Parvovirus is a serious, highly contagious and often fatal viral disease. It attacks rapidly dividing cells and affecting the intestinal tract most severely. The virus also attacks white blood cells. Puppies or young dogs who were fortunate to recover from this disease can suffer from lifelong cardiac problems since the virus can damage the heart muscle.
Puppies are Most Prone to Parvovirus
Puppies are most prone to getting infected with parvovirus. So are adolescent dogs and dogs who have not been vaccinated against it. Certain breeds such as Rottweilers, Dobermann pinschers, Labrador retrievers, American Staffordshire terriers and German shepherds are at a higher risk.
Symptoms of Parvovirus
What are the symptoms of parvovirus infection?
- Severe vomiting
- Loss of Appetite
- Bloody and Foul Smelling Diarrhea
A dog with parvovirus is weak and lethargic. Since the intestinal tract is severely affected, an infected dog would have bouts of vomiting, bloody and smelly diarrhea and would refuse to eat and even drink water which could lead to dehydration – which also in itself is life threatening.
Parvovirus Can Be Prevented
The good news is parvovirus can be prevented. Make sure that your furry family member is up to date on her vaccinations. Parvovirus must be regarded as a core vaccine for all puppies and adult dogs. If you have a puppy, it is recommended that you get the 5 in 1 vaccine since this combo vaccine offers protection from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza.
What to Do If Your Dog is Showing Signs of Parvovirus Infection
If you noticed that your dog is weak, lethargic, seemingly depressed, is refusing to eat and drink, had been vomiting or having bloody diarrhea, bring your dog to the vet immediately.
Treatment for Parvovirus
Up to now, there is still no drug that can kill the virus. Treatment for parvovirus is generally straightforward and is focused on aggressive supportive care to control the symptoms and boost your dog’s immune system so she has a better chance of fighting and winning against the virus. Dogs in veterinary hospitals for parvovirus are also given antibiotics, drugs to control vomiting, IV fluids to keep them hydrated, and other supportive therapies.
Treatment for parvovirus is intensive which is why it is highly recommend that you take your dog to the vet if she is infected. We do not recommend home treatment. Even with the best veterinary care, this disease is still fatal. It is also important to note that treatment is not always successful which is why it’s important to make sure that your furry family is vaccinated.
We’ve listed down the 7 Common and Potentially Fatal Dog Diseases in our book Dog Food Secrets 6th Edition. You might want to grab a copy and learn about the symptoms, treatments, and preventive measures of these 7 deadly dog diseases.
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