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Parvovirus is a serious viral disease that affects dogs. Parvovirus, which grows rapidly within dividing cells, is found more often in puppies, though it does affect adult dogs as well. Since the largest concentration of rapidly dividing cells is found in the intestinal lining, parvovirus is found in that area of the animal’s body. As a result, the dog has diarrhea, which is often bloody, and white blood cells become suppressed. In puppies that are very young, parvovirus can ultimately infect the heart muscle and cause sudden death.
Adult dogs can be carriers of parvovirus without showing any symptoms of the disease. In addition, some dogs with parvovirus shed the virus when they excrete diarrhea. This virus can remain in the environment for nine months or longer, making it easy for other dogs who enter the area to catch the virus because it is highly contagious to dogs that have not been vaccinated. In addition, most disinfectants do not kill the virus.

When a dog does get exposed to parvovirus, it usually takes anywhere from seven to ten days for it to begin showing symptoms of the illness. Parvovirus is not an airborne virus, but a dog can easily contract it if it steps in the fecal matter excreted by an infected dog. Since parvovirus is so hardy, it can easily be brought into your home and infect your dog by being stuck to your shoes or even your car tires. Since it can live for such a long time outside of the dog’s body and is capable of withstanding wide temperature fluctuations, the only way to really get rid of the virus is to clean the affected area with a chlorine bleach and water mixture of one ounce bleach to one quart water.
If your dog contracts parvovirus, it will require intense treatment. Otherwise, it will die as the result of dehydration. Usually, the treatment includes the use of an IV or subcutaneous fluids and antibiotics. Like all viruses, parvovirus cannot actually be cured. All the veterinarian can do is treat the symptoms and wait for the virus to run its course. The main objective is to keep the dog hydrated and to prevent the loss of proteins. In addition, the vet will work to control the dog’s body temperature and will monitor its electrolyte levels. In many cases, it is necessary to give the dog a blood transfusion. Dogs who have suffered from parvovirus can get the illness again at a later time.

Sadly, some puppies infected with parvovirus will still die from the illness, even if they do receive prompt treatment. Most figures, however, estimate that approximately 80% of puppies infected with the disease do ultimately survive if provided treatment. On the other hand, approximately 80% will die if they do not receive the proper care.

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Defining Parvo: What Happens if Your Dog Contracts It
Do Doggies Mourn?
Doggie Arthritis
Harmful Heartworms
Puppy Parasites

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