PARVO VIRUS, and What it Can do to our Dogs
Article by: John Smith
Parvo or the Canine Parvovirus
Parvo or the Canine Parvovirus is an illness that belongs to the most common ones to afflict dogs. This illness is extremely contagious and until now, there is no known cure for this fatal disease. And because of this, it is important that all puppies be vaccinated against it, starting at six weeks of age.
This Canine Parvovirus attacks the digestive lining or attack the heart muscle lining of puppies which cause dehydration that leads to death. The virus is very much resistant to heat and to cold that is why they can live outside the body for six months at the most.
Parvovirus is spread from one dog to another by contact with fecal matter infected with the virus. It is very easy for dogs to acquire Parvovirus as it is natural for dogs to sniff the ground and the stool that's left behind from some other dogs.
Puppies are more susceptible to contracting the disease as they have lower resistance and do not have immune system capable of protecting themselves from the virus. But dogs are still at risk. There are also some breeds that are more susceptible for reasons that are still unknown such as Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and other dog breeds that have black and tan coloring.
Here are some Symptoms of Parvovirus you have to look out for.
Intestinal Parvovirus is most serious in the youngest puppies. But of course, it can still affect all ages of dogs. Symptoms of Intestinal Parvo include crying or whimpering, diarrhea, depression, a loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, and low count of white blood cell.
Cardiac Parvovirus in puppies that are under eight weeks old have symptoms such as crying or whimpering, irregular heartbeat, depression, trouble breathing, refusing to eat, refusing to nurse, weakness or lethargy, or even sudden death.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Parvovirus and the survival rate of 50% is really low. Early medical attention is important for the best chances of recovery. Most dogs will have to be hospitalized for days, or weeks, depending on how well they can still fight the disease and how soon it was discovered.
Preventing secondary bacterial infections, controlling and easing symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, which when left untreated will lead to dehydration, are the things on which the treatment is focused. T o counter the lost fluids by a dog that has been vomiting and has frequent diarrhea will need to have fluids be administered.
Parvovirus often leads to more secondary infections, death from cardiac arrest, or death from dehydration. And because Parvovirus is contagious, early vaccinations is the best way of preventing it. You have to have your puppies immunized when they are at least six weeks old for this, and other common illnesses as well. Isolation is also another way of preventing your puppy from contracting Parvo.
You have to keep your puppy as far away as possible from other dogs and animals.