Lately, you notice that your four-legged best friend is acting a little sluggish, lazy, and even lethargic. Also, you have observed it has lost its appetite even for its favorite treats. Then you notice that your dog is vomiting severely or that it is having a bout of diarrhea that is not only extremely foul-smelling, but bloody as well. If your dog is suffering from one or more of these symptoms, get your pooch to a veterinarian, immediately. Do not waste time. Your dog might be showing signs of Parvovirus – an easily contracted and deadly virus.
What is Parvovirus (or Parvo)? It is an extremely contagious disease that can prove to be life-threatening to dogs if not treated right away. Parvovirus can severely affect your four-legged friend’s intestinal tract. If a puppy contracts this dangerous virus, it can damage the heart muscle and create cardiac problems during your pet’s lifecycle.
How Can My Dog Contract Parvovirus? Typically, anyone or anything that comes in contact with dog feces that has been infected by this deadly virus is a potential carrier. A very adaptable virus, Parvo can live in virtually any environment for weeks, even months. It has been known to survive in food bowls, clothes, shoes, furniture, floors, and carpets and—just about anywhere.
What’s the Best Way to Diagnose My Dog for Parvo? There are some at-home parvo test kits you can use to get a preliminary diagnosis. However because of the life-threatening nature of the Parvovirus, it is highly recommended that you take your dog to a veterinarian if you suspect your dog has contracted Parvo. Only your veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose your four-legged friend for parvovirus.
Is There a Way to Safeguard My Dog Against Parvovirus? Yes. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Vaccination against Parvovirus should begin when your dog is a puppy and continue throughout its life.
Which Breeds are more Susceptible to Catch Parvovirus? Practically, any dog, at any age that has not been properly vaccinated, can get this killer virus. It has been known to affect even wolves! However, the following dog breeds seem to be at greater risk of contracting Parvovirus: Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, and Rottweilers. Dogs that live in cities can easily contract Parvo from other dogs too.
To protect your dog against Parvovirus, your veterinarian might recommend one of the following vaccines: Canine Spectra 5 Single Syringe, Canine Spectra 6 Single Syringe, Nobivac Puppy-DPv 25 ds Tray, or Duramune Lyme+Max 5-CvK/4L 25 ds Tray.
How is Parvo Treated? At this time, there are no known medications that can kill this deadly virus. Treatment usually consists of building your dog’s immune system and controlling the symptoms.
To sum it up: Parvovirus is a deadly and highly contagious virus that can affect almost any breed of dog. In essence, Parvovirus is a dog’s worst friend. Symptoms include lethargy, severe vomiting and bloody, foul-smelling diarrhea. Vaccinating your dog when it’s a puppy is the best way to safeguard your dog against Parvovirus.