Parvovirosis is a highly contagious viral infectious desaese. Puppies of 2-16 weeks and old dogs are most frequently affected. The condition is considered one of the most dangerous infections in dogs, often having a fatal outcome.
In general, the first symptoms appear within 4 to 10 days after the infection. The most serious courses of the disease are to be observed with puppy-dogs. The first symptoms are fever (approx. 39.5°C - 41.5°C), absence of appetite and inactivity. Shortly after, the typical symptoms follow such as vomiting and watery, nasty smelling, increasingly bloody diarrhea. The animal needs to be treated immediately at this moment of time; otherwise it may die within a few days. In addition to that, a reduction of white blood cells takes place which further weakens the immune system and makes the dog additionally susceptible for bacterial infections. Affected animals dry out fast. Partly, sudden death of young dogs (three to twelve weeks) may also take place without the symptoms clearly evolving.
The agent (Parvovirus) is discharged above all with the excrement and vomited material and is infectious for a long period of time. Already sniffing of objects contaminated with the virus is sufficient for an infection. Furthermore, human beings can be carriers of the disease. The viral agent gets through the nasal mucosa and mucosa of the muzzle into the dog's body and attacks above all the immune system, the intestinal mucosa as well as the bone marrow.
In practice there are some procedures which verify the existence of the viruses. The most effective therapeutic measure is the vaccination of the animal. Formerly, puppies could not successfully be vaccinated in early weeks of life since the antibodies ingested through the mother's milk considered the vaccination as infection and made it ineffective. The same antibodies offered, however, with advanced age no secure protection against parvovirosis. The puppy itself produced own antibodies not until higher age which serve the defense of the parvovirosis, so that it was not protected against the disease until the first vaccination. By now, there is an early vaccination (puppy vaccination) so that the unprotected time of the puppies has been reduced to a minimum. Diseased animals shall for now be supported with infusions. Antibiotics shall suppress the secondary bacterial infections which may always develop in case of a weak immune system. The virus is treated with serum antibodies as well as medication with antiviral effect. Additionally, all appearing symptoms shall be treated in accordance with their type. Basically, in case of infected dogs, retransmission of the causative organism shall be prevented. That includes very strict hygiene measures.
The disease shall be considered an absolute emergency since possibly danger to life exists for your dog. The dog needs to get as fast as possible to a veterinary hospital or a veterinarian. If it is early detected and intensively treated, the prospects for healing are favorable. The patient should immediately be separated from other dogs and cats, also at your home, in case more than one pet (dog or cat) is living in your domestic home. In such a case, always all animals should be treated, even when no symptoms appear. Announce your consultation in the veterinarian practice so that provisions can be made there which will prevent an infection of other animals. By now, there is an early vaccination so that the unprotected time of the puppies has been reduced to a minimum. The vaccination protects, however, not 100% against the disease. Normally, a combination vaccine is given which protects at the same time against distemper and hepatitis.