Creative Title: What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know About Parvovirus
Meta Description: Parvovirus is one of the most dangerous and common diseases that dogs can be faced with. Knowing how to spot it is essential to increasing the chance of survival.
What every dog owner needs to know about parvovirus
Parvovirus is a scary and highly contagious disease that most dog owners are aware of. Because of its highly contagious and potentially fatal nature, parvovirus is one of the first diseases that puppies are vaccinated for. However, even after vaccination, there is a risk of infection if your dog comes into contact with infected animals or substances. This is part of the reason that there is ongoing research into more effective and powerful vaccines.
What is canine parvovirus?
Canine parvovirus is part of a larger group of illnesses, all of which are highly infectious. Impacting the gastrointestinal system and stomach, parvovirus is severe and life-threatening for all dogs, but particularly virulent and dangerous for puppies between the ages of 2 and 8 months. One of the factors that make parvovirus so worrisome, especially in groups of dogs, is that it is highly contagious and remains highly contagious for a long time in bodily fluids and the wider environment. Therefore, if one of your dogs has parvo and vomits, the risk of infection to all other dogs (and animals) in the space increases dramatically. This makes it very hard to prevent transmission.
What are the symptoms of parvovirus?
The incubation period for parvovirus is fairly long. Infected puppies and dogs can start to show symptoms within three days, but it can take up to seven days for symptoms to show. One other issue that can allow parvovirus to progress before treatment is the fact that the main symptoms can also be indicative of other, less severe illnesses. Common symptoms of parvovirus include:
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody diarrhea
- Extreme weight loss
The presence of entirely liquid, bloody fecal matter is one of the strongest signs of parvovirus and other severe illnesses, of course, but not all dogs with parvovirus will display this symptom. Furthermore, other dogs will only show this symptom once parvovirus has progressed significantly in their system. This is why perspectives on parvo treatment and identification are constantly evolving.
When should you take your dog to the vet?
If you suspect that your dog has, or may have, parvovirus, you should take it to the vet immediately. Symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss can also indicate that a dog has eaten something that disturbed its gut or long-term illnesses, like diabetes. Therefore, these symptoms warrant investigation no matter what may be wrong with your dog. However, parvovirus is most likely to be fatal to the infected dog and any other dogs you may have, and vets can perform a quick test that will eliminate or confirm parvo that day.
If you suspect parvovirus or it is confirmed, you should also isolate the infected dog from your other pets and thoroughly clean any surfaces that come into contact with your dog’s vomit or bodily fluids. You should also monitor your other dogs for signs of infection to ensure quick treatment.
Of course, it is best to prevent your dog from contracting parvovirus, when possible, but this is not always something that you can control. The most important factor after infection is speed. If you take your dog to be treated as soon as you see symptoms, you will dramatically increase its chances of recovery.