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Parvo (Parvovirus) Signs in Puppies & Dogs

Parvo virus can be deadly to puppies

Parvo is one of the leading causes of death in puppies, which is due to the Parvovirus. Parvo is common in dogs that have had all vaccinations, and is a serious viral disease.

The signs of Parvo are generally very sudden. If you suspect your puppy may have parvo, you should seek veterinary help immediately and do not allow the possibly infected puppy around any other animals. If you wait to long your puppy could die, as Parvo works very fast!

Common signs of Parvo in adult dogs and puppies

  • Bloody Diarrhea with a strong odor
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

Parvo can be diagnosed with a fecal Parvo test that offer results within minutes. Puppies with Parvovirus need to be hospitalized generally for several days.

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How is Parvo Treated?

There is no miracle cure for Parvo and not a specific treatment, however a puppy can survive Parvo with the proper Vet care. Since most puppies with parvo have severe vomiting and diarrhea their fluids need to be replaced. This can be done with subcutaneous (SQ) or intravenous (IV) fluids.

Many Vets will also nausea medications or anti-vomiting medication to control vomiting. Antibiotics are also normally prescribed to protect against secondary infection that can be caused from slough the intestinal tract. If the puppy is very ill a blood transfusion may be needed to provide antibodies and replace proteins.

Are there any dog breeds that are more susceptible to Parvovirus?

According to the The Merck Veterinary Manual, 8th ed., Labrador Retrievers, Pitbulls, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers are at an an increased risk of Parvo. However, any dog breed can contract Parvo!

How can I keep my dog from getting Parvo?

Dog vaccinations are around for a reason! Puppy shots should start at 6 weeks and be re-administered at 9, 12, and 16 weeks of age.

Photo source:nevadaspca.blogspot.com

It is generally a good idea to keep your puppy from any public areas until he is given all of his shots and keep him away from other dogs until his vaccinations have been completed.