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Parvovirus is a highly contagious and dangerous virus that can affect dogs. It spreads easily through contact with infected dogs or their belongings, such as toys, bowls, or leashes. In this blog, our veterinarian in Anaheim will provide all the information you need about parvovirus and how to protect your furry friend from this disease.

How Canine Parvovirus 'Parvo' Spreads

Parvovirus is an extremely contagious virus that can cause serious illness in puppies and unvaccinated dogs. The virus spreads through fecal matter from infected dogs. Even asymptomatic dogs and those recently recovered from the virus can spread it to other dogs. Touching an infected dog, even unknowingly, can lead to the spread of the virus and potentially life-threatening illness in other dogs. Objects like leashes, bowls, toys, and bedding can also transmit the virus and infect other dogs.

The Ways Parvovirus Attacks Your Dog's Body

Parvo is a disease that mainly affects dogs' stomachs and small intestines. The virus starts destroying the barrier of the dog's gut by attacking healthy cells and blocking the absorption of essential nutrients.

It can also harm the bone marrow and parts of the immune system in puppies, sometimes leading to heart problems. 

How Puppies Are More Susceptible to Parvo

When a mother dog is fully vaccinated against Parvo, her puppies will inherit antibodies from her to protect them against the virus during the first six weeks of their lives.

However, the puppies' immune systems weaken as they start to wean at around six weeks of age, making them vulnerable to the disease.

To ensure their protection, veterinarians advise starting Parvo vaccination for puppies at six weeks of age when they start weaning, and the antibodies from the mother are no longer present to keep them safe.

It's important to note that complete protection against Parvo only occurs after all three vaccinations are given. During the gap between weaning and complete vaccination, puppies are more susceptible to catching Parvo.

It is recommended that your puppy receives its parvovirus vaccinations at six, eight, and 12 weeks of age. As a responsible pet parent, vaccinating your puppy against parvovirus is one of the most effective ways to safeguard its health and the well-being of other dogs in your surroundings and community.

The Signs & Symptoms of Parvo in Dogs

It's imperative to understand that once your puppy starts showing symptoms, they are already extremely ill. Contact your vet immediately if you notice your puppy showing any symptoms below.

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Treating Parvovirus

Parvovirus has no cure yet, but your veterinarian can provide supportive treatments to help alleviate symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is crucial to ensure that your puppy receives enough hydration and nutrition to help them recover from the virus.

Puppies with Parvo have weakened immune systems and are at risk of other infections. Your veterinarian will closely monitor your puppy's condition and may prescribe antibiotics to combat any bacterial infections that may arise.

If your dog receives veterinary care and survives the first four days of symptoms, they have a good chance of making a full recovery. Typically, it takes about a week for dogs to recover from Parvo.

Suppose your puppy is diagnosed with Canine Parvovirus. In that case, you must take the proper steps to isolate them from other animals and always thoroughly wash your hands after being around your dog.

Suppose your puppy is diagnosed with Canine Parvovirus. In that case, you must take the proper steps to isolate them from other animals and always thoroughly wash your hands after being around your dog.

Ways You Can Prevent Parvo

Ensure your puppy only plays with dogs fully vaccinated against parvovirus. Your puppy needs to socialize, but it's also crucial to ensure that the dogs your puppy hangs out with are healthy.

Talk to your vet to keep your new furry family member safe. Follow your vet's recommendations and make sure your puppy gets vaccinated for Parvo, rabies, and other important diseases according to your local vaccination schedule.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your unvaccinated dog or puppy displays signs of parvovirus, contact our Anaheim vets immediately. 

New Patients Welcome

Anaheim Animal Care & Pet Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Anaheim companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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