Diseases have a bad impact on dogs health and well-being, and it can also determine the extent of their lifespan. The canine parvovirus is a common disease that affects dogs, especially in their early life – when they are about six weeks to six months old. The infection becomes noticeable in two ways:
Intestinal form: This type attacks the dog’s intestines and its ability to digest food. Parvo symptoms in dog include; vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and reduction in weight.
Cardiac form: This type is less common and is seen more with smaller puppies. The parvovirus attacks the heart muscles and affects the dog’s breathing and often ends in death.
How dogs come in contact with Parvo
Parvovirus are found in dog's faeces, and infection occurs when a dog comes in contact with an already infected dog or a dog sniffs or ingest its own faeces.
The parvovirus is very potent and can stay alive for long periods in the soil; even up to a year! Thus, it is essential to decontaminate kennels that have housed infected dogs. Parvo is resistant to most cleaning agents and can only be gotten rid of by using strong bleach.
How Parvovirus is diagnosed
Parvo is diagnosed through a physical examination of your dog which can include blood tests, faeces test, urine analysis and sometimes ultrasounds to check the abdominal cavity can be required.
Your vet will ask about your dog’s symptoms to reach a conclusion whether your dog has Parvo.
Signs of Parvo in Dogs
Preventing Parvo in Dogs
Maintaining Dog’s Health After Parvo
You should put it in mind that prevention of parvovirus is definitely better and cheaper than its treatment. Because it is a viral infection, there is really no definite cure for it, and the vet would only treat your dog's symptoms. Most dogs tend to die from dehydration so the treatment course is mainly focused on regulating the dog's body fluids, especially after severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
A large percentage of dogs tend to make a full recovery after successful treatment of parvo, but younger puppies are more likely to die because of their low immunity.
After your dog’s recovery, it would still have a weakened immune system. So, it can easily get infected with other diseases. This is why you must maintain the cleanliness of the kernel and the food and water bowl. It would be good to use a strong disinfectant in cleaning them.
The good side is that after treatment, your dog develops some immunity against the parvovirus for a long period. However, this does not mean, it cannot still contract it when exposed to the parvovirus again.