What to do if your dog is infected with canine parvovirus?

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease that affects dogs, particularly puppies. If your dog shows symptoms of parvovirus infection, prompt action is crucial. Here are essential steps to take:

  1. Seek Veterinary Care: Immediate veterinary attention is vital. Parvo can cause severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and damage to the intestinal lining. Your vet will diagnose the infection through tests like enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Early diagnosis allows for timely treatment.
  2. Hospitalization: Hospitalization is often necessary. Dogs with parvo require intravenous fluids to combat dehydration and maintain electrolyte balance. The average hospital stay for a recovering dog is five to seven days.
  3. Medication: Treatment includes:
    • Antibiotics to prevent secondary infections.
    • Antiemetics to control vomiting and prevent further dehydration.
    • Analgesics to manage pain.
    • Probiotics to support gut health.
    • Vitamins and electrolyte supplements.
  4. Isolation: Infected dogs should be isolated to prevent spread. Staff handling them must wear protective gear.
  5. Home-Based Recovery: After initial treatment, some dogs can continue recovery at home. This involves:
    • Special interval diet.
    • Subcutaneous fluids.
    • Light vital sign monitoring.
    • Regular progress report calls and fecal testing.

Remember, 90% of untreated dogs succumb to parvo. Professional care significantly improves their chances of survival.

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