There’s nothing more precious than a puppy, and many dog owners may opt to adopt a puppy so that they can enjoy all the time in the world with their furry friend. That being said, puppies are especially susceptible to various illnesses and diseases that can be quite concerning. One such illness that can pose a major problem for your dog is parvo. But what is Parvo? If you’re considering adopting your first puppy, let’s dive into why Parvo is and why pet owners should be concerned about it.

What Is Parvo? Puppy Sleeping on Its Back

What Is Parvo?

Parvovirus, more commonly referred to as parvo, is a highly contagious disease that is typically spread when puppies or dogs come into contact with an item that has been infected or an infected dog. Dogs may contract parvo when they are around infected feces, contaminated dog products (especially in public places), and even items like the clothing of dog owners who have been in direct contact with an infected dog. Put simply, parvo is very easy to spread, which is why dog owners need to be wary of this disease and keep their dogs safe until they can be vaccinated.

How Does Parvo Affect Dogs?

Parvo is a disease that mainly impacts the stomach and small intestines. However, the damage that it can do can impact their immune system and make them vulnerable to contracting further illnesses they can’t fight, which is why the question “what is parvo?” is such an important one for pet owners to ask. Some of the signs that your puppy may have parvo include symptoms like:

  • Depression and lethargy
  • Weight loss and anorexia
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Bloody diarrhea

Because puppies are so vulnerable, it’s important that you take your pup to the vet if you believe that they’re exhibiting these symptoms and may have contracted parvo through the methods of infection listed above.

What Can Be Done to Treat Parvo?

If your puppy happens to contract parvo before they can get immunized (they need three immunizations at six, eight, and 12 weeks before they’re fully resistant to the disease), there is not much that you can do. If you believe that your puppy has parvo, your vet will run some tests to confirm that your suspicion is correct.

Once the disease has been identified, the only thing that vets can do is treat the symptoms of the virus and aim to prevent any bacterial infections or other complications from taking place. Puppies do have a high survival rate, especially if medical care is offered sooner rather than later, but parvo does have the potential to be fatal if left untreated or if the symptoms are severe enough.

Put simply, parvo is best avoided entirely as the last thing you want your pup to do is contract it!

How Can I Make Sure My Puppy Doesn’t Get Infected?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “what is parvo?”, we must ask the question, what can we do to keep our puppies safe. The best way to keep your pup safe from parvo is to have them avoid other dogs or items that other dogs may have touched until they’re old enough to receive their vaccinations.

Consult your vet to learn more about the vaccination schedule and when the vaccination will provide full coverage from the disease. In the meantime, isolate any items or dogs that may potentially have the virus from your pup to make sure that they’re safe. Given that their final vaccination will take place in their 12th week of life, this isn’t a long time to make sure that they’re staying quarantined away from potentially dangerous sources of the virus.

The parvo vaccination is very effective and it’s unlikely that your pet would contract parvo (especially a deadly case) once they’ve been fully vaccinated. Therefore, they will be safe to socialize and be around other dogs once the vaccination schedule has been completed. If you do happen to be around other dogs that may have parvo, make sure to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your dog or being near your dog until you’ve been fully stripped of potentially infectious items.

Remember, taking these risks is never worth the life of your pup.

What Is Parvo? An Infectious Disease That Can Be Avoided!

What is parvo? Put simply, it’s a disease that can easily be transmitted to pups and have a massive impact on their health. That being said, having a strong understanding of this virus, the vaccinations that they need to get to protect them from it, and the potential sources of infection make it easier for new puppy owners to navigate this hazard in their dog’s early years.

If you have either adopted a pup or are considering adopting and want to make sure that you’re prepared for the life of dog ownership, the guide above will provide you with all the information you need on parvovirus!