It is painful to see when a dog has a disease or suffering in pain. Maybe because it can’t speak so it can’t say what it is feeling and what is hurting in their body. There are a lot of diseases that dogs can get. One of them is the parvovirus.
Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious sickness for dogs and it can manifest in two forms. One is the intestinal form and the other one is the cardiac form, which focuses on the heart muscles of young dogs.
Parvo can be fatal up to 90% for dogs who don’t have the proper vaccination. Puppies between six weeks to six months old are mostly the victims of this virus.
Parvovirus can be present in any environment. Infected dogs release a lot of this virus from their feces or vomit. This virus can endure winter and cold conditions and is resilient to household cleaning materials. Dogs can be infected with this virus by having contact with an infected dog or contaminated things.
According to PetMD, certain breeds are prone and vulnerable to parvovirus. These breeds include Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, English Springer Spaniels, and Alaskan sled dogs.
Signs and Symptoms
Loss of Appetite
This is one of the first signs that are observable whenever a dog is not feeling well or getting sick. In the early stage of parvo, the virus starts at the intestinal portion of the body that can lead to poor appetite and lethargy.
Since the virus is starting to invade the stomach portion, most dogs do vomit when having this disease. The vomit may have bile or the yellow-brown fluid in the stomach or sometimes blood.
Dogs may start having soft feces and then diarrhea. Sometimes, blood is also present in the poop as blood vessels inside the intestines may be damaged.
The virus also spread to other parts of the body. It can attack and spread in the cardiac part and the heart muscles which can cause sudden death.
Going to the veterinarian and having your dog checked right away is the best thing to do if you think your dog has parvovirus.
The vet will get your dog hydrated by intravenous or IV fluid therapy. This is a big help to your dog since it probably lost a lot of fluid due to vomiting and diarrhea. Since the dog’s gastrointestinal tract is sensitive, nutritional support will be passed through the IV and the dog will be off-limits to food and water.
Antibiotics, pain relievers, and other medications can also be given. Though with all these treatments, it is not 100% guaranteed that the dog will heal and survive. And it isn’t also a one-time medication, it can take weeks of hospitalization.
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Completing the vaccinations of your dog is a good way to prevent the parvovirus, especially during their first few months. It is also much better to not allow your dog to have interactions with other dogs and go out a lot until its vaccination is complete.
It is also advisable to not have a new dog for a year if a dog in the household had the parvovirus.