First, An Overview of Parvo
What is parvo?
Canine parvovirus (CPV) infection is a highly contagious viral illness. Parvo attacks cells in a dog’s body, most often those in the intestinal tract. In addition, parvo may also attack white blood cells, which can cause damage to a dog’s heart. In some cases, this can result in a lifelong heart issues.
What are they symptoms?
The most common symptoms are lethargy, severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, loss of appetite and due to these, weight loss and life-threatening dehydration.
How do dogs catch parvo?
This is an incredibly virulent virus, found in the feces of infected dogs. It can live on surfaces for up to 1 year and can be found on flooring, bowls, toys, bedding, just about anywhere that an infected dog has been.
The only way to be safe and ensure that a Boxer puppy does not catch parvo, is to keep him away from all dogs and all places dogs could have been unless you are 100% sure that the dogs are disease-free or until 2 weeks have passed after his final puppy vaccinations.
Because this is so terribly contagious, it is most often found in backyard breeder situations, large unkempt kennels and the like, where pups may not have their inoculations and/or where disease can spread rapidly from dog to dog.
– This is most commonly seen with pups 6 weeks to 6 months old.
– Dogs can recover from parvo, in fact most do. However, the mortality rate is about 15%, which makes this a considerably deadly disease.
Of the 4 other diseases that pups are vaccinated against, distemper has a mortality rate of 50%, hepatitis has a mortality rate of 10-30% (highest with puppies), leptospirosis is 10% for those that are symptomatic and parainfluenza is 1-3%. So, of course, it is vital that all pups receive their inoculations.
Surviving parvo depends quite a bit on how fast parvo is diagnosed, the quality of the treatment and the age of the pup.
– This is an emergency situation with a minimum of 1 week of inpatient, intensive care. Further recovery at home can take months.
There is no cure for parvo; there is no method of killing the virus. Therefore, the symptoms are treated. Because this is so severe, IV intervention must be given for a hope at survival. In addition, medications to help control nausea and/or antibiotics are given as well.