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Dog Health – Facts About the Dreaded Parvovirus

At present, the most prevalent contagious disorder of dogs not only in the US but the whole world in general is canine parvovirus (CPV). It is highly infectious and dogs affected with the disease experience diarrhea with blood.

The spread of the disease is currently preceded by vaccines. But still, there are dogs that die after contracting parvo. There are several misconceptions about the disease and the best way for pet owners to prevent the disease is to know more about the disease, especially the facts about how it is spread, the most common symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.


Parvovirus is transmitted through feces contaminated with the virus, insects and rodents. The virus can survive in nonliving objects like cage floors, food pans, clothing and bedding. Normally, the incubation period of the virus is between 7 and 14 days which is the time the dog is exposed to the virus until the time symptoms of the disease start to show. In disinfecting areas where were in contact with vomit or fecal matter, it is a must to use detergent first and followed by a bleach solution.


Dogs infected with parvovirus show a wide variety of symptoms. When adult dogs are exposed to the virus, they show very few symptoms or none at all. But most of the cases of parvovirus affect dogs which are less than 6 months old and the most severe cases are seen in little pups less than 12 weeks. Those dogs showing signs like dehydration, severe vomiting, diarrhea, bloody or dark feces and fever. The disease is very deadly and often leads to death of the animal.


Vomiting and bloody diarrhea may not always mean that the dog is infected with parvo. A lot of sick puppies are often misdiagnosed as being infected with the disease. A positive diagnostic test is the only known way to determine if a dog has parvovirus or not. There is a traditional way of blood testing for titers and there is also a simple method using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay antigen test (ELISA) which is can be done in majority of veterinary clinics in the US. In determining the severity of the cases, CBC and chemistry panel are just some of the laboratory tests that must be connected along with a complete physical exam


Supportive therapy or the replacement of lost fluids due to diarrhea and vomiting is the best known treatment of parvovirus. It can be done through oral fluids or administrating intravenous electrolyte solution. To prevent complications caused by bacterial infections, therapy using antibiotics may be required.

To prevent this giant dog killer from attacking, vaccination is still the best protection that your pet can get.

Source by Thomas McCormick

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