The Top Five Signs your Dog may have Parvovirus.
Among the several diseases that we always have to keep a watch for is the dreaded parvovirus. We say dreaded because this virus carries a 80% mortality rate if left unchecked and untreated and to top that off it is highly contagious.
As pet owners we can keep out eye out for certain symptoms that may alert us to such an infection earlier rather than later and provide us with a fighting chance at saving our fur babies life.
Bloody stool is one of the red flags we watch for in cases of Parvovirus, as the virus strips the lining from the small intestine it causes a pronounced period of intestinal bleeding. This will show in the stool as dark red or black coloring. If you’re not sure, wipe it with a fresh piece of toilet paper and it will be easier to see the red on a white background. Now bloody diarrhea alone is not proof of parvovirus it is one of the leading symptoms.
The inability to keep food or even water down is another precursor to look out for on the parvovirus list. Again alone it is not a worrisome symptom but combined with number one it’s certainly something to think about. One of the main reasons dogs pass away from parvovirus is dehydration. Being unable to keep down solids is an issue but being unable to keep down fluids is deadly and can quickly lead to dehydration.
Little to no Appetite.
One of the first symptoms you should notice is appetite or lack thereof. Not eating is something we usually notice first and again doesn’t always mean something terrible but combines with the above symptoms can mean something terrible is in the works. This is usually followed by sudden weight loss.
Spotting a fever in your animal is not always as easy as it sounds, but looking for the telltale signs can help. Red eyes, Warm Ears, Shivering, a warm dry nose and a pronounced lack of energy these are signs of a fever.
This is the number one killer of pets when it comes to viral infection, Dehydration. The lack of fluids can cause the body to shut down and result in death. A simple way to determine if you dog is dehydrated is to check yourself with the elasticity of his skin. Simply pinch the skin behind his head between his shoulder blades and pull up a bit. Upon releasing it should snap back into position immediately without hesitation, if it hesitates or does not return to place its a strong chance your dog is dehydrated.
Some symptoms of dehydration are: Sunken dry looking eyes, Constant Panting, Dry gums, Dry nose, Loss of skin elasticity and reduced energy or lethargy.
Now again I will make clear, not all of these symptoms will be present at the start of parvovirus, but they will all be present during full blown Parvo. And again one or two of these being present in your animal may not mean they have parvovirus but it is enough for you to be worried and seek professional care. Parvovirus strikes quickly and can kill a weaker animal in less than 72Hrs. Catching it in its early stages may be the only chance to stop this dreaded virus before it takes hold and does irreversible damage.
I recommend using one of the few cleaners that actually kills parvo Rescue One Vet Strength Cleaner which also comes in Wipes. I highly recommend it and advise that if you do indeed know of an are of contamination that you clean it very thoroughly.