The Canine Parvovirus is one of the biggest killers of dogs today, which is why where is so much information on the Internet about it.
We monitor the websites and blogs for news about Parvo on a daily basis, so we see all sorts of stuff being published, but the problem is that a lot of this so-called information is actually mis-information, and when you’re talking about a virus as lethal as Parvo, then if you believe what these sites and blogs tell you, then you could end up losing your dog unnecessarily.
Now, you may well be wondering, so how can I trust what you’re telling me?
Well, as you’ll see from the sidebar to the right, we have helped treat over 5,810 dogs (and cats) since March 2007, so we have a ton of experience with this virus – probably more than most vets encounter in a life-time.
So, to illustrate what we mean about this mis-information, and without picking on the site specifically (it’s just the most recent article we came across), please have a quick read of an article called “How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Parvovirus?” on a site called Biopathics Research before returning here (otherwise the rest of what we have to say won’t make a great deal of sense).
(This article will open up in a new browser window, so when you’re done, you can just close it and you’ll be back here.)
OK, so you’ve read that article and you’re back.
As we said, it’s a relatively short article, so you’re probably wondering, what on earth is wrong with it?
Well, on one level, nothing – it’s trying to educate dog owners about the dangers of Parvo.
But sadly, the article doesn’t tell you the full story, and that’s dangerous too.
Firstly, the list of Parvo symptoms is dangerously incomplete.
While it’s true that many people do know that Parvo causes diarrhea (especially foul-smelling diarrhea that often contains blood) and vomiting, what this article fails to mention is that physical symptoms such as these are not what you usually see first.
No, the most common early signs of Parvo are behavioural in nature: you’ll find that your dog loses his appetite and won’t eat, he may not want to drink either, and he’ll probably appear lethargic and not want to play like he usually does.
Now, we’re not saying that these signs definitely indicate Parvo, but they can and often do, and to not notice these and/or ignore them is a potentially fatal mistake to make, because by the time you find that your dog start vomiting and having diarrhea, you can already have wasted one or more precious days – days that your dog may not have.
And this brings us on to the second problem with this article.
They do state that Parvo can kill a dog within two days, and that’s probably already scary enough, but the sad fact is that this virus, especially the latest 2c strain, can claim a dog’s life within as little as five hours after the first bout of diarrhea.
This is not scare-mongering – this has actually happened to at least one of our customers!
That is so fast that, even if you could get your dog to a vet’s in time, which is sometimes doubtful given that Parvo can strike at any time of day and night, and frequently does (i.e. when there are no vets open), it probably doesn’t give you enough time to save him.
And that’s just one of the reasons why we strongly encourage all dog owners to have a Parvo Treatment Kit on hand at all times, because that way, you can start treatment the instant you notice anything wrong. As with any illness, the sooner you start treatment, the better chance you have of a successful outcome.
Finally, and although the above-referenced article does not commit this final sin, this would be an appropriate time to point out too that many sites (and vets) will talk about dogs being “immune to Parvo” once they’ve had their first series of puppy shots and have reached 20 weeks of age.
Unfortunately, this is simply not true!
We have had many customers whose dogs are fully-vaccinated and up-to-date with all of their shots, and this includes both puppies and adult dogs up to five years of age, who are getting Parvo – full-blown Parvo, that is, which can and does kill them if they are not treated promptly and correctly.
So, please, do not believe everything you read on the Internet about Parvo (or even everything your vet tells you), because it may cost your beloved pet his life.