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Dog Parvo Symptom, Treatment, Prevention,

Everything You Need to Know About Parvovirus in Dogs

Treatment of Dog Parvo

If you’re dog is unlucky enough to get parvo and you get to the vet in time, this post will give you a little bit of what to expect. Honestly, there’s not much they can do. The true danger of parvo is dehydration and malnutrition, so that’s what the vet will focus on. Mostly the dog will be pumped with IV fluids containing vitamins, sugar, and potassium. This can be done at home, if you’re up for it, but most of the time hospitalization is required.

In some cases, the vet may also inject your dog with some sort of anti-nausea medication to help prevent anymore regurgitation.

Once a dog can finally begin keeping his food and fluids down, IV’s are gradually reduced. Very bland food is offered. Many times, a vet will also administer antibiotics to help ward off secondary infection, because the dog’s immune system will be severely weak from the experience.

Unconventional Treatment of Parvo

Some anecdotal reports claim that Tamiflu reduces parvo’s severity and can aid in faster recovery if given early enough. Also, a substance produced by silkworm larvae has been shown to be effective, but research is still preliminary.

There are also natural remedies that many people have had success with, such as Parvo-K. As always, your first resort should be to get your dog to a veterinarian ASAP.

Prevent Dog Parvo Dog parvo prevention is really the same as rabies prevention; you just have to make sure your dog has all of their necessary vaccinations.

Vaccinations should start after the puppy is 6 to 8 weeks old. Up until that point, a puppy is typically protected against most sicknesses because its mother’s anti-bodies are still flowing through it’s blood. But now it has to build up its own system of protection.

The initial shot is followed by booster shots in the following weeks, followed by a yearly one after that to keep the protection up. Unless your dog is of a particularly susceptible breed, it’s probably safe to discontinue the booster shots after a few years.

As always, talk to your vet to get your dog on an appropriate vaccination schedule to minimize the risks of this deadly virus.

Dog Parvo Intestinal Infection Causes and Symptoms

The intestinal form of dog parvo is the most common form. It’s contracted orally through infected feces, soil, etc.

After ingestion, the lymphatic system serves as the replicating point for the virus, particularly around the throat. The bloodstream is then infected, and the virus begins attacking other lymphatic cells, the intestines, and bone marrow.

This causes weakening of the intestinal tissue, and so the separation begins to deteriorate, severely affecting digestion. Bacteria normally contained in the intestines is then allowed to flood the bloodstream, causing more problems.

Three or four days later, the virus will be in the dog’s feces, and this is when you can really notice the smell. If you wait this long before realizing the truth, however, it might be too late.

The dog parvo symptoms to look for in this case are the usual: vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lethargy.

Get your dog to a vet immediately.

Dog Parvo Symptoms

If your dog, especially your new puppy, begins exhibiting any of these symptoms, see a veterinarian right away. When parvo is involved, every hour counts. The secret of survival is quick treatment, so don’t ignore these symptoms! One or all of these will usually being showing after 3 – 10 days of infection.

Lethargic. If your dog normally likes to play and has high energy, this is the clearest sign that something is wrong. You could say they act depressed.

Lack of Appetite. The more common strains attack the digestive system.

Vomiting with no change in diet. It usually looks clear and foamy.

Bloody Diarrhea.

Stronger Feces Odor. It’s unmistakable and you will never forget it.

The vomiting and diarrhea are the most dangerous, as they can quickly lead to dehydration and malnutrition. This leads to other problems that eventually compound on top of each other to finally kill the dog. And fast.

Always be on the lookout these symptoms of parvo, especially if your puppy is over 10 weeks old.

 Background of Dog Parvo

If you’re like us, you probably fell in love with your puppy the very first time you looked at his/her tiny face. It’s hard to imagine anything happening to them.

Dog parvo, short for parvovirus, is one of the most serious illness a dog can contract, and it’s is especially deadly in puppies. And it’s highly contagious. It can jump from dog to dog very quickly, even with indirect contact.

First discovered in the late 1970’s, it’s similar in structure to the feline parvovirus, differing by only two amino acids. It effects most types of canids, including wolves and foxes. 2 strands are the most common, but a third strand has supposedly been discovered in Italy, Vietnam, and Spain.

There are two types of infection of parvo a dog can acquire, intestinal or cardiac, and the severity varies greatly. Some dogs show no symptoms, yet die within 72 hours. More commonly, in less volatile strains, the mortality rate is just 10%.

Along with contact with other infected dogs, parvo can get caught from oral ingestion of infected feces or soil. Other animals may also be carriers, even if they themselves cannot be affected by the virus. It has a high climate tolerance, and so can survive in almost any condition, shrugging off sunlight and moisture.

Dog parvo partly causes so many problems, even with modern veterinary medicine, because it has a high rate of evolution, unlike the feline variety. It mimics RNA virus like influenza. New vaccines have to be developed for the flu every year because of the changes, and parvo is no different.

 Fortunately, a dog who survives a parvo infection is generally immune for life, similar to our chicken pox, so no silent carrier dogs exist.

 Dog Parvo Cardiac Infection Causes and Symptoms

The cardiac form of dog parvo is the least common form, and the most deadly. The virus directly attacks the muscles of the heart, then blood vessels, leading to hemorrhaging.

This form is not passed orally, but usually infect puppies in utero or shortly after birth. Unfortunately, it is hard to catch and sometimes there no symptoms at all before the puppy dies suddenly. The only thing to watch out for is difficulty breathing, but by then it might be too late. The obvious signs of the intestinal form are often missing with this type of infection.

Thankfully, widespread vaccination of breeding dogs has cut the occurrences of this form so it’s not something you should be worried about. You have a better chance of being struck by lightening. Better to be on the lookout for the symptoms of the intestinal strain.

 Can My Dog Get Parvo if Vaccinated?

Some dogs after they have received the Parvo vaccination still get the disease any way. The reason for this is that the virus has several different strains that seem to reinvent itself as soon as there is a vaccine for it. The veterinary community and physicians have been up to date on the changes and the effects of the vaccination on the virus and are doing as much as they can to educate themselves on the situation.

In particularly, most vaccines target only the 2a and 2b strains of the virus. The 2c strain was discovered as recently as 2006, and is far more aggressive and fast acting than other strains. Since most vaccinations do not target this version, a vaccinated dog can still get sick.

Bottom line: don’t assume that just because your puppy has been vaccinated, they are safe. It is still best to take the normal precautions to minimize the risk of catching the disease.

  Parvo Virus, Spreading and Symptoms

Parvo virus is a highly contagious disease that is common among puppies under the age of 6 months. Some professionals believe that even after being vaccinated the disease still gets into the system of puppies, possibly due to the insufficient antibodies produced in the mother’s milk. The virus can be spread through fecal matter, vomit, and from insects, rodents and from bedding, dishes and the floor. The symptoms of Parvo are severe vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dehydration and bloody or dark feces.

Treatment and Prevention

The diagnosis of Parvo can only truly be done by a veterinarian, through a physical examination, blood test and examination of the animal’s fecal matter. Once detected the veterinarian will administer antibiotics, electrolytes, and a possible liquid diet for a while and a deworming agent. The bottom line for Parvo is that even after a dog is vaccinated it is possible for the animal to contract the disease. In most cases this does not happen but the best way to be safe is to have your pet tested and regularly tested and monitored on a regular basis, and if any unusual behavior occurs contact your veterinarian.


Parvo is a highly contagious disease commonly found in puppies but it has been seen on rare occasions in adult dogs. Keep pet belongings cleaned, bleached and sanitary. As well as keeping the pet well cleaned, taken care of and visiting the veterinarian on a regular, consistent basis. Also another thing to look out for is the type of breed of the dog will make

it more prone to contacting the disease, so be aware of your dogs breed and characteristics. After a dog has been properly vaccinated it usually does not have an occurrence of the Parvo virus for the lifetime of the dog or at least for up to a year after the vaccination. Every dog adult and puppy reacts differently to vaccinations.

Many viruses develop and grow stronger over time, and the vaccines have to keep up with viruses and sometimes the vaccines are strong enough for the particular new strain of the virus and the animals suffer with the disease even after a vaccination, but it is up to the veterinarians to keep up on the latest changes and medical documentation to ensure that your pet lives a long and healthy life. Prevention and maintenance is key to having a healthy pet, as well as vigilance and perseverance to make sure that your veterinarian is aware of what is going on in the drug and medication world.

How Do Dogs Get Parvo?

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that is found among dogs. The disease is considered to be the fastest spreading disease among dogs. It is often fatal. A vaccine to prevent Parvo is available through a veterinarian but doesn’t guarantee a dog won’t still contract the virus. Just the same as human vaccines, it just gives the patient a lower chance of the virus penetrating the body. Puppies are often more susceptible to the disease since they are more likely to not yet have received the vaccine.

Given the rapid speed at which the virus multiples in the blood stream there is no know cure for parvo. However, knowing how dogs contract the disease can help your pet avoid the virus altogether.

  Contracting Parvo from Fecal Matter

The most common way a dog catches the serious virus is by interaction with an infected dog’s fecal matter (poop). This can be a disturbing thought given the amount of humans that don’t pick up after their dog has had a bowel movement. Think of how many time you have seen dog feces at the park and just walked around it. Well dogs are naturally curious creatures and may not avoid the mess but rather unknowingly approach an infected pile. If your pet ingests even a tiny particle of the virus they can be infected.

To help your dog not contract Parvo from another dog’s feces try to keep a watchful eye when going for a walk, going to the park, or even playing in your own backyard. Keep away from all fecal matter found. When dealing with such a serious disease it’s best to play it safe. The Parvo virus can live outside the body for up to five months so don’t underestimate fecal matter that appears to have sat for a long while.

 Human Contraction

Even though humans themselves can’t get the disease it doesn’t mean that they can’t unknowingly spread it to a dog. The virus can be carried on their person and transmitted to a pet. If a human has any interaction with fecal matter or a place fecal matter once was they can pick up the virus. An example of this is if a dog had a bowel movement in the park and the owner properly cleaned it up, the spot may still be infected. Currently no known disinfectants can rid a surface of the virus. Meaning that even if you use a bag to pick up feces and immediately use disinfectant the virus still can’t be killed. This is a scary thought since no matter how much we clean and try to be sanitary it can still be unknowingly spread to a pet. The same also applies when a dog goes the bathroom on grass, dirt, a tree, etc. We have no way of knowing what pet previously used that spot.

Vaccinating your pet provides the best protection currently possible. On top of vaccinations, being knowledgeable about the disease and doing your best to avoid it are all that you can do to help your dog live a long Parvo free life. Please note it is especially important to try to thoroughly clean up after a dog that has Parvo.

Health Issues After Parvo?

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and serious disease in dogs. It can be fatal if not caught early and can affect dogs of all ages but puppies usually are the ones affected. Parvo causes enteritis in dogs. Enteritis occurs when the gastrointestinal tract gets infected; it is what makes this virus particularly dangerous for young puppies under a year and older dogs over 10 years old due to dehydration. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever and a loss of appetite.

Dogs with parvo can survive with quick intervention but for some the healing process can be very slow. Many dogs suffer no serious long lasting effects from the virus but there is now a new strain that has been recently discovered. This new strain is called the Canine parvovirus type 2 or CPV-2 and there is no current vaccine to protect against it. Dogs that recover from new strains or had severe cases of parvo might have some lasting effects such as heart issues but the outlook for a dog’s life is generally bright after recovery.

 Prevention is Key

Prevention is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends vaccinating to protect your puppy from contracting the virus. The parvovirus can be difficult to avoid because the virus is resilient and can live in the environment for extended periods, even up to a year.

There are some people who disagree with the AVMA about their stance on vaccinations and parvo. The Natural Rearing Breeders Association is a group founded by some veterinarians who discourage against vaccinating because they believe that the foundation of optimal health for dogs is a raw diet. Their belief is a dog that has a natural diet will develop a strong immune system that won’t succumb to diseases and viruses like parvo. Some of their research shows that a puppy that has contracted the virus has a smaller chance of survival if it has already been vaccinated or wormed than one that has not received the vaccination or worming.

 Life After Parvo

Dogs and puppies that survive can make a full recovery and not develop any health issues or complications. While the majority of dogs that survive make a full recovery, parvo does have a lasting effect on some dogs. Some people have reported their puppies to have stunted growth after recovery. Parvo can also cause brain damage in the later stages so if a puppy has recovered from a severe case, they might suffer from some brain damage. The brain damage might cause some behavior issues such as anxiety and in rare cases, aggression triggered by fear. Some people have reported that their dogs weren’t “right in the head,” after recovering from a severe case.

Cases where parvo causes brain damage in dogs or puppies are rare. The majority of dogs that recover live normal and full lives. After dealing with a dog that has contracted parvo, the owner has to take precautions to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to other dogs. This means fully disinfecting everything the dog has come into contact with. The parvovirus is a resilient virus that is very hard to eradicate because if your dog had access to a yard, how do you disinfect an entire yard? Even if it’s a small yard, it might prove to be challenging to disinfect the lawn and dirt patches. Your vet will be able to provide you information on how to disinfect everything and ensure that visiting dogs won’t be at risk of contracting parvo.

How Long Before a Dog with Parvo Begins Showing Symptoms?

What Is Parvo?

Parvo is a systemic infection that affects the intestinal lining in canines. The infection can spread through a litter of puppies by way of infected feces. Puppies usually die within hours or days after symptoms show up. Dehydration is the primary cause of death, and treatment with fluids can save a puppy if applied quickly and forcibly. Veterinarians treating a puppy with parvo will usually begin an I.V. immediately, hoping to combat the illness with a flood of fluids to hydrate the puppy. An infusion of promethazine, or some other anti-nausea drug, will help prevent reguritation.

How Long Before A Puppy Shows Signs of Parvo?

If your puppy, or puppies, are exposed to the parvo virus, they may not show symptoms until six to ten days afterwards. These symptoms include a watery diarrhea, vomiting, weakness and loss of appetite. Parvo is a very serious and deadly condition for dogs, and once they have contacted the virus, the chance of survival is less than twenty percent. Even so, with prompt and aggressive treatment, some puppies have survived this deadly disease. Proper treatment of parvo includes a good supply of fluids and antibiotics, as well as other nutrients added to rehydration solutions.

Parvo should be treated as soon as possible. If you cannot afford the services of a veterinarian, you should aggressively treat your puppy by forcing liquids with a meat basting syringe. Gatorade, clear broth or infant pedialyte can help hydrate a sick puppy, but must be forcibly given as often as possible. Home treatment must replicate the treatment from a veterinary office which provides hydration intravenously, so you must force the liquids every few minutes. You can make an effective oral re-hydration solution by adding a teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of sugar to a quart of sugar.

The cardiac form of parvo affects the respiratory system of dogs. Cardiovascular parvo is rare, and is usually contacted by the unborn puppy before birth. Puppies may be stillborn or die soon after birth, due to the disease causing cardiovascular failure. The utero infection will normally affect all of the unborn puppies. Keeping dogs vaccinated against parvo from three weeks to age three or four has greatly reduced the presence of this form of parvo at birth.

 Can You Prevent Parvo?

Parvo is a preventable disease. Vaccines given at six to eight weeks can protect a litter of puppies from this devastating killer. Many people can lose every puppy they have from parvo. If one puppy has it, chances are every puppy will become infected. Since symptoms can take up to six days to show up, if one puppy shows signs of parvo, you should take every puppy in the litter to the vet immediately. Dogs should have parvo vaccines every three weeks following the initial vaccination, up to twenty weeks of age. Booster shots should also be given after a year of age and every year afterwards.

 Parvo is a disease that spreads quickly and should be taken seriously. It is considered extremely contagious. If one puppy has it, you are right to assume every puppy will be affected. Disinfecting the kennel or sleeping area of the dogs with bleach can help, but once exposed, every puppy should be examined by a veterinarian immediately. The parvo virus has been known to stay active and affect the soil of a contaminated kennel area for up to one year.

Do not expect any result except death if puppy or dog is not promptly treated. The vaccinations available are harmless and offer protection from all known strains of the disease.

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