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Pet Insurance: Does It Cover Parvovirus Treatments?

Parvovirus in dogs, especially puppies, can quickly become a nightmare to the pet and owner because of its infectious nature, high expense, and potential for death. The virus is highly contagious and often attacks the pet's immune system, making them susceptible to other illnesses. Although it is costly, vaccinating and treating dogs against parvovirus is essential. This article is a guide to treating parvovirus with a puppy insurance policy.

What is parvovirus?

Parvovirus, or parvo, is a highly infectious and fatal disease common in canines, especially puppies. It is a virus in dogs that attacks the digestive system and bone marrow. Even with the availability of an effective parvovirus vaccine, puppies can still be exposed to the virus before their immunization rounds are completed.

In most circumstances, an infected pet may need to remain in the hospital for up to seven days. A veterinarian's early diagnosis and treatment may raise the probability of survival to nearly 90%. Unfortunately, most dogs may not have a favorable prognosis if they do not receive immediate therapy. Untreated, only 5–10% of puppies infected with parvovirus will survive.

How do dogs get parvo?

Parvovirus vaccine is available but has not prevented the illness from spreading among domestic dogs. Even though most responsible dog owners vaccinate their pups as soon as they become eligible, unvaccinated dogs pose the most significant risk. As a result, you should be prepared to meet parvovirus-infected animals in parks and along sidewalks.

Without the vaccination, your dog is in danger of contracting parvovirus at any age, particularly puppies and older dogs. Vaccine guidelines from the American Animal Hospital Association indicate your puppy should start getting the parvo vaccine when they're 6–8 weeks old, though they may start earlier in animal shelters. Young puppies have a higher chance of contracting and spreading it because they're not fully vaccinated, and their immune systems aren't developed.

Also, parvovirus is usually spread in feces; therefore, your pet does not need close contact with another dog to contract the disease. The fact that parvovirus may remain in the environment for over a month shows how infectious this virus is to animals.

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How to prevent parvovirus in puppies and dogs

The following three measures are effective for preventing your puppy from contracting parvovirus.

1. Vaccinate your dog

The best approach to preventing your dog from contracting parvovirus is to vaccinate them regularly. Vaccination is an effective way to reduce the risk of significant parvovirus infections.Puppies should be vaccinated for the first time at 6–8 weeks, followed by a booster every 2–4-weeks until they're at least 16 weeks old. When they reach one year of age, they will be given a booster shot. Following that, a booster vaccination against parvovirus is often given to dogs every three years.

2. Clean and sanitize contaminated places

Most home cleaners and disinfectants do not destroy parvovirus. After you've cleaned up any residual excrement, soak the afflicted area in a bleach solution for 10 minutes to eliminate any lingering viruses. The most efficient disinfectant for killing parvo is a 1:30 solution of bleach and water.

3. Avoid dangerous settings and activities

Dog parks, pet shops, doggy daycares, and other public venues with large dog populations are not safe for your unvaccinated dog or puppy.

Pet parents should be careful when exposing their puppies to new social circumstances, such as obedience training or playdates. Even though most professional obedience schools properly disinfect and sanitize the puppy training room between sessions, you should still interview the trainers, check their references, and read reviews before committing to a puppy class. Also, while playdates with other puppies and dogs are a terrific way to socialize your puppy with other animals, you should only allow your puppy to play with/socialize with properly vaccinated canines.

Early symptoms of parvo in dogs

Anyone who owns an unvaccinated dog should know the clinical indications of parvovirus. These symptoms might develop as early as three days after the infection. Some puppies may show symptoms for 3–7 days after first getting sick.

Lethargy and fatigue are common symptoms of an early parvovirus infection in dogs, followed by loss of appetite and fever. Many dogs exhibit more severe indications of illness, such as vomiting and diarrhea, as soon as the initial symptoms appear. Oftentimes, the diarrhea may have blood in it. If your pet does not get care, they may collapse or pass out.

Although these symptoms may indicate other health issues, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as you notice any of these signs. When you see these early signs, taking your pet to the vet as quickly as possible is crucial to increase their chances of a complete recovery. When you bring your dog in for a checkup, the veterinarian will collect a stool sample; you should get confirmation of a parvovirus infection and the results within a few minutes.

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How to treat parvo

Vaccinating young pups is only sometimes practical, even though it should be their first line of protection against parvo. Your puppy will only begin receiving vaccinations at six to eight weeks of age and will continue to get them until it is 16 weeks old. Booster injections are the next stage, which often begins when your dog is a year old. Vaccinating your pet at the proper intervals may help them stay healthy and disease-free.

If your pup has parvovirus symptoms and the testing results are positive, your veterinarian will prescribe supportive parvo treatment immediately.

When a veterinarian confirms the diagnosis of parvovirus, dogs are generally treated with intravenous fluids, anti-nausea medicine, electrolyte imbalance treatment, and, in some circumstances, feeding tubes. While parvovirus doesn't have a specific cure, your veterinarian can prescribe a treatment course that strengthens your dog's immune system to help it battle and defeat the sickness.

Average cost of parvo treatment for dogs

Unfortunately, there is no inexpensive way to treat parvovirus in dogs due to the high cost of parvo treatment. Depending on your pet's current condition, you may be unable to pay to treat their parvovirus illness. There is no defined average cost for treating this sickness in dogs; instead, it is determined by various circumstances.

Several variables, including the severity of your pet's condition, the veterinarian service you choose, your pet's size, and others, will determine the total cost of treatment. Although the initial expense of treating parvo in pups is far lower than in bigger dogs, the total cost may be up to several thousand dollars.

Since parvovirus therapy is often too expensive for the average family, many pet owners believe purchasing insurance covering medical expenditures is a good decision. If you want to safeguard your pet and finances, be sure your pet health insurance coverage covers parvovirus-related charges.

Puppy insurance for parvovirus

Many puppy insurance packages cover any new ailments, doctor visits, and treatments associated with such conditions. During enrollment, you can customize your monthly premiums to your budget by selecting an acceptable deductible, coverable limit, and reimbursement rate. Once your plan is in place, you may visit any vet you like for your pet, make any required payments, submit a claim, and get your money back. If you have sickness coverage, you will be covered for any symptoms or concerns that arise after the waiting period.

However, parvovirus coverage may vary from one case to the next. Some insurance companies do not cover parvovirus because they deem it preventable. Although rare, parvovirus may infect a pet even when properly vaccinated; notwithstanding, the pet insurance company may still refuse to pay if they believe you were irresponsible in avoiding the illness.

If you're considering buying puppy insurance but have yet to vaccinate your new puppy, time is of the essence. Parvovirus often infects pups between the ages of 8–12 weeks. This might occur within days or weeks of bringing the puppy into the owner’s home. So, if you want to bring home an unvaccinated puppy, you should immediately consider purchasing pet insurance and selecting a coverage plan. This is particularly true if your chosen insurance has a long waiting period.

If your puppy has previously conquered parvo, it is unlikely for the illness to resurface; antibodies produced by a parvo-infected dog may prevent the disease from recurring. Your pet may be eligible for coverage if they have gone six to twelve months without showing any indications of recurrent parvo. If you are concerned about parvo, the best action is to vaccinate your pet and contact a veterinarian specializing in wellness and prevention.

Various recommended insurance providers cover parvovirus. They include the following:

Puppy insurance providerFeatures
LemonadeNo coverage for dogs without the parvovirus vaccination; vaccination coverage provided with the Puppy/Kitten Preventative Package.
Spot14-day waiting period before coverage begins; preventative care plans may include the parvo vaccine and booster.
EmbraceThe dog must be vaccinated to be eligible; costs for vaccinations and booster shots are covered under specific plans.
FigoCoverage under Single Accident and Sickness plan.
Pets BestPays for vaccinated dogs; review plan coverage for specifics, as there are exclusions.
Prudent PetPays for vaccinated dogs; review plan coverage for specifics, as there may be exclusions.

Bottom line

Parvo in dogs is highly infectious and possibly lethal. Contaminated surfaces and dog feces can spread parvovirus. Parvo symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. A pet owner who accepts full responsibility for their pet should consider acquiring parvovirus coverage through their pet insurance. Comprehensive pet insurance lets you treat your pet with vital and timely medical care without worrying about financial strain. If you suspect your dog has parvovirus, contact a veterinarian immediately to test for it and begin treatment.

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