The highly-infectious parvovirus is most common in unvaccinated puppies and adolescent dogs but even adult dogs are at risk. Known to exist in all kinds of environment – from hot, humid to cold, this gastrointestinal (GI) disease can be spread rapidly through faeces, eating bowls, collars or clothing of the infected dog. The initial symptoms can begin with appetite loss, fever, vomiting and severe diarrhoea. Parvovirus can be deadly to your dog and if not addressed immediately can cause death. According to experts, an infected puppy or dog must be quarantined and treatment should start early as many deaths may occur within 48-72 hours of infection. (Also read: Pet health: Is your dog anaemic? Symptoms and causes of iron deficiency in pets)
Symptoms of parvovirus
“Parvovirus can invite diarrhoea, vomiting, and even poor appetite. Parvo leads to damage to the gut lining, so the diarrhoea may contain blood and bits of dead tissue. Thus, a swab of the dog’s bottom or the stools will be taken for testing of this virus to confirm the diagnosis of the virus,” says Dr Narendra Pardeshi, India’s leading Vet Surgeon from Small Animal Clinic.
Why is parvo so deadly
There is no treatment recommended for this virus. A large number of young puppies are detected with this virus.
“This virus can weaken the dog’s immune system and can also raise the risk of septic shock and ultimately death. Parvo tends to have a distinctive smell, which is unpleasant. A blood test to check the dog’s overall well-being will showcase low numbers of white blood cells, dehydration and organ inflammation. So, the treatment will be to help the dogs to fight infection,” says Dr Pardeshi.
Treatment for parvovirus
It is done with the help of fluid through a drip and managing any nausea and diarrhoea symptoms. Recovery may take time in dogs and some dogs may also need hospitalisation, says the veterinary expert.
So, if you have an unvaccinated dog at home, you must take utmost care of them and make sure to get the dog vaccinated as soon as possible. The earlier the dog receives treatment, the more likely they will get back on track, so it’s a good idea to get the vet’s advice at the right time.