Adding a new puppy to the family is a joyous event, but as a puppy owner, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of parvovirus, a serious illness that can be fatal in young puppies that have not yet been vaccinated. If a puppy has parvovirus, it is important for him or her to be taken to a vet or animal hospital immediately—while there is no cure for parvovirus, puppies will be administered antibiotics and medication to control the infection and vomiting. Fluids will also be administered intravenously to prevent dehydration. Some common signs of parvovirus in a puppy include:
A puppy's stomach can be sensitive, especially if you change its food, and occasional diarrhea or loose stool is not a cause for immediate concern. But frequent diarrhea, especially if the stool is bloody, is a common sign that a puppy is infected with parvovirus. If your puppy is young and has not been vaccinated, it is a good idea to pay attention to their bowel movements and seek veterinary care if you notice frequent diarrhea.
Since parvovirus is an infection that affects the gastrointestinal system, vomiting typically accompanies diarrhea when a puppy is sick. A healthy puppy should not vomit, especially frequently. Do not ignore vomiting in a puppy, especially when they also have diarrhea. The combination of vomiting and diarrhea that parvovirus causes can quickly lead to dangerous dehydration, which is why your puppy will need immediate veterinary care.
Anyone who has ever owned a puppy knows that they can be energetic balls of energy when they are well rested. If a puppy is infected with parvovirus, they will most likely become very lethargic and not feel well enough to play. Watch for extreme changes in energy levels if you have an unvaccinated young puppy.
Lack of Appetite
A puppy who is ill with parvovirus will quickly lose their appetite. Puppies are typically excited for meal times, so if your puppy will not eat, it can be a big warning sign of parvovirus or other types of illness.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Your new puppy should be gaining weight as it grows, not losing weight. It is possible for parvovirus to cause a puppy to experience rapid weight loss, so it is important to monitor your puppy's weight until theyare old enough to be vaccinated for parvovirus. Contact a vet or animal hospital like Kenmore Veterinary Hospital if your puppy suddenly experiences unexplained weight loss.