Understanding Parvovirus in Dogs

Parvovirus in dogs is frequent and is a highly contagious condition, being transmitted through feces. The virus affects mostly puppies and some dog breeds are more likely to get the virus.

Symptoms of Canine Parvovirus

The canine parvovirus is very frequent in dogs under the age of 2. After this age, the virus is not likely to affect dogs, as they develop a stronger immunity.

Common symptoms of the canine parvovirus included diarrhea, blood in the stool, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, lack of appetite and weight loss. The symptoms are not present in the first two weeks after the infestation. The virus attacks the intestinal tract and the immune system, so other secondary diseases may occur. These secondary diseases may be severe and fatal to a puppy with a weak immune system.

Parvovirus Treatment and Care

If you notice any of the symptoms of parvo, you need to seek medical attention. The vet will run some blood tests and analyze a feces sample. The blood test will show a low white blood cell count, while the virus may be present in the feces.

Parvovirus is not a treatable condition; however, if treatment is administered in time, it may be manageable. A dog that responds well to the treatment within the first 2 or 3 days has big chances of survival.

The dog is placed under supervision and will be given a lot of fluids to treat and prevent dehydration. Intravenous nourishment will be given in the first days of treatment, so as to allow the intestinal tract to recuperate. The fluids will also be administered through injections. The vet will prescribe a few drugs to prevent vomiting and diarrhea. Anti-acids are also recommended to protect the esophagus and the stomach of the dog.

The secondary infections will be treated with antibiotics.

The parvovirus may be fatal if left untreated. Preventing the parvovirus is essential and can be done through the administration of a proper vaccine. The vaccinations for the parvovirus are done when the dog is 6, 9, 12 and 16 weeks old.

A clean environment is also essential in preventing the infestation with the parvovirus. The virus is very resistant and may survive for several months in a dirty environment. Keep your home clean and use bleach to make sure you kill possible viruses. If there are more dogs in your household and one of them is infected with parvo, keep him in a different room and make sure the other dogs don't have access to his litter box.