Home » other animals » Canine parvovirosis: how to recognize and treat canine typhus?

Canine parvovirosis: how to recognize and treat canine typhus?

Parvovirosis in a dog

Imagine the situation: you've been dreaming about a dog for years. Even as a small child, you ask your mother for a puppy, but your parents are adamant.

After all, as you get older, you make a decision - it's that day and it's that dog.

You bring a little toddler home, but there is something wrong with him:

he is sad, he doesn't play like other dogs

She has diarrhea, but maybe it was stress, or maybe it was karma.

After a few days you decide to visit a veterinarian, but it's too late, a few hours your dream pooch, which you have already fallen in love with, dies

This is what the mileage scenario looks like in most cases parvovirosis in dogs.

Caused by a virus in the family Parvoviridae (CPV-2), the same thing that causes panleucopenia in cats (cats FPV).

The disease is characterized by approx 40% mortality.

In dogs with a complicated form of parvovirosis, it even increases to 100%.

So it is a disease very dangerous, highly contagious, especially for puppies.

In this article you will learn what parvovirosis is, what are the symptoms of parvovirosis and how to treat it. Finally, I will explain whether the disease is dangerous to humans.

  • Parvovirosis in a dog
    • Dear infection with canine typhus
    • When it occurs most often?
  • Dog parvovirosis causes
  • Symptoms of parvovirosis in dogs
    • Enteric form of parvovirosis
    • Cardiac form of parvovirosis
  • Diagnosis and diagnosis of parvovirosis
  • What other diseases resemble parvovirosis?
  • Treatment of parvovirosis in dogs
    • The first stage of treatment
    • The second stage of treatment
    • How long does parvovirosis treatment take?
    • How much is the treatment of parvovirosis?
  • Prophylaxis and prevention: vaccination against parvovirosis
  • Can a dog develop parvovirosis after vaccination??
  • Parvovirosis and pregnancy
  • Is parvovirosis dangerous to humans?

Parvovirosis in a dog

  • Parvovirosis in dogs is a disease caused by the DNA of a virus from the Parvoviridae family.
  • In recent years, this virus has undergone many mutations, new forms of CPV - 2a, CPV - 2b have been created, to which, unfortunately, cats are also sensitive.
  • This virus loves rapidly dividing cells, so the main targets of its attack are:
    • intestinal crypt cells,
    • young erythrocytes,
    • granulocytes,
    • cells of the lymphatic system,
    • the heart muscle cells of very young animals.

This virus is very resistant to environmental conditions, therefore, a new puppy or an unvaccinated pet must not be brought into the house where the dog suffering from parvovirosis was present for a minimum period of time 6 months.

Parvovirus infected red blood cells | source: wikipedia

Dear infection with canine typhus

In order for an infection to occur, a virus must enter the dog's digestive system.

However, it is not as difficult as you think:

food contaminated with faeces is enough, licking the hair of a sick brother or colleague, licking the shoes of the owner who passed the same path, on which a sick dog gave faeces a few weeks ago.

There are many such cases, because parvovirosis virus is excreted from the diseased organism by:

  • feces,
  • urine,
  • vomiting,
  • saliva.

The time from infection to onset of symptoms is approx 7-14 days.

When it occurs most often?

Parvovirosis most often attacks young dogs, up to 6 months of age, before the complete vaccination course.

Puppies are the most sensitive up to 4 days of age, then the mortality drops.

Apart from young dogs, they are also sensitive to typhus old dogs (8-12 years of age), never vaccinated, living in large clusters.

Often, parvovirus also attacks individuals who are immunocompromised.

Parvovirosis is asymptomatic in many adult dogs (22-48%).

For approx 7-10 days however, they pass the germ in the faeces.

The dog breeds most susceptible to parvovirosis are:

  • German Shepherds,
  • dobermans,
  • rottweilers.

Dog parvovirosis causes

In my opinion, the popularity of this germ in the environment.

Only household disinfectants sodium hypochlorite (included for example in Domestos) destroys viruses from the Parvoviridae family, but only after an hour of operation.

What disinfectants kill the virus?

As a result, the environment, especially the urban one, is commonly contaminated with parvovirosis virus.

Parvovirosis germs can be brought home on shoes, clothes or other objects.

Also, the bitch can bring the virus on the hair, on the nipples or the pads of the paws.

Parvovirus they can also carry:

  • cats,
  • rodents,
  • arthropods.

So the puppy can get infected even through swallowing a fly if having fun with the butterfly.

Symptoms of parvovirosis in dogs

Two forms of the disease are known and the symptoms of parvovirosis are specific to these two forms:

  • intestinal parvovirus,
  • cardiac parvovirus.

Enteric form of parvovirosis

It is now the more common form canine typhus.

Dog enteric parvovirosis symptoms:

  • violent, persistent vomiting,
  • loss of appetite and thirst,
  • sadness,
  • increase in body temperature,
  • after 6-48 hours, watery diarrhea is added, often with some blood,
  • overflow in the belly,
  • tucked up belly,
  • dehydration,
  • weight loss,
  • electrolyte disturbances,
  • rapid breathing,
  • after a while the temperature drops below normal,
  • hiopoglycemia and hypopotassemia reduce muscle contractility,

Attention! Shock and death can occur due to dehydration and weakness of the dog.

Symptoms of parvovirosis in dogs

Blood tests also show leukopenia and lymphopenia from the 2nd to the 5th day of illness.

Dogs are therefore more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections (often E.coli) to sepsis that is, intoxication of the body (or sepsis) inclusive.

They may also experience:

  • pneumonia,
  • pleurisy,
  • the formation of abscesses,
  • infections with other viruses.

Then the prognosis is unfortunately unfavorable

What they might look like signs of parvovirosis in a dog you can see in the video below

Puppy suffering from canine Parvovirus
Watch this video on YouTube

Cardiac form of parvovirosis

It mainly concerns very young puppies - up to 2 weeks of age.

This is because the virus attacks intensely dividing cells. Heart cells are just dividing until the puppy is 2 weeks old.

This early infection can be caused intrauterine infection be perinatal, so the source is here unvaccinated mother.

The course of the disease is very violent.

The animals die suddenly without any symptoms.

With cardiac parvovirosis, a dog may experience symptoms such as:

  • bruising of visible mucous membranes,
  • choking of the pet,
  • foamy discharge from the respiratory tract.

Usually more than one animal in a litter is sick.

Diagnosis and diagnosis of parvovirosis

Diagnosis and diagnosis of parvovirosis

If a puppy with persistent diarrhea comes to the doctor, the first thing to be ruled out is parvovirosis.

Often in the initial examination, based on the history and symptoms, the veterinarian will start treatment.

A blood test will probably be performed to confirm your suspicions.

When testing your dog for parvovirosis, special attention should be paid to:

  • reduction in the number of white blood cells,
  • high hematocrit,
  • acid-base imbalance,
  • hypoglycemia,
  • hypoproteinemia,
  • hypoalbuminemia,
  • lowering potassium.

There are also a number of tests confirming parvovirosis:

the quick ones are among the most used plate tests.

Their structure is somewhat reminiscent of human pregnancy tests, but the material used here is the feces of a sick animal.

The advantage of quick tests is the fact that in a very short time, while still in the office, we can get an answer to whether the animal is sick.

However, this test cannot be 100% sure that the animal is healthy.

We must also remember that from 5 to 12 days after vaccination the tests may show positive results.

In doubtful cases, the doctor may suggest specialized laboratory tests - PCR or ELISA test.

And here, similarly, the research material is feces collected from a sick animal.

You have to take into account that the cost of such a test is greater than in the case of plate tests.

What other diseases resemble parvovirosis?

There are a number of diseases that resemble parvovirosis with their symptoms.

Parvovirosis in dogs is also similar to other diseases, such as:

  • nasal,
  • coronavirus enteritis,
  • bacterial enteritis (Salmonella, Campylobacter),
  • hemorrhagic enteritis and gastritis,
  • strong worming,
  • inflammation of the pancreas.

Despite the similarities, an experienced doctor, based on the age of the animal, the nature of the symptoms, the type of diarrhea, the presence or absence of leukopenia, is able to determine what the opponent is dealing with.

So if your puppy it was dewormed, and his the stool is watery, gray-yellow, stinking (some people liken this smell to that of soap), see your veterinarian immediately.

It could mean that he is suffering from parvovirosis.

Treatment of parvovirosis in dogs

You must remember that parvovirosis is a very intensive disease, therefore, it is often required hospital treatment.

Treatment of parvovirosis

It becomes necessary to isolate a sick animal from healthy, especially unvaccinated, young or those whose immune system does not work as it should, i.e. older dogs and chronically ill dogs.

The first stage of treatment

It is also valid for the first days of treatment absolute ban on feeding.

First, because of dog's diarrhea and vomiting, the little pooch's body becomes dehydrated.

For this reason, it is essential to administer drips - intravenously, subcutaneously, or intraperitoneally - as required by the situation.

The fluids used for this purpose must compensate for the acidosis blood pH disturbance.

Typically, it is used:

  • multi-electrolyte fluid,
  • Ringer's solution with lactate ions,
  • 8.4% NaHCO3 solution.

Also remember to add glucose in the form of intravenous infusions as well amino acids preparations such as:

  • Duphalyte,
  • vitamins from group B and others (Inravit, Combivit).

A cover is also necessary antibiotic.

Drugs administered in case of parvovirosis, depending on the condition of the pet:

  • enrofloxacin,
  • ampicillin,
  • amoxicillin,
  • sulfonamides with trimethoprim.

In the treatment of this severe disease, it is also important antiemetic effect.

For this purpose, the doctor may apply:

  • maropitant (Cerenia),
  • metoclopramide,
  • chlorpromazine,
  • ondansetron.

It is also reasonable to use drugs that protect the gastric mucosa, such as:

  • ranitidine,
  • cimetidine.

With intense diarrhea with blood, it can also be used antihaemorrhagics such as cyclonamine.

If shock occurs, the doctor should apply anti-shock drugs, for example hydrocortisone.

To eliminate the cause of the infection, you can apply serum immune (for example Canglob).

Generally speaking, it is the centrifuged serum of a dog that has had parvovirosis in the past.

It contains ready-to-fight little soldiers - antibodies that fight the virus.

The second stage of treatment

After the first few days of treatment when it was needed starvation diet, start giving your pet small amounts of food.

If food intake is not possible, give it to him glutamine to protect the cells that line the intestines.

In the treatment of parvovirosis, it is also important to stimulate the immune system - administering agents immunostimulants.

How long does parvovirosis treatment take?

Each case of parvovirosis is different, therefore the duration of treatment and the type of preparations administered may be different.

The most important are the first 3 - 4 days of treatment, usually the dogs come back together after about a week.

However, in complicated cases, hospitalization of the puppy may up to several weeks.

How much is the treatment of parvovirosis?

When it comes to treatment costs, they should be limited to several hundred zlotys, but it is conditioned the advancement of the disease.

So if you suspect parvovirus in your dog, see your vet as soon as possible.

Remember that home treatment of parvovirosis does not work.

Prophylaxis and prevention: vaccination against parvovirosis

Parvovirosis vaccination

The only form of prevention parvovirosis in dogs is their vaccination against this disease.

If you are the owner of a breeding bitch, you must remember about her annual vaccinations.

They give immunity not only to the mother, but also to puppies in the first weeks of life.

When it comes to puppies, there are two schools:

The first is about vaccination in 8 weeks old and repeating the vaccination after 3-4 weeks.

The second one says that the vaccination should be started earlier, because it is already at week 6, and twice repeating the vaccination at intervals 3- 4 weeks.

This strategy is usually used in places with high animal density - breeding shelters, or in animals at risk of infection.

In both cases, vaccination should be repeated each year.

In my practice, the principle is that dogs over 5 years of age can be vaccinated already every 2 years.

It is also important that sick animals do not come into contact with the virus.

In this respect, before the end of the vaccination cycle, it is not advisable to walk outside your yard, play with dogs you don't know, or stay with a large group of dogs (hotels).

Absolutely a puppy cannot stay in a place where a dog suffering from parvovirosis used to be.

Such a place should be avoided with a wide berth from half a year to a year.

Can a dog get parvovirosis after vaccination??

In theory, this could happen.

There are several possibilities for such a scenario.


  • Badly done, made at the wrong time vaccination of the dog, or vaccination with inadequately stored vaccine.

These cases often occur when vaccination is administered by an unauthorized person.

The only person who should vaccinate puppies is a veterinarian.

The second scenario is this:

  • The animal that has been vaccinated it wasn't healthy, so it couldn't build immunity.

Hence, an interview and clinical examination before vaccination are so important.

So if your pooch was uncomfortable yesterday, he ate something he shouldn't have and is vomiting today, or he was very infested - report it to the doctor before vaccination.

Another possibility of a dog vaccinated against parvovirus infection is a so-called virus mutation.

Vaccines available on the market only protect against viruses CPV, CPV2a, CPV2b.

Scientists recently discovered new variants of the virus CPV2c.

So if your puppy has had the misfortune of contracting this variant of the virus, even three vaccinations will not save him from symptoms.

Parvovirosis and pregnancy

Parvovirosis virus can be transmitted intrauterine, therefore bitches exposed to it they should not have offspring.

It is also important to prevent this disease by vaccinating bitches.

This is because it gives immunity to the mother and the future litter.

Is parvovirosis dangerous to humans?

Can a person become infected with parvovirus?

Parvovirosis virus it is not dangerous to humans.

However, since it is one of the most mutating viruses, hygiene should be followed when caring for a dog with parvovirosis.


Parvovirosis is a severe and insidious disease.

Remember that only your quick response and treatment can save your dog's life!

After reading this article, you already know what the symptoms of canine parvovirosis are and why a quick response is key.

If you want to know more about treatment of parvovirosis, or your pooch had this disease - now post a comment under the article. I will answer all questions and clarify doubts.

Sources used >>

Leave Your Comment