HOW IS PARVOVIRUS DIAGNOSED ?
Not all cases of bloody diarrhoea with or without vomiting are caused by Parvovirus. CPV infection is often suspected based on the dog's history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests.
Special Faecal testing (a SNAP Test) can confirm the diagnosis.
Testing of all suspect cases of Parvo is the only way to correctly diagnose and treat this disease.
HOW IS PARVOVIRUS TREATED ?
There is no specific drug available that will kill the virus in infected dogs, and treatment is aimed at supporting the dog's body systems until it's immune system can fight off the viral infection.
Treatment should be started immediately and consists primarily of efforts to combat dehydration by replacing electrolyte and fluid losses, controlling vomiting and diarrhoea, and, preventing secondary infections.
Replacing the fluids that lost through vomiting and diarrhoea is probably the single most important treatment and this is achieved by using intravenous administration of a balanced electrolyte fluid solution.
In some more severe cases, plasma or blood transfusions may also be necessary.
Antibiotics are usually given to help control secondary bacterial infections and in cases of severe vomiting, drugs to slow the vomiting may also be used.
As dogs suffering from Parvo can also be in some degree of pain and discomfort pain relieving medications are also administered.
After the intestinal symptoms begin to subside, a broad spectrum de-worming agent is often used and restricting the dog's food intake during periods of vomiting is also necessary with parenteral nutrition (providing nutrients intravenously) may be necessary.
Sick dogs need to be isolated, kept warm and receive intensive nursing care.
INTENSIVE CARE IS THE ONLY WAY TO TREAT PARVOVIRUS.
IN VIRTUALLY ALL CASES, ADMISSION TO HOSPITAL FOR FIVE TO TEN DAYS
IS REQUIRED AND THIS INTENSIVE TREATMENT IS OFTEN QUITE COSTLY
SADLY, EVEN WITH THIS INTENSIVE TREATMENT, THERE IS STILL
NO GUARANTEE THAT YOUR DOG WILL SURVIVE
It's very important to understand that early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are very important for increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Even with the best available care, the mortality of severely infected animals is high and without the correct amount of properly balanced intravenous fluids, the chance of recovery in a severely stricken animal is very small.
Since CPV is so highly contagious, isolation of infected dogs is necessary
to minimize spread of infection.