Global outbreaks of parvovirus – Dog parents stay alert

Global outbreaks of parvovirus - Dog parents stay alert

The current COVID-19 pandemic situation wreaking havoc across the world and dog parents now have an additional concern. Most of them have fallen back on the vaccinations and regular health check-ups for their dogs. The safety restrictions and people’s hesitance to step out of their homes for fear of contracting the coronavirus have put their dogs in the risk of the deadly canine parvovirus.

What is Canine Parvovirus?

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and deadly virus that is present at large in the environment. It spreads rapidly when in contact with an infected dog, any contaminated object, or even its feces. If the dogs are not vaccinated or miss their scheduled vaccinations, they are at high risk of contracting the virus. It is found that in cases when the dogs are not treated, over 90% results in mortality.

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It is quite impossible to treat severely affected cases, so it is best to keep a lookout for these symptoms in your dogs and visit the vet immediately if you suspect anything.

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Constant vomiting
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
Global outbreaks of parvovirus
Image Credit: Global outbreaks of parvovirus – Dog parents stay alert. Image from Dogtime

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Parvovirus has no cure and it is only possible to reduce the severity of the symptoms and extend the lifespan slightly. The dog will suffer a permanent blow to the immune system and gastrointestinal tract.

Puppies especially are most vulnerable as they might not have completed the required cycles of vaccination. According to the AKC, certain breeds like Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and American Staffordshire Terriers are more susceptible to the virus.
Though the virus does not spread to humans, it is better to wash well after touching your dog. In times like these, especially, hygiene has become of the utmost importance.

As several countries including South Africa, USA, Canada, and the UK, have reported cases of the parvovirus, several warnings have been directed at dog owners to keep their dogs safe, vaccinated, and away from parks and public places. In case you have missed your dog’s vaccinations, it’s high time you get it done.

And like always, stay indoors to ensure the safety of both you and your dog.

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