Parvovirus is not something I had ever personally had to deal with – thank goodness! But I do know that it can be devastating to some pet owners to discover their dog has this. I thought it might be useful to have info about this viral disease so that all of us stay informed and prevent this happening to our canine companions… Jo
A Guide To Parvovirus In Dogs
Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease affecting dogs and can lead to an untimely death of very young dogs. If your dog is diagnosed with Parvo you need to be concerned about its transmission to other members of your fur-family; however, Parvovirus in dogs is not transmissible to humans. There is a variation of Parvovirus that does affect humans; however it is not related to the virus that dogs can contract.
The Transmission of Parvovirus
Canine Parvo in dogs is transmitted via other dogs that are infected; it is important to remember that dogs do not necessarily need to be symptomatic for them to be contagious. The Parvovirus is generally transmitted when a dog with a weakened, young or unvaccinated immune system is exposed to infected fecal matter. This is the reason why dogs that have been in rescue situations are most commonly exposed to Parvo as their environments are often not disinfection thoroughly.
Parvovirus is an incredibly hardy virus and can remain on the ground or on a surface for as long as nine months. Even if your dog never leaves your property he can still contract Parvo if it is brought into your home on your clothing or shoes. Even birds that are exposed to the virus via infected fecal matter can bring the virus into your yard, thereby indirectly infecting your dog.
Symptoms of Parvo In Dogs
Parvovirus is most often seen in very young dogs and puppies who have not yet been vaccinated against the virus. Parvovirus in dogs affects the delicate lining of their digestive systems and prevents them from successfully absorbing the nutrients and liquids that they need. Symptoms can occur rapidly and include the following.
- Loss of appetite
- High Fever
- Bloody diarrhea
If symptoms are not treated quickly dehydration can set in rapidly. Dehydration in young dogs will lead to system shock and, unfortunately, death.
Treatment for Parvovirus in Dogs
Treating Parvo in dogs needs to be done swiftly once the virus has been identified as a dog can become dehydrated incredibly fast. Treatment is generally administered in the form of flushing fluids and antibiotics into the system of an infected dog. As there is no absolute cure for Parvovirus in dogs, all that your veterinarian can do is to treat every symptom as it occurs. Preventing dehydration and the loss of electrolytes is one of the most important things that your vet will do to try and save the life of your dog. Your dog may also need blood transfusions as well as steps to try and bring his temperature down from a spiked fever.
A merciless virus, Parvovirus can transform your lively excitable puppy into a puppy that is in a very serious condition within a matter of days. Make no mistake that even with quick veterinary treatment, Parvovirus in dogs is very serious and it leaves your dog with only a 50% chance of making it through his illness. If your dog survives three days of treatment then the odds are good that he will pull through. Keep in mind that he could still contract Parvo again so strict disinfection of all areas will need to be completed.
Julie Page first grew to love writing about pets and the pet industry in 2012 while writing a dog travel journal for a Canadian based company. Julie then discovered a lack of informative dog name websites when researching popular girl dog names which fuelled her passion even more. Julie founded two quality sites www.femaledognames.net and www.maledognames.net .When Julie isn’t writing she is on an adventure, or at the very least plotting her next one.