How many times have you heard about canine parvovirus infection, or how many times have you seen a pet hospitalized because of this disease. May be not often or you may not even know about this disease. Parvovirus is a dreadful disease that when not treated early can be devastating to your pooch’s health.
This highly contagious disease attack mostly puppies and unvaccinated dogs. In fact, every year alone in the state of America, a dozen of dogs die due to canine parvovirus. The Animal Health Care organizations are always alerting pet owners to be proactive in looking out for the signs of infection, provide vaccination and follow preventive measures to safeguard their pets from this dangerous disease.
Well, what you should look for?
This dangerous virus attack gastrointestinal tracts of dogs and puppies. They develop certain symptoms that deteriorate their health greatly.
The different signs of parvovirus are as follows:
- Vomiting Severe bloody diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
The pathogens can easily spread from one dog to another through contact, contaminated feces or vomit. Once it’s ingested it multiplies swiftly and the effects are severe. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) states that most deaths from parvovirus take place within 48-72 hours of the appearance of clinical signs.
Though this virus can affect any age group or breeds of dogs, the most badly hit are puppies. Moreover, it’s fatal for puppies younger than four months and those unvaccinated dogs.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) certain breeds such as Doberman pinschers, American Staffordshire terriers, German shepherds Rottweilers and Labrador retrievers are more vulnerable to parvovirus infection.
Visit a Vet
If your dog displays symptoms of parvovirus, it’s crucial to take him immediately to a vet. Don’t wait for clinical signs to worsen before taking him to your vet. Sometimes diarrhea or vomiting may not be related to parvovirus infection. Proper diagnosis and certain tests carried out in your vet’s lab will confirm whether your furry pal is suffering from this gastrointestinal disease or not.
Even though the test turn out to be negative for parvovirus, as a pet parent you need to help him get the treatment from your vet according to the infection he is suffering from. Sometimes, it can be a sign of worm infection such as severe roundworm infection or any other flea and tick transmitted disease.
Treatment for Parvovirus
When a dog is diagnosed with parvovirus, the treatment includes preventing dehydration, controlling vomiting and diarrhea, and preventing secondary infections. In case of severe infection, your dog may even have to stay in hospital for five to seven days. When hospitalized the treatment is quite costly.
Therefore, normally vets recommend that puppies and unvaccinated dogs should be vaccinated with parvovirus vaccine. This is the most effective way in controlling this life threatening infection and protecting your pet from unwanted danger.
How Can You Help Your Pet
The first help you can provide your pet from parvovirus is getting him vaccinated. Apart from vaccination, it is recommended to take the additional steps as follows:
- When visiting vet office, carry puppy across floors and don’t allow her to smell the dark corners.
- If you have puppies five months below age, avoid taking them to pet stores, dog park grounds, and anywhere else to avoid infection.
- If you have adopted a puppy or a dog from rescue house or animal center, check for the vaccinations given to them. If not vaccinated, consult your vet and arrange for parvovirus vaccine. Also, take care that for couple of days, you do not mix the newly adopted pet with other pets in order to protect your other pets from any unwanted diseases.
- When your dog is sick, avoid taking him to public places.
- Always dispose dog’s waste in a safe manner.
- Ensure to wash your hands and change your clothes soon after handling a sick dog.
As a pet parent, you need to be aware of this acute disease. A clean environment, proper care and hygienic lifestyle will protect your lovely pooch from deadly disease. So, make a stand to protect your pet right now!