Parvovirus Disease and Its Treatment

Pages: 2 (394 words) Published: November 3, 2008

Parvovirus is a viral disease that is most common in canines. The strains will infect dogs, wolves, and foxes, but only some will infect cats. Although strains of parvovirus are not transferrable to humans, other strains have been reported in humans. Fifth disease is a mild rash illness that occurs most commonly in children. The ill child typically has a "slapped-cheek" rash on the face and a lacy red rash on the body and limbs. Occasionally, the rash may itch. An ill child may have a low-grade fever, malaise, or a "cold" a few days before the rash breaks out. The child is usually not very ill, and the rash resolves in 7 to 10 days. It is highly damaging and if not caught early can be fatal. Current vaccinations have helped to control the spread of this disease but despite being vaccinated, some dogs still contract and die from parvo. “Parvovirus is a genus of the Parvoviridae family linear, non-segmented single stranded DNA viruses with an average genome size of 5 kbp. Parvoviruses are some of the smallest viruses found in nature. (1)” The symptoms include “lethargy, severe diarrhea, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and dehydration (2)”. The disease will progress very rapidly and death can occur as early as two days after the onset of the disease. The presence of gram negative bacteria, parasites, or other viruses can worsen the severity of the disease and slow recovery. Puppies and dogs usually become infected when they ingest virus that is passed in the stool of an infected dog. Canine parvovirus is resistant to changes in environmental conditions and can survive for long periods of time. Trace amounts of feces containing parvovirus may serve as reservoirs of infection and the virus is readily transmitted from place to place on the hair or feet of dogs or by contaminated cages, shoes, or other objects. “Treatment should be started immediately and consists primarily of efforts to combat dehydration by replacing electrolyte and fluid losses,...
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