Canine Parvovirus Infection

Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious and potentially lethal viral infection that affects the tummy, intestines, and white blood cells (or soldier cells that guard your dog’s body).

The hallmark sign of Canine Parvovirus is a bloody diarrhea with a fishy odor. This is a common viral disease of puppies less than 1 year old, and in uncommon cases, unvaccinated adult dogs.

SYMPTOMS

dog, stray dog, baby animal
PUPPIES ARE ALWAYS IN DANGER. Having an immature immune system makes them easy targets and casualties for this dreaded tummy virus.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Walking an unvaccinated or incompletely immunized puppy at public places has a high risk of viral exposure. The puppy may lick the poop of other dogs on the floor, which carries the virus. The virus was from another dog that had the disease. Alternatively, you may had stepped on a random poop on the street with the virus, brought the slipper home and your unsuspecting puppy licked it.

After around 3 days, your dog will start to lose appetite, vomit and develop diarrhea.

No, this is IMPOSSIBLE when using a recombinant vaccine (a safe and stable form of vaccine).

If you’ve experienced Canine Parvoviral Infection before, you probably know the smell of it.

However, if this is your first time and you’re suspecting that your pup has it, you can not simply determine just by reading this and smelling the poop.

At the vet hospital, your vet will obtain a poop sample and test if for Canine Parvovirus. The rapid test kit is around PHP 800.00 and results are usually obtained in 10 minutes. The poop sample will also be checked under the microscope to screen out Hookworms. These are worms that live inside your pet’s intestines and also cause bloody diarrhea. Sadly, if your pet tests both, it will have a hard time fighting the virus and the worms.

Note: bring your pup’s vaccination record for your vet to verify if the vaccination is valid. Your pup may also be Parvo-positive in the rapid test kit if it was recently immunized.

The best option is hospitalization.

The virus damages the tummy and intestines, producing pain, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. You can not give a Parvo-positive puppy liquid medicines by mouth when it is suffering from the virus because anything you put in to its stomach will simply further irritate it and cause more vomiting and pain. In order to administer medicines, it needs to be on IV fluids for 1 to 7 days.

If your dog tests positive, you need to disinfect your whole house. Mix 1 part of bleach (Zonrox) with 10 parts of water. Transfer in a sprayer bottle. Spray upon the areas where your dog stay frequently.

For those pets who are in close contact with the infected one, they are already considered exposed or Patients Under Monitoring. Observe for 3-5 days while you give them a multivitamin, and clean their area daily with a 1 part bleach to 10 parts water spray. After 3-5 days of no symptoms, they should be allowed to receive the vaccine.

If all of them are vaccinated, have strong immune systems, and have no underlying diseases, they should be able to ward off the virus naturally.

There is no specific antibiotic to kill the virus. Like the human flu, you let the virus runs its course. One needs to sneeze and cough in order to expel it from the body. Similarly, your pet undergoes vomiting and diarrhea because the body is also expelling it. But when there’s excessive vomit and diarrhea, it is always dangerous. That is why hospitalization is important.

All medicines are given to your pet through the IV. This Is the needle that stays in your pet’s arm for several days. It provides fluids to prevent dehydration, and a way to give medicines like antibiotic (to prevent bad bacteria from being overpopulated), anti-emetic (stop vomiting), anti-spasmodic (stops diarrhea and blocks pain), electrolytes, and vitamins. Treatment plan varies from hospital to hospital. You may want to ask your vet about the specifics of the treatment plan if you feel you need to know more.

Hospitalization may last for 1 to 7 days. Generally speaking, an improvement should be seen on day 3 to 5 of confinement.

Infected dogs heal by showing the following signs: decrease in times of vomiting, diarrhea and tummy pain. From day 3 to 5, your dog should start to eat and drink water. It may vomit immediately after eating for the first time if it eats too much. It is just too excited to be at a healing phase. Our strategy for this is to give small but frequent meals of a bland diet like boiled chicken breast.

No. You need to disinfect your house and all the vehicles your pet go in to. You need to wait for about a month for the virus to die naturally.

I encountered some patients who had a fast recovery from the infection which happened at day 3 to 4 of admission. But on average, dogs may go home on day 6 or 7 as long as this is noted in the patient: 24 hours of no vomit, no diarrhea, no pain and a normal behaviour.

Absolutely not. Not only it is witchcraft, it is plain cruelty. If you consider doing this, you do not deserve to be a dog parent.

If you chose not to confine your pet and if, by some miracle, it survived at home, count 14 days from its diagnosis and visit your vet for immunization.

Yes but only by using a prescription from a licensed veterinary professional, not from a Facebook group of strangers.

You still need to bring your pet to the vet to know what is wrong, and what options he or she can give you depending on your circumstances.

Buying medicines that you saw other people use on the internet is not only irresponsible, it may also endanger the life of your pet. For a medicine to be effective, it needs to undergo quality testing from official government or private laboratories. They approve medicines that show benefit to dogs by using the scientific method, and not internet testimonials.

Indiscriminate antibiotic use may help produce a multiple drug resistant bacteria in your dog that, when transferred to you, could end you up at a bed in the hospital.

Request your dog to be tested for 1 or more test kits from different manufacturers. False negative is possible but very rare.

Yes, this happens. In order to determine when the vaccines your pet received are effective, you may request for a titer test. The titer test will help determine if the protection level is sufficient or not. Insufficient protection will require another round of vaccinations, and will only stop if the titer test tells us that the level of protection that we want has been reached.

Not on the day of discharge. Your pet still needs a round of medications at home and the poop needs to be back in shape.

Typically a week after discharge, your dog may now receive its 5-in-1 vaccine. If it is an adult dog, it just needs two vaccines 2 to 3 weeks apart then annually. If it is still a puppy, it will depend on your hospital’s vaccination program. If your puppy got sick at 3 months of age, it may still need at least 3 shots, 2 to 3 weeks apart before it becomes an annual vaccine.

After the first year of immunization, it is very important to have your dog vaccinated EVERY YEAR. This means spending roughly PHP 500.00 annually for 10 to 15 years. So please save money and allot time.

No. But this does not mean that you should not bring your dog back for its annual vaccines. Remember, there are 4 more diseases in the 5-in-1 vaccine that your dog may acquire in the future.

No. Neither your children nor your little cousins. But other dogs and cats may acquire the disease if they are not vaccinated.

If you plan on buying a new puppy, you may set a vet appointment on the same day you will acquire the ball of fluff. Request a Parvo and Distemper Test, as well as a fecalysis to rule out common diseases that ironically are “free” with your purchase. Some choose to have an agreement with the seller that if the puppy tests positive with either of the virus, the buyer has the right to a full refund and that the seller should shoulder the vet bills.

If you are purchasing online, be sure the breeder will allow you to visit his or her home so you may see the conditions that the puppy is being brought up to. If the breeder does not allow this, look for another one. A responsible breeder is confident with his or her management system and simply has nothing to hide. I had multiple pet parents who bought puppies with Parvo that spread in their entire household. The bottom line is, if the seller is fishy, don’t.

If you already have a dog but is not up-to-date with its vaccines, please be responsible. Parvo is a highly preventable disease. It only takes half a day to bring your dog to the vet and have it vaccinated.

Note

Look for an emergency service provider in advance by calling your nearby vets. It helps to know who is open at the middle of the night. Be sure you meet with the doctors and staff to make sure that this place is where you would want to take your pet if you had to. You may opt to transfer your pet to your primary care veterinarian the next day if you wish.

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