Canine Parvovirus

January 24th, 2014

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What is Canine Parvovirus?

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease of dogs. The virus is acute and typically attacks cells lining the gastrointestinal tract. Parvo affects dogs of all ages, but most cases occur in puppies 6 to 20 weeks of age, this is why it is often called puppy parvo. It seems Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers are more susceptible to the infection and experience more severe symptoms, but it is not clear why.

What are the symptoms?

Unvaccinated dogs and puppies that show signs of lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea should be taken to the vet immediately to enhance their chances of survival. Some dog have no fever, while others have fever of up to 41.1°C. Severe abdominal pain and cramping can be identified if your dog exhibits a tucked-up abdomen. Diarrhea is profuse and contains mucus and/or blood.

How is it treated and cured?

Dogs with this disease require intensive veterinary care and constant veterinary supervision. In nearly all cases, hospitalization is essential to combat dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Intravenous fluids and medications to control vomiting and diarrhea are often required. More severe cases may require blood plasma transfusions and other intensive care. If you suspect your pet has parvovirus please contact your vet, or a veterinary emergency hospital, immediately.

How you can protect your pet

Getting your pet vaccinated is the best way to protect your pet.

The disease is transmitted by oral contact with infected feces. Parvo can be carried on the dog’s hair and feet, as well as on contaminated crates, shoes, and other objects. The diesease is very resilient and can live for up to five days on surfaces; therefore, it is also important to keep your pet’s environment clean. The most effective disinfectant is household bleach in a 1:32 dilution. The bleach must be left on the contaminated surface for 20 minutes before being rinsed.

This Blog was written by the furry family at Petplan Australasia. Petplan Pet Insurance specialises in animal and animal industry insurance. Our practices keep the role that pet insurance plays in responsible pet ownership and the health of the pet at the forefront. For tips to keep your pet healthy, make sure you follow us on Facebook.

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