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Parvovirus: Definition, History, and Harmful Effects on Pets

Canine parvovirus contamination is an animal disease discovered in 1978. Parvovirus or commonly known as parvo, is an infection that affects the gastrointestinal tract and immune system of our pets. The primary source of the infection is from the feces of contaminated canines. The feces of a contaminated dog has a high chance of containing the virus and the virus can stick to anything, even to our shoes. Pets can get infected by ingesting the pathogens through an object or food. Along the line, the virus will affect the digestive system where it attacks the intestinal wall that will consequently lead to irritated bowel and dehydration.

Parvo virus can stay in a certain place where a dog is contaminated. It can stick around the are for 6 months to 1 year. With this in mind, there is a possibility that the place can get a new dog infected within this time frame.

Pretty stubborn right? This is the reason why the infection can re-occur particularly in unvaccinated dogs. Because of its long life, the infection can be successfully transmitted by different means like the hair or feet of contaminated dogs, soiled shoes, garments, and other items. This implies that regardless of whether your dog is in close contact with different dogs or not, they can get infected because of the infected area they stay at. Dogs that are infected with the virus will display symptoms and will get sick for 7-10 days.


Signs that indicate your pet has been infected with Parvovirus:

1. Bloody diarrhea

2. Dormancy

3. Reluctance to eat

4. Excess vomiting

Parvovirus can attack dogs of all ages, however, it is most common in dogs ages 12 months and below. Dogs under five months of age are frequently the most vulnerable because they are still too young to fight off the virus.


Identification of Parvovirus

There are instances that a dog showing symptoms of parvo virus but will show a negative result when feces are checked. However, this does not happen frequently. The parvovirus causes a decrease in white blood cells (leukopenia) and is usually detected by a blood test.

Treatment of Parvovirus

The first stage of the treatment is to address the issue of dehydration. This requires treatment with intravenous drugs containing electrolytes. Anti-infection agents and sedative drugs are given to counteract or control septicemia. Antispasmodic drug administration will be carried out to repress diarrhea and vomiting that worsens the ailment. Most dogs infected with parvo virus will recover only if intensive treatment is administered and if the treatment has started before worst complications happen. For some reason, there are dog breeds that are more susceptible in acquiring this virus. Not all breeds has the same tolerance when exposed to this kind of virus.

Counteractive Action & Vaccinations

The best technique for protecting your pet against parvo disease is by immunizing them with right and timely vaccines.

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