The canine parvovirus is a very common disease in dogs, especially during the first months of life. This disease was diagnosed for the first time in 1978 in the United States and in two years reached the entire world. This disease is caused by a parvovirus virus whose elimination from the environment is very difficult. It resists alcohol and heat, staying for years in the environment.
This disease is transmitted through the saliva, feces, and urine of the dogs carrying the virus. A single gram of feces can infect over 5000 puppies! The highest risk age is between 6 and 12 weeks of age, although unvaccinated animals can be reached up to 1 year of age (hence the importance of vaccinating their puppies).
If you notice that your dog frequently vomits, does not eat, has lost a lot of weight, or makes feces with blood, take him to the vet right away to perform the appropriate tests. If you want to get more information about this disease in this article from a How we explain in detail how to cure canine parvovirus so you know what to do if your dog gets this disease.
Steps to follow:
- If you believe your dog has parvovirus infection, the first thing you should do is take your dog to the vet to diagnose the type of illness he has. Once diagnosed, the first reaction is usually to combat dehydration; To do this, a dose of serum should be administered to the dog, which should be stipulated by the veterinarian according to his condition.
- Normally, the veterinarian performs a replacement fluid therapy, that is, the administration of serum to rehydrate the dog. The fluids that make it up are the isotonic crystalloids (the most suitable for combating parvovirus is Ringer-Lactate, according to veterinarians), which can be combined with colloids such as hydroxyl starch or dextran. This treatment is usually given intravenously.
- In severe cases where the parvovirus virus results in cardiac or renal problems, these crystalloids should be administered with extreme caution as they are not tolerated with the same success as in a dog with normal cardiac and renal functions.
- The pace and amount of serum administration will be stipulated by the veterinarian depending on the size and weight of the dog and the development of the disease. In addition to fluid therapy, in more severe cases, blood transfusions may be necessary .
- Due to the diarrhea with blood that the parvovirus virus produces, the dog loses a lot of blood and needs to recover, and also get rid of the virus bit by bit. In both puppies and adult puppies the donor must be an adult, healthy dog and must have all the required vaccinations in order.
- With serum to rehydrate and blood transfusions, the parvovirus-infected dog begins to recover and supply each of the deficits produced by the virus. Once rehydrated, the veterinarian will continue with maintenance fluid therapy, which is usually composed of an isotonic glucosamine solution supplemented with potassium chloride.
- However, the fluids may vary depending on the condition of the patient. It will always be the veterinarian who will determine the most appropriate, the amounts and pace of administration. In many cases, parvovirus can cause a state of hypokalemia, or other imbalances, and the dog should receive potassium to recover properly.