Parvovirus is a highly contagious, life-threatening condition that spreads among dogs or through contact with contaminated items, including the yard they play in. Here are some facts about parvo that all dog owners should be aware of to keep their furry friends in good health.

A person who has been in contact with an infected dog can spread the virus to puppies and other dogs just by petting them, which means that an innocent pat on the head can become a long battle for your pup’s life if you accidentally bring it back home.

Parvo is a highly contagious virus that causes extreme gastrointestinal symptoms in puppies and unvaccinated dogs. The virus starts attacking a dog’s gut barrier by attacking healthy cells and blocking the absorption of essential nutrients. It can also affect the bone marrow and lymphopoietic tissues in puppies, which are crucial parts of your dog’s immune system and heart.

If a mother is fully vaccinated against parvo, her puppies will obtain antibodies from the mother, protecting them against the virus during the first 6 weeks of their lives. When the puppy begins to wean, and the antibodies from the mother aren’t there anymore to protect the puppy is when the first vaccine should be administered, followed at 8 and 12 weeks. Although, the young pup isn’t fully protected until they have gotten all 3 Parvo vaccinations. During this time gap between weaning and complete vaccination, the puppies are at their highest risk of catching parvo. While socialization is essential for young dogs, verifying that the dogs your puppy is socializing with are fully vaccinated and do not pose a health risk to your pup is vital.

As of yet, there is no cure for parvo. If your pup ends up with the virus, they must get enough hydration and nutrition to recover from parvovirus, most likely intravenously. Your vet may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent secondary infections due to weakened immune systems.

It is critical to know that once your dog starts displaying symptoms, they are already very sick. Contact your vet immediately if you find your puppy or adult dog is showing any of the symptoms below.

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever

After exposure, your pup won’t develop symptoms for five to eight days. Most deaths from parvovirus occur within 48 to 72 hours following symptom onset. There isn’t a cure, but getting treatment can support the dog as it fights the infection. The sooner a diagnosis is made and treatment is started, the better outcome for your pup. It can take up to twenty-eight days for your dog to completely recover, and it is crucial to be isolated during this time.

If treated within the first few days after they start showing symptoms, there is a good chance that they will recover from the disease. 

Brought to by Puddle B Gone.