How to know if my dog ​​has parvovirus

The parvovirus or canine parvoriosis is one of the most common diseases in dogs and of which we have little information, since the current strain called CPV-2 was discovered between 1978 and 1981 and is much more virulent than the previous CPV-1.

If we do not know the various symptoms of this virus, these can lead to a wrong diagnosis and confuse it with a common gastrointestinal infection. This viral disease can be very serious in adult dogs and deadly in puppies, since during the first months of life of your pet your immune system is weak and, therefore, are more susceptible to catching infections.

To answer all your questions about this disease, in this article we show you how to know if your dog has parvovirus . Do not neglect the health of your pet and read carefully each of the indications.

What is the canine parvovirus?

Canine parvoriosis is a serious infectious disease caused by a type 2 virus, called parvo virus, which affects the gastrointestinal system, the red blood cells and, in more severe cases or in puppies, it can attack to the cardiac muscle. It was only a few years ago that this disease was detected and, therefore, there is so little information and the chances of survival are so low.

80% of dogs have been in contact with this virus because it is transmitted, especially through infected feces. It is very important to properly disinfect the contaminated soil that has been in contact with the infected fecal matter, since the parvo virus is highly resistant and can remain for months in the soil and in the contaminated objects.

Most detergents and disinfectants are not enough to eliminate it, the most effective products are ammonia, chlorine and water wash . Never mix these products or use them if there is someone or an animal in the room that we are disinfecting, you have to vacate the room and use a product and ventilate. Then, when it has dried, we will use another of the products and ventilate again. Finally, the last product will be used and the room will be ventilated as long as possible before someone enters again. In addition, you have to wear latex gloves and a mask to perform this disinfection process.

How is parvovirus spread?

To know if your dog has canine parvoriosis, you must know how the disease is transmitted. Canine parvovirus attacks, above all, puppies less than 6 months old and older or older dogs, especially if they are not vaccinated or dewormed. It is essential to deworm our dogs and give them the necessary vaccines to avoid this type of diseases. Other factors that help the development of this disease can be stress, intestinal parasites, overcrowding or low mood. These breeds are especially vulnerable and prone to suffer from this disease:

  • German shepherd
  • Doberman
  • Pit bull
  • Rottwailer

This viral disease is highly contagious, evolves at high speed and is transmitted orally, through contact with infected feces or contaminated material such as the soil, the bowl of food or even our own shoes and, in puppies, through breast milk if the mother is a carrier Objects can be contaminated through our shoes by having stepped on a stool or infected urine, by another infected dog or by contact with excreta of rodents.

What are the symptoms of canine parvovirus?

Canine parvoriosis usually takes three to four days to manifest and its symptoms may be different depending on the affected system. To know if your dog has this viral disease you should pay special attention to the symptoms.

When the parvovirus affects the gastrointestinal system, the symptoms are :

  • Fever (is the first symptom)
  • Decay of mood and depression
  • Difficulty breathing, weakness and excessive gasping
  • Isolation
  • Lack of appetite or anorexia
  • Sparkling vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea with strong odor
  • Dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea

When the parvo attacks the heart muscle, to the above symptoms are added dyspnea, body toning and, in puppies or very serious cases, myocarditis. The parvovirus in cardiac form in puppies usually ends in sudden death due to the weak immunological system of the animal.

Treatment for dogs with parvovirus

If your dog or puppy has any of the above symptoms, do not hesitate to take it to the veterinarian to analyze it and diagnose the disease. Once the parvovirus is detected, treatment should be started immediately. Due to its recent discovery, there are no specific medications to treat the disease. So, veterinarians usually base the treatment on combating dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and controlling vomiting and diarrhea to prevent the infection from increasing. Until it is fully cured, your pet can not be in contact with other dogs.

If you want to know in detail how to treat canine parvovirus, here is an article in which we explain it to you.

How to prevent parvovirus

In the case of parvovirus disease, the best treatment is prevention . To prevent your dog from developing canine parvoriosis it is essential that you strictly follow the vaccination plan assigned by the veterinarian, deworming it, maintaining proper hygiene of both your dog and its environment, wash your bowl of food often and keep your food in a place where rodents can not reach it.

Remember that before the first vaccinations, your puppy can not be in contact with other dogs or go out on the street. Through breast milk the puppy can contract the disease, which can be combated with the appropriate vaccines and eliminate it from the system without noticing that it had fallen ill. Thus, the virus is broken through the feces and, therefore, you should avoid the puppy's contact with his own fecal matter .

Feeding for a dog with parvovirus

In addition to veterinary treatment, it is vital that an infected can be fed. Thus, the diet for a dog with parvovirus, so that it can be recovered more easily and more quickly, must be based on the following instructions:

Maintain good hydration

It is essential that as long as the dog suffers from the virus and is medically treated, an extra hydration is given, since with vomiting and diarrhea, they lose a lot of water. This is simple through intravenous serum at the veterinary hospital where you are admitted or at home with the back packs of serum that must be provided by the specialist. Through this serum you will recover hydration and mineral salts.

Also, you have to offer fresh water every few minutes but little quantity, since having vomited if you drink a lot of blow we cause you to give more. If you do not drink on your own you will have to give the water with a syringe syrup directly into your mouth, very little each time. In addition, whenever the veterinarian deems it appropriate, we can offer you isotonic drinks.

Remove the food

During the first 24-48 hours it is vital that the dog does not eat solid food of any kind, since it is the time when the virus is more violent and diarrhea and vomiting are more frequent and serious. Avoiding food during these hours will facilitate the recovery of our furry friend.

Bland diet

When the veterinarian says that you can incorporate some solid food, we should start by offering homemade chicken broth, without condiments or salt and well-strained, to our pet as if it were water. Afterwards we can add little by little some easily digested foods :

  • More homemade chicken broth
  • Rice water
  • White rice
  • Chunks of chicken breast
  • Special canned food for convalescent dogs or with digestive problems

All this food should be prepared without salt and without condiments of any kind, since this would worsen the health of our pet. When the veterinarian considers that the dog is recovered, you will be able to feed it again, but never before.

After the total recovery of your hairy you must re-disinfect the house and all the materials and objects with which it has come into contact.

  • It is essential that you properly disinfect all contaminated materials from the moment you know that your dog is sick to favor the treatment and recovery of your dog.