Parvo virus is a highly contagious viral disease which spreads through direct contact with an infected dog or by indirect contact with a contaminated object. Parvo is most common in puppies ages 6 weeks to 6 months. If the dam got all of her parvo shots, puppies younger than six weeks of age retain some of their mother’s antibodies.
As an Indian citizen you probably have heard about this deadly virus. This is the worst nightmare for new pet parents who just welcomed a new puppy into their families. Therefore precaution and proper vaccination should be carried out.
important things INDIAN pet parents should know about parvo diseases:
- Parvovirus is a contagious virus which affects the intestinal tract of canines.
- The virus is endemic in various parts of India, so most dogs will be carriers of the virus.
- Vaccinated dogs can also act as carriers. Therefore vaccination of unvaccinated dogs has become more important.
- puppies, especially less than 50 days old, are more susceptible to the diseases.
- The dogs once infected and recovered have less chances of getting infected again, but this is not always the case.
Incidence/ season of parvo virus in India:
In North India, the parvovirus is most prevalent from December to March. Thus, the virus spreads most readily during winter. Researchers have found that the virus can live in dormant stages for a year. This makes the rainy season a prime time for the virus to spread. It is the season when most dogs become infected.
Vaccination schedule for parvo virus in India:
The vaccination is the most reliable way of avoiding the parvo virus. The vaccination schedule for parvo virus in india is
- First dose of vaccine is administered to 45 days old puppy.
- A second dose or booster dose is given 21-28 days after the first dose.
- After that vaccination should continue on a yearly basis.
*note: Booster dose is important for successful vaccination, therefore pet owners should maintain a proper record of vaccination schedule.
*The vaccination schedule can be different at other places.
Also vaccinate your dog for Rabies. Get more information here.
Brief History of parvo in India
Dog parvo was first identified in the early 1970s, and it is believed to have originated from the Feline Panleukopenia Virus (Cat Parvo Virus). In India, the first reported cases of canine parvovirus date as recently as 1981 in Chennai and 1985 in Mumbai.
While the origin of this virus in India is debated, the most accepted explanation is that illegal dog trafficking from overseas was the main entry point for this virus into India.
SIGNS and symptoms:
It takes 3 to 7 days before one can observe the symptoms of parvo in puppies. These common signs of parvo in Indian dogs can be seen:
- Bloody diarrhoea
- Dramatic weight loss
- Inflammation around eyes and mouth (less common)
- Body ache and discomfort
- Loss of appetite
Note: In some cases cardiac form of parvo can be seen. It generally manifests in a puppy as rapid heart rate, breathing issues and attacks the heart of a young puppy, causing a random cardiac arrest.
Diagnostic and treatment cost of parvo virus in India:
The cost of treatment for parvo in India is around 3000 INR. The cost depends on the puppy’s physical state, severity of diseases and level of veterinary care. The treatment is usually given for more than 5 days.
The presence of parvo in dogs can be detected using a variety of diagnostic tools across the globe, including urine tests, abdominal X-rays, electron microscopy, and tissue culture. Parvo testing in India is most commonly done with the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), which has a high sensitivity rate to the virus and is most commonly used to confirm the presence of parvo in puppies.
Additionally, stool samples can also be tested with an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), in which Parvo antibodies are added to a Petri dish and then confirmed with a colour-changing dye.
In Delhi NCR, PCR and ELISA tests typically cost between 1200 and 1500 INR. Costs vary based on the area and the clinic. Keep in mind this is the diagnostic cost not the actual treatment cost.
TIP: If you are wondering what food you should give a puppy with parvo, the answer is nothing. During the infected period, no solid food is given, and all nutrition is provided through intravenous drips. Once the pup has recovered, however, you can introduce appropriate puppy food into the diet after seeking advice from your veterinarian.
1. Does a puppy with Parvo have a chance of surviving?
The Parvo virus is very treatable in puppies. A puppy’s body usually overcomes the virus within 1 week to 15 days with active treatments and extensive care. At this time, the pup is weak and prone to secondary infections, which also need to be treated if they occur.
2. How much does it cost to treat parvo in dogs on average?
Parvo treatment costs vary depending on the city, the clinic, and even the case. An average PCR test costs 1200-1500 rupees in Delhi NCR. Taking into account both tests during confirmation and post-treatment, hospitalization charges (if not managed at home), and drips and medicines, treating parvo costs anywhere between 6000-18,000 rupees and above, depending on the type and quality of medical services used for the treatment.
3. My dog has parvo Can I get it from him?
Parvovirus does not infect humans. However, it is highly contagious and you should sanitize everything touched by the infected dog before handling any other dogs.
4. What is the recovery time for a dog with parvo?
For puppies, parvo usually takes between 10 and 14 days to leave their systems. This depends on how severe the infection is. A secondary infection can occur during this period, causing the pup to require more time to recover. It can also take anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks to bring the puppy back to full health after it has beaten parvo without secondary infection.