Parvo with the dog
Parvo is a serious and highly contagious disease in the dog. If a dog has become infected with Parvo, rapid and aggressive treatment is required to provide a good chance of survival. Our animal hospitals are very experienced in treating dogs with Parvo. We have a separate admission department, our quarantine, to treat a dog with Parvo. As a result, about 70% of all dogs and pups that come to us with Parvo survive a very high percentage.
What is Parvo with the dog?
Parvo is a highly contagious disease known to dogs since the 1980s. It is a virus that spreads quickly through the feces and vomit of dogs. It belongs to one of the most resistant viruses and can only be controlled with highly aggressive disinfectants.
All dogs are sensitive to this virus. Yet we see it especially in young dogs up to an age of 1 year. Especially with puppies that go from the kennel to their new home. Due to the changes, the pups experience stress and the immune system is weakened, making them more sensitive to the parvovirus. This is also the period in which the puppy will build his own immunity. The antibodies, given through the breast milk, disappear around that period.
How is a dog infected with Parvo?
Dogs become infected with the virus by direct or indirect contact (eg via soles, grass, objects) with feces of infected dogs. The Parvovirus is very resistant and can ‘survive’ in the area for up to a year and infect animals. That is why it is mainly transferred via indirect contact. With indirect contact we mean that the infection usually does not take place from dog to dog but via contaminated stool or vomit in the environment, such as on exhaust fields, via shoes, objects etc.
What are the symptoms of Parvo in the dog?
After ingestion, particularly rapidly dividing cells are infected, such as intestinal wall cells and bone marrow cells. Therefore, in dogs infected with Parvo you mainly see vomiting and diarrhea in addition to immunity disorders.
At first the dog will become lethargic, followed by not wanting to eat. Afterwards, vomiting will occur, the dog will not keep anything inside and blood can come along with the vomit. The animal will also suffer from water-thin bloody diarrhea. The blood is caused by the virus attacking the wall of the large and small intestine. Because of the many vomiting and the severe diarrhea, the dog has a high risk of dehydration. The animals also get a high fever. However, if the clinical condition worsens, the temperature can also drop again.
How is Parvo diagnosed in the dog?
In the first instance, we will present these with the clinical picture:
A (young) dog that is not fully vaccinated.
Very vomiting and smelly water-thin diarrhea.
Initially high fever.
Often from bread farmers (often from the former Eastern Bloc countries) or from pet shops.
Through stool research we can demonstrate Parvo through a laboratory test. Blood tests often show the following:
Low albumin content (protein content)
Low potassium content
Low white blood cell content.
This blood picture, however, is not specific to Parvo in dogs but can also occur in other diseases.
How do we treat Parvo with the dog?
A very intensive treatment is needed to give dogs infected with parvo a chance of survival. We specialize in the animal hospital. In our quarantine we offer very intensive care for dogs infected with parvo. As a result, 70% of the infected animals survive the infection, which is very high nationally. The treatment consists of:
Aggressive intravenous fluid administration
Blood checks several times a day. Here we check:
The proteins, especially albumin
The potassium content
Blood cells, especially the white blood cells.
Broad spectrum antibiotics
Medication against vomiting
Interferon. This precious medicine stimulates the dog’s defenses.
Correction of abnormal blood levels (albumin, potassium and glucose)
TLC or tender loving care. This is just as important as all the above!
How can we prevent Parvo from the dog?
The best prevention consists of vaccinating the puppy at 6, 9 and 12 weeks. This vaccine ensures the production of antibodies. After the repeat at 1 year and three months a three-yearly vaccination is sufficient. A fully vaccinated dog is 100% protected against Parvo!