Getting a pet check up for your furry friend is a very important part of being a pet parent. Not only do annual visits provide a chance for your veterinarian to look at your pet’s general health, it’s the prime time for your pet to get updated on vaccinations. Just like human vaccinations, pet vaccinations are critical to help them avoid potentially life-threatening diseases.

One of the most contagious diseases is canine parvovirus, most commonly known as parvo. This virus most severely affects the intestinal tract, as well as attacks white blood cells. While all unvaccinated dogs are at risk, the most susceptible are puppies and adolescent dogs. For these young ones, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac issues. To help avoid the disease, it’s good to know how it spreads.

Parvo is transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog’s feces. It’s highly resistant and can live in the environment for months. With the exposure our pets get as they go out and about with us, it’s more important than ever to vaccinate them.

While it’s always best to get a pet check up if you suspect something abnormal with your pet, there are symptoms you can watch for. If your pet has parvo, he may be lethargic with severe vomiting and loss of appetite. He may even have bloody diarrhea. Early detection is critical with treating this virus so the quicker the pet is brought to us the sooner we can get treatment started. 

There are currently no medications that can kill the virus, however there are treatments available. The primary focus is strengthening your pet’s immune system to help fight the virus. Many pets will need to be hospitalized for special treatment including IV fluids and antibiotics. Your vet will provide you with the best course of action for your pet.

If you’d like to schedule a pet check up for your four-legged friend, contact our caring team today. Parvo is just one of the many diseases that checkups and vaccinations can help prevent. At East Valley Animal Hospital, we care about your pets as much as you do!