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Be Aware! Parvovirus in Puppies: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Parvovirus is a deadly virus which attacks the various breeds of puppies transmitted through puppy feces. It is a deadly disease which can claim the life of the animal. The entire dog family, i.e., wolves, foxes and coyotes are at equal risk of conceiving the disease. The street puppies are the most affected as they live in unhealthy conditions and at greater risk of coming in contact with infected puppy stool.


The puppies that are not vaccinated receive the virus and then become the carrier of this highly contagious disease. The disease first affects the intestines and then slowly spreads in the heart, causing major heart issues which in turn becomes life threatening.

The virus can even be transmitted to other beings if they come in contact with the infected stool of the puppy. So it is important to keep the puppy vaccinated. The pet puppies are timely given the vaccines by the vet, but the street ones are not so lucky and hence are prone to higher risks. The government, however, takes measures to ensure that more and more street puppies are taken to vet clinics for timely vaccine, but the entire family cannot be covered as the world of full of stray puppies. The dangerous part is that the virus is active in the environments for many months and is capable of infecting non living objects like the food bowls, clothes, shoes, etc. the virus cannot affect human, it can only transmit to other mammals but the most affected lot are puppies.

The symptoms of the virus are outlined below:

  • Lethargy in the puppy is seen as a symptom of the virus.
  • Serious vomiting, which persists for longer duration.
  • Severe dehydration, which can be fatal and claim the life of the puppy.
  • Loss of appetite among puppies
  • A very bad smelling diarrhea.

[Puppy Care-What To Give Puppy For Diarrhea?]


Whenever the puppy is seen carrying these symptoms they need to go through the test conducted to diagnose the disease. The name of the test is the Enzyme linked Immuno Sorbent Assay (ELISA). Further tests are conducted if the report is not clear. With investigation the virus can be diagnosed and hence the desired treatment can be started for the puppy. The test is conducted to find the presence of the virus in the stool of the puppy.

Pups are at higher risks of conceiving the virus. The breed highly infectious to the diseases is:

Once the puppy is infected, it is important to isolate the animal as it is carrying a highly contagious disease.

The treatment should be started immediately after the diagnosis. The disease starts showing signs within 3-7 days. The earliest sign of virus is lethargy and hence progressive in nature. The treatment depends upon two factors:

  • How early is the diagnosis made?
  • The age of the animal is also a prime factor.

The treatment is done in vet hospitals or clinics’:

  • First of all the vomiting is controlled.
  • IV fluids are given to control the intensity of the virus. The fluids should have a balanced amount of electrolyte, B complex vitamins, potassium chloride and dextrose.
  • Analgesics are also given to provide comfort from frequent diarrhea.
  • The fluid helps to maintain the body water lost due to extensive vomiting and diarrhea. The dehydration is hence controlled.
  • In extreme cases a blood transfusion from another puppy who has been cured of the virus is required. But this is rare.
  • Once the body fluid level is normal, the fluid transfusion is stopped and the puppy is given antibiotic medications. Normally it takes 2-3 days to become better.
  • In acute cases the disease might claim the life of the puppy even after undergoing treatment.


However, prevention is better than cure. Vaccination is the only good one. Early vaccination at the age of 7-8 weeks must be administered and then the boosters should follow to keep the puppy at bay. However, pregnant dogs should not be given vaccinations as it may lead to abortion.

Parvovirus is a deadly disease and the authorities of the puppy organizations across the globe are contributing greatly to the well being of the puppies. Once the virus hits, the chances of survival are bleak at times.

The government agencies are doing their bit for the puppies but as responsible citizens, we too have to alert the agency people in case we notice the symptoms in stray puppies. Pet puppies are well looked after by their owners. The virus is seen in cats also. In fact, some consider cats to be the originators of this virus. This is yet to be proven though. The well being of our fellow beings is our responsibility too.


Hailing from Delhi, Prateek Tiwari is an avid animal lover who believes in Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” A graduate in Biotechnology, he has vast knowledge about different breeds of pets and pet food that are both nutritious and promote healthy growth. In order to make people aware about pets and pet care, he shares his expertise through his blog posts.

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