Parvovirus Dog Treatment Everything You Need To Know

Parvovirus is an extremely infectious disease that generally affects going and unvaccinated puppies between 3 and 6 months of age. The dogs which are diagnosed with parvo suffer as the virus attacks cells in a dog's intestine and stops them from absorbing vital nutrients. Canine parvovirus is mostly known as parvo, Parvo in dogs was first identified in the early 1970s. This virus makes your dog become weak and dehydrated as this virus is very tough and can survive at room temperature for up to two months and potentially years in most environments without sunlight. The main source of the virus is from the faeces of infected dogs, and then the virus begins to be shed in the faeces just before the clinical signs.

Dog Vaccination

The first reported case of parvovirus in India was in Chennai in 1981 and in Mumbai in 1985, Even though its origin in India is debatable the most accepted explanation is that the illegal trafficking of dogs from overseas was the prime entry point of this virus. Parvovirus spreads through body fluids which include pooch’s poo and vomit, It takes up to seven days for a pooch to show the sign of having parvo. If your pooch can be infected by parvo if it comes into the contact with food, carpet, bowl or kennel that a dog with parvo has touched, it can also spread through shoes, clothing and human hands. Hence, protecting your dog against this horrible disease by vaccinating is very important.

Dog vaccination

The clinical sign of parvovirus generally develop within five to seven days of infection the virus attacks the gastrointestinal tract and immune system of puppies and dogs, It can also damage the heart muscle in young and unborn puppies. Initial symptoms of parvovirus commonly include lack of appetite, extreme tiredness and fever, followed by sickness and diarrhoea. An infected puppy will mainly show lethargy as the first symptom as they may not want to eat and as the virus breakthrough, your pooch will begin to suffer from severe vomiting and diarrhoea, extremely sick puppies may collapse and have a high heart rate and hypothermia due to the degree of dehydration and infection. Puppies are usually vaccinated against parvo at approximately 6, 8 and 12 weeks of age dogs are vulnerable to the infection until they receive all three shots of vaccination, hence it is very important that owners need to take extra precautions about their puppies during this time from contracting the virus.

The severity of Parvo varies, Stages of  Parvovirus

  • Infection
  • Incubation
  • Illness
  • Recovery

There is no cure for parvo, as there is no specific drug to kill the virus. But for the dogs which are affected by the disease have a greater chance of survival by providing early, aggressive treatment and nursing. Dogs and puppies with parvovirus need to be treated by vets who will offer your pooch supportive care over the course of the illness treating symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration. They will be put on a drip and given intravenous fluids to stop them from becoming dehydrated. Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease as it weakens a puppy’s immune system and lower its white blood cell and reduces its ability to fight off the secondary bacterial infection then they may be given with antibiotics.

Treatment may also include

dog treatment

  • Anti-sickness medication
  • Painkillers
  • Intravenous fluids 
  • Plasma transfusion or blood transfusion
  • Antibiotics
  • Tube feeding

Parvo is a preventable virus the survival rate of dogs treated by veterinarians is 68% to 92% However, the recovery times vary depending on the severity of the case. One must not allow the puppies to come into the contact with unvaccinated dogs so plan on socializing your dog in a less public environment. Along with vaccination maintaining good hygiene is also much needed to prevent parvovirus, wash the affected area with household bleach, kennels, collars, bowls must be cleaned and sterilized and soiled bedding has to be discarded.

The average hospital stay for a pooch recovering from a parvo is five to seven days, Dogs and puppies with parvo must be put in isolation and kept away from other animals. It is specifically important that bitches used for breeding receive a full course of parvo vaccination, as the puppies depend on the mother's antibodies for the first few weeks of life. Parvovirus can be found in any environment but not all dogs comes into the contact with the virus get infected as it depends on the immune status and number of viruses your pooch has been exposed to. If you find any above symptoms in your pooch contact your veterinary practice immediately sick dogs should be kept warm and receive good nursing care, Early recognition and aggressive treatment are very essential in successful outcomes.

Some dog breeds that have an increased risk of parvovirus are

  • German Shepherds
  • Rottweiler
  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • English Springer Spaniels 

Dog parks and other public places where dogs gather are potential sources of parvo so plan accordingly in socializing your pooch in a less public environment.

Always take care of your dog, Even if your world falls apart he/she will still be there for you.