What is canine parvovirus?
Parvovirus is a serious and potentially lethal infectious viral disease. Therefore, if there is any suspicion, it is essential to go to the veterinary center immediately. Do you know what canine parvovirus is?
This disease, which can also occur in cats, mainly affects dog puppies from four weeks of age. It can also affect healthy, but immunocompromised, adult dogs that have not been vaccinated against the virus.
That is why it is important to always have our pets vaccinated.
What is canine parvovirus? How is it spread?
Parvovirus is spread through direct oral or nasal contact from an infected dog to another dog or also through feces.
Also, it can be present on surfaces that have been in contact with infected feces, just as other animals, such as rodents and insects, can be vectors of transmission.
As it is a virus considered very contagious, it has a short incubation period, it can be between five and ten days. Once contagion has occurred, the virus has a “preference” for organs in which there is a very active turnover of cells, such as the digestive system, this will cause diarrhea, almost like the first symptoms.
It also affects the cardiovascular system, bone marrow, respiratory system, etc. Subsequently, as a consequence of the infectious/inflammatory process it causes, other organs may be affected, which may lead to the death of the puppy.
What symptoms does parvovirus cause?
The first symptoms that may appear once infected with Parvovirus, and which usually attacks the lymphatic and intestinal tissue first, are:
- Diarrhea accompanied by bleeding
- Lack of appetite and weakness.
- Apathy or lethargy
- Pain on palpation of the abdomen.
How is canine Parvovirus treated?
- Intravenous fluid therapy.
- Supportive treatment to counteract symptoms.
- Nutritional support
- Control the appearance of complications
- Control digestive motility and gastric distention
- Plasma/albumin/blood, depending on needs and severity
- Depending on the severity of the case and the evolution, complications such as sepsis, endotoxemia, etc. may occur.
Unfortunately, there is no treatment that directly combats the virus, but rather the treatment will focus on alleviating its consequences and supporting your immune system.
Can Parvovirus be prevented? Is it contagious?
Parvovirus cannot be cured solely with medication or home remedies. We must always keep in mind that it is a lethal virus that can affect other dogs in the house that live with the carrier.
The best way to combat contagion is through vaccination of puppies, always being advised by professional veterinarians to guide us when is the best time to do so.
In addition, habits that prevent the puppy's exposure to possible feces or surfaces that could have the virus, such as preventing unvaccinated puppies from going outside and interacting with others.
Regarding whether it is contagious, it is NOT contagious to humans, but it is contagious to other dogs.
If we do not take sufficient precautions regarding hygiene and avoid contact with the fecal matter of other dogs, the virus in puppies can be fatal, or in dogs with a weak immune system.
We must always properly deworm our animals and vaccinate them against the disease, that will be the only way to prevent it from appearing in our pets' lives.