Signs & Symptoms of Parvovirus in Dogs
Dogs with parvovirus may vomit and have bloody diarrhea with abdominal pain. Often the diarrhea has an unusually offensive odor caused by blood in the stool. With parvo, intestinal bleeding occurs in the small intestine so that the blood is partially digested and passes out as black, tarry feces (melena).
Dogs with parvovirus become thin and weak. They are dehydrated and the skin stays "tented" when pinched rather than falling back into place. Tenting is a classic sign of dehydration. The gums in the mouth are tacky rather than moist, and the eyes may appear sunken.
Bacteria growing in the blood is called septicemia. Septicemia is caused when bacteria in the intestines travel through the intestinal wall and move directly into the blood. Some dogs become dehydrated and septicemic so rapidly they die before diarrhea occurs. This is because dogs with septicemia have high fevers and may go into shock.
Some dogs with parvovirus will have only mild infections and few signs of infection. It's possible to have some puppies in a litter with mild infections and other puppies with severe infections.