Parvovirus: what are the symptoms in the dog and how to treat

Parvovirus is a very common disease among dogs. Therefore, it raises concerns for owners, who seek to understand what can be done to avoid it and how to treat when the pet is sick.

However, by identifying the condition at the beginning, there are effective treatments that will help the puppy to become healthy again.

In this text, we will explain what parvovirus is, the symptoms of this disease, if it is curable and detail how it is treated. Continue reading and check it out!

What is parvovirus?

Canine parvovirus (or canine parvovirus) is a disease caused by a virus that affects dogs and is highly contagious.

It is transmitted through contact of dogs with infected feces or vomiting or contact with other dogs that have the virus. Since animals use their sense of smell to explore environments, contamination usually occurs through the respiratory tract.

There are vaccines against parvovirus – V8 and V10 – however, even vaccinated animals can end up contracting the disease. Still, it reduces risks to dogs.

As this disease is possibly fatal, it is essential to prevent unvaccinated animals and newborns (who have not yet developed their immunity and have not received all vaccines) from environments that may be contaminated.

Parvovirus can cause two types of problems in the animal’s body. The most common form of the disease is gastrointestinal (affecting the dog’s digestive system); the other is in the heart, causing acute myocarditis (inflammation of the heart).

Parvovirus is responsible for the sudden death of many puppies, and is a common concern of owners. Because it is a serious disease, it is necessary to pay close attention to the manifestation of symptoms, starting treatment as soon as possible so that it can be cured.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom of parvovirus is diarrhea , usually with blood and a very strong odor. Usually, frequent vomiting and difficulty in eating also occur, which culminates in anorexia .

In addition, other symptoms that parvovirus can cause in puppies are:

  • Fever;
  • Indisposition and weakness;
  • Dehydration;
  • Hypothermia;
  • Mucous membranes (inside the gums and eyelids) pale;
  • Lethargy (prolonged unconsciousness).

In the identification of these symptoms, especially when noticing diarrhea and the presence of blood in the stool , it is essential to consult a veterinarian to make the diagnosis.

These symptoms may also be due to a condition other than parvovirus. However, as this is a potentially fatal disease, treatment should be started as soon as possible.

Read more: What is Hypothermia and what are the symptoms?

Canine parvovirus infection cure?

Yes. Even though it is an infection caused by viruses and there are no drugs that act directly on these organisms, the animal can receive symptomatic treatment that helps it to resist and eliminate the virus. However, the possibility of cure depends a lot on the severity of the condition.

If diagnosed early, parvovirus is more likely to be cured. However, if the virus remains in the dog’s body for a long time without proper treatment, the chances of cure decrease.

How is the treatment?

If the veterinarian has diagnosed the puppy with parvovirus, the first step is to isolate it from other dogs, to prevent the virus from proliferating and speed up treatment. Normally, it is recommended to admit the dog to a veterinary clinic or hospital.

Treatment varies according to the stage of the disease, but it is always symptomatic (it acts on the symptoms and not on the virus).

The main ways to fight the disease are:

  • Fluid therapy (replacement of fluids to combat dehydration);
  • Antibiotics (to prevent secondary infections).

Fluid therapy replaces nutrients that the animal loses with diarrhea and vomiting, giving it the conditions to recover immunity and fight the virus. In some cases, blood transfusion may also be necessary.

It is necessary to keep the dog on an absolute fast until it is 24 hours without vomiting and excreting feces with blood.

When these symptoms subside, it is possible to gradually introduce a light diet so that the animal begins to recover its digestive system.

Home treatment

The treatment of parvovirus must be carried out by a veterinarian, who will assess the severity of the condition and indicate the correct way to treat it.

However, some home remedies can help keep the dog hydrated, reducing the symptoms of the disease. These treatments should only be carried out with professional guidance.

If the professional advises, it is possible to prepare a homemade serum to offer the dog. This serum should be made with 1 liter of mineral water, half a teaspoon of bicarbonate, 1 teaspoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar and the juice of half a lemon.

This serum needs to be ingested by the dog, and cannot be administered intravenously.

Offering the puppy an isotonic drink or ice cubes can also help.

Read more: Homemade serum: what it is for, measures and how to do it

How long does parvovirus treatment last?

During the treatment of parvovirus, the dog will eliminate the viruses through the feces. Typically, symptoms take 5 to 10 days to disappear. Even with the symptoms eased, the total cure takes 10 to 14 days to happen.

After this period, it is still indicated to keep the animal at rest, avoiding contact with other dogs and slowly inserting a nutritious diet, which will be indicated by the veterinary professional.


Parvovirus is a serious disease that mainly affects dogs, and it is necessary to pay close attention to its symptoms.

Although it can be fatal, this condition is curable and must be diagnosed early to facilitate treatment. Therefore, be sure to consult a veterinarian (a) in case of the appearance of symptoms that may indicate this virus.

In this text, we present the symptoms of parvovirus, its treatment and its characteristics.

Follow the Healthy Minute to know everything about the pet world and your puppy’s health! Thanks for reading.

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