Parvovirus in Dogs

What Is Parvovirus Enteritis?

Canine Parvovirus Enteritis is one of the most infectious and common enteric diseases among dogs. Also known as CPV, CPV2 and parvo disease, it is caused in the gastrointestinal tract of unvaccinated dogs, leading to morbidity and mortality. Pups of all breeds can contract Parvovirus. If the vaccine's temperature wasn't maintained or administered when the dog had contracted the virus but was in the incubation phase, he might also catch the disease.  

How Do Dogs Catch Parvovirus Enteritis?

Infected dogs require extensive care, since the chances of survival are as high as 90% with proper treatment. However, if left untreated, the fragility rate goes up to 90%. Antibodies transferred from the mother's milk protect the pup from diseases for the first few weeks. With time, these antibodies decrease due to intestinal parasites, overcrowding and malnutrition, making the dog vulnerable to diseases. Parvovirus catches oral or nasal contact through infected faeces or by exposure to contaminated objects. The virus is shed via faeces within 4–5 days of exposure and lasts for 10 days after clinical recovery. 

Symptoms Of Parvovirus in Dogs

CPVus enteritis symptoms start within 5-7 days of contact with the virus. The initial symptoms include anorexia, lethargy, weakness, and depression. Gradually, it turns to loss of appetite, foul-smelling diarrhoea with mucus-coating or blood, vomiting and fever. Diarrhoea and vomiting lead to dehydration that imbalances the electrolyte level and weakens immunity. Dogs develop a distinctive odour and the intestinal lining sheds blood & protein, leading to anaemia and protein loss, whereas endotoxins mix with the bloodstream, causing endotoxemia.

Clinical Diagnosis of Parvovirus Enteritis In Dogs

The PCR and ELISA tests can be conducted for clinical confirmation of the disease in dogs. Additionally, blood tests indicate changes in the blood value parameters. The virus can be diagnosed through CPV2 detected in faeces by undergoing the ELISA Hemagglutination test or by electron microscopy test. PCR helps to diagnose CPV2 when the virus is undetectable by ELISA. The infection causes a low WBC count and necrosis of the intestinal lining.  

Treatment of Parvovirus Enteritis In Dogs

Treatment of parvovirus enteritis curtails bacterial infections and provides nutritional support. It involves injecting necessary fluids and electrolytes to ensure hydration and empiric deworming. Antiemetics and antibiotics reduce vomiting and diarrhoea. Moreover, the transfusion of blood plasma from a CPV survivor dog builds passive immunity to the infected dog. The fluids like crystalloid IV and colloids, and anti-nausea vaccines like maropitant, metoclopramide, ondansetron, dolasetron and prochlorperazine are given to the dog. Also, broad-spectrum antibiotic injections include enrofloxacin, ampicillin, cefazolin, and metronidazole.

How Can Parvovirus Enteritis Be Prevented?

  • Control the spread of infection by isolating the infected dog. Practice grooming of the personnel, regular and thorough cleaning and footbaths. 
  • If you have come in contact with an infected dog or were even in the same house as him, avoid meeting your pup wearing the same clothes. Take a bath, change your clothes and remove anything you were wearing around the infected dog. Since the infection spreads through the air, there is a high probability that any object could be carrying it.
  • Practice the recommended vaccination schedule when the dog turns 6–8, 10–12, and 14–16 weeks, followed by a booster dose 1 year later and then every 3 years. Introduce your pup to your other existing dogs or any other animal only if it is fully vaccinated. Don’t take them out in social settings like pet-friendly restaurants until he is not fully vaccinated.
  • Ensure a healthy environment for your dog by disinfecting the house with diluted bleach and disinfectants. Remove any contaminated organic material that can harm the dog. 
  • Lift your pup when outside for walks to limit their exposure to viral pores on the ground to keep them safe from getting infected. 
  • When going for a walk, avoid areas having a lot of stranger dogs since a dangerous infection might be transferred unknowingly. 
  • Provide a balanced diet to ensure the supply of adequate nutrients to your dog. Nutrient deficiency can also be fulfilled by CanniVin Multivitamin Spray
  • The moment you spot a potential symptom of the virus, immediately take your pup to the veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions About Parvovirus Enteritis in Dogs 

  • What is Parvovirus Enteritis in Dogs?
    Parvovirus is a gastrointestinal illness seen in puppies and unvaccinated dogs. It is one of the most infectious and common enteric diseases that lead to death if untreated.
  • What are the signs of Parvovirus Enteritis?
    The signs of parvovirus can be vomiting, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhoea, lethargy, loss of appetite, fever or hypothermia.
  • How is Parvovirus diagnosed?
    The diagnosis of Parvovirus infection is based on the dog’s history and physical examination. Faecal testing can confirm the diagnosis within 10 minutes.
  • What if Parvo is left untreated?
    If the symptoms of parvo are left untreated, it can lead to death within 48 – 72 hours. The mortality rate due to this disease is 90%.