What Does Parvo Vomit Look Like?

If you have a canine companion in your home, you have likely heard of the deadly condition called Parvovirus. Parvo causes a list of typical symptoms, ranging from severe diarrhea to endless vomiting. So with having a list of standard symptoms, does Parvo vomit have a standard appearance as well?

Parvo vomit is often yellow or brown in color, and may even contain streaks of blood.

In this article we will discuss the details of Parvovirus in our canine friends, and help you understand what Parvo vomit may look like.

What Does Parvovirus Vomit Look Like

What Is Parvovirus?

Parvovirus is a serious disease that mainly impacts the GI tract in puppies and young dogs. This contagious illness attacks the rapidly dividing cells in the body, meaning the bone marrow and the intestinal tract are most affected. Once the virus enters the body of an unprotected pup, a slew of serious gastrointestinal symptoms begin.

Dogs can catch Parvo by coming in direct contact with infected stool or vomit, or by direct contact with a contaminated surface. Parvovirus can live on a surface or in the ground for up to 1 year, with some experts believing it can survive up to 3 years. Due to this, Parvo is a threat that can wait around every corner.

Parvovirus is preventable with a series of vaccines performed as a puppy, as well as a yearly booster that is administered into adulthood. There are two slightly different strains of Parvovirus in dogs, but the vaccine is effective in preventing both.

What Are the Symptoms of Parvovirus in Dogs?

Due to the damage Parvovirus has on a dog’s intestinal tract, dogs will experience a list of troubling GI symptoms. Some of the most common signs of Parvo in our canine companions include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Extreme weakness
  • Collapse
  • Hypoglycemia, and seizures as a result

Dogs will often begin to show signs of the illness within 3-7 days of being exposed to the virus. If a dog does not receive any treatment, they can succumb to the disease within days.

What Does Parvo Vomit Look Like?

Parvo vomit can look many ways, but there are a few characteristics that many pet owners notice. Your puppy may initially vomit food when they still have an appetite, but will soon progress to liquid vomit when they are unable to keep any food down.

Parvo vomit is often yellow or brown in color, and may even contain streaks of blood. The blood is often due to irritation in the esophagus due to constant vomiting, and may get worse as their condition progresses.

Parvo vomit may be filled with foam, as this is often a result of constant retching. Parvo puppies may begin to vomit after just consuming water, as their GI tract becomes so severely damaged.

Does Parvo Have A Specific Smell?

Parvo vomit tends to have a stronger odor than regular vomit in our canine friends. This is often due to the severe irritation of the stomach and intestines, causing a foul smell each time a dog vomits. Many describe parvo vomit as smelling extremely foul or sour, or being pungent enough to make you take a step back. This is not always the case, but is extremely common in Parvo puppies.

How To Know If Your Dog Has Parvo

The only way to accurately diagnose parvo in your dog is by performing a Parvo test at your vet’s office. While you can certainly have a hunch due to your dog’s symptoms, this is not enough to offer a solid answer.

Not only do you need to visit your vet to diagnose the condition, but your pup will also require aggressive care to help them survive the infectious virus. Most puppies require rehydration, medication for nausea, antidiarrheal medication, and more. It is rare for a puppy to survive Parvo without any medical intervention, making it important to act fast.

When Should You Take Your Dog To the Vet?

If your dog is unvaccinated or within the standard age range to catch parvo (6 weeks – 3 years), you should seek veterinary care from the moment you first notice symptoms. Early detention is essential for helping a puppy through this condition, and makes their chance of survival much higher.

Vomiting and diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a puppy, along with the implications of turning away their food. If your pup is experiencing any of the symptoms we mentioned above, it’s time to contact your veterinarian.

Parvo vomit has a few characteristics to be on the lookout for. Be sure to review the information that we discussed above, as this will help you better understand what parvo vomit may look like.

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