Parvovirus in dogs is a serious and deadly disease. Dog parvovirus attacks the lining of the intestine causing severe vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Sam Meisler DVM, a small animal veterinarian, discussed parvovirus in dogs, how it affects your dog and how it is treated.
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Parvovirus in Dogs
Dog Parvovirus is a very, very deadly disease that enters ground or their paws. The parvovirus goes directly to the intestine and multiplies destroying the intestinal lining that Dog Parvovirus is a very, very deadly disease that enters takes five days to grow back. Without the intestinal lining, your dog has no method for digesting and a weakened intestinal wall is at risk to bacteria intrusion, will bleed and become inflamed.
Dog parvovirus symptoms usually include severe vomiting and diarrhea, often with blood in it and with a blood-bleachy smell. Vets can often recognize the presence of parvovirus just by the smell alone. Dogs will become seriously dehydrated, bacteria infected (septic), and lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are very important to nerve conduction, regulating heartbeat, and muscle contraction. Dogs have been known to die from cardiac arrest because their potassium level was too low.
Parvo is a deadly disease but most dogs, if treated aggressively, can survive. To diagnose, the first test to perform is a stool test for dog parvovirus antigen. Blood work will check the electrolytes and allow the vet to determine a prognosis depending on the white blood count. Fluid therapy, and sometimes nutrition therapy, is given to keep the pet hydrated. Drugs to decrease vomiting as well as antibiotics can also be administered. The goal is to support the dog through the five-day period until the intestinal lining regenerates. Treatment is very expensive, time consuming, messy, and isolating. Home treatment of parvovirus in dogs is possible but carries a much poorer prognosis if vet treatment is beyond your budget.
- Sam Meisler DVM
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