What was the best memory you had of your furry friend? Was it one of those days when your dog was a baby, a small puppy who used to bite you just like a little shark? Or was it, when they used to destroy your furniture and expensive shoes? Remember those times when your puppy used to follow you wherever you go? We have endless beautiful memories of our dog’s childhood when they were little puppies with their beaming eyes ready to run around like crazy and simply jump from one sofa to other, exploring the world! With the perks of enjoying the best days of your dog’s lives, there are some days when it felt utterly heartbreaking, those days where when your little puppy was sick. In this blog, let’s dive into a topic which is known to all, kind-of dangerous condition – Parvo Virus Infection. How does a puppy acquire this infection? What exactly happens? How does it manifest? How can I save my baby from this? Let’s dive straight into today’s topic.
Tanvi Shendye, Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai
WHAT IS PARVO VIRUS?
Canine parvovirus is a very contagious virus mainly affecting dogs. CPV is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces.
Synonyms: CPV, CPV-II, or Parvo Virus.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OBSERVED?
Mostly, young puppies are affected worst than the older dogs, and those who may develop the disease show signs of the illness within two to ten days.
Watch out for the common signs-
The signs may include:
- Persistent Vomiting
- Fever body temperature may rise to 103°F -104°F
- Coffee-Red colored Diarrhea (usually shooting type)
Let’s have a look at how exactly these signs and symptoms manifest.
Mostly the first sign of CPV is lethargy. Is your puppy acting a little less active, is isolating itself, is sleeping/lying down more? Time to observe closely. If it couples with some other signs, it’s time to take your baby to the doctor quickly.
The next, Secondary signs which you observe are sudden loss of weight, loss of appetite (anorexia) where your puppy suddenly starts refusing to eat their favorite chew sticks or food. This is followed by episodes of diarrhea (usually loose stool with bloody tinge) and is coupled with persistent vomiting (frothy white etc)
Now, the constant Diarrhoea and vomiting will result in dehydration, a fluid imbalance that culminates into electrolyte balance and may affect the dog critically.
All these signs and symptoms severely hamper the immune system of your pet and as a result, Secondary infections occur as a result of the weakened immune system. Bacterial infections can flare up due to this.
Other events which occur inside the body are –
- Loss of protein
Diagnosis is usually made in various ways. The primary being-
- HISTORY TAKING
It’s very essential for you as the pet parent to describe all the signs and symptoms observed, and the timeline of the same.
An apt and proper history permits your doctor to quickly diagnose your furry friend and take the next steps as needed.
There are certain tests used for the detection of CPV2 in the feces by either an ELISA Test or a Haemagglutination test.
ELISA is the rapid test used most often to detect the antigen (virus). Recently, PCR has become available and is the popular choice to diagnose CPV2 which can be used later in the disease when potentially less virus is being shed in the feces that may not be detectable by ELISA.
It’s essential to run these diagnostic tests as diarrhea and vomiting are very generalized symptoms observed in many different diseases.
The Parvovirus infection can sometimes be confused with coronavirus enteritis or other forms of enteritis.
Thus to be firm and to confirm it’s important to emphasize here the need for diagnostic tests.
Usually, it is Supportive in nature and the care ideally consists of crystalloid IV fluids, colloids e.g., Hetastarch, NS, etc antinausea drugs (antiemetics) such as maropitant, metoclopramide, ondansetron, and some broad-spectrum antibiotic drugs to control the secondary bacterial infections such as cefazolin, enrofloxacin, ampicillin, metronidazole. Other protective and supportive supplements such as Vitamins B-complex vitamins, Iron supplements, etc are given.
HOW TO SAVE MY FURRY PAW FROM THIS? WHAT OPTIONS DO WE HAVE?
The major step you can take to protect your pet is by vaccinating your pet against these dangerous viruses.
The 9 in 1 vaccine is an important one that covers parvovirus, distemper, etc harmful viruses which adversely affect the dog. In fact, the 9 in 1 even includes the Leptospira bacteria strains thus protecting your dog from harmful bacteria and viruses.
This vaccination is generally scheduled from 6th week to 8th-week post-birth and is followed by a booster dose for the same.
Then followed by yearly vaccination for the same.
Protect your puppy
Avoid taking your puppy to places where there might be fecal contamination by other dogs or unhygienic places. Dirty places and outdoor environments can harbor many bacteria and viruses which are a potential threat to your puppy’s life.
As puppies are naturally inquisitive, they tend to explore their surroundings. You, as a vigilant pet parent have this duty towards your little friend by protecting and limiting your puppy’s exposure to such environments. For the initial few weeks, it’s better to keep your puppies indoors until they are vaccinated or at least till the time they are checked by your Doctor.
If your Vet gives you a thumb’s up for outside walks and plays parks, you’re good to go!
Homeopathic Veterinary Medicine
DIASULE for pets is a unique Homeopathic Veterinary Medicine, proved to be effective in treating different types of diarrhea in dogs & cats. Diarrhea of any underlying cause like bacterial, viral, or verminous can be treated by DIASULE. Even bloody diarrhea in PARVO viral infection can be improved.
This unique formulation was brought up by the leading Homeopathic Veterinary Medicine producing company Goel Vet PharmaPvt Ltd. The company is certified under WHO GMP practices which highlight its hygienic manufacturing facilities. All the available formulations had undergone many clinical and field trials thus gaining trust among many veterinarians and pet parents.
Canine Parvo Virus Infection is a dangerous one but is easily preventable by taking the appropriate measures against the same. We can easily prevent this virus by vaccinating our pets routinely and properly as guided by our Doctors as well as take appropriate safety measures on our part. It’s very important to provide your Vet with proper history. This disease can manifest itself in a mild form to severe form sometimes leading to death. Thus any signs and symptoms observed in your furry friend should not be taken lightly. Contact your Vet in any emergencies and take the right steps as a vigilant pet parent! Let’s make Parvo Problem a story of the past. Spread awareness about the same, vaccinate your puppies and dogs!
Stay Vigilant, Stay Protected