As a pet owner, you have to constantly tend to your furry friend in order to ensure they are as happy and healthy as possible. You have to focus on proper training methods, beware of fleas (which can lay over 2,000 eggs in their lifetime), and make sure you’re tending to any kind of sickness that strikes your pet.

When it comes to taking care of a pet, you should beware of Parvovirus in dogs, a highly contagious virus that can affect any kind of dog. This virus is spread from dog to dog by direct (or indirect) contact with feces. Unfortunately, mortality can reach as much as 91% of untreated cases, which is why it’s imperative to visit a trusted animal medical center whenever you suspect your pet has parvovirus or similar diseases. First, you should know how to identify the symptoms of this virus.

Parvovirus in Dogs: Warning Signs

Though all dogs are at risk for developing parvovirus, puppies less than 4 months old and dogs that have not been vaccinated against the virus are at an increased risk for infection. Additionally, dogs in animal shelters, breeding kennels, and pet stores are at an increased risk due to the overcrowded and poor sanitary conditions.

This is an acute illness, meaning that symptoms can develop suddenly and rapidly — typically within three and 10 days of exposure. Again, if you notice any of the following symptoms, consider taking advantage of emergency vet services and visit an animal medical center nearby. Here are some of the warning signs of Parvovirus in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea (often severe)
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Fever
  • Malaise (discomfort)
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite

Parvovirus: Prevention

Since this disease can potentially be life-threatening, it’s imperative that you not only act quickly when your dog is showing any of these warning signs but do everything in your power to prevent this virus from ever occurring.

Here are some prevention tips for keeping your dog healthy and parvovirus-free:

  • Get your dog vaccinated — Puppies should receive their first vaccines between 6 and 8 weeks of age. If your dog has already been vaccinated, make sure you’re getting them boosters once a year. Animal hospitals are great for educating you on and administering proper vaccinations. Keep in mind if your dog or puppy has not been vaccinated, make sure you limit their exposure to other dogs until they have had his or her first vaccination.
  • Practice good hygiene — Aside from getting your dog vaccinated, maintaining good hygiene is paramount in the fight against parvovirus. Start by obtaining the right tools such as a quality brush, grooming towel, shampoos, teeth cleaning tools, styptic powder (used to stop nail bleeding), wide and fine-tooth combs, and other veterinarian-approved hygiene products.
  • Act quickly — Waiting too long to get your dog help is the worst thing you can do as a pet owner. It could just be a little bug that will go away with some rest — but it could be something much more serious. If you notice your dog struggling with any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, get help right away!

You don’t need to wait for an emergency to become familiar with our veterinary services. Get the best care you can find for all of your pet’s health needs. We are more than just an animal hospital. Contact us today or directly call us at 520-888-3177 for more information about our specialty and 24-hour emergency services.