How Do I Know If My Puppy Will Survive Parvo?

Question: How Do I Know If My Puppy Will Survive Parvo?

The color and consistency of their poop. Simply put, you will know your puppy is recovering from parvo when their stool returns to its normal color (usually a darkish-brown), it will appear firmer and show no signs of blood. 

You will also notice your puppy’s appetite, energy and hydration levels increase considerably, while vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy will decrease. 

What is Parvovirus? 

Parvovirus (commonly referred to as ‘Parvo’) is a highly contagious virus that predominantly affects puppies too young to be vaccinated, puppies in the middle of their vaccination program and unvaccinated adult dogs. 

Parvo attacks the lining of the small intestine causing vomiting, lethargy and bloody, watery stools. The virus spreads either through contact with an infected dog or through feces. A parvo infected dog will be contagious for about a month after you notice the first onset of symptoms. Initially, the virus will begin to shed through the feces before symptoms develop and will continue to shed for around 10-14 days after clinical treatment. Due to the robust nature of the virus, it can survive for a long time and in a variety of environments. 

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If left untreated, parvo can lead to death. 

Stages of Parvovirus 

A parvo infected dog will generally go through the following seven stages:

  1. Exposure to parvo (either through contact with an infected dog or feces)
  2. The incubation period (approximately 3-5 days from initial exposure) 
  3. Symptoms of parvo will begin to appear (usually vomiting, diarrhea, blood, suppressed appetite). 
  4. Veterinarian diagnosis 
  5. Treatment (clinical and/or round-the-clock home-care) 
  6. Recovery (around 3 weeks) 
  7. Full Recovery. Congrats, your pooch has survived parvo! (after a long month since first exposure)

Treating Parvovirus 

Because there is no cure for parvo, it is crucial that you get your puppy treatment as soon as you notice something the first onset of symptoms. Call your local vet or emergency vet immediately and get them seen to. First, your vet will confirm the diagnosis and immediately administer medication, antibiotics and intravenous fluids to stop vomiting. In more serious cases, a blood or plasma transfusion may be required. A sick dog may require from anywhere to one night to 10 or more days in the hospital. If treated quickly, most dogs will recover from parvo and live a long fulfilling life. 

Preventing Parvovirus

The best and easiest way to prevent parvo is by vaccinating your puppy. Other ways to prevent parvo include: 

  • Limit exposure to unvaccinated dogs
  • Avoid public parks during the unvaccinated period 
  • Disinfect your home before the virus has a chance to make contact 
  • Deworm your dog 
  • Know the symptoms (and what to look for!)
  • Visit the vet as soon as you think something isn’t right 

Give your puppy the best chance at life and follow these very simple, yet very effective ways at reducing any chance of contracting the deadly disease.

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How long does it take for parvo to kill a puppy?

Once a dog has been infected, it can take 3-14 days for them to develop symptoms. However, as soon as they do begin to display the symptoms of parvo, left untreated a puppy can die within 48-72 hours. Avoid death by getting your pet diagnosed as soon as possible so they can undergo treatment. 

How can I help my dog survive parvo?

Because there is no cure for parvo, it is crucial that you get your pooch treatment as soon as you notice something isn’t quite right. Call your local vet or emergency vet immediately and get them seen to. Your vet will administer medication, antibiotics and intravenous fluids to stop vomiting. In more serious cases, a blood or plasma transfusion may be required. 

Can you treat a puppy with parvo at home?

Initial veterinary treatment is crucial in managing parvo. However, it is just as important to provide follow-up care for your puppy post-vet trip. Your vet will recommend the best course of action for at-home care if you choose to take your pet home. This will usually include round-the-clock care, quarantining your puppy from other pets, and instructing you to bring them back to the vet as soon as their symptoms worsen. 

Can a vaccinated dog get parvo?

Yes. While rare, vaccinated dogs are not 100 percent protected from parvo. However, the parvo vaccine is considered extremely effective providing excellent protection. 

What color is parvo poop?

A dog with parvo will excrete a very distinct stool. Usually, they will have diarrhea often containing watery blood and can be a light yellow color. It will also have a very strong smell. 

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How long is a dog with parvo contagious?

A parvo infected dog will be contagious for about a month after you notice the first onset of symptoms. Initially, the virus will begin to shed through the feces before symptoms develop and will continue to shed for around 10-14 days after clinical treatment. Due to the robust nature of the virus, it can survive for a long time and in a variety of environments. 

Can I give my dog bleach for parvo?

No. Bleach is toxic to dogs and should be fed to them. However, bleach is incredibly effective in killing parvo in your dog’s environment and should be used. Because most cleaning products are ineffective, bleach is regularly endorsed. Use bleach on any hard surfaces and leave for at least 10-15 minutes. Just make sure your dog does not come into contact with the chemical substance. 

Will a dog with parvo drink water?

No. A dog infected by the parvovirus will not drink water and will become dehydrated. This is because parvo affects the inner lining of the dog’s intestine meaning they can no longer absorb food or water.

Can a puppy get parvo twice?

Not likely. Dogs that have previously been infected with parvo are generally immune from getting the virus again. In any case, ensure your puppy is well vaccinated to protect them from other viruses.

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