Although there is no known drug to cure parvovirus, or parvo, supportive care to combat the virus' symptoms proves to be effective in some cases. Veterinary treatments, including the intravenous infusion of fluids to combat dehydration, diarrhea and vomiting, are used in most cases. In the more extreme cases of parvo, blood plasma transfusions and other intensive care treatments may be used.
Parvo is a highly contagious disease most common to canines. This disease attacks rapidly reproducing cells and white blood cells. The most severely attacked cells are those within the intestinal tract. Young animals that contract parvovirus and survive its effects often have lifelong cardiac problems due to damage to the heart muscles. Parvo is transmitted between animals through the contact of the infected animal's feces and is capable of living on surfaces for months. For this reason, sanitation of soiled areas is required to rid areas of the virus. Blood-tinged diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and loss of appetite are among the first symptoms commonly seen in an animal infected with parvo. Because other health problems such as intestinal parasites can display symptoms similar to those of parvo, only veterinarians can diagnose the parvovirus through a test of the infected animal's stool. The good news is that parvo is effectively prevented through routine vaccinations of animals beginning when they are young.