Canine Parvovirus Infection in Dogs

parvo in puppy

The canine parvovirus (CPV) infection is a highly contagious viral health problem that affects dogs. The infection manifests itself in 2 different types. The more typical kind is the intestinal form, which is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight reduction, and lack of hunger (anorexia). The less common form is the heart kind, which attacks the heart muscles of extremely young pups, typically resulting in death. The majority of cases are seen in pups that are between 6 weeks and 6 months old. The incidence of canine parvovirus infections has been reduced drastically by early vaccination in young pups.

Parvo in Dogs: Symptoms and Types

The significant symptoms related to the intestinal tract form of a canine parvovirus infection consist of severe, bloody diarrhea, sleepiness, anorexia, fever, vomiting, and severe weight reduction. The intestinal tract kind of CPV impacts the body’s ability to take in nutrients, and an affected animal will quickly become dehydrated and weak from absence of protein and fluid absorption. The wet tissue of the mouth and eyes might end up being noticeably red and the heart may beat too quickly. When your veterinarian palpates (take a look at by touch) your dog’s abdominal area, your dog might react with pain or pain. Dogs that have actually contracted CPV might likewise have a low body temperature (hypothermia), instead of a fever.

Causes of Parvovirus Infection

A lot of cases of CPV infections are brought on by a hereditary alteration of the initial canine parvovirus: the canine parvovirus type 2b. There are a variety of risk factors that can increase a dog’s vulnerability to the disease, but mainly, the virus is transferred either by direct contact with an infected dog, or indirectly, by the fecal-oral route. Heavy concentrations of the virus are discovered in an infected dog’s stool, so when a healthy dog sniffs an infected dog’s stool, it will contract the disease. The virus can also be brought into a dog’s environment by method of shoes that have actually entered into contact with infected feces. There is proof that the infection can live in ground soil for up to a year. It is resistant to many cleaning items, or even to weather modifications. If you believe that you have actually entered contact with feces at all, you will have to clean the afflicted area with household bleach, the only disinfectant known to eliminate the infection.

Incorrect vaccination protocol and vaccination failure can likewise lead to a CPV infection. Breeding kennels and dog shelters that hold a great deal of improperly vaccinated puppies are particularly hazardous locations. For unknown factors, specific dog breeds, such as Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Pit Bulls, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, English Springer Spaniels, and Alaskan sled dogs, are especially susceptible to the disease. Diseases or drug treatments that reduce the normal reaction of the immune system may also increase the likelihood of infection.

Diagnosis Methods

CPV is detected with a physical examination, biochemical tests, urine analysis, abdominal radiographs, and abdominal ultrasounds. A chemical blood profile and a complete blood cell count will also be carried out. Low leukocyte levels are a sign of CPV infection, specifically in association with bloody stools. Biochemical and urine analysis might expose raised liver enzymes, lymphopenia, and electrolyte imbalances. Abdominal radiograph imaging may reveal intestinal obstruction, while an abdominal ultrasound may expose enlarged lymph nodes in the groin, or throughout the body, and fluid-filled intestinal tract segments.

You will have to offer a thorough history of your pet’s health, recent activities, and onset of symptoms. If you can collect a sample of your dog’s stool, or vomit, your vet will be able to use these samples for tiny detection of the infection.


Because the disease is a viral infection, there is no real cure for it. Treatment is concentrated on treating the symptoms and avoiding secondary bacterial infections, preferably in a healthcare facility environment. Extensive therapy and system support are the key to recovery. Intravenous fluid and nutrition therapy is important in preserving a dog’s typical body fluid after severe diarrhea and dehydration, and protein and electrolyte levels will be kept an eye on and managed as necessary. Medications that might be used in the treatment consist of drugs to curb vomiting (antiemetics), H2 Blockers to decrease queasiness, antibiotics, and anthelmintics to combat parasites. The survival rate in dogs has to do with 70 percent, but death might sometimes result from severe dehydration, a severe secondary bacterial infection, bacterial toxins in the blood, or a severe intestinal tract hemorrhage. Prognosis is lower for young puppies, since they have a less developed immune system. It prevails for a puppy that is infected with CPV to suffer shock, and unexpected death.

Dogs With Parvo Survival Rate

Parvovirus can have a fairly high death rate in young puppies in spite of early or aggressive therapy. There is no particular remedy, so treatment includes providing encouraging care so the body can produce adequate antibodies of its own to reduce the effects of the infection. Encouraging care consists of antibiotics to fight off secondary bacterial infections, fluids to fix the dehydration and control of the vomiting and diarrhea. Food should be kept and not given until the vomiting has picked up a minimum of 24 hours, and water must be provided in percentages only, as it may in some cases cause vomiting. Pups that survive for 3-4 days normally have a likelihood of making a full recovery within a week.

Living and Management

After your dog has recuperated from a CPV infection, it will still have a weakened body immune system, and will be prone to other diseases. Talk to your veterinarian about ways by which you can increase your dog’s immune system, and otherwise safeguard your dog from scenarios that might make it ill. A diet that is easily digested will be best for your dog while it is recovering.

Your dog will also continue to be a contagion risk to other dogs for at least 2 months after the preliminary recovery. You will need to isolate your dog from other dogs for a time period, and you might want to inform next-door neighbors who have dogs that they will need to have their own pets evaluated. Wash all the objects your dog uses (e.g., dishes, cage, kennel, toys) with non-toxic cleaners. Recovery features long-lasting resistance against the parvovirus, but it is no guarantee that your family pet will not be infected with the infection once again.

How to Prevent Parvo in Dogs?

The best prevention you can take against CPV infection is to follow the proper protocol for vaccination. Young puppies ought to be vaccinated at 6, 9, and twelve weeks, and must not be fraternized outdoors dogs until at least 2 weeks after their last vaccinations. High-risk breeds may require a longer initial vaccination duration of as much as 22 weeks.


Reyus Mammadli
Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.
Pet Health
Leave a Reply

  1. Reyus Mammadli author

    Thanks for the quality article.
    I would like to add that the natural immunity of puppies after a postponed parvovirus infection persists for at least 20 months.
    According to some testimonies, there are cases when the dog’s immunity lasts for life.
    Unfortunately, the acquisition of such a stable immunity through the disease, is not the best way.
    Vaccination is a much safer and more effective way of prevention.

  2. Kenneth

    When my wife and I just bought a puppy, the vet said that he needed vaccination. We agreed. So he didn’t get sick.

  3. Caitlin_35

    I was once gifted a very nice little pup. He seemed very happy and careless and it didn’t take me too long to start feeling affection for him 🙂 But this happiness didn’t last for long. One day, he just started weeping and sobbing in pain and we didn’t know what to do. We tried to call a veterinarian but by the time he arrived Shelby was already dead. It was later that we found out that it had been a Canine Parvovirus Infection. RIP Shelby 🙁

    1. Toni B

      I am terribly sorry for your loss but it shall be a lesson for you. If you get a puppy u ought to take care of it as if it’s your own child. Those vaccines would keep your lovely pup from dying and now you will be more careful with such things, I hope.

  4. Micky Dogus

    Thank the Lord, I listened to my veterinarian and vaccinated my puppy. He is such a lovely furry pup that I don’t think I could even recover from his death. I wish all the puppies had been vaccinated at birth, so no one would have to deal with such tragedies.

  5. Adelina Buzărnescu

    Big thanks to the author of this article. Before reading it I didn’t even know about such infection. But now if I ever decide to get a dog I shall know what to look out for. I really couldn’t bear losing a puppy after getting attached to it. This should never be a thing 🙁