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There are many diseases and viruses that come in conflict with the average dog today. If no precautions are taken to prevent these viruses, chances are the dog is more than likely to contract one. One of the most common among these viruses is called canine parvovirus. Since the discovery of the canine parvovirus in 1978, the number of dogs infected has increased rapidly and tremendously (Welch).
Canine parvovirus has appeared worldwide making it one of the most common viruses to dogs. It can be transmitted from canine to canine by way of contaminated feces or coming in contact with other bodily fluids of an infected animal. Since the parvovirus can be transmitted outside the animal for many years, this makes it one of the most contagious viruses. Canine parvovirus can survive outside the infected animal from one to two years, if conditions are favorable. Parvoviruses can be carried on shoes, hands, other inanimate objects, and even through dust particles in the air. Canine parvovirus is one of the most common and most contagious viruses in the United States today.
The canine parvovirus is not an old virus. It developed around the year 1978. Canine parvovirus contains similar properties and characteristics of feline parvovirus, a disease found in cats. Feline parvovirus appeared before canine parvovirus, and it is believed that feline parvovirus is a variant of canine parvovirus. Both diseases are similar antigenic ally, and they both cause epidemic enteritis and myocarditis. Canine parvovirus though very similar biologically to the feline parvovirus, has its own recognizable properties that distinguish it from feline parvovirus (Breaux).
When first discovered the canine parvovirus caused thousands of deaths among both wild and domestic canines. Canine parvovirus is a type II ssDNA virus. It is also one of the smallest viruses known to man. The canine parvovirus molecules contain palindromic sequences. This simply means the DNA sequence reads the same way forward as backwards. The virus multiplies in the nuclei very rapidly and takes place in infected cells.
This virus causes the cell to require the virus to be able to pass through the S-phase (a phase in the cells reproduction), which helps the virus to spread quickly (Breaux). This virus mainly targets the intestinal track, white blood cells, and sometimes the heart muscle (American Veterinary Medical Association). Canine parvovirus mainly causes deterioration of tissues causing extreme pain to the canine. Two main syndromes are recognized as: Delbert Carlson and James Griffin describe: The first one is the diarrhea syndrome (enteritis). After an incubation period to fourteen days, the first signs are severe depression with loss of appetite, followed by vomiting. The dog appears to be in extreme pain, with a tucked-up abdomen.
Within twenty-four hours a fever develops and a profuse diarrhea that is frequently bloody. Mouth inflammation (stomatitis) can occur. Almost no other canine disease produces such devastating symptoms. The second is the cardiac syndrome (myocarditis). This form of canine parvovirus affects the muscle of the heart, especially in puppies less than three months of age. Puppies with myocarditis stop nursing, cry out and gasp for breath.
Death can occur suddenly or in a few days. Puppies that recover sometimes develop a chronic form of congestive heart failure that leads to death within weeks or months. (57) There are many ways to detect the canine parvovirus; signs of depression, running a temperature, dehydration, loss of appetite, severe vomiting, and a watery stool and / or bloody diarrhea (Breaux). My dog for example had many of these symptoms such as vomiting and bloody diarrhea. I had a Dalmatian, and she had a severe case of the parvovirus. She became very weak. She also lost over half of her body weight so that her bones were very visible.
It caused her much pain and suffering, and I eventually had to put her down. Slow movement, no energy, and isolation usually characterize depression. If signs of depression are detected then the dogs temperature should be checked constantly. A fever in canines is usually from about 104 - 106 Fahrenheit. Loss of appetite and disregarding fluids are the next symptoms.
Observe areas in which the dog spends most of his or her time. Be sure to notice any signs of vomiting or heavy sickness. If there is a watery stool or bloody feces then this is a definite sign of canine parvovirus (Breaux). Detecting these symptoms usually does not help. Canine parvovirus has to be detected very early for it to be treated successfully. Most deaths occur within 48 - 72 hours following the symptoms.
This virus affects mainly young dogs from birth to eleven months old but older dogs can be infected. An infection of the virus in older dogs is usually rare. There are also certain breeds that are more susceptible than others are. These breeds are Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Labrador Retrievers. My neighbors dog is a Labrador Retriever and it became infected with the parvovirus. Unlike my dog, his dog lived and is doing great.
There are many ways for this contagious virus to spread. Canine parvovirus is known to survive on basically any object such as clothing, shoes, furniture, carpet, and many other objects that the infected dog comes in contact with. The parvovirus can also be transmitted through air particles. Although not infected, insects and rodents can also carry the virus. The virus can survive on these inanimate objects for up to 2 - 3 years. The virus is extremely stable.
It is very resistant to high temperatures and many environmental changes. It can be inactivated if the virus is exposed to ultraviolet light, sodium hypochlorite, and dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (American Veterinary Medical Association). There are no specific drugs that kill the parvovirus. The treatment of the parvovirus mainly has to do with replacing fluids. As mentioned before, dehydration is a big problem with parvovirus. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea cause serious dehydration.
The first step to the treatment is replacing these fluids. In severe cases the fluids are replaced by administrating a balanced electrolyte solution to the dog. In less severe cases subcutaneous or oral fluids are used. When there is extreme vomiting, drugs can be used to slow the vomiting down. Antibiotic therapy is given to help control secondary bacterial infections. As the symptoms subside, a de-worming agent is used and restricting the food intake is also required (Bodies).
This treatment takes up an excessive amount of time and the dog goes through extreme pain. My neighbors dog went through the treatment; it seemed as if it took a year to complete. The dog was in an enormous amount of pain but some how pulled through it. In most cases, such as my dog, the virus is so severe that the animals are usually put down. Most veterinarians will suggest this because the chance of the dog surviving is low and the cost of the treatment is high. Parvovirus can be prevented in a few simple ways.
First and foremost, be sure that the dog has been vaccinated against parvovirus and that a regular vaccination schedule is followed. A veterinarian will have information pertaining to the vaccinations and possible side effects. The vaccination should not be given once, but should follow a timed schedule in order to continue the prevention of the parvovirus. A schedule of vaccinations should be available in a veterinarian 's office.
Be sure to keep pets away from foreign wastes of other animals. Always make sure to clean and disinfect the area where the dog is kept. If unsure whether the disease is affecting dogs in the community, check with a local veterinarian. The canine parvovirus is a tremendous problem in dogs.
It kills hundreds of dogs everyday. The virus is virtually indestructible and can be transmitted in many ways, such as coming in contact with common objects such as clothing, furniture, other animals, and carpet. It can also be transmitted through the air and by the feces of other infected dogs, making the parvovirus one of the most contagious viruses in the United States today. Since it is so contagious, many dogs come in contact with everyday. In the late 1970 s it caused a widespread epidemic. Today it causes many deaths in dogs.
The canine parvovirus is one of the most common viruses in dogs today.
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Research essay sample on Canine Parvovirus Common Dog Virus