You’ve probably known or heard about a dog or puppy that suffered from this terrible disease, parvovirus. It’s a highly infectious disease that can take your dog’s life in less than ten days.
Puppies and older dogs have lower chances of overcoming the disease, but time is a critically important factor. If you detect and treat it in time, the chances of overcoming this virus are much higher.
Learn how to detect it and what to do when faced with it. Spend the next two minutes of your life reading this information, and you’ll be better able to protect your dog.
What is canine parvovirus?
Parvovirus is a very contagious canine disease caused by a resistant type 2 virus, according to the prestigious Wikipedia. A virus of very small size in the scientific world, which was discovered relatively recently, which is why we currently have such little information about it.
The virus doesn’t just affect dogs; humans can also get parvovirus, but a different type. A dog can’t give you parvovirus, just like a human can’t infect a dog.
What are the symptoms of parvovirus in dogs?
Despite being a disease that is found widely throughout the word, we still don’t have very much information about it. The symptoms of parvovirus can be confused with other pathologies, which is why it’s so important to have a deep understanding of everything possible about this disease.
The main symptoms that you may notice in your dog are:
- Diarrhea with or without blood (normally with blood and very smelly)
- Feeling very down, sadness, doesn’t feel like doing anything
- Generalized weakness, breathing problems or panting
- Occasional vomiting with foam
- High fever (this is one of the keys to detecting this disease compared to others with the same symptoms)
- Lack of appetite and dehydration
- In serious cases, heart problems (especially in puppies)
How do I know if my dog has parvovirus?
There are specific tests to detect it, primarily through analysis of a stool sample.
If your dog shows symptoms like those described, what you should do is go to your veterinarian immediately to get a full checkup.
It’s critical that you don’t put it off for another day because if the proper treatment isn’t given, in a period of just nine or ten days, the dog can die. It’s even faster in puppies, so there is no time to lose.
Only a vet can diagnose a case of parvovirus, don’t look for miracle remedies or at-home tricks online, as this is a very serious disease.
How is parvovirus treated in dogs?
Only a veterinarian can administer treatment for dogs suffering from this type of virus. Since there are no specific medications to treat it, what they will do is help your dog stay hydrated and try to keep the virus from progressing and weakening your dog.
Keeping the infection from worsening it vital. The vet will try to stop your dog’s diarrhea and vomiting, stabilize his electrolytes and keep him in quarantine until he is completely cured. Keep in mind that this disease is very contagious for other dogs.
Can a dog infected with parvovirus be cured?
Yes, of course. Adult dogs with a healthy lifestyle (quality food and exercise) are much stronger against this virus than malnourished dogs or weak dogs.
Normally, adult dogs that have been treated in time by a veterinarian will manage to beat the disease, although unfortunately not all of them will; around 30% are not able to overcome the disease.
However, puppies and older dogs are more vulnerable and, unfortunately, they are less likely to beat this disease. Around 75% of puppies and elderly dogs will not overcome it.
If you think your dog might be infected, don’t hesitate, consult your veterinarian immediately.
How is parvovirus spread in dogs?
The virus is mainly transmitted through the feces (poop) of an infected dog. The problem is that the virus is highly resistant and even if the infected poop is picked up from the ground, the virus will remain there for a long time.
Therefore, you might pick up and spread the virus to your dog through the sole of your shoe, for example. If your dog plays, sniffs or licks any area that has been in contact with the virus, he will probably catch it.
Toys, food and water bowls, and other dog items belonging to infected dogs will also contain the virus and can spread it to other dogs.
Only some disinfectants, like chlorine bleach, can completely eliminate the virus from areas it has come in contact with.
How to prevent canine parvovirus
It’s crucial to keep your dog up to date on his vaccines. Your vet can indicate which vaccines should be given and when to do it, so your dog will be stronger, immunologically speaking.
Keep the place where your dog lives clean; if he lives in the house with you, try to wash his food and water bowls often.
Stay away from any dog that has the symptoms described above, and also places where that “potentially” infected dog could have been walking, playing, etc.
And above all, don’t think twice to see your vet if you notice these symptoms in your dog. Early detection will help him have much higher chances of overcoming the disease.