Identification & Treatment of Parvo-virus (Parvo) in Dogs – VOSD Expert Vet Advice™

Critical information about Parvo:

  • It is one of the most frequent killers of dogs and is almost always fatal because of the stage at which it starts getting treated

  • There is NO CURE for Parvo and has a kill rate > 90% but with aggressive treatment we’ve seen a survival rate of ~ 50%

  • It is deadly and very common. So you might miss a rabies shot for your dog but do not miss one for Parvo

  • The first line of defense for a dog is ‘vaccinating’ the dog. The second line is to keep pups and dogs de-wormed at all times.

  • If your dog has diarrhea and it starts getting bloody and/ or has mucous you need to take the dog immediately to a vet. Any delay on your side to get aggressive treatment from the beginning and your dog will die.

  • Don’t let your vet determine by ‘examination’ and ‘guess work’ – the dog has to take a test. Even then tests are not always positive since symptoms need to set in sometimes for the kit to work properly.

  • Isolation of the dog and aggressive treatment are critical for the dog. Don’t let someone else take the responsibility for it – its your dog! Now read on,

Spread of Parvo:

Parvo comes from a single stranded RNA.

  • The virus is very highly contagious (more than distemper)

  • It is very stable – it can stay outside the host body for upto 9 months till it comes with a dog

  • It is shed profusely by a host dog in its excreta – so communicability is massive

  • The ONLY thing that will deactivate the virus is common household chlorine bleach – so please disinfect the whole area thoroughly several times a day where a Parvo Dog is isolated.

Symptoms & progression of Pravo:

The first sign of Parvo is lethargy and diarrhea. Usually the second symptoms would be loss of appetite or diarrhea followed by vomiting.

  • Dogs that develop the disease show symptoms of the illness within 3 to 7 days.

  • Other symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea.

  • Diarrhea and vomiting result in dehydration and secondary infections can set in. Due to dehydration, the dog’s electrolyte balance can become critically affected.

  • Once the virus gestates and matures it enters the blood stream through the stomach lining. Any breach in the stomach lining is therefore critical – therefore no dogs in your care should have worms. Keep them de-wormed strictly.

  • Once the stomach lining is breached it causes massive diarrhea (usually bloody or very dark and with mucous) and its has a peculiar sickly sweet smell). At this stage the normal intestinal lining is also compromised. Blood and protein leak into the intestines leading to anemia and loss of protein, and endotoxins escaping into the bloodstream, causing endotoxemia. Dogs also start developing the distinctive sickly sweet odor in this stages of the infection. The white blood cell level falls, further weakening the dog. Any or all of these factors can lead to shock and death.

Preventing Parvo – Vaccinations:

  1. Dose ’0′: If the dog is less than 40 days old give it a vaccination called ‘PuppyDP’. Each day delayed exposes the puppy more

  2. Dose ’1′: For puppies > 40 days old and if they have had, or not had Puppy DP – they need to get the 1st dose of the DLHPPi ( 7-in-1 / 8-in-1/ 9-in-1) vaccine. This is the 1st dose.

  3. Dose ’2′: 2nd dose of DLHPPi 1 month from dose ’1′

  4. Dose ’3′: 3rd dose of DLHPPi 1 month from Dose ’2′

  5. Thereafter 1 booster dose every 1 year.

  6. If you have an adult dog you repeat steps 5 and 6

Vaccinations is the only defense your dog has – do it diligently.

Diagnosis & Treatment:

As soon as you suspect Parvo take the dog to a vet. CRITICAL: If symptoms start your dog can’t have ANY oral food for for upto 5 days. Only IV. DO NOT try and counteract loss of appetite with force feeding.

  1. Your/his/her first act should be to run a diagnostic test using a Parvo test kit. This is a biochemical and uses body secretions.

  2. If the test shows Parvo, the doctor will prescribe isolation and a line of treatment (2 to 3 times a day). Do NOT miss ANY fluid and antibiotic treatment. Not one. Your dog is fighting a loosing battle and you’re the only chance he’d got.

  3. Following treatment needs to be in effect immediately

    • Immediate administration of CanGlobe P – a Parvo Immunoglobin

    • Repeat the immunoglobin on Day 0 + 2 or 3

    • IV treatment (basic B-complex vitamins, dextrose and potassium chloride) with

      • Colloids (e.g., Hetastarch)

      • Antinausea/antiemetics (Rantac & Emset)

      • Broad-spectrum antibiotics (cefazolin/enrofloxacin, ampicillin/enrofloxacin, metronidazole, enrofloxacin)

      • Analgesic medications can be used to counteract the intestinal spasms

Further management

Once the dog stops showing symptoms – you’ll need to administer the test again. Once the test is clear he dog SHOULD be vaccinated as in above.

The information contained in VOSD Vet Advice™ is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical action which is provided by your vet. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For any emergency situation related to a dog’s health, please visit the nearest veterinary clinic.