As a pet owner, the health and safety of your furry friend should be a top priority. One of the most common and dangerous diseases that your furry friend can be exposed to is Parvo. Parvo is a virus that affects both adult and young dogs but is particularly deadly in younger puppies. But how do puppies get Parvo, and what can you do as a pet owner to protect your furry friend? In this blog post, we will explore what Parvo is and how puppies can get infected.
What is Parvo?
Canine Parvovirus, commonly known as Parvo, is a highly contagious virus that attacks a dog’s immune system by targeting cells in the bone marrow and lymph nodes. This makes it difficult for the dog to fight off secondary infections, leaving them more susceptible to life-threatening diseases. While an adult or older dog can get Parvo, younger puppies between 6-20 weeks of age are the most vulnerable to the virus. Puppies younger than six weeks are still protected by the immunity passed on to them from their mother’s milk, but unvaccinated puppies are at risk of severe cases of parvovirus infection.
Ways A Puppy Can Get Parvo
A parvo infection is a highly contagious virus, and the way for puppies to be exposed to it is through contact with other infected dogs. Dog parks, where multiple dogs interact with each other, are a breeding ground for this virus. A puppy that comes into contact with Parvo through infected dogs or traces of feces will then carry it home with them. They can also contract it from contaminated surfaces such as water bowls or toys.
Clinical signs of Parvo usually start showing up within a week after exposure. Young pups will typically show symptoms such as vomiting, regular or bloody diarrhea, and lack of appetite. The virus attacks the small intestines and gastrointestinal tract, leading to dehydration, sepsis, and even death. New pet owners must be aware of the importance of tracking their pup’s clinical signs as well as scheduling regular Parvo vaccinations for their furry friends.
What To Do If Your Pet Has Parvo
The good news is there are things a dog owner can do to increase the survival rate of such a disease. The first step is for pet parents to get their pups vaccinated since unvaccinated dogs of all ages are the most at risk of suffering the symptoms of parvovirus. Parvo vaccinations are the best way to combat the spread of Parvo in younger puppies. Starting between six weeks or two months of age, young pups can receive a series of parvo vaccines (amongst others) that will boost their immunity and protect them from the virus. By getting vaccinated, younger pups are less likely to contract the virus, making them less infectious to other dogs.
Get Medical Attention
If your new puppy is exposed to parvo, it’s important to get veterinary care as soon as possible. Supportive treatments such as IV fluids and antibiotics can help combat the virus’s effects and save your puppy’s life. Through intravenous fluids, your veterinarian will be able to help your dog combat severe dehydration and low white blood cells in order to recover. It’s also important to isolate the infected pup from other dogs to prevent the spread of the virus.
Protect Your Pup
Understanding Parvovirus and how puppies can get infected is crucial for the health and safety of your furry friend. Young puppies are at the highest risk of contracting the virus but can be protected through vaccinations and following proper hygiene practices like regular cleaning of their surroundings and avoiding dog parks until the pup is fully vaccinated. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure your furry friend’s protection and well-being, and that means acting on prevention and taking all the necessary precautions to prevent diseases or viruses that can harm them.