Parvovirus is an extremely contagious viral disease that can be transmitted by humans, animals or objects that come in contact with an infected dog’s faeces. The virus attacks the cells of the gastrointestinal tract and white blood cells, causing clinical signs such as vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, inappetance and lethargy. This virus is highly resistant and can survive in the environment for months.
‘Scooby’, a nine-month-old male dachshund was presented to Stars Veterinary Night Clinic for severe vomiting and diarrhoea for 2 days. On presentation, ‘Scooby’ was extremely dull and dehydrated.
Some possible differential diagnoses were gastroenteritis, foreign body obstruction, intussusceptions and dietary intolerance. Diagnostics such as blood tests, parvovirus test and abdominal x-rays were carried out. Scooby tested positive for parvovirus.
‘Scooby’ was hospitalized for treatment. He was treated aggressively with intravenous antibiotics, anti-vomiting medication, anti diarrhoea medication, gastric protectants and intravenous fluids. To give ‘Scooby’ a fighting chance of survival, he was also given a plasma transfusion. In the first 5 days, ‘Scooby’ showed little improvement. He was still vomiting after every meal. An abdominal ultrasound showed severe gastritis and intestinal stasis (reduced ability for the intestines to move food forward). A nasogastric feeding tube was placed so that ‘Scooby’ could be fed easily. This also ensured that ‘Scooby’ continuously received small amounts of digestible food to help stimulate gut and to ensure adequate nutrients intake.
By day 9, ‘Scooby’ started to show signs of improvement. There was no more vomiting or diarrhoea. Scooby regained his appetite. He was much brighter. He was standing in his cage, barking and wagging his tail!
After a 2 week hospital stay, ‘Scooby’ was discharged, happy and healthy back to his relieved family.
Many of infected puppies succumb to this nasty virus but ‘Scooby’ is lucky enough to have survived this deadly viral infection. This disease is easily prevented by vaccination. Although Scooby did have his three puppy shots, they were unfortunately given too early. Hence, always check with your vets and they will formulate an ideal vaccination plan as to when your puppy should receive their three shots. Other than parvovirus, vaccination will also protect your dogs against distemper, adenovirus, coronavirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis, and your cats against calicivirus, feline rhinotracheitis and chlamydia psittaci.