Canine Parvovirus is one of the most common viral infections affecting dogs. The highly contagious disease is common among puppies and produces a range of symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. If left untreated, canine parvovirus can be fatal. Fortunately, the condition can be prevented with a canine parvovirus vaccine. Moreover, dogs with this condition can be treated with adequate and timely veterinary care.

Let’s learn more about the symptoms, prevention, and treatment of canine parvovirus.

Canine Parvovirus – Overview  

Canine Parvovirus is a contagious viral disease that affects multiple systems in a dog’s body. However, it primarily produces gastrointestinal tract symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Delayed diagnosis or lack of parvovirus treatment can be fatal, especially for puppies and senior dogs. The condition can also be quite dangerous for immunocompromised dogs.

Timely and adequate medical attention, including hospitalization, can increase the chances of positive outcomes for the dog’s survival.

Causes of Canine Parvovirus

The disease is caused by the Canine Parvovirus Type 2, known as CPV or CPV-2, which spreads through the feces of an infected dog. Direct contact with an infected dog can also lead to the spread of the virus.

Exposure to the virus initially affects the tonsils but eventually spreads to all other body systems, including bone marrow and the bloodstream. It also spreads to the gastrointestinal tract, damaging the intestinal lining and also causes inflammation of the cardiac muscles.

Symptoms of Parvovirus

Since parvovirus affects the digestive tract of the dog, an infected dog exhibits the following symptoms.

  • Loss of appetite,
  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Signs of abdominal discomfort and bloating,
  • Fever, and
  • Lethargy

If your pet experiences any of these symptoms which do not subside within 24 hours, it’s best to seek medical care as the virus can quickly damage the vital organs of a dog’s body and eventually lead to death.

Diagnosis of Parvovirus

If your pet is experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, the vet will recommend blood work after checking if your dog is vaccinated against the condition. To confirm the infection, the vet will also use the sample of the dog’s feces to check for parvovirus. In some cases, vets also recommend imaging screening to rule out other complications or gastrointestinal issues.

One of the other ways to preemptively diagnose the condition is to schedule regular wellness checkups for your pet. You can remain aware of your pet’s general health and well-being by scheduling regular wellness checkups with your vet. It’s a good idea to schedule a wellness checkup, particularly in May and June, as the disease typically outbreaks during these months.

Treatment of Parvovirus

Following the diagnosis, your vet will immediately take measures to treat parvovirus, which usually involves hospitalization.

During the stay at the hospital, your pet will get IV treatment to manage dehydration. Moreover, antibiotics will be administered to prevent or control bacterial infection. Medications for managing nausea and pain are also given to the dog, depending upon their condition.

An at-home treatment plan is also provided to the caregiver once the dog is discharged from the hospital.

Preventing Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a treatable disease. However, it can quickly turn into a fatal condition. The best way to combat this infection is to prevent it.  

Fortunately, canine parvovirus can be prevented. Since it’s a viral disease, vaccinating your dog against the infection can protect your pet from this potentially fatal health condition.

A combination of vaccines known as DHPP vaccine is administered in puppies at least 6 weeks old. The combination vaccine protects against parvovirus and various other health conditions, including hepatitis and parainfluenza.

After the initial shot, your vet will recommend a series of DHPP shots once every 3-4 weeks till your pet reaches the age of 16 weeks.

Your dog’s healthcare provider will also recommend guidelines for administering booster shots for dogs above 16 weeks of age.  

Key Takeaways

As a pet parent, taking care of a sick pet can be quite distressing. While canine parvovirus is a preventable and treatable condition, looking after an unwell pet can be challenging, especially when you have to be away from your pup for work or other reasons.

If you’re struggling to take care of your sick pup, let Belltown Dog Walker assist you. Our exceptional pet-sitting service saves you from the hassle of finding a boarding or daycare for your pup. The experienced staff at Belltown Dog Walker is trained to care for your dog while you’re at work. With our at-home pet-sitting services, you can enjoy peace of mind as we care for your pet. Our professional team ensures that your dog gets adequate playtime, timely medications, and enough love and attention at easy and affordable rates.

Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can assist you in caring for your unwell dog.