Both felines and canines may contract parvo, although they're different strains. Both forms of parvo come from a contagious viral infection. At Randolph Animal Hospital, serving Randolph, MA, and the nearby region, we encourage families to vaccinate to prevent these illnesses. We also advise families to recognize the signs in unvaccinated pets so they can bring their pet in for immediate medical attention.
Feline parvo, also known as feline panleukopenia or feline distemper, is a viral infection caused by the feline parvovirus. The virus targets rapidly growing cells, such as those that comprise bone marrow and intestines. The virus also affects developing fetuses. Specifically, the virus passes from one cat to another through nasal secretions, stool, and urine.
This viral infection affects kittens more harshly than adult cats. You may notice that an infected cat will have a high fever, lack of an appetite, and will vomit or have diarrhea. Nasal drainage and dehydration are also potential symptoms. In young kittens, the infection may spread to the eyes and brain. A pregnant mother affected with this condition may spontaneously abort the litter, or the kittens may be born with severe brain damage that affects their coordination, bones, nerves, and muscles.
Canine parvo, also known as canine distemper, is a viral infection spread from one canine to another through emesis, stool, nasal secretions, or saliva of an infected dog. It's also possible for a dog to acquire this illness from infected coyotes, skunks, or foxes.
Potential symptoms of canine parvo include:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Weight loss
In the more severe cases, the effect the infection has on the intestines and immune system can lead to septic shock. The infection may also spread throughout the body, leading to organ failure and a rapid decrease in blood pressure. Symptoms are more severe in puppies than in adults.
While you should carefully look for the signs when your pet is unvaccinated, the best treatment for these viral infections (which can't be transmitted from cats to dogs or vice versa), is vaccination. Vaccinating your dog or cat against parvo builds immunity to the virus, so they'll have less severe or no symptoms of the virus. If you notice signs of the virus, we recommend getting your pet to Randolph Animal Hospital as soon as possible for veterinarian attention. While prevention is the best medicine, your pet will need immediate vet treatment to prevent serious complications.
Contact Our Veterinarian in Randolph, MA for Parvo Treatment
For more information on parvo or to schedule an appointment with our vet, call Randolph Animal Hospital today at (781) 963-2298.