Parvo in puppies a seasonal concern

By Julie Damron, RecordNet

We are on the edge of spring, and parvovirus is already flourishing. I have seen more than 10 cases in the past three weeks. parvo is a virus that invades the cells that line the intestine; the lymphatic system also can be affected. Symptoms typically include weakness, low energy, low appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, secondary dehydration and possible shock. Often the excrement will have a fetid, foul odor and may be bloody. The disease progresses very quickly and can easily result in death.

This illness is more common in puppies 3 to 10 months old because of their poor immune systems. It can also affect adult dogs that have not received complete vaccinations or those that are immunocompromised, but this is not the common scenario. Usually the disease is diagnosed in young dogs that either have never received any vaccinations or have been given an incomplete series of inoculations. Certain breeds, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers have more difficulty fighting this illness, but any breed of dog can be affected.

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