Home Remedies for Parvovirus in Puppies
One time of worry for dog owners is when their dog or puppy is diagnosed with parvovirus. This virus can infect your puppy without manifesting the symptoms early enough. Dog owners worry because it can easily spread among the other dogs and even cause the death of the puppy.
One important way of dealing with this virus is learning about the symptoms so that you can identify it early enough. This gives the opportunity of treatment before it causes harm to your puppy.
Parvovirus was first known in 1967 and since then, it has been identified as one cause of death in dogs. The virus is easily shed by infected dogs and can survive in your environment for a long time. It is also quite contagious and hard to kill.
This article will enlighten you on how you can identify the symptoms and what to do if your puppy is showing signs of it.
Parvo in Puppies
Parvovirus, commonly known as “Parvo”, is a common cause of severe ill-health among puppies and grown dogs. The most infected parts of the dog are the bone marrow and intestinal tract. A dog can easily get infected with Parvo, especially unvaccinated dogs.
The virus is not transmitted by air but can be found on infected surfaces in the environment. It can be found in the feces of infected dogs or even in their kennels. It can be on dogs’ fur or paws if they have been in contact with an infected dog. It can be contracted from exposure to infected objects like a food bowl, collars, leash, and clothing of persons who have come in contact with an infected dog.
Cause of Parvo
Puppies are highly susceptible to Parvo infection. When they are younger than six weeks, they still enjoy immunity from their mother. If the mother has completed her Parvo vaccination, the pups too will have some of their mother’s antibodies.
Puppies are expected to be vaccinated against the virus at 6, 8, and 12 weeks. Between 14 and 16 weeks also, they should be administered a booster.
If they have just been weaned, the stress of the weaning can bring down their immune system. This can increase the severity of the infection in such puppies. If a puppy has Parvo and a secondary infection, it can also increase the severity of the infection by parvovirus. There are certain breeds of dogs that are more susceptible to the virus. Among them are:
- German Shepherds
- English Spaniels
- Doberman Pinschers
- American Terriers
- Labrador Retrievers
How Long Can a Puppy Remain Contagious?
Once dogs are exposed to parvovirus, they can begin to shed it 4-5 days after. Many owners, however, do not note when the first symptoms of the virus begin to show. Even after the dogs have recovered clinically, they may continue to shed the virus for up to 10 days.
Any puppy recovering from Parvo should be kept isolated from other unvaccinated puppies for up to 10 days after clinical recovery to ensure pet safety.
How to Know if a Puppy Has Been Infected with Parvo
If you are able to identify the signs of Parvo infection on time in your puppy, you will have to visit the Vet for treatment early. Your pup may show any of these signs:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Weight loss
These are signs of Parvo but can also be signs of other ailments. If your pup comes down with any of these symptoms, you should get in touch with your Vet immediately. If you suspect that it may be Parvo, then you should intimate the vet so that he can take precautionary measures to keep other dogs from getting infected.
The vet will work with clinical signals and blood tests to diagnose Parvo. After diagnosis, he will advise you on the best way to treat the symptoms the puppy may be showing. It is also important that, at this time, your pup gets lots of bland and easy-to-digest meals as well as dehydration.
Good and healthy nutrition will ensure that they recover in good time. Parvo can bring down the puppy’s white blood cells count so that his immune system gets too weak to fight other secondary infections. The vet will decide on the right antibiotics for your pup and also monitor to prevent complications.
Although Parvo can result in a fatality, it has a survival rate of up to 80 percent after treatment. Recovery time varies but it takes an average of one week for a pup to recover. If, however, the puppy does not get medical attention, the chances of survival will be greatly reduced.
The vet will guide you on the precautionary steps to take in order to prevent other dogs in your home from getting infected.
Parvo infection is preventable. Getting all your dogs vaccinated is one important step in preventing it. If the bitches complete their vaccination, the puppies will benefit from their immunity in their first six weeks of life.
You should keep your pups away from unvaccinated dogs until they complete their vaccination. Keep your dogs away from parks and other social places where they can easily come across other dogs that may be infected with the virus.
Home Remedies for Parvo
There are no home remedies for Parvo. If a dog owner cannot afford to take the puppy to a clinic, he can invite the vet to treat the dog at home. Treatment covers the following:
- Treatment for vomiting
- Medication to manage the diarrhea
- Easily digestible diet
- Subcutaneous fluids.
Can Parvo Infect a Vaccinated Dog?
The canine parvovirus vaccine is very effective and can protect a vaccinated dog from parvovirus infection. It is important that vaccinated dogs get the necessary boosters based on their age. They can get boosters again after one year and every one to three years. You can also give a booster if your dog comes in contact with a dog that is shedding the virus.
Can a Dog Get Infected with the Virus More than Once?
It is unlikely that a dog that has been infected with the virus will get infected a second time. Immunity can last for several years. But it is important that every dog should get vaccinated and get boosters routinely. If too much time elapses between the boosters, it will be necessary to start the vaccinations again.
Can Humans Get Parvo?
Humans cannot become infected with canine parvovirus. However, it is important to wear protective clothing before coming in contact with an infected dog. This will prevent the transmission of the virus to other dogs through the hands or clothing of someone that has had contact with an infected dog.
Parvovirus is an infection that can weaken your puppy’s immunity and cause illness. Puppies can enjoy immunity from their mother for the first six weeks of life. But it is important to get them vaccinated to keep them safe from the virus.
It is important that you take precautionary measures to keep your puppies from getting infected. You should also treat any infected puppy and prevent it from passing it on to the other.