Parvo Virus

At Foothill Vet Clinic we offer testing and treatments for Canine Parvovirus.
There is not a specific antidote or medication to kill the virus. Our treatment is focused on providing hydration and preventing or treating secondary bacterial infections that have developed so your dog’s immune system can focus on fighting off the virus itself.
Treatment includes:

  • Well-balanced fluid therapy (either intravenous/IV or subcutaneous/under the skin)
  • Anti-nausea medications (usually by injection)
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-diarrheal medications
  • Probiotics

FAQ’s Canine Parvo Symptoms

There are many symptoms of parvo but they may not all present in every case of parvo. If your dog presents parvo symptoms, the first signs are usually slight fever, but fever is not typically apparent to dog owners. Therefore, the first apparent signs of parvo are usually diarrhea and vomiting.

Some dogs have no symptoms except for weight loss and that means they could receive treatment too late. At the earliest signs of parvo, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, shivering, no eating or no drinking, your dog has the best chances of surviving when you seek immediate attention. While there is no cure, symptoms are treatable and prognosis is very good when dog owners respond quickly.

Not necessarily. Some dogs will show all of the symptoms of canine parvo and some dogs may just have one or two symptoms. This variance could be due to the amount of exposure and/or whether or not your dog has some tolerance from previous immunity.
It’s important to never ignore watery or bloody diarrhea as this causes rapid dehydration and leads to other, severe complications.

No, parvo viral particles are microscopic. How microscopic? If you took the thickness of an average strand of human hair and divided it by 3,215 you’d have the approximate size of a parvo viral particle.
Unlike worms that you can actually see moving around in dog feces, you will not see the potentially billions of viral particles in feces contaminated with parvo virus.

Incubation is the amount of time from first contact, to first symptoms. The typical incubation period for parvo is 3-6 days, while some have reported up to 2 weeks.

No, humans cannot detect parvo by smelling feces or vomit. People claim that parvo diarrhea has a certain smell, but it’s likely from the blood which can be in a dog’s stool for many reasons. Do not smell suspected parvo contaminated dog feces.

A fecal test should confirm whether or not your dog has parvo. If your dog displays any of the parvo symptoms, it would be proper to call your vet immediately, explain symptoms and get their advice.
If it’s after hours and you suspect parvo, an emergency room visit is advisable.

Parvo is not like a cold or flu virus, it is a serious illness with a high mortality rate. If your dog has mild to severe symptoms she will not likely recover without help. If you hear of a dog recovering from parvo on his own, it’s likely because the exposure was very low and the dog had been recently vaccinated.

The outlook isn’t good if you decide not to treat your dog’s parvo symptoms. 90% of dogs will die from parvo if left untreated.

FAQ’s on the Spreading of Canine Parvo

Dog’s can catch Parvo whenever they come into direct contact with the virus, not just the infected dog. The virus is hearty and can live on an infected dog, on a person’s shoe, on a rug, in a contaminated lawn, in a snow pile, in a kennel carrier, on a dog bed, at a dog wash, and the list goes on.
When a dog that has parvo poops or vomits, that infected dog’s feces and vomit is loaded with the live virus. This is called “shedding” the virus. Parvo is spread when one dog sheds the virus and another dog is exposed.

Yes, Parvo is highly contagious to other dogs. The virus is extremely hearty and can withstand extreme temperatures. Without the right products, canine parvovirus survives conventional cleaning efforts.

An unprotected dog can get Parvo by coming into contact with the actual virus. The virus can be on another dog, on a person’s shoe, on a piece of bedding, in the soil, on a rug or floor…the possibilities are endless.

Yes, dogs do not have to come into contact with each other to spread parvo, they just have to come into contact with the virus. The virus could be anywhere where dogs have been and the virus could be carried to a dog by a human or other object.

No, parvo spreads when unprotected dogs meet the virus. This can be dog to dog but it’s even more likely to spread when the infected dog is nowhere in sight. The virus lives in grass, soil, puddles, mud, snow, leaves, sidewalks, etc.. Humans can bring the virus home and the virus could be living at dog parks, people parks, rest areas, dog washes, kennels, private yards, beaches, hiking trails, …there is no end to where parvo virus can live and wait.

No, canine parvo does not float around in the air. It lives in the gastro-intestinal tract of dogs and combines with a contaminated dog’s feces and vomit. Even if the feces or vomit is washed away, the viral particles remain alive and well.

The act of vaccinating your dog does not make him a carrier of parvo. However, any dog or object that comes into contact with the shedding virus can be carrying parvo. Example: A vaccinated dog steps in a pile of feces contaminated with parvo. The vaccinated dog does not catch parvo, but an unprotected dog could lick this dog’s contaminated paws and catch parvo.
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