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What Every Dog Owner Needs To Know About Parvovirus


What Every Dog Owner Needs To Know About Parvovirus – The last thing that any owner of a puppy, or indeed any dog breeder needs is to find out their pup has parvo. This is a scarily common disease in puppies, and its consequences are deadly. 

This is why it is so important that if you deal with puppies, you need to be hyper-aware of the symptoms and how you can fight against them. 

If you have a puppy or adult dog getting parvo two times you need to know what to do about it and have a full understanding of what parvo is. This is why we are here, to educate you about parvo, and help you understand it better. 

What Is Parvo?

Parvo, or parvovirus is a very contagious disease, and it will spread via direct contact from infected dogs or from an object that is contaminated by the disease. A dog will be exposed to this virus any time they lick, snuff, or consume fecal matter that is infected. 

However, there is also the potential for an indirect infection which happens when someone who has been exposed to an infected dog touches another dog. It could also happen when they interact with an object that has been contaminated, this could be food or even water, a leash, a human hand, or even clothes. 

This virus is classed as being a disease of the stomach and intestines, which is where the virus does the most damage. It will often attack the small intestine, damaging or destroying cells, impairing absorption and harming the barrier of the gut. It can also affect tissues and bone marrow in some dogs.

Why Do Puppies Get Parvo?

Parvo is most common in pups who are between six weeks old to six months old. Those who are younger can retain antibodies from their mother. Then at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks old they will also be vaccinated against parvo too. 

Until they receive all 3 shots they will be vulnerable, so at this time you need to be extra cautious of them getting the virus. 

How severe it can be will vary. Stress from weaning can make parvo more severe in some pups, as stress will weaken the immune system. Parvo paired with an infection or even a parasite can make it even more severe also. 

There are some breeds that are most at risk including: Doberman pinschers, English springer spaniels, rottweilers, Labrador retrievers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and German Shepherd Dogs.

How Long Do Puppies Have Contagious Parvo?

But, how long are they contagious for? Well, pups or adults with parvo will often start to shed this infection from 4 or 5 days after they were exposed. Sadly, for many, this period of time will not always occur within the time that the symptoms occur either. 

Dogs are often contagious before they are even getting symptoms, so owners may not realize they were sick and therefore contagious. 

If a pup has parvo, they will continue shedding the virus for 10 days continuing after clinical recovery, so if any pups are recovering, they need to stay away from any other dogs.

Symptoms Of Parvo

If a pup has parvo, it is not like a human with the cold or flu, a dog with this disease is very sick. You need to catch the signs and symptoms as fast as possible, especially in pups. The sooner you get them to the vet the better. 

It is most common in younger puppies, so you should call up your veterinarian at any time that your pup is not feeling very well. However, you should be aware of any more specific symptoms of this disease in pups. 

Here are some of the most common specific signs that your pup has parvo: 

  • Anorexia.
  • Bloody Diarrhea.
  • Dehydration.
  • Depression.
  • Fever
  • Lethargy.
  • Vomiting.
  • Weakness.
  • Weight Loss.

In general, any of these symptoms are serious enough on their own. On their own they can be a sign of parvo, or they could be a sign of another illness. You need to contact your vet as soon as possible if you see any of these signs and get suspicious that your puppy may have parvo. 

Always notify the vet of your suspicions beforehand, so they can properly quarantine in order to prevent any potential parvo from your puppy, infecting any other dogs that may be in or may later go into that same vet’s office. 

As long as signs are recognised, and quarantine measures are taken, all should be fine. But make sure you catch symptoms quickly.

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