Parvovirus in the Dog: Symptoms and Treatment

Parvovirus in the Dog: Symptoms and Treatment
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The parvovirus in dogs or canine parvoriosis is a viral disease that primarily affects puppies, although it can occur in any dog not vaccinated. Many puppies have been victims of this highly contagious and lethal disease.

On many occasions, often causes ignorance, some owners have confused Parvo’s symptoms with an incorrect diagnosis. For this reason, if you have a dog, you should read this article that explores some aspects of canine parvovirus such as symptoms, transmission, and treatment.

What Is the Canine Parvovirus?

Canine parvovirus was identified in 1978. Since then, the initial genetic strain has been mutated, manifested in various ways and thus making rapid diagnosis difficult.

It is a disease that affects mainly the intestines, is resistant to both chemical and physical factors and is very resistant to the environment. Typically, it is nested in rapid-reproducing cells such as intestinal, immune system tissues or fetal tissues.

In the most severe cases, it may stick to the heart muscle, causing sudden death.

Symptoms of Parvovirus in Dogs

As mentioned earlier, parvovirus prefers genetic mutation, but the detection of this dreaded virus can be done through the symptoms, which can be:

  • – Appetite reduction
  • – Serious vomiting
  • – The dog seems sleepy, inactive and very tired
  • – It may have abundant and bloody diarrhea
  • – Fever
  • – Rapid dehydration
  • – Weakness

In the most severe cases, parvovirus can cause a decrease in white blood cells. If the virus hits the heart, the animal will not show any diarrhea, but the puppy may die in minutes or days.

If you find that your puppy shows one of the above symptoms, you should go to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

How Can The Cannabis Parvovirus Be Transmitted?

The virus mainly attacks puppies under 6 months of age or adults who have not been vaccinated and wormed. Therefore, we always emphasize the importance of regular veterinary visits and routine vaccinations.

Even though there are more vulnerable breeds such as the German shepherd, Doberman, pit bull or Rottweiler, there are other factors that can predispose your animals such as stress, intestinal parasites, or crowding of dogs in a single environment.

Parvovirosis in the Dog

The Parvovirus spreads rapidly, and can also stay in place for months, transmitting by mouth through food, breast milk, stools or infected objects such as shoes. Some insects or rodents may be host to the virus. Parvovirus cannot be spread to humans.

Parvoriosis Prevention

If you suspect that there are parvovirus-infected dogs near your area, these are the advice we can give:

  • – Follow the vaccination strictly with your vet.
  • – Administer a vermifuge regularly, always under the supervision of the doctor.
  • – Sterilize the entire environment regularly with bleach.
  • – Keep food in a rodent-free place.
  • – Clean their utensils like toys…
  • – Do not let your unvaccinated puppy go to the street or come in contact with other dogs.
  • – Avoid contact with the feces.

Treatment of Canine Parvovirus

If your dog has been infected with the virus, take it immediately to the vet to analyze the condition and diagnose the disease properly.

Treatment of canine parvovirus should begin as early as possible and the main goals are to combat symptoms such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, vomiting and diarrhea control etc.

No treatment is 100% effective against parvovirus, and veterinarians can only follow a range of treatments that in some cases give good results. These are some of the protocols that follow:

  • – Rehydration of the dog with dosed serum administration. It is common to use lactate ringer for these cases, combined with colloids and is often administered intravenously.
  • – For heart or kidney problems, serum doses should be administered with caution, as they are not always adequately tolerated.
  • – Blood transfusions are made to relieve blood loss through diarrhea.
  • – Once the dog is stabilized, fluid and sugar rehydration is maintained.
  • – In some cases, therapy may also require the administration of potassium.
  • – Use of antibiotics and antiemetic.
  • – The use of Tami flu: the use of this medication has had many cases of success.

For correct disposal of the virus from the environment you should use bleach, then with ammonia and after with chlorine. Do not mix these products that should be used separately.

The use of these products must be done with the use of gloves, mask and very cautious. Do not expose the dog or the people living with you to toxic fumes, and leave it well ventilated after each cleaning.

Parvovirus in dog

Feed For a Parvovirus-Infected Dog

If your dog has been diagnosed with the virus it is important to know what type of food is most appropriate for faster recovery.

Here are some tips:


A critical part of treatment is serum, to counteract the effects of diarrhea and vomiting. Drinking lots of water will help this hydration process. Sports drinks are a good choice, as they also provide some minerals lost. Change water to the dog at least twice a day.

Avoid Foods

At least in the first 24/48 hours, when the virus is particularly virulent, stop the food.

Lighted Diet

After 48 hours the dog can start eating foods, but the diet must always be soft. We recommend rice, homemade chicken broth, white rice and soft canned foods. Remember that you must not add salt or spices if a dog is suffered by parvovirus.

Once the dog retrieved the vet will tell you if you can return to normal diet.

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