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Can Parvovirus Affect Labrador Retriever?

Whether your Labrador Retriever is out in the field working or just right beside you enjoying the dog show, chances of contracting parvovirus exist. Parvovirus is a contagious virus affecting dogs, more frequently puppies. Canine Parvovirus or CPV is a highly infectious disease and is spread from dog to dog with physical contact and contact with infected feces. The virus is not capable of reproducing on its own because of the fact that they contain only DNA or RNA. They invade the cell, reproduce inside it and kills the cells causing dogs and puppies not to be able to absorb nutrients or liquids.

CPV has two forms: intestinal and cardiac. The less common is the cardiac form in which the virus attacks the heart muscle and the dog dies suddenly because of heart failure. Some infected dogs will show no symptoms. But some infected dogs show symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, high fever, diarrhea, depression and lack of appetite. In severe cases, stool can be very watery, foul smelling, yellow in color and usually bloody. Abdominal pain is also present as well as pain when eating. The possibility of dehydration exist because of severe dehydration and vomiting and the fact that he is not able to replace the nutrients and fluids lost.

To diagnose the presence of parvovirus, positive diagnostic test is done. Canine parvovirus disease requires aggressive or intense treatment. There is no specific cure for this disease. Your vet can only treat the symptoms to keep the pet alive. Measures should be taken to prevent diarrhea, loss of proteins and to replace fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea. These measures include giving of fluids, regulating electrolyte levels, controlling body temperature and giving blood transfusions when needed. Antibiotic therapy may be needed to control secondary bacterial infections.

To ensure that you're beloved Labrador Retriever will not suffer this kind of health problem, you should adhere to the required or recommended vaccination. Vaccine against parvovirus is usually administered to puppies six to eight weeks of age and should only be allowed to mingle with other dogs two weeks after their last vaccination. There is no use vaccinating new born puppies since they are still protected by maternal antibodies. However, these antibodies wear off before the puppy's system became mature enough to fight parvovirus.

CPV cannot be treated at home so consult your vet immediately if you see signs of the existence of this disease.

Submitted by:

Richard Cussons

Richard Cussons is a dog expert and has written articles about the popular Labrador Retriever. Get more tips on training Labradors at http://labradorsavvy.com.


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