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San Pedro’s First Parvo Puppy

In Educational Articles, San Pedro Animal Hospital News // 1 Comment

During Parvo...

San Pedro Animal Hospital is the first to definitively diagnose and treat a case of parvovirus on Ambergris Caye.  Parvo is an extremely contagious, and often fatal, gastrointestinal disease found in unvaccinated puppies.  SPAH is the first and only veterinary clinic on the island with the proper equipment and facilities to diagnose and treat this infection.  Cases of suspected parvovirus have always been euthanized at Saga Humane Society, the only other veterinary clinic on the island, due to the disease’s extremely contagious nature and the lack of proper facilities and equipment for diagnosis and treatment.

Parvovirus is an infection which causes severe anorexia, depression, bloody vomiting, and bloody diarrhea in unvaccinated or undervaccinated puppies.  Without intensive treatment a high percentage of them will not survive.  Treatment often involves prolonged hospitalization, IV fluids, IV antibiotics, and intensive monitoring to protect against dehydration and deadly secondary bacterial infections.  Our adorable patient, Bubbles, was treated for 5 days before she began to respond to therapy.  IV fluids were delivered consistently 24 hours a day using an electronic IV pump.  Her hydration was tested with a blood test daily, and her temperature was checked 3 times a day along with other vital signs.  Various antibiotics, as well as drugs to decrease her vomiting, were given every six to twelve hours. 

Bubbles had frequent bouts of bloody diarrhea and vomiting which eventually slowed over the five day period.  At last she went 24 hours without an episode, and she was ready to try to drink some water and eat some food.  We are happy to report that Bubbles is now back to her happy puppy self, and has made a full recovery.

After Parvo!

To prevent your puppy from contracting parvovirus make sure he or she is vaccinated with a quality vaccine for parvovirus by a veterinarian at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks of age.  This vaccination is commonly referred to as the DHLPP or Distemper vaccination.  It is actually five vaccines for five important diseases, one of which is parvo, all in one injection.

Luckily, parvovirus is not commonly seen in San Pedro.  Bubbles actually contracted it in Belize City before arriving to San Pedro and her new family.  Parvo is common in other parts of Belize, Mexico, and the United States, so pet owners of new puppies should be aware of the symptoms.  If your puppy stops eating, vomits blood, or passes bloody diarrhea see your veterinarian immediately.  Signs are similar to those of tick fever, so if your puppy does not respond quickly to therapy for tick fever be sure and let your veterinarian know.  Early diagnosis and treatment increases the likelyhood of survival against this deadly disease.

If you have any questions about parvo or your pet’s health feel free to call or stop by San Pedro Animal Hospital.







One Response to “San Pedro’s First Parvo Puppy”




  1. On June 19th, 2010, Pet Hospital – Latest Pet Hospital news – San Pedro’s First Parvo Puppy | San Pedro Animal Hospital Said:

    […] San Pedro’s First Parvo Puppy | San Pedro Animal Hospital […]




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