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Dog Parvovirus Treatment

Dog Parvovirus Treatment

Parvovirus is a deadly virus that is spread through contact with infected dogs or contaminated objects. Today, our Santa Rosa vets share facts about parvovirus and how to help keep your four-legged friend healthy.

The Spread of Parvo In Canines

Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes extreme gastrointestinal issues. Puppies and unvaccinated dogs of all ages are at risk of contracting this virus. The virus is spread through feces from infected dogs. Asymptomatic dogs that are infected but have not yet begun to exhibit symptoms are able to spread Parvo. Dogs with symptoms and those that have recently recovered from the condition can also spread this virus.

Other common sources of contamination are leashes, bowls, toys, and bedding. The disease is so infectious that a person who has unknowingly been in contact with an infected dog can pass the virus on to puppies and other dogs simply through touch. Meaning that a loving pat on the head could become the start of a life-threatening illness.

Effects Of Parvovirus On Your Dog

Parvo is a disease that effects the stomach and small intestines. This harmful virus destroys the dog's gut barrier by attacking healthy cells and blocking the absorption of essential nutrients.

Parvo also attacks the bone marrow and lymphopoietic tissues. These play essential roles in your dog's immune system. Eventually the the virus will often affect the heart.

Why Puppies Are Susceptible to Parvo

As puppies begin to reach 6 weeks of age, their immune systems weaken and the young pups become susceptible to the disease. If the mother is fully vaccinated against Parvo the puppies will inherit antibodies from the mother which will protect them against the virus for the first 6 weeks of their lives. 

Vets urge pet parents to begin vaccinating their puppy against Parvo at 6 weeks of age, when the puppy begins to wean and the antibodies from the mother are no longer available to protect the puppy.

It isn't until the young dog has received all 3 Parvo vaccinations that they will be protected against the disease. It is during the gap between weaning and full vaccination that puppies are most likely to catch to Parvo.

Symptoms of Parvo in Pets

It is essential to understand that once your puppy begins showing symptoms they are already very ill. If you notice that your puppy is displaying any of the following symptoms contact your vet immediately.

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Treatment for Parvo

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parvo in puppies. Don't worry, your vet will offer supportive treatments pre and post vet exams, to address symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is essential that your pup gets adequate hydration and nutrition in order to recover from Parvovirus.

Since secondary infections are common in puppies with Parvo (due to their weakened immune systems) your vet will be sure to monitor your puppy's ongoing condition and may prescribe antibiotics to help combat any bacterial infections that may begin to develop.

If your four-legged friend is being treated by a veterinarian and survives the first four days after symptoms appear, there is a good chance that your puppy will recover from the disease. It typically takes about a week for dogs to recover from Parvo.

How To Prevent The Parvo Virus

While socialization is essential for young dogs it is important to know that the dogs that your puppy spends time with are fully vaccinated and do not pose a health risk to your pup. Talk to your vet about how best to protect your new four-legged family member. Never allow your puppy to spend time around dogs that have not been fully vaccinated against Parvovirus. 

Be sure to follow your vet's advice and have your puppy vaccinated against Parvo, rabies and other potentially serious conditions based on a puppy vaccination schedule for your area.

If your dog is showing signs or symptoms of Parvovirus, contact our 24/7 emergency animal hospital immediately! We have experience in treating animal emergencies.

Caring for Pets in Santa Rosa

Montecito Veterinary Center is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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