Parvovirus is an infectious disease that affects many dogs, particularly during the monsoons. But there are ways to keep it at bay. Here’s everything you need to know about parvovirus in dogs.
Parvovirus In Dogs
Parvovirus is most common in little puppies who are yet to be vaccinated but it can occur in unvaccinated adult dogs as well.
There are two types of Parvovirus – one that infects the gut and the other that infect the heart. While the infection in the heart is more dangerous, it is also the lesser common type of Parvo. The most common type of Parvovirus affects the gut.
How Does Parvovirus Spread?
Perhaps the scariest thing about Parvovirus is how it spreads. It is a very resilient virus that lives long without a host body.
Dogs can infect dogs 10 days before they start to show any symptoms.
If the mother is unvaccinated at the time of giving birth, her puppies can get Parvovirus from her. But in most cases, Parvovirus transfers from infected poop. Coprophagia is very common in puppies. They can get Parvo from ingesting infected poop.
This virus is very strong and it can stay alive on surfaces indoors for up to 2 months! It stays on our clothing and does not go with most detergents and surface cleaners. It can also stay in the soil for up to a year.
Though Parvo is not contagious to us, we can become carriers and spread it to other unvaccinated dogs.
So far, bleach is the only cleaning solution that has shown to get rid of Parvo.
Since Parvo is a very serious infection, we should know the symptoms from the back of our heads. Parvo symptoms include:
The symptoms of Parvo is almost always sudden. One moment, you’ll see them playing and having a nice time and the next day they’ll be vomiting and distancing themselves from everyone.
Parvo has a 10% mortality rate and young puppies are most likely to succumb to it. So, if you see the symptoms of Parvo, please rush them to the vet immediately.
Since this is a virus, there is very little you can do to the virus itself. Doctors will give medicines to manage the symptoms so that your puppy gains strength. They are usually given drips to rehydrate their body.
Other medicines manage high fever, vomiting and loose stools. Some vets may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent other bacterial infections.
Most puppies are kept in the hospital overnight to keep them under close supervision but many smaller clinics may leave them after a few hours or drips.
If you suspect that your puppy has Parvo, it would be best to take them to a bigger hospital. The last thing you’d want is for their condition to worsen because of the lack of facilities in a clinic.
Usually, dogs that make it through the first four days of being diagnosed with Parvo, survive. Unfortunately, it is impossible to treat Parvo without any medical attention. Which is why most street dogs that get Parvo, don’t make it.
As for pet dogs, Parvo has a 10% mortality rate. So, it is important to act fast.
Vaccinations are the best way to keep the virus at bay. Make sure your pup is on schedule with their vaccinations and that they are getting their boosters on time.
Helping strays with vaccinations will also reduce the chances of Parvo within your locality.
Since puppies are most prone to this condition, you should keep an eye on them for the first few days of bringing them home. While many will suggest not to socialise your dog with other dogs until they are fully vaccinated, it is safe to let your dogs interact with vaccinated dogs.
Don’t take them out in places where there are many stray dogs and avoid letting them interact with stray dogs when their vaccinations are not complete.
When you are searching for a new puppy, avoid touching all the puppies. It may be very tempting, but you never know if one puppy has Parvo. By touching and petting all the puppies you meet, you can unintentionally spread the virus.
Lastly, if your puppy has Parvo, you shouldn’t interact with other dogs. If you have more than one dog, you shouldn’t let them interact with other dogs either, even if they are vaccinated. You never know which dog is unvaccinated, and you may spread it to another poor soul.
We hope you found this article helpful. Please remember that this article does not substitute for medical advice. If you suspect that your dog has Parvo, you must consult a certified veterinarian and treat them immediately.
Did your dog ever have Parvo? Let us know in the comment section below. We are always eager to know your thoughts.