Do You Know the Dangers of Parvovirus for Puppies & Young Dogs? (Video)

, Do You Know the Dangers of Parvovirus for Puppies & Young Dogs? (Video)

Do You Know the Dangers of Parvovirus for Puppies & Young Dogs? (Video)

Earlier this week we posted information on the recent SPCA seizure of close to a hundred animals. Part of this seizure involved a puppy mill with many of the dogs infected with parvovirus, a highly contagious and often life-threatening virus. Mountainside Animal Hospital was proud to be able to offer 24-hour care to some of these critically ill puppies.

We are equipped with an isolation ward for intensive care of any animal inflicted with parvo or other infectious diseases and have all the necessary diagnostic equipment and in-house blood analyzers for immediate results.

Parvovirus causes severe gastrointestinal illness in puppies and young dogs. Exposure is through direct contact with an infected dog or through indirect contact with feces. It can survive for long periods in the environment and be carried on the bottom of a shoe or through shared bedding or any other contaminated objects.

Symptoms include:

  • Severe diarrhea (often bloody)
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy (may be extreme)
  • Acute weight loss
  • Inappetence
  • Fever (or sometimes hypothermia)
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration

 

How the virus affects the body:

This is an extremely potent virus that attacks the cells in the intestines and stops them from absorbing vital nutrients. In addition, dehydration creates severe electrolyte imbalances, and these factors combine to form a cascading pattern of secondary infections as a result of a weakened immune system.

Treatment:

Prevention is the best treatment. The chance of being infected with parvovirus is greatly reduced with a vaccination and regular boosters. Infected dogs usually require extensive (and expensive) hospitalization on I.V. fluids and medications in an intensive care isolation ward. Diagnostics include an examination, blood tests, fecal analysis and abdominal x-rays and ultrasound.

Take-Aways:

  • Support the SPCA with donations
  • Pressure local governments for stricter and more updated laws and harsher punishments for puppy mills and other animal abusers. Animals should NOT be under the legal protection of “property”
  • Get pet insurance! While parvo affects puppies and young dogs, animals of any age or any breed are susceptible to any number of accidental, genetic, or disease processes throughout their life.
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