Animal Health

Parvo in dogs: What Every Owner Should Know About Parvo in Dogs

Parvo in dogs
Parvo in dogs

What is Parvo in dogs?

Parvo in dogs: Parvovirus is a viral infection that can affect many different systems within the body. This particular virus reduces the number of white blood cells in the body, making it harder to fight off infections. The main way of transmission is through direct contact, primarily through fecal matter. The virus can live in feces for up to 3 weeks. Although any dog can contract this virus, there are a few more susceptible breeds: Rottweilers, American Pit Bull Terriers, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers. Puppies are also more susceptible due to their less developed immune systems.

Parvo Facts

Canine parvovirus (CPV), or Parvo for short, is a severe disease in dogs which is highly contagious. It’s most general among puppies but is also prominent among older dogs who may be unprotected against it. However, a parvo vaccine has helped to control it recently. Puppies are considered most vulnerable to the disease in the period between weaning and six-months-old.

Parvo seems to be more common in Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers who also happen to be less likely to recover from it. Generally, infected dogs have about a fifty per cent chance of survival, although if they survive their first four days, that percentage does rise a lot, and the dog is likely to recover rapidly. After suffering from it, dogs will become immune to Parvo, so there is no danger of reinfection.

Parvo can be found in the faeces of infected dogs. Just like human flu, there is more chance of it spreading if lots of dogs are around each other. Since it is so highly contagious, it is essential to prevent outbreaks, especially at places like dog shows. It follows, then, that dogs who spend their time away from other dogs, are much less likely to contract the disease.

The thing that makes Parvo so contagious is that it can be transmitted via simple things like hair or feet of infected dogs. Also, it has excellent longevity outside the body of a dog, lasting as long as five months in the faeces of infected dogs.

There are two types of Parvo: diarrhoea syndrome and cardiac syndrome. If you read the article on dog parvo symptoms, there is information on distinguishing between the symptoms of the two.

Regarding treatment, it is necessary that the dog parvo symptoms are recognized immediately. The infected dog should be hospitalized and kept warm. Unfortunately, there is no drug that kills the virus, but to give the infected dog the best chance of survival, it is essential that professional attention is sought. The dog must be isolated for another month after recovery.

However, the easiest way to prevent Parvo is vaccinations, which must be administered annually or biannually. Just like most human diseases, the disease is becoming less prominent due to vaccination, and many puppy training classes now require dogs to be vaccinated.

symptoms of parvo in dogs:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Blood or mucus in faeces
  • Lethargy
  • Depression

Dogs who have contracted this virus and recovered are carriers of the virus and are able to transmit to other dogs.

Parvo Diagnosis:

There are two different ways to diagnosis parvovirus. The first is through a faecal test which looks for the presence of a viral protein. This test can sometimes yield a negative result if tested too soon after contracting the virus. 

how to treat parvo in dogs?

Because Parvo is a virus, not bacterial antibiotics are not usually prescribed unless there is a secondary bacterial infection caused by damaged intestinal tissue. Rate of survival varies with age and amount of supportive care. Most care should be focused on replacing lost fluids and preventing dehydration. This could include giving electrolyte solution orally if the dogs are willing or intravenously for the more severe cases.

Prevention of Parvo:

The most common to contract parvovirus are puppies and unvaccinated adult dogs. For puppies, vaccinations can start at 6-8 weeks of age followed by additional vaccines at 4-week intervals until 16 weeks. They are usually given in conjunction as their puppy booster shots. Adult dogs will receive a vaccination every three years.

Parvo Treatment at Home for Dogs

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