Dog Breeds In India That Are More Susceptible To Canine Parvovirus Disease (Parvo)
Canine parvovirus is one of the worst nightmares of the dog specie. Falling into the category of canine distemper and its likes, canine parvovirus is capable of killing a dog in a matter of days.
Canine parvovirus furthermore finds its easy to attack certain breeds of dog, in the country. We find it worthwhile educating dog owners about these susceptible breeds.
Before going ahead to discuss breeds that are more susceptible to the virus, it is important that we have a good understanding of the disease and know other important things about it.
So where do we start? Let us start by asking, what is canine parvovirus? In a strict sense, canine parvovirus is virus. It can be found in mammals like dog, human, fox, skunk, cat, and wolf.
Although, this virus can be found in all the mammals listed, it is however not devastating to all of them. For instance, canine parvovirus can be in a person's body, yet it wouldn't affect the individual in any negative way. In foxes, skunks, cats, and wolves, the effect is not as great as it is in dogs.
Canine parvovirus is a contagious virus, and it belongs to a genus of viruses, known as protoparvovirus.
Viruses that belong to this genus are known to have vertebrates as their natural hosts.
Presently, there are five known species of virus, under this genus. These species are namely: canine parvovirus (also called carnivore protoparvovirus), primate protoparvovirus, rodent protoparvovirus 1, rodent protoparvovirus 2, and ungulate protoparvovirus. Among dog owners and dog vets, canine parvovirus may also be called parvo, for short.
Spreading of Canine Parvovirus Disease
Canine parvovirus can be contracted by a dog, when it comes in contact with the faeces of an infected dog. Dogs often smell, lick and eat things, meaning that if a dog should make contact with infected faeces by any of these means, the virus will get into the dog's body and starts its devastating work.
The virus is capable is killing a dog under two days (48 hours). In a survey of dogs that got infected with this disease, 8 out of every 10 of them eventually die of the disease.
Canine parvovirus works by attacking the immune system of a dog -- it reduces the level of the dog's white blood cells, which causes secondary diseases to show up.
By secondary diseases, we mean diseases that show up after parvo has struck the immune system of a dog.
Canine parvovirus isn't the one that kills a dog host, secondary diseases are the ones that do.
Still on the theme in the paragraph above, when parvo strikes the immune system of a dog, secondary diseases like diarrhoea and anorexia show up, since there aren't enough white blood cells to fight them.
The cumulative effect of these secondary diseases cause the break down of the dog's body system, and in most cases, results in the eventual death of the dog.
Although, it was stated that faeces is the medium through which parvo spreads, it is however possible for parvo to spread by some other means.
Canine parvovirus can spread through contaminated soil. For instance, if an infected poop is discarded from the soil, that soil from which it was discarded still has the potential of transferring the virus to another uninfected dog.
Contaminated feeding and drinking containers are also capable of spreading this virus. Lastly, canine parvovirus can also live on the surface of our skin, and if such a person comes in contact with a dog, the dog can get infected.
Canine parvovirus which showed up towards the end of the 1970s, has some symptoms. It symptoms show up in less than seven days after infection of its victim. Although, the disease has a number of symptoms, the first one, in most cases, is lethargy. Lethargy is a symptom of inadequate sleep, overexertion, overworking, stress, lack of exercise, improper nutrition, and boredom. However, when it is followed by fever, diarrhoea, or vomiting, then canine parvovirus should be suspected. Some other symptoms include loss of weight, loss of appetite, and depression.
A combo of diarrhoea and vomiting can often lead to dehydration, and dehydration can furthermore lead to the upset of the electrolyte balance. The upset of the electrolyte balance will be very devastating for a dog, and can result in eventual death.
Canine parvovirus causes damage to the normal intestinal lining of a dog, and this damage to the normal intestinal lining gives way to the leakage of blood cells and proteins into the intestines of the dog. This leakage will result in anaemia, which will cause another problem and another and another, until the dog's body system is overwhelmed with too much problem to handle, and eventually leading to the death of the animal.
Canine parvovirus has no true cure. Once a dog gets infected, the best help a vet can render is aiding the dog's body system in fighting the virus and other secondary diseases.
However, it is possible to prevent the disease from affecting your dog. To save your dog from this disease, there are some things that can be done:
- Vaccination: Dogs can be vaccinated against canine parvovirus. Their vaccines are often introduced into their body by injection. Most vaccines can be given to only dogs above 6 weeks old. The main vaccine is always followed by a series of boosters to adequately immunize the dog against the virus.
- Isolate Infected Dogs: When a dog is found to have been infected with this virus, it is very important to isolate it from other dogs, as the virus is contagious. Furthermore, dogs that have fully recovered from the disease should still be in isolation for at least 6 weeks. 8 weeks is recommended.
- Cleaning Contaminated Areas and Objects with Bleach: Whenever an area or object is infected with the virus, it is very important that the area or object is sanitized with strong solution of bleach and water. The volume of bleach in the solution should be at least 10 percent of the volume of the solution. Canine parvovirus can survive under very harsh conditions -- they can survive under very low as well as very high temperatures, they can also survive the chemical effects of ordinary cleansing agents. Canine parvovirus survival strength is the reason why we insist on the use of concentrated bleach, for cleaning.
It is dangerous to vaccinate pregnant dogs, as the vaccine can abort the pregnancy of the dog. Not only that, vaccinating a pregnant dog can also cause it severe health issues.
Dog Breeds More Susceptible to Parvo
As we have stated above, there are some dog breeds that are more susceptible to canine parvovirus. Going straight to the point, the following are the breeds in question: German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, English Springer Spaniel, and American Staffordshire Terrier.
that are more susceptible to canine parvovirus. Going straight to the point, the following are the breeds in question: German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, English Springer Spaniel, and American Staffordshire Terrier.