The last thing any new dog owner needs to hear is a parvo diagnosis. Parvo in puppies is, sadly, a common disease with fatal implications, which is why it is vital for people who deal with puppies on a regular basis to be aware of the symptoms of parvo in puppies and what to do about it.
Canine parvovirus is a highly infectious virus that is especially prevalent in puppies. Parvo can cause serious symptoms that often lead to death if left untreated. Read on to learn more about this illness, its symptoms, how to treat it and keep it from spreading to others.
What Is Parvo?
Parvo is caused by canine parvovirus in puppies. This virus is highly contagious and spreads through direct contact with the infected dog or through indirect contact with the contaminated product. Your puppy is exposed to parvovirus every time he sniffs, licks, or eats tainted feces.
Indirect transmission happens when a human who has recently been exposed to an infected dog approaches a puppy, or when a puppy meets a contaminated item, such as a food or water bowl, collars and leashes, and the hands and clothing of people handling infected dogs.
The virus is a disease of the stomach and small intestines, as this is where the virus does the most harm. The virus tends to infect the small intestine where it kills cells, impairs absorption and disrupts the intestinal barrier. Parvo also affects the bone marrow and lymphopoietic tissues in dogs, and can also affect the heart in certain cases.
Symptoms of Parvo in puppies
There are a range of symptoms of Parvo in puppies and that is why it is crucial to be able to identify these symptoms right away. Puppies aged six weeks to six months are most vulnerable to parvo. Puppies younger than six weeks of age also hold some of their mother’s antibodies, meaning that the dam received a complete set of parvo vaccinations. Parvo puppies are vaccinated at about 6 , 8 and 12 weeks of age.
They are vulnerable to disease until they have earned all three shots in their vaccine sequence, which means that owners need to take extra care during this period to prevent their puppies from catching the virus. Puppies should receive a dose of canine parvovirus vaccine between the ages of 14 and 16 weeks, regardless of how many doses they got before, in order to establish sufficient protection.
The seriousness of cases of parvo varies. Weaning stress may lead to a more serious case of parvo n puppies, as stress weakens the immune system. A combination of parvo and secondary infection or parasite can also lead to a more serious case of parvo in puppies.
A parvo puppy is a really sick dog. The sooner you recognise the early symptoms of parvo in puppies, the sooner you can get your dog to the vet. Since parvo is common in young puppies, you should call your vet anytime your puppy feels under the weather, but you should also be aware of the basic symptoms of parvo in puppies:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Weight loss
Each of these signs are severe on their own and may be a sign of parvo or other serious illness. You can call your vet immediately if you believe that your puppy has parvo, and be sure to alert the vet ‘s staff in advance of your concerns and symptoms, so that they can take suitable quarantine precautions to prevent your puppy from infecting other pets.
How to prevent Parvo in puppies
Your vet will diagnose parvo based on clinical signs and blood work. There’s no remedy for parvo. Your doctor can provide your puppy with compassionate treatment during the duration of your illness, manage symptoms such as vomiting , diarrhea, and dehydration, and ensure that your puppy has sufficient nutrition. Symptoms of parvo in puppies can be difficult to manage without the correct medical advice from a qualified veterinarian.
Severe viruses like parvo weaken the immune system of a puppy and reduce its white blood cell count, decreasing its ability to fend off secondary bacterial infections. The harm caused by the virus to the intestinal wall of the dog raises the risk of secondary infection. Your vet can put your puppy on antibiotic medication to battle these bacterial infections and watch your puppy carefully for additional complications.
Parvo is a potentially deadly disorder. The survival rate of dogs treated by a veterinarian is between 68 and 92 percent, and most puppies who survive the first three or four days are recovering completely. Recovery periods differ depending on the seriousness of the situation, but it typically takes around a week for puppies to recover from parvo.
Your doctor will walk you through the necessary care measures for your puppy’s case and will inform you of any precautions you may need to take for any other puppies and dogs in your household.
If your puppy displays any of the symptoms mentioned above, get in contact with us urgently and we will come to your home and assist your puppy.