Everyone wants a healthy puppy!
Are you aware of one of the deadliest virus that a puppy or dog can contract?
Parvo in dogs’.
This is a very preventable virus, but one of the most overlooked and deadly.
Puppies are the most susceptible because they usually do not have their shots or incomplete shots between the ages of 6 weeks to 6 months.
Dogs can contract this disease without even leaving the fenced yard. Parvo is spread through the stool matter in dogs’.
It can be spread in ways you probably do not even think about.
You can unknowingly spread this virus by doing something as simple as rearranging flower within your own garden. If you pet the neighbors dog, this is another way to spread the virus.
Do you have a stray cat in your neighborhood?
This is a common way Parvo virus is spread around by the cat as the carrier.
Dogs share toys, yet another method of how this virus is spread.
In this article, we will discuss what Parvo in dogs’ is, what causes this virus, what are the symptoms to look for, and how to keep you dog or puppy safe from the Parvo virus.
What is Parvo?
Parvo is a virus that will play havoc on the dog’s digestive tract initially, but if left untreated, it will attack the heart muscle.
Canine parovirus type 2 (CPV2, colloquially Parvo) is a highly contagious and potential killer of dogs’.
The virus can live for weeks and even months allowing it to spread very easily.
Insects and rodents are a carrier of this virus as well. The most common ways this virus is spread is through hands, clothing, food, and water.
Dog toys and bedding for your dog can have the virus if not cleaned and disinfected.
The virus can remain on the dogs’ hair and this will serve as a transmission method after the virus is treated by the Vet. It is very important to disinfect your house and yard after the virus is treated in the dog.
Your dog can have the virus for four to five days before exhibiting the symptoms and can even be a carrier up to ten days after they are treated and have recovered.
It is very important to quarantine your dog before and after treatment.
What Dogs Does Parvo Like The Most?
Even though Vets do not know why, some breeds are more susceptible to the Parvo virus than other.
The dog breeds that are more susceptible to this virus are:
- German Shepard
- Doberman Pinschers
- English Springer Spaniels
- American Staffordshire Terriers
When puppies are born, they get their antibodies from their mother. As they age, this will fade. It is important to get the Parvo virus vaccinations when this happens.
When the puppies are weaning from the mothers milk, this is when the virus is the most common in the puppy.
Even though these breeds are the most susceptible, your dog can still get the virus from the methods discussed above.
This virus does not discriminate from one dog to the other.
Parvo Symptoms In Dogs
Puppies (like human babies) are bundles of energy and are always biting or chewing on new things as they explore the new world they are in.
However, if you new puppy or grown dog exhibits any of these symptoms, then you need to have them check immediately.
- Lack of appetite
- Bloody diarrhea
- Strong feces odor
- Weight loss
Once a dog has contracted the virus, the virus will replicate itself in the small intestines, lymph nodes, and bone marrow. This usually leads to severe GI problems causing severe dehydration (main killer of puppies) and can result in inflammation of the heart.
Parvo can live in room temperature in your house for up to two months making it so important to disinfect your house and even the yard.
If you feel you have the virus still in your house, use household bleach as this is one of the few products that is known to kill the virus.
Make My Dog Better, Treatment.
So what do I do if my puppy or dog comes down with Parvo?
The main treatment is to correct the severe dehydration as quickly as possible. This dehydration is the number one reason this virus is so deadly in small dogs or puppies.
The Vet will want to control the diarrhea by giving the puppy fluids and will treat them with antibiotics to control any secondary bacterial infect of the digestive tract (small intestines).
Fortunately, this virus can be very treatable by vaccination, but if not caught early, it can be a very expensive animal hospital visit for your new pet.
Parvo can create a very stressful time for your dog/puppy and for your family.
When you take your dog or puppy to the Vet and you suspect Parvo, then keep the dog isolated by keeping them in the car and do not take them into the waiting room. This virus is highly contagious and you should avoid bringing them into common areas.
This will protect the other patients and people at the Vet’s office.
If your dog or puppy is showing signs of Parvo, please get in contact with your Vet immediately!
Keep My Dog Safe From Parvo!
Prevention plays a huge role in stopping the chance of your puppy getting the Parvo virus. Vaccines for the virus are recommended at three shots series are the following ages:
- 6-8 weeks
- 10-12 weeks
- 14-16 weeks
- Booster after one year
- Every 3 years after the above.
Un-vaccinated puppies or incomplete vaccinations can lead your puppy to be susceptible to the Parvo virus when brought to environments such as the park or pet boarding facilities.
You may want to bring your puppy with you when you go out to show them off, but be careful to not do that until all the vaccination shots are complete.
I recently had two of my mature dogs that came down with the Parvo virus and it was a very stressful time.
They quickly dehydrated and developed diarrhea which required quick treatment.
Fortunately they are both OK, but if they had gone longer without treatment, it could have been fatal.
I hope you have found this article of value and educational.
Understanding the Parvo virus is the 1st step in recognizing and treating this dangerous virus before it is too late for your favorite pup.
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