Symptoms of Dog Parvovirus

From the exposure to the parvo virus, the incubation period before symptoms show, can be anywhere from 2 or 3 days, and as long as a week or more.

While other symptoms may be present, the main symptoms of Canine Parvovirus are as follows:

Lethargy, Depression or Loss of Appetite:

A puppy or dog which is afflicted with Parvo will display signs of lethargy or depression, mainly due to fluid loss. The parvo virus which attacks the gastrointestinal tract leads to a damage of the intestines and an inability for the puppy or dog to absorb fluids. An inability to digest food or fluids may also result in the animal having no appetite. Your puppy or dog may also have a high fever.


With the intestines beginning to be damaged, vomiting is likely to occur. The vomiting of the puppy or dog will likely lead to further dehydration.


A clear sign that something is wrong with your pet, is diarrhea. In the early stages of parvo, the diarrhea is likely to be extremely smelly. As the parvo virus infection progresses, the diarrhea is likely to be mixed with blood. In its later stages, following a break down of the intestinal system, the diarrhea will be mainly blood.


If your dog or puppy is experiencing these parvo symptoms, please ensure you see your vet immediately – don’t wait to see if it will improve. As a first stage in the treatment, your dog is likely to require fluid replacement – and your vet will be in the best position to provide this.

If your puppy or dog remains untreated, the virus is likely to get worse and your pet could die. In addition, secondary infections may occur due to the weakening of the immune system and gastrointestinal tract and although your pet may survive, long term damage may occur.