Parvo is a major threat. This virus attacks the lining of the intestine, triggering a cascade of symptoms including low energy, low appetite, vomiting, diarrhea-often bloody, and can result in death. It is transmitted to your buddy by walking through poop from an infected dog, and then your pet licking his or her feet. However, flies can also spread this illness to your canine companion. Flies can land on your pets face, but can also spread Parvo by landing on food and water bowls or toys. It can also be spread on clothing or shoes.
Parvo is typically a disease of young dogs, ages 10-16 weeks old. Any breed can be affected but Rottweilers, Pitt Bulls, and Dobermans are the most susceptible. A puppy should be kept primarily indoors until he or she has received at least 3 Parvo vaccinations. Taking your puppy outside for a few minutes to go potty is different from having him or her stay outside for extended periods of time. If you want to be extra cautious, you can disinfect your little ones feet with baby wipes after going outside. In terms of vaccines, the last puppy inoculation should be given at 16 weeks or older, and boostered a year later. If there is a Parvo outbreak, surfaces can be cleaned with a 10% bleach solution; but this pestilence can stay in the ground for several years. This means that once Parvo has occurred at your home, no young dogs should be introduced into that household for several years. Friends who have young puppies should not bring them to your home, or walk in your yard.
Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment for Parvo. Hospitalization on intravenous fluids is essential in most cases. Antibiotics, pain control, medication to reduce vomiting, acid blockers, and blood transfusions may be needed. Unfortunately many patients die even with medical care. Therapy can be expensive; often several hundred dollars or more. The death of your pet is a high price to pay for something that is preventable.
Foreign body ingestion and toxins are also significant risks. Puppies like to dig, and they tend to explore almost everything with their mouths. As a result, it is very easy for a young dog to chew on and/or swallow any number of plant materials, toxins, or objects from your yard. Some things may simply cause digestive upset, others can lead to an intestinal obstruction requiring surgery, or poisoning. If your canine does eat items, and there are no significant consequences on one occasion; it doesn't mean that this is a safe practice, and that there will not be problems in the future if this continues to occur. For safety, your puppy should not be left unattended in a backyard. If you cannot provide full supervision, a dog run is the next best solution. In such an enclosure, you not only limit what your companion can explore; but, you are also able to disinfect this area depending on what materials are utilized.
Your canine may also have a tendency to eat feces from other animals, both dogs and cats. This can be a territorial behavior, stemming from the desire to remove the scent of other animals from his or her environment. In addition to making your companion's breath unpleasant, it is also a common way that he or she can pick up internal parasites. Internal parasites can cause heath issues for your pet, and some are spreadable to you. Even if your dog's poop looks normal, worms can still be present and the eggs are microscopic. Don't let your buddy lick you on your mouth. This is the most common way that worms are spread from animals to people. Young children, the elderly, and anyone with a compromised immune system are more at risk to pick up internal parasites. If you take your pet out on a leash, he or she is less able to scavenge for feces. Cat fencing can also be installed. This product attaches to your existing fence line, and can prevent neighboring cats from entering your yard, and also keeps your felines on their own territory. A dog run can also help with this issue, as other animals are less likely to leave excrement in a dog run because it is not a natural setting, and doesn't have good places to hide or bury deposits.
There are many things you can do for you canine companion to help him or her to live a long quality life. Your veterinarian plays a pivotal role in guiding you in the care of your buddy.