Diagnosis of Parvovirus in Dogs
Parvovirus in dogs is diagnosed by physical signs, blood tests, and stool tests. The most common physical sign is bloody diarrhea. This diarrhea has a distinctly foul odor.
Stool tests can confirm the presence of parvovirus in the feces. Puppies with parvovirus have severe diarrhea; the stool has so much fluid in it that the concentration of virus is too small to detect. This gives a false negative result.
The blood test used to diagnose parvo, called a parvo antibody titer, shows if your puppy's antibodies are fighting the parvo infection. The level of antibodies is called a titer.
There are 3 strains of parvovirus, 2a, 2b and 2c, up until recently tests were only able to detect the 2a and 2b strands. Fortunately, with the lastest advances in testing, doctors are now able to detect all three strains of parvo. The test is highly accurate in both specificity and sensitivity, and is performed by taking stool samples.
If a dog has died from an intestinal infection, your veterinarian can send samples of the intestine to a pathologist to identify parvovirus in the intestine.