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Parvovirus in Dogs – Infection, Symptoms and Treatment

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The parvovirus in dogs known as parvo is a very serious infectious disease that can end the life of our dog in a short time. It spreads easily since the virus is expelled in the feces of infected dogs and just a tiny amount of fecal matter is enough for another dog to become infected.

However, if it is diagnosed in time and the proper veterinary treatment is put in, it is possible to save a dog with parvo. Although it is not easy. Parvovirus in Dogs is a disease that can be deadly.

Parvovirus in Dogs
Every Owner Should Know About Parvo in Dogs

It is important to know their symptoms in order to identify them, as well as to follow the correct vaccination scheme of the puppies in order to prevent this serious disease. Let’s see the most important points you should know about the canine parvo. Continue reading the article to know more.

What is Parvovirus Canine or Parvo

Parvovirus is one of the most frequent viral diseases in dogs caused by a virus that affects the digestive system causing diarrhea, sometimes bloody, lack of appetite, dehydration, and fever. It can be fatal, especially in puppies under 3 months. This virus is very stable and able to survive in the environment for months.

parvo symptoms in dogs

Parvovirus was first identified in 1978. Parvovirus is not exclusive to one country but affects dogs worldwide. Although dogs of all ages are susceptible to catching parvo. The infection is more dangerous among puppies. Since they are more fragile and their immune system is not yet fully developed. Generally, death is caused by severe dehydration.

What are the Symptoms of Parvovirus?

Knowing the symptoms of parvovirus help us to check the diseases fast. Every dog owner has to check their dog on a regular basis if you see any changes then it is better to consult a vet. Now, let’s check the Symptoms of Parvovirus.

  • Strong diarrhea (although in some cases it may also not exist). This diarrhea has an unpleasant characteristic odor, it can be quite liquid and sometimes it has a yellowish color.
  • Many times the stool carries blood
  • Generalized weakness
  • Pale mucous
  • The dog is apathetic and eats less or does not eat (anorexia)
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • State of sadness and dejection
  • Vomiting
  • The dog vomits blood
  • Hollow eyes

The parvovirus attacks the dog’s organism on several fronts. On the one hand, the parvo affects the digestive system of the dog causing diarrhea, bloody stools, fever, and apathy, but it can also affect other vital areas related to the circulatory system. Since it decreases the level of red blood cells in the blood and can cause the heart works badly. Especially in unborn puppies and fetuses. The parvo affects especially the puppies under 4 months dogs and is believed to affect more certain breeds, such as Labrador retriever, Doberman or Rottweiler.

More About Parvovirus in Dogs

The great difficulty is that parvo symptoms in dogs closely resemble the symptoms of other diseases such as distemper, coronavirus and some intestinal parasites. That is why it is not easy to diagnose the parvo at first sight and only a veterinarian will be able to assure you 100% through analytics the presence of parvovirus.

The parvovirus in dogs acts fast. The problem of vomiting and strong diarrhea is that they cause rapid dehydration. Especially in puppies that are more fragile and whose immune system is weaker than that of adult dogs.

Many dogs die per parvo in a fulminating manner between two and three days after having offered the first symptoms (that is, a period of only 24 to 48 hours). Normally that is the myocardial form of the disease, which usually affects puppies younger than 2 or 3 months. It affects your heart and can cause sudden death (the owner soon finds the dead puppy).

This makes that at the least suspicion of parvovirus in your dog, the best option is to visit your veterinarian immediately. So that he corroborates or discards this disease in your dog and can put the most appropriate treatment to your dog. Can a dog be cured of parvovirus? Yes, do not lose hope, because with the proper veterinary treatment there are possibilities for your dog to survive.

How is Parvovirus Spread in Dogs?

The transmission of parvovirus in dogs occurs in a fecal gold fashion. That is, the parvovirus is expelled into the environment through the feces of an infected dog and the virus must be ingested to infect another dog.
This does not mean that a dog to catch it must ingest feces of another dog, but sometimes it is enough to lick the soil or a place where there are microscopic remains of feces or where the virus is found.

what is parvo in dogs

Being a very stable and resistant virus, the parvovirus can be in the environment in a latent way for a long time. So if you had a parvo dog at home, you should properly disinfect your entire home and wait a reasonable time before to be able to take a new dog there. Otherwise, you can put your health at risk and other dog health at risk.

Is it is Possible that Parvo Dog is Contagious without Direct Contact with Another Sick Dog?

Yes. A person who steps on contaminated dog droppings and goes with those shoe home could get to infect their own parvo dogs. Dogs that walk in areas where parvo dogs have been sick (for example, grass frequented by sick dogs, a dog park, a kennel with many animals, etc.), can take the parvovirus stuck on their legs or their hair.

Can Canine parvovirus spread to humans?

No, humans can not catch canine parvo but other mammals besides dogs can suffer from this disease, such as:

  • Lobos
  • Foxes
  • Coyotes

For this reason, do not let your dog approach or sniff these wild animals, even if they are dead because if they are infected they could infect him.

Treatment for Canine Parvovirus in Dogs

Unfortunately, there is no treatment against parvovirus, but what is done is to control its symptoms to avoid the appearance of opportunistic bacteria and above all to avoid dehydration. In some cases, the hospitalization of the dog in a veterinary center is required.

What cause parvo in dogs

The veterinary professional will decide the most appropriate treatment in each case, which may include:

  • The veterinarian performs fluid therapy with isotonic to rehydrate the dog because it is essential to replace the loss of fluids that has suffered. Subsequently, it may be necessary for the owner to inject subcutaneous serum backpacks, once at home.
  • Sometimes blood transfusions are required
  • Antiemetic drugs to control vomiting
  • Antibiotics such as penicillin to control secondary intestinal infections caused by bacteria, in combination with others such as metronidazole that controls the presence of anaerobic parasites
  • Vitamin B complex and other vitamin supplements.

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Food for a Dog with Parvovirus

If your dog has parvo, your veterinarian will be the one to indicate what is the best diet for him. Normally at the onset of symptoms, during the first 24 to 48 hours the dog does not want to eat or vomit food. So it is better not to feed it but you have to try to keep it hydrated, so it is possible to offer homemade chicken broth.

Afterward, you can start to give it some food in small quantities and little by little, better if it is a soft diet and easy to digest. Among the foods, you can try to make special cans for dogs (soft food), boiled chicken or turkey meat with boiled rice and carrots, chicken soup, or unsweetened plain yogurt.

How to Prevent Canine Parvovirus in Dogs

Certainly this is a disease that can be very serious but fortunately, there is a vaccine against canine parvovirus. Which should be placed on puppies and adults. Consult as of how old the vaccinations should be given to dogs and puppies. Visit your veterinarian regularly to carry out the appropriate internal vaccines and deworming. Vaccines do not protect 100% against diseases, but they are the best way we can prevent them.

parvo symptoms in dogs

In addition to this, other measures that can help in the prevention of parvo and other diseases are:

  • Maintain proper hygiene in the home and the area where our dog sleeps
  • Regularly wash and disinfect your feeders, drinkers, toys, and bedding
  • Deworm it internally regularly
  • Visiting your veterinarian routinely
  • Do not frequent areas where we know there may be sick or unvaccinated animals
  • Do not let our dog eat other dogs’ feces

If you adopt a dog, it is advisable to carry out tests of the main infectious diseases. Especially if you already have other dogs at home. In addition, you must keep it in quarantine. That is away from your other dogs for at least two weeks, until you are sure that it is disease-free.

Do not buy puppies in pet stores. Due to the overcrowding and lack of health that puppies may suffer, nor to individuals, due to lack of control. If you want to buy a dog, it is best to contact a responsible, reputable breeder who guarantees that all vaccinations and health tests are in order and that the puppy has been raised in a clean and adequate environment.


Hence, You have got complete information about parvovirus for dogs and their causes, symptoms, and preventions in dogs. We have provided the best researched information on Parvovirus in dogs. But we always recommend you to visit veterinarian regularly to test your dogs and follow his instructions. Feel free to ask your questions in the comment box below. We hope you like the article and willing to share the article with friends and families. Stay tuned to dogsfud for more dog articles.

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