During the month of November we see a lot of dogs with Parvo. Although Parvo can happen any time of year, when the seasons are changing the most seems to bring out more cases. The symptoms of Parvovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, not eating and general listlessness. This results in severe dehydration that can be fatal if left untreated. There are other viruses that can mimic Parvo symptoms.
If your dog vomits more than once in a day, it should be examined by a vet. The sooner, the better. Small dogs especially should be seen immediately as they can dehydrate much more quickly than larger dogs.
The sooner the dog can get medical attention, the higher the chances of survival. Don't wait 3-4 days and expect the vet to be able to save a half dead dog.
Even with vaccinations, a dog can still get Parvo. The vaccine is not a 100% guarantee that a dog won't get sick, since being a virus, there are different strains. Vaccinated dogs have a higher rate of survival.
An older dog can still get Parvo. Most people think of Parvo as a "puppies only" disease but it really isn't. Puppies get it more frequently due to the fact that their immune system is immature, but it's still possible for an older dog to get it.
A dog can get Parvo without being around other sick dogs. The Parvo virus is very hard to kill, and it can attach itself to just about anything. One of the reasons why I change clothes between work and being around other dogs, even my own. Parvovirus travels.
After the first year puppy shots, an adult dog needs regular booster shots. Check with your vet and find out what is recommended. We do yearly boosters in our area. Vaccinating is much less expensive than a hospital bill.
Do NOT vaccinate a sick dog. We've had a few people lately that rush in to get their dog vaccinated when the dog is actually sick. Never a good idea, as a sick dog has a compromised immune system. Not only will the dog not get immune to the disease, it may get sicker.
A healthy dog does not have diarrhea, vomiting, no appetite, or act listless. At the start of any of these symptoms the dog should be seen and treated.
If today was any example, it's going to be a rocky couple of weeks.