Posted on 08-27-2011
Canine Parovirus is, unfortunately, not an uncommon condition we see at the Emergency Animal Hospital in Northwest Austin. Two of the most obvious symptoms of the virus are vomiting and diarrhea. Dogs symptoms can also include depression, fever and a lack of appetite. Not all dogs affected with the virus will show all of the symptoms although any sign of canine parvo is a sure sign to bring the dog to our after hours veterinarian.
Emergency Vet Clinic Treatment and Tips on Parvo Prevention
Canine parvovirus is a virus spread through dog feces. Although the virus does not affect humans or cats, it is tenacious and has survived in stool for as long as three weeks at room temperature. Dogs can contact the virus from particles on the hair and feet of other dogs or the feet, shoes or clothing of humans.
The virus enters the dog's intestine, invading the intestinal wall and causing inflammation. This disruption can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and septicemia, which is an infection in the dog's bloodstream. The infection is caused by the bacteria that are normally contained inside the intestines seeping into the blood. Without immediate attention from an emergency veterinarian
, parvo can be fatal. Dogs typically begin to show symptoms about one week after becoming infected.
Our immediate treatment is rehydrate the dog and replace electrolytes with intravenous fluids. We then administer antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs to treat or prevent septicemia and antispasmodic drugs to alleviate the diarrhea and vomiting. Once we stabilize the dog, we run a stool and blood test to determine if the cause is, indeed, canine parvo.
There is no cure for the virus although our emergency veterinarian can treat it successfully if the dog is brought to our emergency clinic immediately. Younger dogs are more at risk for the virus than older dogs although the risk can be dramatically reduced - or even eradicated - with regular canine parvo vaccinations.
Are you current with your dog's vaccinations?