Parvovirus in Puppies: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

November 13, 2017 9:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A new puppy brings a lot of fun, excitement and joy into your family, so the last thing you want to hear is that your puppy is sick. Unfortunately, puppies can be very susceptible to certain diseases, and one of the most common diseases with deadly consequences is parvovirus.

Canine parvovirus (also known as CPV or “parvo”) is a highly contagious viral illness. Parvo infects your puppy’s gastrointestinal tracts, where it destroys cells and impairs absorption. In some cases, this can lead to death in young puppies. Puppies between the ages of 6 weeks to 6 months are the most susceptible to parvovirus. That’s why it’s so important that new puppy owners be aware of the symptoms of parvo and how to prevent it.

Symptoms

Parvo is a very serious illness and your puppy has a better chance of recovery of the virus is detected early on. While you should take a young puppy to your veterinarian in Bolivar, MO anytime he is showing signs of illness, there are specific symptoms of parvovirus to watch out for:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration

If your puppy is exhibiting any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your vet immediately so they can treat your puppy as soon as possible and prevent him from infecting other dogs.

Prevention

Parvovirus is highly contagious. The virus is most commonly spread through the feces of an infected dog. However, the virus can also be spread if your puppy touches an object that came in contact with an infected dog, such as a toy or a water bowl. Even a human who pets an infected dog and then pets your puppy can spread the virus. If you are proactive about keeping your puppy away from possibly contaminated dogs or objects, then you can help protect him from parvovirus. However, the number one way to ensure that your dog is protected is to keep up with his vaccinations. Your puppy should receive three vaccines, once each at 6, 8 and 12 weeks, to protect him from parvovirus.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no drug available to kill parvovirus. However, if caught early on, your vet can provide supportive treatments to help your puppy fight the virus. Treatment will include care efforts to help prevent dehydration and control your puppy’s vomiting and diarrhea. Your vet’s treatment plan may also include ways to keep your puppy from contracting any secondary infections while his immune system is weakened from fighting off parvovirus.

Being informed about parvovirus and what to watch for can help you keep your puppy safe, healthy and happy. However, the number one way to protect your puppy from the parvovirus is to ensure that he is properly vaccinated. For dog vaccinations in Bolivar, MO, bring your puppy to the compassionate team Animal Care Clinic of Bolivar. We offer comprehensive care and vaccinations for dogs of all ages and breeds. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today!

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