Parvoviral enteritis in dogs - a fairly new and relatively little-studied disease. Nowadays, by the number of annually carried away dog lives, it successfully competes with such a formidable infectious disease, like the plague in dogs.
Parvovirus infection was first detected in the United States in 1978. Over the next two years, it rapidly spread to other countries, and in 1980 was registered in Russia. Since the animals did not have natural immunity against this disease, a large number of dogs fell ill and died. Among the diseased and dead dogs, 90% were young animals between the ages of two and ten months.
Later it was found out that parvovirus infection (enteritis of dogs) affects only the dog species and does not affect animals of other species, despite the similarity of symptoms observed in similar diseases in these animals (panleukopenia of cats, infectious enteritis of rabbits, pigs, etc.). a person who comes in contact with a dog with enteritis is also infected.
Enteritis in dogs - a very unusual and insidious infectious disease, which can occur in different forms with different clinical symptoms. This makes it very difficult to diagnose it in the early stages of the disease and, therefore, to fight it, because the disease is transient and the results of treatment primarily depend on the timeliness of veterinary care.
Dog lovers are very important in time to pay attention to some features in the behavior of animals that are harbingers of the disease, correctly assess the situation and, without losing precious time, provide the dog with expert help.
First of all, you need to have an idea of how the dog is directly infected. The main source of infection are sick animals that excrete with feces, vomit and saliva virus into the external environment. Moreover, the virus begins to stand out already in the incubation (hidden) period of the disease, before the appearance of its first symptoms.
Recently recovered animals may also be carriers of this virus for some time. A person who has come in contact with a sick dog, transferring the virus to clothing, shoes, care products (a comb, brush, etc.) can also become a transmission factor. There are cases of outbreaks of the disease after various mass events: exhibitions, broods of young animals, competitions.
Symptoms of enteritis in dogs
From the moment of infection and until the first clinical symptoms of enteritis, the dog is in the incubation period, which can last up to ten days. Considering that enteritis in dogs, as a rule, occurs suddenly and is acute, personal observations of the owner, who notes various changes in the dog's behavior, become important for timely diagnosis.
If you notice some lethargy in a dog, immediately measure its temperature. Normal temperature in dogs ranges from 37.5 to 39 degrees. Temperatures above 39 degrees should be considered a painful process. To measure a dog's body temperature, it is necessary to lubricate the end of the thermometer with petroleum jelly (or sunflower oil, baby cream) and gently insert it into the dog's anal orifice to a depth of 2-3 cm with a rotating motion. The measurement time is 5 minutes.
It is advisable to carry out such measurements every 8 hours, making sure to record the data, so that later the veterinarian can choose the right treatment strategy.
It should be noted that an elevated body temperature in a dog with parvoviral enteritis is not always established, often it remains normal until the death of the animal.
Let's pay attention also to one more moment, indicating the beginning of the disease and, usually remaining unnoticed. Look at the dog: the appetite is normal, on the street it is quite mobile, but when stroking the back and sides, it presses the stomach and slightly arches the back, and when pressed in the stomach, it reacts painfully. This stomach pain should be regarded as the first symptom of parvovirus enteritis. Often at this moment the dog abruptly refuses milk, although he used to drink it willingly.
Usually one day after the onset of these symptoms of enteritis, vomiting begins in dogs, at first with remnants of undigested food, followed by pulsating, gray-colored secretions. After some time, diarrhea appears. Initially, watery, yellowish, covered with greenish veins of the intestinal mucosa, then turns into a bloody, with a disgusting putrid odor. The dog refuses to eat and drink.
Because of severe pain in the stomach, animals cannot lie down and stand with their heads buried in a corner or any objects. From severe dehydration, pain and heart failure, young dogs may die 1-3 days after the first signs of the disease appear.
Enteritis in dogs can take place in another form. The owner notes the dog lethargy, drowsiness. Body temperature rises to 39.5 degrees and higher. In this form, a pronounced soreness of the stomach is absent, but in the stomach there is a strong rumbling, especially in the first days of the disease. The dog, as a rule, refuses to eat or reluctantly eats it, but drinks water. For 2-3 days vomiting occurs, after which the condition of the animal worsens. At 4-5 days, the dog dies with signs of heart failure (barely noticeable or rapid breathing, pallor of mucous membranes, weak, elusive pulse, cold extremities, lack of response to the nickname and command). Characteristic of this form of the disease is the absence of diarrhea. Bloody diarrhea can occur immediately before the death of the animal, or a few hours before it.
At the first suspicious symptoms, the dog must immediately be shown to the veterinarian, who will diagnose, prescribe a course of treatment and observe the sick animal for the next 5-7 days. In this regard, it is very important to describe the changes in the behavior of the sick dog to the doctor as accurately and fully as possible.
Enteritis in dogs, treatment
First Aid Sick Dog in the treatment of enteritiswhich the owner can render is as follows.
- First of all, it is necessary to provide the dog with complete rest, completely removed, drinking and feeding, without an medical indication, you should not use an enema.
- You can recommend the use of petrolatum (worse than sunflower) oil, which, without being absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract, envelops its walls and helps to evacuate toxic contents.
In case of enteritis, the owner must have the following medications in the home veterinary first aid kit:
- 3-4 syringes (from 5 to 20 ml), several replaceable needles for them;
- No-shpu, analgin to relieve pain. Note that all medications must be administered to animals through injections, since the tablets during this period are not absorbed by the dog’s body;
- Saline, if there is severe dehydration (vomiting, diarrhea);
- Sulfokamfokain, kordiamin to maintain cardiac activity.
Let us draw the attention of amateur dog breeders that these drugs should be used in conjunction with the main treatment developed by the veterinarian individually for each animal.
Effects of enteritis in dogs
In dogs that have had parvovirus enteritis, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract may be observed for a long time. Therefore, a great role is played by the proper organization of feeding the animal. Food is best given in small portions several times a day. The menu of the convalescent dog includes slices of low-fat boiled meat (beef, veal), boiled vegetables, well-cooked rice in a weak meat broth.
It is advisable to abstain from fermented milk products in the first week of recovery. Any sausages, spices, sweets, fatty meat and fish, bones are excluded.
2-3 weeks after recovery (depending on how the dog feels), you can return to the old feeding ration.
In dogs that have had parvovirus enteritis, a prolonged, practically lifelong immunity sets in. The main method of prevention of this disease are vaccinations against parvovirus enteritis. Vaccination of puppies begin with 7-8 weeks of their lives.
Vaccinating dogs at an earlier age is undesirable due to the underdevelopment of the immune system. Immunity after vaccination is produced after 2-3 weeks and lasts for 6-12 months.
The course and outcome of the disease can be greatly affected by the presence of worms in the dog. Therefore, the owner must periodically take an animal's feces for analysis. Preventive measures to prevent helminthic invasion should be carried out before each vaccination.
Intermediate owners of worms can be fleas that parasitize a dog, so the owner must take immediate steps to free animals from skin parasites.
Read more about such dangerous diseases as distemper in dogs, piroplasmosis in dogs, rabies dogs.