Bringing home a new dog is fun but comes with many responsibilities. It’s more than just buying them toys and collars, a soft bed, food and treats, grooming tools, etc. However, owners shouldn’t be scared if they did all the research, figured out the best place for them to play, or even found the best veterinarian.
Just like humans, it’s normal for dogs to get sick sometimes. But owners should be aware of blood in dog poop. While there are various reasons for this condition, one of the fatal causes is canine parvovirus, especially if left untreated.
What Is Canine Parvovirus?
Canine parvovirus (CPV), most commonly known as “parvo,” is one of the most serious viruses to kill dogs. It was initially discovered in 1967 and is resistant to humidity, cold, heat, and drying. The virus is difficult to die and can live in the environment for an extended period. It spreads quickly by means of direct contact with an infected dog or indirect contact with a contaminated object.
The virus primarily infects the small intestine, impairs absorption, destroys cells, and disrupts the gut barrier. In puppies, parvo affects the lymphopoietic tissues and bone marrow, and sometimes the heart. Dog owners residing in Memphis can visit Animal Emergency Center in Memphis for animal emergencies, including parvo.
Symptoms of Parvo
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody diarrhea in dogs
- Persistent vomiting
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Fever or hypothermia (low body temperature)
How Do Dogs Get Parvo?
Puppies aged six weeks to six months, as well as unvaccinated dogs, are the most susceptible to parvo. Younger puppies younger than six weeks still retain some of their mother’s antibodies if the dam completed her full series of parvo vaccinations. Parvovirus enters a dog’s body as they clean themselves or eat food off the ground or floor, with infected feces, even with small amounts.
It spreads directly from an infected dog to another dog. Once infected, a dog contaminates food, leashes, water bowls, collars, beddings, and crates. The virus matures in a dog’s body from three to seven days before the first symptoms show. Humans or pet owners can also get the infection through their hands, shoes, or clothing once they touch an infected dog.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Parvo
It’s still unknown how to kill the virus up to this date. But available treatments can support a dog’s immune system and help their bodies become stronger to fight the disease. In almost all cases, puppies and dogs with parvo need to receive treatment from an animal hospital.
The vet will give intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and sometimes certain drugs to help control vomiting and avoid dehydration. An infected dog with secondary infections due to a weakened immune system may be given antibiotics.
The following are additional facts a dog owner or vet assistant must know regarding parvovirus:
- Infected puppies and dogs must be isolated from other animals.
- Vets and vet nurses should wear special clothes and shoes when treating them, which can be removed and sanitized to prevent the spread of the disease to other patients at the animal hospital or clinic.
- A dog recovering from parvo can stay in the hospital for 5 to 7 days.
- Many puppies die from the virus due to weak immune systems.
- Vaccinations against parvo are less expensive than their treatment, which involves staying for several days in intensive care.
Choosing the Best Vet Clinic
Choosing a reliable veterinarian is a vital pet owner’s decision for their dog. Together, they will become long-time partners to ensure the patient’s health. They should consider the cost, license, experience, and the location of the clinic or hospital. During emergencies, sick dogs are most likely to survive if attended to immediately.
Recommendations from friends, family, or co-workers are one of the best ways to find the right veterinarian. The internet is also an excellent place to look for a vet clinic within any pet owner’s community. For example, they can look for an “emergency vet in Memphis” if they’re nearby to limit their search in their location.