Busta was approximately 18 weeks of age when he started to develop clinical signs of Parvo virus. He was adopted form an animal shelter and had received one vaccination against Parvo virus. Shortly after being adopted he became very lethargic, wouldn’t eat, and developed diarrhea with blood in it. He was diagnosed with Parvo virus and a heavy infestation of roundworms. He was very sick and was hospitalized and treated for a week. Even after he went home it took several days for him to feel like his normal self. He is blessed to have great owners and they were fortunate to have pet insurance to help with the cost of hospitalization.
Information on Parvo Virus
Parvovirus is a very serious and potentially life threatening disease in unvaccinated dogs or dogs who haven’t finished their vaccinations.
The virus is known to exist around the world and is very stable in most environments. The virus can survive in hot and arid climates or at subzero temperatures for long periods of time. Many people do not realize that it can last in soil for over a year and the virus could even be picked up on their shoes or clothing while walking or playing and brought into their house.
What are the clinical signs of parvovirus?
Most dogs will develop severe diarrhea and/ or vomiting. Most will become very lethargic, will not want to eat or drink, and may have a high fever (104-106 Degrees)
What if your dog develops signs of parvovirus?
See your veterinarian as soon as possible. There are many causes of vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. There is a test to confirm parvovirus. Patients with Parvo virus must be treated aggressively. There is no specific treatment of this disease. Patients must be kept well hydrated (Best done with IV fluids). Most patients are placed on medications to prevent vomiting and are placed on antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections. The death toll among parvovirus victims is significantly reduced when the disease is promptly diagnosed and treated. Any secondary illnesses like roundworms or other intestinal parasites must be treated as well.
What can you do to prevent parvovirus?
Here are a few tips:
- ·Make sure that your puppy is properly vaccinated against Parvo virus. Adult dogs still need to be routinely vaccinated against Parvo.
- ·You and your unvaccinated dog or puppy should not go to places where other dogs frequently visit (especially areas where unvaccinated dogs might visit). Please ask your veterinarian when they feel comfortable for your pet to visit where other dogs might go.
- ·Objects that may have came in contact with Parvo virus can be cleaned with dilute bleach –one-part household bleach to thirty-parts of water solution (approximately 1/2 ounce to one pint).
- ·Areas exposed to Parvo virus should have any fecal material removed and the area disinfected with the bleach/water solution as a precaution.
- ·The bleach/water solution can be used as part of a general cleaning process of areas frequented by other dogs.
- ·A common mistake to avoid is to get another unvaccinated puppy and bring it home to an environment that is already contaminated with Parvo Virus.
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