Post by Trish Manche
Any dog can be exposed to the Parvo virus, unfortunately it’s everywhere. If you walk through an area where an infected dog’s waste is on the grass, you can track it in on your shoes, on your clothes, or anything that comes in contact with it.
Puppies are most often the victims of this disease. At a certain point, they lose any immunity they had from their mother and there is a period of time when their immune systems are not fully developed to protect them. It is most prominent in the Spring. You may or may not know that your puppy has been exposed, but if you see these signs, it is urgent that you reach out to the rescue’s medical team.
The incubation period can be anywhere from 3 to 10 days once exposed. The first symptom is lethargy. Which can be followed by any the following symptoms: loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain with bloating, fever, or low body temperature, vomiting, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. The vomiting and diarrhea can rapidly lead to dehydration which causes damage to the immune system as well as the intestines and can lead to death. One site reports that the sloughing of intestinal cells gives the diarrhea a sickly-sweet odor.
How do I know if my dog is running a fever? The most common symptoms are much like humans, dogs will experience shivering, panting, red or glassy-looking eyes, their ears or nose maybe warm, runny nose, loss of appetite, decreased energy, and coughing.
Typically adult dogs are not affected by Parvo, however, it is not 100% true that adult dogs cannot become infected and so severely they could lose their life.
This is why we say a puppy’s feet must never touch the ground outside of our controlled environment, like our backyards, homes, or inside the rescue. We want to be so careful to protect them from this horrible disease before they are vaccinated.
All we can do is our best to limit exposure by being current on vaccinations, and remain alert to the symptom markers of this disease.
Please note the information shared in this blog post is provided by the author and information expressed may or may not be be in agreement with TMHPR and their leadership.