Parvo Virus

This is also quite a common infectious disease that we see usually in puppies less than six months of age. The virus is quite resistant and can remain viable in the environment for a few months, especially cool moist conditions. The virus will grow in the cells of the intestine and destroy the lining of the intestine. the incubation period for this virus is about a week.

As the cells in the intestine are destroyed, a severe bloody diarrhoea will result. The patient will also vomit, lose a lot of body fluids and dehydrate very quickly.

There is no cure for this virus. Treatment is aimed at preventing dehydration and protein loss with iv fluids. Preventing secondary infection with antibiotics and maintaining nutrition intravenously until the intestine can cope with food. There is a high mortality rate. Research in North America indicates this to be about 20%. Some breeds like the Rottweiler and Doberman have a very high mortality rate. In some patients the virus may also infect the heart muscle and account for sudden death.