How can you tell whether your dog’s symptoms are parvo symptoms?
Sarah’s dog wasn’t looking well. Her coat had lost its sheen, and she didn’t seem to have any energy. Instead of following Sarah into the kitchen in the morning as she usually did, she stayed in her bed, lying on her side.
What could be the matter? Sarah bent down to examine her sweet little doggie. Seeing were no clear signs she could recognize, she tried to coax her pet to get up. Minkie obliged, pulling herself slowly to her feet and padding down the hallway after her human companion.
Sarah (not her real name) watched her all day for changes in her behavior. Minkie seemed happy enough as the day wore on, but she didn’t have much appetite at dinnertime.
Sarah decided to call the vet. She made an appointment to take thtee dog in the following day.
After taking urine and blood samples, the vet ran some tests. Fifteen minutes later, she came out and told Sarah the dog had contracted the parvo virus and would need to be hopsitalized for five to seven days.
This was not good news, to say the least.
Sarah was puzzled. She had worked in a veterinary office one summer in college, and had seen dogs with parvo. Minkie had been vaccinated, and was not exhibiting the obvious parvo symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. How could she have parvo without symptoms?
Although most dogs get canine diarrhea or vomit with parvo, the vet told her, this is not always the case. And it could be that she had been alert enough to call for help in the earliest stages, before the vomiting and diarrhea started.
The ability to recognize parvo symptoms early is critically important in saving a dog from this deadly virus. Even a vaccinated dog can be vulnerable under certain conditions. And parvo is an aggressive, deadly virus. Early treatment is vital to saving your dog’s life.
How would you know whether your dog had early symptoms of parvo?
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The most prominent parvo symptoms are frothy vomit (clear or greenish in color) and yellow diarrhea. After a few days, the diarrhea may be bloody, reddish-brown in color. But not all dogs will show these symptoms before it’s too late.
- Parvo attacks the abdominal area. If you probe that area and your dog whimpers, that is a sign of pain that may be a symptom of parvo. Dogs are good at hiding their pain, so you generally have to push against their organs to get them to vocalize it.
- Constant licking of the abdomen may also be an indication of abdominal pain.
- If your dog is lying on its side and not wanting to get up, that is often a sign of abdominal pain.
- A dog experiencing abdominal distress will not want to eat. If your dog is not eating, something is wrong. You may even notice an obvious loss of weight in later stages as its body becomes dehydrated from the vomiting and diarrhea.
- Is your dog hiding under the bed or in the closet? He or she is probably not playing hide-and-seek. Dogs do not like to be seen in pain. It’s an old instinct left over from pack living.
- Are your dog’s eyes red and runny?
- Your pet may have a thick drool from the mouth.
- If you put your hand over your pet’s heart, you may feel a fast beat. This is hard to recognize, however, if you don’t have a base line to calibrate from. Most people don’t have any real idea how fast a dog’s heart should be beating.
- Fever. But this can be difficult to recognize, too. A dog’s normal temperature is higher than a human’s, so chances are your dog will feel warm to your touch even if it doesn’t have a fever.
Sarah responded quickly, and with early treatment her pet pulled through. She has had no further problems. She’s lucky.
The luckiest a dog can be is to never contract parvo at all. Second luckiest? You respond to the first sign of changes in your dog’s habits and get your pet to the vet right away. Beyond that? Your pet’s chances of survival plummet.
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Chiwah Carol Slater
The Pet Story Passionista
Word Weaver Chiwah
Founder, PetWrites.com, WriteYourWayToProsperity.com, WordWeaver4U.com
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