Quite a few years ago, I evaluated a one year old schnauzer for an acute onset of vomiting and diarrhea. He had no known medical problems and had not eaten anything unusual that could have caused his symptoms. The owner allowed me to do a complete workup, including x-rays and bloodwork.
A week ago, we alerted referring veterinarians in the area to an uptick in the number of parvovirus cases we were seeing at ACCES’ two referral hospitals (Seattle and Renton). Word quickly spread to the greater community setting off an unexpected scare.
Parvovirus is a virus that causes vomiting and severe diarrhea. In addition, it can suppress the immune system and put animals at risk for secondary infections. It mainly affects puppies and can cause death if not treated appropriately. With treatment, which includes intravenous fluids, anti-nausea medication, antibiotics and plasma in severe cases, survival is 90%. Adults dogs can get the infection as well but often are less sick or may shed virus and not have clinical signs.