Can a dog carry parvo and not get sick? Get Your Pet Thinking

How does infection with CPV make a dog sick?

Parvo first infects the tonsils and lymph nodes in the mouth, and then travels via the lymphocytes (white blood cells) to the bloodstream. Once in the blood stream, the virus attacks rapidly dividing cells, including the cells that line the intestinal tract, bone marrow and the heart.

The virus causes destruction of the epithelial cells of the small intestine, which is the lining that helps to absorb nutrients and provides a barrier against fluid loss and bacterial invasion from the gut into the body. Severe diarrhea and nausea are the initial result, but eventually the intestinal surface can become so damaged that it begins to break down, and the bacteria that are normally contained in the gut penetrate the intestine walls and enter the bloodstream. To make matters worse, the body’s immune system is already weakened, as its ability to produce new white blood cells to fight infection has been hampered by the invasion of Parvo into the bone marrow. Parvo is not always fatal, but when it does kill, death is as a result of either dehydration and/or shock, along with the effects of septic toxins produced by the intestinal bacteria roaming throughout the bloodstream.

There is no treatment to kill the virus once it infects the dog. However, the virus does not directly cause death but it causes destruction of the intestinal tract, and some blood cells. The intestinal damage results in severe dehydration (water loss), electrolyte imbalances (sodium and potassium), and infection in the bloodstream (septicemia).

The first step in treatment is to correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. This requires the administration of intravenous fluids. Antibiotics are given to prevent or control septicemia. Medications to prevent vomiting and protect the lining of the stomach are used to inhibit the diarrhea and vomiting that perpetuate the problem.

Most dogs with Parvo infection recover if aggressive treatment is used and if therapy is begun before severe septicemia and dehydration occur. So, if your dog appears ill, seek veterinary care as soon as possible. In most cases, puppies that have not improved by the third or fourth day of treatment have a poor prognosis for recovery.

Clubs Offering:

The last thing any new puppy owner or dog breeder wants to hear is a diagnosis of parvo. Parvo in puppies is unfortunately a common disease with deadly consequences, which is why it is important for anyone dealing with puppies on a regular basis to be aware of the symptoms of parvo and what to do about it.

Parvo in puppies is caused by the canine parvovirus. This virus is highly contagious and spreads through direct contact with an infected dog or by indirect contact with a contaminated object. Your puppy is exposed to the parvovirus every time he sniffs, licks, or consumes infected feces. Indirect transmission occurs when a person who has recently been exposed to an infected dog touches your puppy, or when a puppy encounters a contaminated object, like a food or water bowl, collars and leashes, and the hands and clothing of people who handle infected dogs. That’s why it’s so important to use a parvo disinfectant.

The Merck Veterinary Manual classifies the virus as a disease of the stomach and small intestines, as this is where the virus does the most damage. The virus prefers to infect the small intestine, where it destroys cells, impairs absorption, and disrupts the gut barrier. Parvo in puppies also affects the bone marrow and lymphopoietic tissues, and in some cases can also affect the heart.

Puppies ages six weeks to six months are the most susceptible to parvo. Puppies younger than six weeks old still retain some of their mother’s antibodies, assuming that the dam received her full series of parvo vaccinations. Puppies are vaccinated against parvo at approximately 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age. They are vulnerable to the disease until they have received all three shots in their vaccination series, which means owners need to take extra precaution during this time to prevent their puppies from contracting the virus. Puppies should receive a dose of canine parvovirus vaccine between 14 and 16 weeks of age, regardless of how many doses they received earlier, to develop adequate protection.

The severity of parvo cases varies. The stress of weaning can lead to a more severe case of parvo n puppies, as stress weakens the immune system. A combination of parvo and a secondary infection or a parasite can also lead to a more severe case of parvo in puppies.

To top it off, certain breeds of dogs are at an increased risk of parvo:

Can a dog carry parvo and not get sick?

What are the signs of Parvo?

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting, often with blood
  • Severe bloody diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • The clinical signs of Parvo infection can appear similar to many other diseases that cause vomiting and diarrhea. The confirmation of Parvo infection is often achieved by isolating virus antigen in the stool.

    There is a simple in-clinic test for Parvo that will screen for this disease. Occasionally, a dog will have Parvovirus but test negative for virus in the stool. Fortunately, this is an uncommon occurrence. A tentative diagnosis is often based on the presence of a reduced white blood cell count (leukopenia) and clinical signs. The absence of leukopenia does not mean that the dog does not have Parvo infection since some dogs that become clinically ill may not have a low white blood cell count.

    Your Veterinarian may want to do additional tests (fecal flotation, bloodwork and abdominal radiographs) to confirm that your dog does not have any other illness or condition that may complicate treatment for Parvo infection.

    Can a dog survive parvo without treatment?

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    When it comes to humans and pets sharing space, there is a variety of diseases and illnesses that can and do spread easily from species to species. One of the most common illnesses that affect pet owners and their canine counterparts is parvovirus, commonly known as parvo. In people, the specific type of parvovirus that causes sickness is known as parvo-B19, which causes Fifth disease. Can people, though, cause the spread of parvo to their pets?