What is Parvo?
Parvo is a highly contagious and serious virus which initially causes gastrointestinal upset and may even cause death if left untreated.
The virus is extremely adaptive and can live in the environment for months.
It can be contracted from other dogs, persons, animals or inanimate objects and even the street if you live in an area where the population of stray dogs is high.
Parvo is something that every puppy owner should be aware of as it is a highly contagious virus.
After about 4-5 days of exposure to the virus, shedding starts to begin which is followed by other symptoms.
In this blog post, I’d like to share some important information about parvo which every dog owner needs to know about parvo.
The Clinical Symptoms of Parvo
Parvovirus has certain general symptoms which include severe vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite and bloody and foul-smelling diarrhea which may even lead to a life-threatening case of dehydration.
I feel that every dog owner, as well as every breeder, should be aware of the symptoms of the parvovirus in dogs. Following are the most common symptoms:
- Severe and sometimes bloody diarrhea
- Weight loss
If you observe any (or even all) of these symptoms, you need to call your veterinarian as soon as possible because if not treated in time, parvo can prove to be fatal.
Other than that…
Even if the symptoms are not caused by the parvovirus, the vet will determine what got your doggy friend sick and follow the proper course of treatment.
The Transmission of the Parvovirus
As I warned earlier, the parvovirus is known to be contagious and can be transmitted through:
- Direct contact with the infected dog
- Direct contact with the feces of an infected dog
- Through an object, person or animal which has come in contact with the virus
Another cause of concern is that the virus is that it is extremely resistant and can even survive in the environment for a period of months.
Common carriers include food bowls, clothes, shoes, floors and carpet.
Unvaccinated dogs can even get parvovirus from even the streets in urban areas that have a large population of stray dogs!
The Risk of Parvo: Which Breeds Get it More Than the Others?
Following are those at a higher risk of getting Parvo:
- Dogs between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 months
- Unvaccinated/ incompletely vaccinated dogs
- German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs), Doberman Pinschers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and English Springer Spaniels are at a high risk
It is extremely important that you vaccinate your dog and never miss a booster shot to protect him.
I hope that this blog post answered all of your questions. Leave a comment!