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Posted on 04-09-2018

What Is Parvo? Pleasant View Veterinary Clinic Explains

Navigating your pet through the minefields of the disease germs that surround all animals can be an intimidating task. Some of these diseases are more dangerous than others -- and if you're a dog or puppy owner, parvo should be near the top of your hazard list. But what is parvo, and what can you do about it? Let's take a closer look at this virus, its treatment, and its prevention at Pleasant View Veterinary Clinic and Juniata Veterinary Clinic.

dog receiving parvovirus vaccine from his veterinarian in lewiston

Parvo in Dogs: Symptoms and Causes

The parvo virus (canine parvovirus type 2) is generally transmitted through contacts with the feces of an infected dog. This makes dog parks and other places where dogs gather a potential danger zone for pets who have not been protected against the disease -- even the sniffing of feces or standing on infected ground can transmit the virus to a dog.

Parvo in dogs takes on one of two forms. The more common intestinal form starts by attacking the lymph nodes and bones marrow, then goes on to destroy the intestines. Parvo symptoms include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, fever, and weight loss follow, possibly leading to death without immediate treatment. The less common cardiac form tends to be passed from mothers to their young. This type of parvo in puppies commonly causes death due to due heart damage.

Preventing and Treating Parvo in Puppies and Adult Dogs

Parvo symptoms can be somewhat similar to heartworm symptoms and either condition requires immediate attention from our team at Pleasant View Veterinary Clinic and Juniata Veterinary Clinic. While there is no outright cure for the virus itself, any veterinarian on our team, we can provide treatments to control and minimize parvo symptoms and tissue damage until the virus has run its course. Your pet may need to be hospitalized while we administer hydration, drugs to curb vomiting, and antibiotics in response to secondary infections.

Preventing parvo is much easier than it used to be, thanks to the development of vaccines. We give parvo vaccinations to puppies once they're 6 weeks old, continuing the shots until the puppies have string resistance to the virus. For puppies too young to receive the vaccination, we recommend that pet owners keep their little friends away from indoor or outdoor areas frequented by other puppies and adult dogs -- or at least carry them, instead of letting them walk in those areas.

Need a Mifflintown  or Lewistown Veterinarian for Parvo Care?

If you need a Mifflintown or Lewistown veterinarian for your pet's parvo care, we're your solution. Call either office today for vaccinations, treatment, and advice!

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