What is the Survival Rate for a Shih Tzu Puppy with Parvovirus?

by Anonymous

I have a 6 month old shih tzu he is 12lbs and he started vomiting yesterday and not eating so we took him to the vet right away and he tested positive for parvo we got medication and he is still drinking so he isn’t dehydrated what are the chances of him surviving this?

Ed Says:

Parvo is very dangerous and can be fatal. Did he get his distemper and parvo puppy shots? Because they help to build up his immune system and fight parvo should he contract it. Keep him eating and above all drinking. Do not let him dehydrate. Any changes in his daily routine should be a call to the vet to see if it is important. Good luck with the baby.

Anonymous Says:

I found this article. Good luck with your puppy. I hope he’s ok.

Our Answer

The short answer to your question is: The survival rate for small or young dogs is about 50%. Overall survival rate for parvovirus is estimated at about 70% but young puppies and small-breed dogs are especially vulnerable to the disease. I’m sorry we don’t have more uplifting news to share, but I know I join all our readers in sending you and your puppy good wishes for a complete and speedy recovery.

I do hope you’ll check in and let us know how he’s doing.

What is Parvovirus?

Only dogs contract the parvovirus. It’s not contagious to humans or other pets. There are two types of the disease: Intestinal form and cardiac form. Intestinal parvo causes vomiting and diarrhea and leads to severe and sometimes fatal levels of dehydration. Dogs of any age, size or breed can contact intestinal form. Cardiac form is less common and affects puppies of 8 weeks and younger. Cardiac form is almost always fatal and often results in sudden death.

Being infected with the virus doesn’t always mean the dog will get ill, and the range of illness varies from extremely mild (so mild it can go undetected) to extremely severe – causing death.

Parvovirus is almost everywhere in the environment, at least everywhere a dog might go. It survives extreme heat, freezing temperatures and household disinfectants. A dog can contract parvo from the environment or directly from an infected dog. Fecal-oral transmission is the most common; when a dog sniffs the spot where an infected dog eliminated it comes in direct contact with virus particles. The virus is easily transferred from clothing, hands, shoes and paws. Symptoms of intestinal form parvovirus include:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea (blood may be present)
  • Decreased or no appetite
  • Lethary/depression
  • Low white blood cell count

Regardless of age, if your dog presents with these symptoms seek emergency veterinary help immediately. Early treatment provides the best possible chance for recovery.

Preventing Parvovirus

The best way to safeguard a puppy from contracting parvovirus is to seclude them from contact with other dogs, kennels or public places until they’ve completed their series of puppy vaccinations. A puppy can remain at risk for parvo up to four weeks after receiving his last vaccination. If you have older dogs in the home restrict their activity until the new puppy has completed vaccinations.

Even when you do everything right a puppy can still come in contact with parvovirus. Think of it like the flu – you take every precaution to avoid contact with the virus, including getting a flu shot, but some years you still end up sick. If your Shih Tzu contracted parvovirus don’t waste time feeling guilty or trying to figure out where he got it; focus your energy on staying positive and giving your dog lots of love and affection while he recovers.

Comments for What is the Survival Rate for a Shih Tzu Puppy with Parvovirus?

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Nov 01, 2013
by: Wenda

Vaccinations can cause the very disease they are intended to prevent. When was your puppy vaccinated? Don't delay on medical help for him.

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