How to Protect Your Dog from Parvo: Avoiding the Worst Case Scenario
The virus is spread by contact with infected dog feces or vomit, or contact with contaminated objects like food, water dishes, or the ground.
Parvovirus, commonly known as parvo, is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of all ages. It’s usually fatal to puppies under six months old. The virus is spread by contact with infected dog feces or vomit, or contact with contaminated objects like food, water dishes, or the ground. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, dehydration... So what should you do if your dog comes in contact with the virus? Here are some steps you can take to help manage the symptoms and keep your pup healthy.
Why Parvovirus Matters
Parvo is a serious disease. Ninety percent of dogs that contract it will die. The virus is highly contagious. In fact, the mortality rate increases as more people come into contact with an infected dog. It also spreads rapidly, so it's important to keep the disease contained to only one location—meaning the area in which your dog is staying. This includes not letting it run loose in your neighborhood or on the street. In some cases, parvovirus can kill an infected dog in as little as three to seven days. That’s why it’s imperative to protect your dog at all costs.
How to Prevent Parvo
If your dog shows any signs of vomiting or diarrhea, the infection should be treated immediately. Try your best to stop the virus before it takes hold. In most cases, vomiting is the first sign. If the dog isn’t fully vomiting and is still eating and drinking well, there’s a very good chance he or she has a mild case of the illness. If symptoms continue, it’s time to seek veterinary care. How to Stay Ahead of Parvo If your dog develops any parvovirus symptoms, it’s important to monitor them and treat them as soon as possible. It can be extremely contagious, so try to keep your dog as isolated from other dogs as possible. Never share food, water bowls, toys or treats with other dogs. It’s also important to wash your hands frequently and clean up any dog droppings immediately.
What to Do If Your Dog Gets Parvo
If your dog contracts parvo, call your veterinarian immediately. The sooner you begin treatment, the better. And don’t forget to treat yourself: early symptoms of the disease include fever, chills, sore throat, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool and dehydration. As with any illness, if you suspect your dog is suffering from parvo, seek medical care immediately. Before treating your dog with any sort of anti-viral medication, consult your vet first. You may need to have the dog undergo a blood or tissue sample test to confirm that the parvovirus is really present. You’ll also want to talk to your vet about how you can minimize the risk of passing the virus to your other dogs.
Babies and puppies are especially susceptible to parvo, but the virus can affect any dog of any age. The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce the chance your dog will get it. These steps will help to prevent the worst case scenario.