What is Parvo in Dogs?
Parvo in canines is an illness that needs to be closely observed and treated in order to offer your furry buddy as many healthy years as possible.
Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus mainly affecting dogs and produce life threatening illnesses.
Parvovirus in dogs attacks the white blood cells, and when young dogs are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problems. It also attacks rapidly-dividing cells in a dog's body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract.
More information on the early signs of parvo and what are the causes of parvo and treatments for parvo in dogs can be found on this article.
Symptoms of Parvo in Dogs
Parvo can cause obvious changes in your dog’s wellbeing and behaviour. As a pet owner, it is essential to know the signs and symptoms of parvo in dogs, so you can get the right treatment for your canine as soon as possible.
- Severe Vomiting
- Loss of Appetite
- Bloody, Foul Smelling Diarrhea
Please Note: The information provided in this page is designed to help inform you of parvo. It is not meant to replace the vet diagnosis or treatment for parvo. If you have any concerns or questions about your pet dog’s health or possible symptoms, be sure to get in touch with and consult with your vet right away.
The Main Causes of Parvo in Dogs
To understand and treat parvo in dogs, we need to know the underlying causes of parvo in dogs. This can help a pet parent prevent parvo happening in the first place or again.
It is also known as CPV or Parvo and is highly contagious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces.
In most situations, unvaccinated dogs tend to contract parvovirus from the streets, especially in urban areas where there are many dogs.
The parvo virus can live in the environment for months, and may survive on inanimate objects such as food bowls, carpets, clothes, floors and shoes. Some dogs contract parvo virus through these items, too.
Diagnosing Parvo in Dogs
No one understands your pet better than you do and hence it is vital that your pet be checked thoroughly by a veterinarian at least once a year.
For pets at risk of getting parvo, more frequent check ups at the vet may be advised.
Preventing Parvo in Dogs
Avoiding parvo in dogs is always better than treating it, therefore let’s explore ways to prevent parvo in dogs rather than treating it.
To not to seem weak or susceptible to predators, the innate survival impulses make canines conceal illnesses. This means extensive physical examinations by a certified veterinarian are essential to keep your family pets healthy. Typically, blood and urine tests carried out by your veterinarian are required to get the total picture of your pet’s health. These preventive checks steps will identify any health issue earlier making treatment more successful and less pricey and, more notably, will help your dog live a longer, healthier life.
Ensure your pet is up-to-date on its vaccinations. Parvovirus should be considered a core vaccine for all puppies and adult dogs.
Generally, the first vaccine for parvo virus is given at 6-8 weeks of age and a booster is given at four-week intervals until the puppy is 16-20 weeks of age, and then again at one year of age.
Older dogs who have not received full puppy vaccination series may be susceptible to parvovirus and should also receive at least one immunization.
Because parvovirus can live in an environment for months, take extra care if there has been an infected dog in your house or yard. Parvo is resistant to many typical disinfectants and can be difficult to eradicate.
A solution of one part bleach to 32 parts water can be used where organic material is not present.
Clean and disinfect the infected dogs toys, food dish and water bowl in this solution for 10 minutes. If these objects are not able to be disinfected, they should be discarded.
If you or anyone in your household think, you or they have walked through an infected area, you can also use the solution on the soles of your shoes.
Areas that are harder to clean (grassy areas, carpeting and wood, for example) need to be sprayed with disinfectant or even resurfaced.
Treatment for Parvo in Dogs
Unfortunately, there are currently no drugs available which can kill the virus. Treatment consists of aggressive supportive care to control the symptoms and boost your dogs immune system.
Dogs infected with parvovirus require intensive treatment in a veterinary hospital, where they will receive antibiotics to control secondary infections, drugs to control the vomiting, intravenous fluids to treat dehydration and other supportive therapies.
The average hospital stay for treating the parvovirus in dogs is about 5-7 days.
Treatment for parvo virus is not always successful, so please ensure your dog is vaccinated against parvovirus.
Vaccination for Parvovirus can prevent this infection on dogs, however mortality can reach up to 90% in untreated cases. Treatment for Parvo Virus often involves veterinary hospitalization.
Contact your local vet to learn more about how to treat parvo in dogs.