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Learn More about the Symptoms and Signs of Canine Parvovirus

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2009-02-25 06:55:54     
Article by Anne Ming

PathophysiologyThe canine parvovirus is a DNA virus that is single stranded and very contagious, found in canines. The first time that this virus appeared was in 1978, but it can be found in every country in the world right now. Canine parvovirus will come in two variants, intestinal and cardiac. In the form that is cardiac, the parvovirus will infect the puppies either after they're born or while they're still in the uterus. Very fast, the virus will attack the muscle of the heart, causing heart failure soon after that.The other type of canine parvovirus is the intestinal one, which appears both in old dogs and puppies. This virus can be found in that area because it thrives in the intestines, as the cells are dividing rapidly there. The attacked cells from the gastrointestinal tract are destroyed and that provokes the diarrhea and the vomiting. The most dangerous part of this disease is exactly its ability to attack the heart, damaging its muscles and causing dehydration that is severe and fast. Even if the dog will live, there is a very good chance that he will have permanent intestinal or heart damage.Symptoms and Signs A viral disease that is extremely contagious, canine parvovirus can damage the health of a dog a lot. This disease isn't a very old one since it was first diagnosed at the end of the 1970s. From there it just spread to every country very quickly. Now, a few decades later, the parvovirus can be found regularly in dogs and puppies. The bad part is that plenty of dogs that get this disease will not show symptoms, making it harder to be diagnosed. Most of the time however, they will show some symptoms 3-10 days before the infection kicks in. As soon as you see these symptoms, you should contact the doctor, because the canine parvovirus is very powerful and fast, death being a possible outcome.Two of the symptoms that appear when a dog suffers from canine parvovirus are depression and lethargy. When a dog has this disease, they will be less interested in normal activities and they will sleep more. Other symptoms include dogs being more fearful and an appetite loss. Since canine parvovirus works by attacking the intestinal tract of the dog, he will also vomit and have diarrhea. In most cases, they will vomit first, and have diarrhea later, and the smell will be particularly foul. You will find either blood or mucus in the dog's stools. This will happen more than once and in time it can bring with it dehydration. Canine parvovirus doesn't mean a dog will have all the symptoms I mentioned so far, but in most cases they will have diarrhea and they will vomit.Because the canine parvovirus cases internal damage and dehydration, in most cases dogs will die because of it in the first 2-3 days after symptoms show up. That's why a veterinarian should be contacted as soon as you see the symptoms show up. It might be canine parvovirus, or it might be something less dangerous, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

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