
  • Shock, due to dehydration
  • Secondary bacterial infections which are due to a weakened immunity
  • Hookworms
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Heart attack or congestive heart failure

When running a few blood tests, the white blood cell count will be very low.

Diagnosing Parvo in Puppies

The diagnosis of parvo in puppies may be done by performing a few blood tests, the ELISA test or a fecal examination. You should get a stool sample ready for examination.

Parvo Treatment

Parvo cannot be cured. For this reason, preventing the contraction of parvo is crucial.

The puppy with parvo will require supportive care; IV fluids will help the puppy recovering from dehydration and some medications to stop the vomiting and the diarrhea will also be needed.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed to manage secondary infections. However, if the puppy is weak, the antibiotics may not be tolerated.

Dewormers may be administered if needed, but the puppy should be strong enough to tolerate these.

Typically, puppies with parvo require hospitalization.

It is important to disinfect the puppy’s bedding and environment, especially if you have more than 1 pet in your home. Bleach can remove the parvo virus, which can otherwise survive for up to 6 months in a favorable environment.

Parvo may cause death, which can be due to dehydration or other secondary diseases.

Homeopathic treatments may also be applied to support the immune system of the dog and prevent other secondary diseases that may be fatal.

At Home Care for Puppies with Parvo

A puppy with parvo will need special care at home; you should opt for quality foods that will keep the dog healthy and hydrated. The vet may prescribe wet food for your puppy. A suitable diet and supportive care may prevent health issues and keep the dog alive for longer.

Prevent Parvo

There is a parvo vaccine that should be administered when the puppy is 6 weeks old. 2 other vaccines will be administered when the puppy is 10 and 14 weeks old. A booster shot will then be administered each year.

In some cases, parvo cannot be prevented. Parvo may be transmitted from mother to puppy through the placenta.