Parvo is a serious viral disease that can be deadly even if treatment is given. Parvovirus is a disease that attacks dividing cells.
The most prominent location for dividing cells in your dog’s body is the intestinal lining or the lining of the digestive system.
When this disease attacks and kills these cells it causes dogs and puppies to not be able to absorb nutrients or liquids. Parvo is seen more in puppies than in adult dogs, but both can catch the disease.
The Symptoms of Parvo in Dogs
Symptoms of parvo include diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy. Most dogs stop eating or have a loss of appetite, diarrhea, high fever, and depression. Their stool can be very liquid, foul smelling, usually yellow in color, and contain blood.
The secondary symptoms appear as severe gastrointestinal distress, which includes vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In the later stages of parvo dehydration, shock, and death.
How Can a Dog Contract Parvo?
Transmission of parvo from one dog to another occurs through their feces. Parvo can be carried in an adult dog that shows no outward signs, but the disease can be found in their stool.
The disease is not an air born type, but can be transmitted through the sole of your shoe and even birds may carry this deadly disease into your yard if they have been in contact with the infected feces.
Treatment and Prevention of Parvo in Dogs
All dogs and puppies are susceptible to parvo, but there are a few breeds that seem to be more susceptible than others. These include Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and other black and tan breeds. These breeds usually are more prone to contracting this disease and not recovering.
The best prevention begins when your puppy is 6-8 weeks of age. You should also keep your puppy away from any other dogs until he has received his last shot for parvo. The parvo vaccine is usually included with the distemper vaccine.
Read here for the recommended dog and puppy vaccination schedule.
Without treatment your dog only has a 20% survival rate and with treatment an 80% survival rate. So, of course, the best medicine is to prevent the exposure and to vaccinate your dog against this deadly disease.
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