With reports starting to hit the headlines that suspected cases of parvovirus are now being seen in dogs across the Yorkshire region, it could be a good opportunity to refresh yourself on the symptoms of the virus and what to do if you suspect your dog has caught it.
Canine parvovirus (often referred to as parvo) is highly contagious and can be fatal to dogs, with puppies aged between six weeks and six months the most at risk. It attacks the cells in the intestine, causing weakness and dehydration. There is currently no cure for parvo, but vaccinating your dogs against it will protect them.
Symptoms of parvo range from diarrhoea with blood in it, vomiting, appetite loss, collapse, depression, fever and sudden death.
If you recognise any of these symptoms in your dog, get in touch with your local vet immediately for advice, telling them what symptoms your pet has and whether you know if they’ve had contact with a dog with confirmed parvovirus. The sooner you seek help, the greater your dog’s chance of survival.
Because the virus is so contagious, keep your dog away from others. It’s likely that your pet will have to be hospitalised, as a drip is required to prevent dehydration. Antibiotics may also be prescribed if a secondary infection is caught.
It’s also important to remember that humans can’t get parvovirus from their dogs, but they are able to pass it from one dog to another on hands, clothes and shoes.
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