If you are getting a new puppy, you'll want to educate yourself on different health issues so you can be aware of signs and symptoms and know when to take your dog into a vet. One infection you should be aware of is the canine parvovirus, or parvo. Parvo can manifest in two ways: an intestinal form and a cardiac form. Read on to learn more about this condition.
What are the Symptoms of Parvo?
The intestinal form of parvo is more common than the cardiac form. If your dog has intestinal parvo, he or she
- may lose his or her appetite
- may lose weight
- may vomit
- may have diarrhea
- may be panting from dehydration
- may be tired
The cardiac form of parvo may have similar symptoms as the intestinal form, but your dog may have difficulty breathing due to fluid collection in the pulmonary system. Both forms of parvo can be deadly if your dog doesn't get help
How Can You Prevent this Infection?
Puppies are very susceptible to parvo, but, thankfully, this illness can be prevented with a vaccine. You'll need to contact your vet to see when you should start your puppy on this series of shots. Some larger breeds are prone to parvo, so your vet may recommend a lengthier period of shots.
Although early socialization is good for your puppy, you may want to wait until he or she has finished his or her shots or is a little older. Unfortunately, parvo is extremely contagious, so if you try to socialize your pup too soon, he or she could pick up the bug from another dog. If your dog sniffs infected feces, he or she could pick up the infection. Even contaminated objects, like leashes or water bowls can spread the virus.
You can prevent the spread of the virus by keeping your dog's toys clean and food and water bowls clean. Besides temporarily avoiding other dogs while your pup's immune system strengthens, you may want to avoid kennel boarding, as parvo and other diseases can spread easily between animals.
If you notice any signs of parvo, call your vet right away so that you can get your puppy in for treatment. Your veterinarian may use antibiotics to eliminate the infection. Your vet may also use intravenous fluids and intravenous electrolytes so that your dog can get nourishment and stay hydrated while symptoms pass.
Reach out to a veterinary clinic in your area today if you have any concerns about parvo, vaccinations, etc.