What is Parvo?

Is something I hear way too often from new and even long time dog owners. I think this is as important to know about as the flu in a newborn baby! Check with your vet to see if parvo is a problem in your area. It is a problem here and the vets do not always readily offer the advice or information SO ASK! Better safe then sorry, and your pet will love you for being informed!!!

Source : John / Flickr

Parvovirus attacks a dogs digestive system. Common symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, which worsens as the disease begins to take over and can lead to blood cell count changes and bloody diarrhea. The major problem…dehydration. Vet care is necessary, whether left in their care or out patient care (you take care of them) but the vet will likely recommend the puppy stay there. They need fluids and many different medications to help cure this disease. If and only if you cannot afford treatment at the hospital make sure you follow instructions and bring the dog in frequently to the vet to be checked over.

*Always make sure a snap test is performed as vomiting and diarrhea can also be causes of other illnesses.*

Parvo can occur in any dog that is not vaccinated, normally attacking the young puppies! Puppies need a series of vaccines (DA2PP in most states) to protect them from this horrible disease. The other part of protection, is US the OWNER! Dogs not fully vaccinated should not be in areas which other dogs can touch. This includes but is not limited to common areas in apartments/housing communities, dog parks!, pet stores, and other peoples homes with unvaccinated dogs or frequently visiting dogs. Once your dog has been fully vaccinated it is up to you if you want to continue with yearly vaccines or have titers done to be sure your pets shots are still actively protecting them.

Parvo can live in an area for many years and is passed on through contaminated fecals. You can even track parvo on your shoes into your home so extra precausions are necessary until your new puppy is fully vaccinated (not the 1st but the 3rd or 4th depending on your vet). Also make sure visitors are washing their hands if they have a tendancy to touch strange dogs or visit parks or pets stores. People do it with their newborns (request you wash your hands) so why not do it with your puppy?

Please pass on this info as even if you do not have the disease in your area it can be brought in by a pet from an outside area. Again please check with your vet to see if your area has known Parvo cases and make sure your pet has its shots before introducing them to others!!

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