Your dog is a member of your family, so you want to protect them as best you can. Many diseases can affect dogs, but parvo is one of the deadliest. If you want to better protect your dog, you should understand this dangerous disease. To learn more, keep reading.
What Causes Parvo?
Parvo is caused by the canine parvovirus, which is incredibly contagious. Dogs can catch it directly from an infected dog, but they can also catch it by coming in contact with an infected dog's food dish, leash, feces, etc. Humans can also spread the disease from one dog to another when they touch an infected dog and then touch a healthy dog.
There are special cleaners that specifically kill the parvovirus. Luckily, there is also a vaccine to protect against parvo. If a mother dog is fully vaccinated against parvo, the puppies usually have some protection from parvo thanks to their mom's milk. However, this protection doesn't last long, and they will also need a parvo vaccine.
What Are the Symptoms?
If your dog has parvo, you will notice because the symptoms are severe. At first, your dog may only appear lethargic, but soon they may also experience severe diarrhea (with or without blood), fever, vomiting, dehydration, and rapid heartbeat.
Dogs suffering from parvo are also usually in pain or feel discomfort. Severe weight loss, inflamed tissue around the eyes or mouth, and low body temperature are also all signs of parvo infection. If you spot any of these signs, or you believe your dog was exposed to a dog with these symptoms, contact a vet immediately.
Can Parvo Be Treated?
Once your dog is infected with parvo, there is no treatment to kill the virus. You must let the virus run its course, but there are steps the vet can take to help improve the survival rate.
The virus destroys the lining of the intestinal tract, which can lead to severe dehydration and septicemia. The best way to help the dog is to fight the dehydration, which is usually done with intravenous fluids and electrolytes. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are also given to help fight the risk of septicemia.
Parvo is incredibly contagious, but it can be prevented with vaccines. Dogs with parvo need aggressive treatment to help fight the infection. If you would like to know more about parvo, or if you want to get your dog vaccinated against this disease, contact a veterinary clinic like Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic.