Parvovirus is a virus that invades and destroys rapidly growing cells in the intestine, bone marrow and lymphoid tissue resulting in nausea, vomiting and severe bloody diarrhea. The disease can vary from mild to fatal if not properly treated.
Infection is generally attributed to ingestion of material contaminated by infected dog feces and can occur when a dog smells or licks the ground. Parvovirus is shed in the feces of infected dogs for approximately two weeks after initial ingestion and can live in the environment for years.
Dogs at highest risk for infection are unvaccinated puppies or those who have not yet completed their vaccine series. Especially susceptible breeds include Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers, Staffordshire terriers and black Labrador retrievers. Dogs of all ages can be infected, but puppies and younger dogs are more susceptible. Intact male dogs may also be susceptible for unknown reasons.
Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:
- Parvovirus is generally diagnosed by a thorough history, physical examination and testing of the feces for the presence of viral antigens. Abdominal x-rays and blood tests are often recommended.
- Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Most puppies diagnosed with parvovirus benefit from hospitalization with intravenous fluids, antibiotics and medications to control nausea and vomiting. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.
What to Watch for*:
- Not eating
- Diarrhea, sometimes bloody
*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!