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Parvovirus In Golden Retrievers: Symptoms And Prevention

Parvovirus In Golden Retrievers: Symptoms And Prevention

Parvovirus is an extremely contagious and dangerous viral disease. It mostly affects puppies and dogs that were not vaccinated against it. Certain dog breeds have a higher chance of contracting parvo than others. While they are not one of them, Parvovirus can still occur in Golden Retrievers.

There are two known forms of this deadly virus:

Intestinal parvo

This is a more common form of parvovirus, dogs contract it by ingesting the virus. In a short amount of time virus spreads to the bloodstream and attacks dividing cells in the intestines, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. If left untreated this will allow bacteria from the intestines to enter the bloodstream.

Cardiac parvo

A rare and very lethal form of parvovirus that occurs in puppies infected in the womb. Virus attacks young puppy’s heart and heart muscles causing cardiac arrest and usually death.

Transmission of Parvovirus

When you think about it, this virus is really the stuff of nightmares. Parvovirus is resilient, highly contagious, and deadly. The virus is resistant to cold, heat, humidity. It can survive in an inhospitable environment for a very long time.

Golden Retrievers can contract parvovirus in contact with other infected dogs, infected food and water bowls, infected feces, or surfaces. You can also transmit this virus to your dog with your hands or clothes. It can basically be transmitted by almost anything.

Prevention Of Parvovirus in Golden Retrievers

Ok, now that we know just how dangerous and contagious parvovirus is, we need to look for all possible ways to prevent it from ever reaching our Golden Retrievers. 

This is actually easier than you might think! To keep your dog safe, you need to vaccinate him and keep him up to date. That’s literally all you need to do! In fact, if all dog owners would do this, there would be no parvovirus today.

Vaccination Schedule

Your Golden puppy should receive the first dose of the vaccine between 6-8 weeks. Every 4 weeks after this initial vaccination puppy should receive boosters. They will be administered until the puppy is 16-20 weeks old. Once your puppy is one-year-old, a final booster should be administered.

Remember, It’s Never Too Late

If you have an older dog that was not vaccinated, do it as soon as possible. Consult your vet and set up a vaccination schedule.

Thorough Cleaning 

Clean every surface that might be compromised by an infected dog. Remember, this is a very resilient virus that can live there for months, and it’s resistant to most disinfectants and household cleaners. So, it’s important to find the strongest disinfectant you can to get rid of this pesky virus.

Diagnosing Parvovirus In Golden Retrievers

It’s fairly easy and quick to diagnose parvovirus in Golden Retrievers. Your vet will perform a so-called ELISA test. This test lasts for about 15 minutes and detects parvovirus presence in the dog’s stool sample.

What If My Golden Retriever Contracts Parvovirus?

As in any battle, the most important thing is not to give up! Yes, the mortality rate is about 90%, but this is in untreated dogs. 

Most of the dogs will survive with proper treatment. Since there is no cure for parvovirus, the focus of the treatment is to ease the symptoms.

Symptoms Of Parvovrius In Golden Retrievers

It is important to notice that symptoms will show 3-4 days after infection and manifest themselves after a week or up to 10 days after infection. This, of course, leaves very little time for the treatment of the dog. So, you should visit the vet once you notice all or some of the parvovirus symptoms in your Golden Retriever.

These are the most common symptoms of parvovirus in Golden Retrievers:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia


Parvovirus is deadly, contagious, and resilient, once it infects your dog it will leave long-lasting effects that will require further treatment and costs. The best way to keep your Golden Retriever safe is to vaccinate him on time and keep him up to date.

I'm Michael, and I absolutely adore dogs. My faithful companion, Toby, is a Corgi who means the world to me. I'm passionate about building strong bonds with dogs and providing them with all the love and care they deserve.