PARVO is very serious illness in dogs, it can suck the life out of your new puppy taking them from playful and happy to dull and near death. However, on the bright side Parvo can be easily prevented from infecting your Pitbull. In this article we’ll discuss more about where Parvo comes from and how to avoid it. If your puppy does contract Parvo we’ll even tell you the best next steps to limit the amount of damage the disease causes.
Parvo, What is it, and Who is Most At Risk?
Parvo is a gastrointestinal illness that mainly effects young dogs and puppies. If your Pitbull puppy is infected and no treatment is administered Parvo can potentially kill your dog. Due to the higher risk of young dogs getting Parvo it is important to limit your puppies interaction with other dogs while they are most vulnerable. Taking this precaution is smart because it is often hard to pinpoint infection in other dogs, this is because dogs can be contagious even after they have recovered.
If your Pitbull puppy is between 6 weeks and 6 months old, they are considered higher risk for catching Parvo. It’s important to get your Pitbull the recommended vaccinations, dogs who aren’t vaccinated or only partially vaccinated have the most risk when it comes to contracting Parvo and dying from it.
Sadly our beloved Pitbulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and Springer Spaniels are all breeds with higher rates of contracting Parvo. This fact is a mystery to most experts as they don’t know why these breeds are more sensitive. It’s important to protect your Pit since they are among the most sensitive breeds.
Where Does Parvo Come From?
Canine Parvovirus is what causes Pitbulls to contract Parvo. For your dog to be infected doesn’t take very much, the first way Parvo can be transmitted is from an infected dogs feces. Allowing your dog to wander around and lick or sniff the feces of an infected dog can be disastrous. If you already have a Pitbull puppy then you know how curious and energetic they are. They want to explore and learn new things, that is why it is the owners responsibility to keep the puppy safe from potentially infectious areas.
This point reminds me of a night about 25 years ago, I was a young kid with a new puppy. My family and I had gone grocery shopping, and when we left our house we often put our puppy in a crate in the garage. When we opened the garage to pull the car in, we noticed our pup was out of the crate and running lose and out of the garage!
“What happened next would leave a lasting impression on me, and teach me how serious Parvo was. My mom unbuckled her seat belt hopped out the car, and then proceeded to dive on the ground to stop my dog Denta from reaching our front lawn.”
Keep your puppy away from grassy areas that other dogs have access to. That includes un-gated front yards, on which strays or even passersby dogs can urinate or poop. It is also good to know how resilient the Parvo virus is. It’s know to survive is wide variety of circumstances and environments. For example, did you know Parvo can survive for years outdoors!? It can also survive indoors for up to a few months. Parvo is also resistant to many household cleaners! Even shoes that stepped in parvo poop can bring the virus into a home or yard. If you suspect to be in contact with feces or poop that could potentially have been infected, using household bleach will clear the virus.
What Are the Symptoms of Parvo?
Maybe you’re suspecting your Pitbull puppy has contracted parvo, because their behavior seems off. Here is a list of common Parvo symptoms if you see any of the following symptoms in your young Pit please visit a veterinary professional!
Symptoms of Parvo Include:
Fever, weakness, depression, dehydration, loosing weight, lethargic, extreme laziness, BLOODY DIARRHEA, and VOMITING.
Even if your new puppy hasn’t been around any grass or has any possible exposure to Parvo, any single one of these symptoms requires veterinary assistance. Puppies can be rather delicate, so being precaution is always better than risking a death.
How to Treat Parvo
Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to prevent Parvo bacteria from spreading into your puppy’s intestinal walls. What makes Parvo particularly scary is that it lowers your dog’s ability to fight infections, due to lowering white blood cells. Your Vet will recommend fluids, nutrition changes, and medicine that will hopefully hold Parvo off from fatally harming your young Pitbull.
Remember Veterinarians are the experts, and that’s why they make the big bucks. Always consult one when you fear you puppy might be experiencing Parvo symptoms. In most cases of recovery, puppies usually bounce back from the Parvo virus in about a weeks time. Your Vet will give you a list of steps to help your dog successfully recover.
Remember my mom diving to stop my puppy from getting into our lawn? She did this knowing that Denta had been vaccinated. Even dogs with all the necessary vaccines are not guaranteed immunity to parvo. The best way to prevent parvo is to take no risks! Don’t let your dog associate or be in the same quarters as dogs who haven’t been vaccinated. Try to limit your puppy leaving your home environment, while it looks fun and its the cool thing to do, Don’t take your young Pitbull puppy into the pet store, shopping with you on a leash.
Even be careful when enrolling your young puppy into obedience classes, because we often times don’t know where the other dogs have been, if they have had their shots, or if they are already infected.
Parvo is deadly to young dogs, but it is 100% preventable! Make sure your Pitbull is safe by taking precautions. Thanks for reading!