Canine Parvovirus

This is a highly contagious viral disease that afflicts dogs of all ages, but is known to be especially deadly in puppies since it often leads to death within 48-72 hours of exposure. This particular virus can also withstand temperature changes and even treatment f disinfectants and can even persist in some areas for several months. However, this virus are only contagious to dogs but not to other animals and human beings.

Transmission – this particular virus if often transferred through direct contact of a healthy dog to an infected year. Unlike rabies virus that has high concentration in the saliva, parvovirus is usually found in the stool. This poses a very real threat since dogs are known to sniff other dog’s eliminated, which makes fecal-oral transmission among the highly prevalent mode of transmission. Indirect transmission can also be possible with virus particles easily transferred through in hands, clothing and other inanimate objects.

Symptoms – there have been some are cases where dogs may have parvovirus but doesn’t outwardly show sign of telltale symptoms on the onset. However, after some time, more often that not dogs are known to display noticeable and alarming symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Extreme depression, unwillingness to nurse
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea

Treatment – the primary key in the treatment of parvovirus is maintaining, as much as possible the natural body composition at the same time preventing bacterial infection. Since this is essentially a virus, there is no cure. However, in the early stages fluid therapy would be the most important factor in treating infected dogs. Since the canine body is roughly about 80% water, it would be impossible to leave with 12-15% loss of the normal body due to diarrhea. Intravenous fluids would be the most viable course to rehydrate the body and at the same time provide nourishment. Other treatments to complement fluid therapy would include hospitalization of pet although this does not guarantee survival. Only 70% of hospitalized cases have survived parvovirus and may usually require a full week of treatment.

Prevention – proper sanitation is the best preventive measure for the much dreaded parvovirus although is can be extremely difficult mainly because the virus is resistant and easily spreads. Owners should also minimized their pet’s contact with other pet’s stool as much as possible as well as full series of vaccination and boosters all through intervals to protect dogs from this highly dangerous virus.

Top 5 Canine Diseases – Know the Signs and Symptoms – Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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