Canine Parvovirus is one of the most serious diseases to affect dogs. It's most common in unvaccinated puppies, and certain breeds like Rottweilers and doberman Pinschers seem to be more likely to contract the virus. Unfortunately, it's also highly contagious.
How is Parvovirus Contracted?
Parvovirus is spread through the droppings of infected dogs. Healthy dogs contract the virus when they ear or interact with other dog's fecal matter. The virus is quite resilient and isn't easliy killed by household disinfectants. It can even survive in the same enviroment for years at a time, potentially infecting other pets. Puppies born to uncavvinated mothers or who have not had their vaccinations themselves are at the highest risk for contracting Parvovirus. DOgs under stress, those who already have parasitics infections and those who are already in poor health are also at risk.
What are the Symptoms?
Parvovirus weakens a dog's immune system by infecting the lymph system and bone marrow. It also destroys the intestinal lining, prohibiting proper absorption of nutrients and water. The imparied intestinal lining can even allow bacteria to leak into the bloodstream, which can be potentially life-threatening. You may see symptoms like bloody diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, and fever. Excessive diarhea and vomiting can lead to fatal dehydration.
How is Parvovirus Diagnosed and Treated?
Parvivirus will be diagnosed with a fecal sample and physical exam. Some vets may order a blood panel and parasite tests.w There isn't a treatment that kills the Canine Parvovirus, so treatment focuses on managing symptoms and destrowing any secondary infections. A dog's treatment regimen may include IV fluids to combat dehydration and electrolyte loss, medications for vomiting and diarrhea and antibiotics. WIth prompt and proper treatment, nearly 90% of infected dogs recover fully. It's important to isolate infected dogs from any other dogs, since Parvovirus is very contagious. Disinfect contaminated objects with a bleach solution.
How Can Parvovirus be Prevented?
Proper Vaccination will greatly reduce or entirely eliminate the chance of a dog contracting Parvovirus. Puppies get their first vaccines at six to eight weeks of age, receiving regular booster shots until 16 weeks of age. From there, dogs are given booster shots every one to three years The Canine Parvovirus is almost always included in a puppies core vaccination batch. If your adult dog has never been vaccinated against Parvovirus, let your vet know right away. Unvaccinated dogs will recieve one or two initial Parvovirus vaccinations, then are given booster shots one to three years. Your vet can fill you in on the exact details of your dog's vaccination schedule.