Parvovirus is a potentially deadly viral infection that afflicts dogs, and treatment requires intensive care, writes veterinarian Karen Dye. The animal must be isolated because the virus is highly contagious, and care involves delivering intravenous fluids, monitoring and adjusting electrolyte levels, and treating secondary infections, writes Dr. Dye. An appropriate vaccination protocol is the best way to prevent parvovirus, she notes. Cats cannot contract parvovirus from dogs, but they do acquire a similar virus, panleukopenia, that can be deadly and must be treated by a veterinarian.
Cats housed indoors are exposed to parasites, contrary to common belief, writes veterinarian Lorie Huston. Fleas, which carry internal parasites, can infect indoor cats without their owners realizing there is an issue, Dr. Huston writes. Indoor cats are at risk of infection from tapeworms, heartworms and roundworms through exposure to fleas, mosquitoes and rodents, but having regular veterinary care and using veterinarian-approved products labeled for cats can help prevent infection.
National Pet Dental Health Month has passed, but it's essential to maintain a year-round focus on oral care, writes Petplan co-founder and executive Natasha Ashton. Cleaning pets' teeth regularly at home is the best way to prevent serious dental and systemic health problems as well as avoid potentially expensive procedures later, Ashton writes. The American Animal Hospital Association says two-thirds of owners don't provide recommended dental care to pets and only 1% regularly brush their pets' teeth.
Dog ownership is about more that providing an animal with food, water, shelter, socialization and training. To help pooches live long and healthy lives, owners are advised to consult a veterinarian about the vaccines necessary for their dogs. Recommended core canine vaccines include rabies, parvovirus and distemper, according to this article, citing an AVMA report.
Canine parvovirus, a dangerous disease indicated by clinical signs such as diarrhea and lethargy, has about an 80% fatality rate among young dogs. In this AVMA podcast, an Everett, Wash.-based veterinarian talks about the risks, spread and prevention of the disease.