Important Tips on Saving a Puppy from Parvo Virus
The canine parvovirus, commonly referred to as “parvo”, is a contagious illness that can affect dogs of any age. It can cause cardiovascular failure and systemic sepsis that can ultimately lead to death. Yes, it’s pretty scary if you think about it, but the good news is it’s preventable.
The Age Most Susceptible To Parvo
It’s sad to say but the parvovirus can easily kill puppies who have underdeveloped immune systems. As 91% of untreated canines with parvo result in death, your vet will suggest for you to get your pup vaccinated as early as 6 to 8 weeks after being born.
Unborn puppies carried by a mother with parvo can also be infected. It’s tricky since the mother may not show any symptoms and may even develop immunity after passing on the virus to the puppies. Unfortunately, puppies who have been infected by their mother rarely survive.
Ways on How To Save a Puppy From Parvo
As mentioned, one of the most effective ways to save a puppy from parvo is vaccination. As soon as a puppy reaches 6 to 8 weeks, bring him to the vet immediately to get vaccinated against canine parvovirus. Then, succeeding doses will be given every 2 to 4 weeks, until the puppy reaches 16 weeks old. After one year of the interval shot, a booster should be given. Three years after that, another booster should be administered.
Of course, aside from immunization, there are other measures on how to save a puppy from parvo. First, limit the exposure of your unvaccinated dog with other canines. Remember that the disease is contagious and can be transmitted through coming in direct contact with a contaminated dog. This also means that you should avoid places where your unvaccinated pup can potentially contract the disease – dog parks, kennels, and areas where dogs can roam freely.
Next, if you suspect that your home or yard has been contaminated, it’s best to clean the areas thoroughly. Disinfect anything that can be cleaned with bleach. The usual household cleaners will not do as the parvovirus is very resistant.
Lastly, if you were around or have been in contact with other dogs, make sure that you change your clothes and wash exposed areas of the skin before you play with your puppy.
How Do I Know If My Puppy Has Parvo?
After your pup has been exposed to the virus, he is going to show symptoms in about five to ten days (the typical incubation period of the virus). Your puppy will likely be warm to the touch, weak, vomiting and experiencing diarrhea. Most people also see blood on the dog’s stool.
Actually, even without the bloody stool, you should go to your vet immediately if you spot any changes in your dog’s behavior. Bear in mind that the parvovirus can be deadly if the right treatment isn’t given straight away.
How Can the Vet Save a Puppy From Parvo?
There is no cure for the parvo. Your vet will provide supportive measures to deal with the symptoms. For example, for vomiting and diarrhea, an IV line will be started to prevent your pup from dehydrating. It’s also likely that anti-fever medication will be given.
You shouldn’t worry yourself at all if you brought your puppy to the vet on time. His, as well as other infected dogs, chances for survival are good because necessary remedies have already been given.
Once your pup has recovered, you don’t have to worry about him getting infected again because he has likely developed the antibodies necessary to combat the disease. Just remember to temporarily isolate your dog for two to three weeks as it is possible that he can contaminate other dogs even though he has already discharged from the animal hospital.