Parvovirus in Dogs: What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Parvovirus en Perros: Qué es, Causas, Síntomas y Tratamiento

Canine parvovirus is one of the most feared diseases by pet owners due to its high mortality rate and its ability to spread rapidly in environments where dogs are present. In this blog, we'll explore the symptoms of canine parvovirus, how the disease is spread and treated, as well as share some preventative measures you can take to protect your dog from parvovirus. Read on to learn more about this dangerous disease!

What is parvo virus?

Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that mainly affects dogs, although it can also affect other animals, such as cats and ferrets. Canine parvovirus particularly attacks the gastrointestinal system of dogs, causing a variety of unpleasant symptoms.

How is canine parvovirus spread?

Canine parvovirus is spread primarily through direct contact with infected feces from dogs already sick with the virus. It can also be transmitted indirectly through contaminated objects, such as food or water bowls, toys, clothing, shoes, and other objects that have come in contact with infected feces.

Types of dog parvovirus

Digestive system parvovirus

It is the most common form of canine parvovirus and is manifested by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of appetite.

At heart level

It is less common but can manifest as cardiovascular and respiratory failure.

Symptoms of parvovirus in dogs

Canine parvovirus can manifest itself in different ways in dogs, but some of the more common symptoms include:


Dogs infected with parvovirus often vomit repeatedly, which can lead to dehydration.


Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of canine parvovirus and can be extremely runny and foul-smelling.

Loss of appetite

Dogs with parvovirus may lose their appetite and refuse to eat.


Dogs with parvovirus may appear tired, lethargic, and less active than normal.


Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.


Dogs infected with parvovirus may have a fever, which can be a sign of a more serious infection.

It is important to note that the symptoms of parvovirus can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the age and general health of the dog. If you suspect that your dog may be infected with parvovirus, it is important to seek veterinary attention immediately to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

At Waggy's we know that visiting the vet can be frustrating for your dog and many times our pets tend to be  aggressive animals so their behavior is difficult to tame, we have a variety of products with CBD for dogs that will help calm stress and anxiety in dogs during the consultation, so that they can be seen by the vet without major complications.

How to prevent parvovirus?

Puppies are particularly vulnerable to canine parvovirus, and it is generally recommended that they be vaccinated against this disease starting at 6 to 8 weeks of age. Subsequently it is necessary to continue the application for 2 to 3 weeks until the puppy is 4 months old.

Larger breeds like Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Pit Bulls are at higher risk for Parvovirus. Therefore, they should receive the Parvovirus vaccines until they are 6 months of age. We also recommend you carry out the following tips to prevent contagion:

  • Strictly follow the vaccination schedule and the vet's instructions.
  • Take your dog to deworming appointments and follow the vet's instructions.
  • Bathe your dog with the appropriate frequency and maintain proper body hygiene.
  • Disinfect and keep your home clean.
  • Keep your dog's food in a clean and isolated place, free of possible transmitters.
  • Disinfect and clean your dog's products, such as his bed, bowls, toys, etc.
  • Prevent the unvaccinated puppy from coming into contact with the environment and other dogs.

Treatments for parvovirus in dogs

Although there is no 100% effective treatment and it can vary depending on the severity of the infection, veterinarians follow a series of treatments that in some cases give good results. These are some of the steps that follow:


Dogs infected with parvovirus often require hospitalization for intensive treatment, monitoring, and ongoing medical care.

Fluid therapy

Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration, so fluid therapy is a key component of canine parvovirus treatment. Dogs may receive intravenous or subcutaneous fluids to replace lost fluids.


Dogs with parvovirus may be more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections, so antibiotics may be necessary to combat these infections.

Supportive therapy

Dogs with parvovirus may require additional supportive therapy, such as analgesics to relieve pain, antiemetics to reduce vomiting, and nutritional supplements to improve their overall health.

Up to what age can a dog get parvovirus?

Canine parvovirus can affect dogs of any age, but puppies and young dogs are particularly susceptible to the disease because their immune systems are not fully developed.

Is canine parvovirus deadly?

It is important to note that canine parvovirus can be life-threatening in puppies and young dogs if not treated early. Therefore, it is essential to vaccinate your dog and follow the vaccination instructions recommended by your veterinarian to protect against this serious disease.

It is extremely crucial that you learn about the types of diseases that our pets can contract, such as leishmaniasis in dogs or distemper in dogs .

What diet should a dog with parvovirus have?

Dogs with parvovirus may have difficulty eating and absorbing nutrients due to symptoms of the disease, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, it is important to provide adequate nutrition to help your dog recover and maintain strength during illness.

It is advisable to feed dogs with parvovirus soft, easily digestible, nutrient-dense foods. A diet of high-quality canned dog food or a homemade diet of lean meat, white rice, and chicken broth may be suitable options. Nutritional and electrolyte supplements may also be added to help replenish lost nutrients and fluids.

Perhaps, you have spent time finding out what fruits and vegetables dogs can eat because you care about knowing what the ideal dog food is, but you should keep in mind that not all food is suitable in these cases, you should always choose easily digestible food for dogs

It is important to avoid greasy, spicy, high-fiber, and artificial ingredients foods, as these can worsen the dog's symptoms and digestion. Also, bones should be avoided.

If you have questions about the proper diet for your dog with parvovirus, consult your trusted veterinarian, who can provide you with specific recommendations for feeding and caring for your dog during its recovery.

How many times does a dog get parvovirus?

The quick answer would be yes, dogs can get parvovirus twice. But the probability that they will contract the same strain of parvovirus is very small, if not impossible.


In conclusion, parvovirus is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease in dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration, which can lead to serious complications in the dog's digestive system and immune system. Prevention is key to avoiding the disease, and vaccination is the best way to prevent parvovirus infection in dogs.

If your dog exhibits symptoms of parvovirus, it's important to take him to the vet immediately for treatment. Treatment may include fluid therapy, medication to control symptoms, and intensive medical care.

After a parvovirus infection in your home, proper disinfection is essential to prevent the spread of the disease to other dogs. Be sure to thoroughly clean all surfaces and objects that have been in contact with the infected dog.

In general, maintaining good hygiene and an up-to-date vaccination schedule are the best ways to prevent parvovirus in dogs and keep them healthy and happy. If you have any concerns about your dog's health, consult your trusted veterinarian for specific advice and recommendations for the care of your pet.

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