Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a highly infectious and contagious viral illness that can affect dogs. The majority of cases occur in pups aged between 6 weeks and 6 months. Although vaccination has played a huge role in reducing Parvovirus, it is still prevalent in dogs.
There are 2 main forms of the virus.
Characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and a loss of appetite.
This form attacs the heart muscles of fetuses and young puppies, and often leads to death.
Symptoms of Parvo in dogs
The major symptoms associated with the intestinal form of Parvo infection include:
- Severe, bloody diarrhea
- Anorexia (no appetite)
- Fever or hypothermia (low body temperature)
- Severe weight loss
The most common reasons why dogs are taken to the vet to be checked for Parvo include vomiting and diarrhea containing blood. This goes along with increased heartbeat and noticeably red eyes.
How is Parvo spread?
Parvo can spread in a number of ways.
Usually it is through direct contact with an infected dog or indirectly through the fecal-oral route.
Parvovirus can live in poop and on the ground: An infected dog’s poop may have the Parvo virus. The virus can also be brought to the dog’s environment via shoes or other objects.
Kennel Environments: Dog shelters as well as any place with a high concentration of dogs, can be a breeding ground for this.
Preventing Parvo in dogs
Although Parvo is a deadly disease, there are ways to prevent it.
- Avoiding public areas where dogs frequent a lot like dog parks, pet stores etc
- Proper vaccination protocols will make sure your dog does not get the Parvo.
- Always picking up your dog’s feces immediately.
- Overall, staying on top of your dog’s health helps
Treating Parvo in dogs
Since the disease is a viral infection, there isn’t really a cure for it. The treatment of this disease is focused on treating symptoms and preventative measures.
- IV fluids and nutrition therapy are the key to proper treatment especially due to the loss of fluids and nutritional imbalance following diarrhea and vomiting.
- Drugs to curb vomiting, diarrhea as well as antibiotics to fight the infections.
- Intensive therapy and systemic support are also key to recovery
Survival rates are 70% or higher in pets if they are treated adequately. However, the younger the pup, the higher the chance of critical body failures due to shock. If a dog has had parvovirus in a home, it is best not to have a puppy in that home for several years. Parvovirus is highly contagious and you do not want to put any other dogs at risk.
Purpose of this article is to provide information. To ensure the health and well-being of your pet, always consult any question or concerns with your veterinarian.