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BMC veterinary research
Volume 18 | Issue 1 (March 2022)

Parvovirus enteritis and other risk factors associated with persistent gastrointestinal signs in dogs later in life: a retrospective cohort study.

BMC Vet Res. March 2022;18(1):96.
Kanae Sato-Takada1, Anne M Flemming2, Maarten J Voordouw3, Anthony P Carr4
1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.; 2 Central Animal Hospital, Kamloops, BC, Canada.; 3 Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, SK, Saskatoon, Canada.; 4 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
© 2022. The Author(s).


BACKGROUND:Parvoviral enteritis (PE) is a viral gastrointestinal (GI) infection of dogs. Recovery from PE has been associated with persistent GI signs later in life. The objectives of this study were: (i) To determine whether dogs that have recovered from PE (post-parvo dogs) had an increased risk of persistent GI signs compared to uninfected control dogs. (ii) To investigate the lifestyle and clinicopathologic factors that are associated with persistent GI signs in post-parvo dogs.
METHODS:A total of 86 post-parvo dogs and 52 age-matched control dogs were enrolled in this retrospective cohort study. Many years after hospitalization for PE, the owners were interviewed about the health and habits of their dogs using a questionnaire. We used generalized linear mixed effects models to test whether parvovirus enteritis and other risk factors are associated with owner-recognized general health problems in all dogs and with owner-recognized persistent GI signs in post-parvo dogs.
RESULTS:The prevalence of persistent GI signs was significantly higher in post-parvo dogs compared to control dogs (57% vs 25%, P < 0.001). Markers of disease severity at the time of hospital admission such as neutropenia, low body temperature (BT), and treatment with an antiemetic medication (metoclopramide) were significant risk factors for persistent GI signs in post-parvo dogs. For example, PE-affected dogs that were hypothermic at hospital admission (BT of 37.2 °C) were 16.6 × more likely to have GI signs later in life compared to hyperthermic dogs (BT of 40.4 °C). The presence of persistent GI signs in post-parvo dogs was a risk factor for health problems in other organ systems.
CONCLUSIONS:Parvovirus enteritis is a significant risk factor for persistent GI signs in dogs highlighting the importance of prevention. The risk factors identified in the present study may guide future investigations on the mechanisms that link parvovirus enteritis to chronic health problems in dogs.

Antimicrobials; Canine; Diarrhea; Gastrointestinal system; Immunology; Metoclopramide; Parvovirus; Vomiting;

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