If you're a pet parent, you understand the number of illnesses and infections that can impact your beloved cat or dog. Unfortunately, parvo is one of the most severe viruses that your favorite pet can catch. It can have serious health consequences for cats and dogs, including death.
In this blog, we'll explore parvo, how your dog or cat can catch it, symptoms of the illness, and a host of other related topics. Most importantly, we'll explore parvo treatment costs and how to shield your family from the price of your pet's medical bills.
What Is Parvo in Dogs and Cats?
Parvo (parvovirus) is a serious virus that can impact both cats and dogs. While there is an effective vaccine that protects pets from the parvovirus, puppies and kittens can experience exposure before their vaccine rounds are complete.
This DNA virus is often experienced worst in the bone marrow and intestinal tract of the infected animal. It can be extremely serious.
In many cases, a pet will require hospitalization – sometimes for up to seven days. If a vet treats the illness early, survival rates can reach up to 80%. Unfortunately, many pets that do not receive early treatment can have poor outcomes.
If you're wondering about parvo in dogs vs. parvo in cats, the disease is not typically transmitted between the two animals. Each animal has its own strain.
Buy A Pet Insurance Policy
How Do Dogs and Cats Get Parvo?
Unfortunately, while there is an effective vaccine for parvo, this hasn't stopped the transmission of the disease within the pet community. While responsible pet owners seek the vaccine as soon as their dog or cat is eligible, there are still some pet parents that are less considerate. This means that there are animals that you may meet in parks or on the sidewalk that can have parvo.
It's not just older pets without the parvovirus vaccine that are a risk to your dog or cat; it's also young puppies and kittens. As your pet can't receive the parvo vaccine until they’re six weeks old, there is a window of opportunity to transmit and catch parvo. Also, since the parvo vaccine requires multiple shots, it can take a while until your pet is fully inoculated.
Parvo is primarily found in feces, which means your pet doesn't need to come into direct contact with another dog or cat to catch parvo. Parvo can live outside for months, which is another indicator of how contagious this virus is for animals.
This means that your pet should stay away from other animals and parks until it is inoculated against parvo. There's no need to risk their health in the first few months of their life.
Don’t worry about catching parvo from your dog, as it is species-specific. Still, make sure to avoid animals with parvo, as you may transmit the virus to other animals you interact with.
Symptoms of Parvo in Dogs and Cats
If you have a dog or cat that is not vaccinated for parvo, it's essential to remain aware of the symptoms of the illness. The onset of parvo symptoms can occur in as little as three days after infection. In some cases, parvo symptoms may occur up to seven days after the initial infection.
If your cat or dog has parvo, they will typically start the illness by seeming tired and lethargic. The initial symptoms may also include a lack of appetite. Your dog or cat might experience a fever as the virus onset continues.
Once initial symptoms develop, your dog or cat may start to show more severe signs of infection. These signs can include diarrhea and vomiting. If your pet does not receive treatment, it might collapse or pass out.
While these symptoms can also point to other illnesses, it's critical to contact a vet as soon as you notice any problems in your pet's health. Seeking professional treatment early can help you improve your pet's recovery chances.
Vets can quickly diagnose parvo if you bring your dog or cat to their office for a check-up. Your vet will take a fecal swab, and it should only take a few minutes to receive results and confirm if your pet has parvo.
How to Treat Parvo
While the first line of defense against parvo is the vaccine, this isn't always an option for young puppies and kittens. Your dog or cat will receive its vaccines starting at six weeks and continuing with routine shots until 16 weeks of age. Next, it will receive booster shots, typically starting when your cat or dog turns one. It's essential that your pet gets its vaccines on schedule to prevent unnecessary infection.
If you're wondering how to treat parvo in a pet that is already infected, it's essential to contact a vet immediately. Once a vet diagnoses your pet with parvo, they will begin treatment, which typically includes IV fluids, anti-nausea medication, electrolyte imbalance treatment, and potentially feeding tubes. All of this normally requires hospitalization for your pet.
If you have any questions or concerns about parvo, it's always a good idea to speak to your vet. As this is a prevalent virus in the animal world, your vet should be able to answer any questions you have.
Average Cost of Parvo Treatment for Dogs & Cats
Parvovirus treatment is notoriously expensive for both cats and dogs. Depending on the health status of your pet, parvo treatment costs may fall outside of your family's budget. There is no certified average cost for treating this illness in dogs and cats – it will depend on a range of factors.
The severity of the illness, the veterinary service you choose, the size of your pet, and a host of other factors will all determine the cost of your pet’s treatment.
While treating small dogs and cats is less expensive than treating large dogs that have parvo, the costs can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. Depending on the severity of the parvo infection and the number of days that your pet requires hospitalization, you may be looking at a treatment price of over $7,000. The extensive treatment necessary for the virus makes this a uniquely expensive illness for pet parents.
Unfortunately, the price of parvovirus treatment is often unaffordable for average household budgets. This is why many pet owners choose to purchase pet insurance that will cover this type of animal care. If you do decide to protect your pet and your finances with a pet health insurance policy, make sure to check that it covers costs related to parvovirus.
If you're concerned about the ramifications of feline or canine parvovirus, it's essential to be well prepared to care for your dog or cat. One of the best ways to ensure recovery is to seek the correct parvovirus treatment. As parvo treatment costs can add up quickly, using a pet insurance policy to shield your family from the price of veterinary services is an excellent idea.
If you're ready to protect your dog or cat from the ramifications of parvovirus, it's time to get them covered with pet insurance. At Fursure, we help our clients access the best pet insurance policies available. Our team of pet insurance advisors will help you compare policies from various pet health insurance providers across the country. To find the best policy for your pet and budget, buy your pet insurance policy here.