Parvo in Puppies

What is Parvo?
Most Puppy Parvo Deaths happen fast, usually within 48 - 72 hours after they get it. Sadly, Parvo is easy for puppies to pick up, especially if they have NOT had ALL 3 puppy vaccines. The puppies only hope for survival is to catch it early and get them to a vet immediately! Parvo is extremely contagious and is one of the most common viral diseases in puppies under 4 months of age and also adult dogs that are not vaccinated against it. Parvo is very serious and often lethal. The parvo virus likes to target and attack the rapidly dividing cells of the pets body, especially the cells within the digestive tract (which is why diarrhea can be the first sign sometimes). The parvo virus can also attack the heart muscles which leads to "sudden death."

 

How Do Puppies Get Parvo?
Parvo is easily transmitted by oral contact through fecal matter. (doggie poop) Most puppies get it by walking on public grass. It's invisible to the naked eye so your not going to see your puppy pick it up. It only takes a small particle to get on your pets body, paws, fur etc....for them to pick it up. Then when they lick, groom, or even play with each other or just themselves, they ingest it. The scary thing about Parvo is that any dog can be a "carrier" and not show symptoms. For example: say an adult dog does not "have parvo" but is a carrier for Parvo. When they take a poopie on the grass, their poop is contaminated with the Parvo virus.  When an unvaccinated dog or puppy comes along to that same area they can become infected with Parvo even if the poop is not on the grass anymore. Parvo is almost impossible to clean up. It's resistant to most commonly used disinfectants and can stay in the environment and grass for upto 7 Years!!! So just because you don't SEE poop on the grass, does NOT mean that the grass is not holding the Parvo virus in it from either a doggie that did have Parvo and pooped there, OR from a dog that didn't actually have Parvo but was a "Carrier" for Parvo and pooped there.

 

What Are The Symptoms of Parvo?
Loose Poop that turns into Severe Diarrhea (bloody) and throwing up are the 2 most common symptoms. The puppy usually will act tired/dumpy/sluggish and will just want to nap alot. The puppy won't want to play, will refuse to eat, and just seems "off" from it's normal behavior. Parvo also can give them a high fever, dehydration, shock, gasping for breath & sudden death.

 

What is the Treatment for Parvo?
There is no cure for Parvo as it's a nasty mean virus that has to run it's course. A veterinarian can keep the puppy on IV fluids & medications to try and help sustain it's immune system during the course of the virus but alot of puppies don't make it through treatment.

 

How Can Parvo Be Prevented?
The most successful way to protect your puppy from Parvo is to make sure your pup gets all 3 vaccinations. Also, do NOT take your new puppy out to heavily trafficked dog places (like the Pet Stores, Dog Parks, Walks around the Neighborhood, Grooming Places, etc...) and make sure they stay off public grasses (including your front yard) until they have had all 3 sets of puppy vaccines. Putting your puppy on a vitamin that specifically strengthens the immune system while they are growing and developing is ideal.

.Disclaimer: We are NOT licensed vets. DO NOT try to diagnose or treat animals based off this or any other information you find on the internet.  If you pet is having any kind of medical issues, please seek professional treatment from a licensed vet who is trained and set up to handle such matters.
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