Dog Parvo – The Deadliest Viral Disease of Dogs
Dog parvo virus is probably the most common viral illness in dogs right now. The virus is extremely small (the Latin word for small is “parvo”): just a few grams of stool can contain millions of virus particles. The dog parvo virus has been known and identified since the late 1970s and can be transmitted by direct or indirect contact with the vomit or diarrhea of an infected dog.
Canine parvovirus (CPV), also known as “dog parvo,” attacks the intestinal tract, white blood cells and, in rare cases, the heart muscle. The common form of canine parvo has a predilection for rapidly dividing (cancer-like) cells like cells of the intestinal lining and that is why it causes diarrhea and ulcerative enteritis. When the virus attacks and attacks these types of cells, it makes dogs and puppies unable to assimilate or absorb nutrients or fluids.
It can take 7-10 days for dog parvo symptoms to become visible. In the early stages, the symptoms that the dog owner is likely to notice are a lack of energy and loss of appetite. As a result, dogs infected with the parvo virus will soon show clear symptoms of dehydration and malnutrition. As the virus spreads, the symptoms of dog parbo are characterized by high fever, severe, often bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and severe dehydration. If your dog, but especially your new puppy, begins to exhibit any of these symptoms, see a vet right away. Because although canine parvovirus can also infect adult dogs, it is most often found in small puppies due to their low immune systems. Parvovirus requires quick action to help an infected dog survive, as when parvo is involved, every hour counts.
The severity of the disease depends on the age of the dog, the presence of maternal antibodies, the size of the virus dose, and the breed of the infected dog. Although many dogs become seriously ill due to this viral disease, breeds such as Doberman Pinschers and Pit Bull Terriers can reveal clinical symptoms to a very serious degree.
According to conventional veterinarians, there is no known cure for dog parvo. Therefore, conventional treatment is primarily supportive and consists of maintaining the dog’s body fluids, balancing electrolyte levels, and maintaining body temperature. But even if a dog survives the initial attack of canine parvovirus, there is still a high risk of collapse during the recovery period. You should vaccinate your dog to protect him in case he comes into contact with dogs that have the disease. Most veterinarians recommend that puppies be vaccinated every 3 to 4 weeks, starting when the puppy is 6 weeks old and continuing until 20 weeks.
Canine parvovirus is most common in places where dogs congregate, such as parks, animal shelters, or even at dog shows. Dogs can contract the virus by inhaling or consuming contaminated fecal matter, by cleaning themselves, or by consuming food from the ground or floor. That is why dogs that spend their time confined to a house or yard and are not in contact with other dogs have much less chance of exposure to canine parvovirus. You should also be aware of the fact that canine parvovirus can even be carried home to your dog on shoes and even car tires. If you allow your dog to live outdoors, remember to alter the drinking water regularly because there is a possibility that the water may contain the parvo virus (transmitted by birds on their feet or feathers or in their feces).
CPV is very resistant and can remain in soil contaminated with feces for five months or more if conditions are favorable.
Be aware of the fact that dog parvo symptoms resemble other diseases (such as poisoning or worms) and are often misdiagnosed. The only way to know if a dog has the Parvo virus is through a positive diagnostic test.