What Does Parvo Poop Look and Smell Like?

Poop from Dog with Parvovirus

Do you have a dog that has recently fought parvo? You might also notice symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, both of them being signs that your dog could be affected by parvo.

It’s very important to take your dog to the vet for treatment if you’re sure it has parvo. Depending on the severity of each individual case, your dog might need to spend a few nights in a pet hospital or clinic for treatment.

Although appropriate care and treatment will make your dog overcome this disease, it can easily become life-threatening when you choose to ignore it.

How are puppies impacted by Parvovirus?

Parvo is a virus attacking the gastrointestinal system and will usually be seen in unvaccinated pups. You will notice that this virus is seen a lot more frequently in dogs coming from a shelter. The parvovirus will damage the intestines of the pet by attacking their lining.

There are quite a few symptoms your pup is likely to develop when suffering from parvo. Among the most common sign, you should look for a combination of the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Whenever you notice one or more of the symptoms above in your pup, you should get it to your vet as soon as possible. The treatment against parvo works better where illness has been spotted in time.

What Does Parvo Poop Smell Like?

The smell of Parvo-infected dog poop will be not only strong but also distinct. It will be an awful smell, to be honest, having as a direct cause the decaying blood and lining of the intestines.

Your dog will also have a hard time digesting any nutrients from the food it ingests because of the parvovirus that is damaging the intestines. This means that the food will pass only half-digested into the stool, which will certainly add to the bad smell.

The smell can be associated with the stench of rotting meat, as most people will tell you. It is the type of smell that will stay with you and as soon as you’ve noticed it once, you’ll recognize it whenever you have to deal with it again.

What Does Parvo Poop Look like?

Bloody diarrhea is very common among dogs with parvo. The exact look of the poop itself will differ based on factors like the severity of the disease, the breed of dog, and the diet of the pet.

Although the first stages of the illness don’t come with blood in the poop of the pup’s stool, they do come with poop with a brown-yellow color.

With the development of the illness, the stools of your dog will become either bright red or dark red in color. The bright red will usually be due to undigested blood which is coming from the lower parts of the intestinal tract, while the darker red color will point toward digested blood, meaning that it is coming from a higher part of the intestines.

Diagnosis of Parvo in Puppies

A simple test at the vet is all it takes for you to know whether your dog is infected with Parvo. The test will have to be done on a small sample taken from the pup’s rectum.

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Depending on how sick the dog is, the results of the tests can come in 10 minutes or even less. Most of the time, due to the uniqueness of the poop’s smell, as long as you go to the vet with a sample of the dog’s stool, your vet might be able to tell you if your dog is infected with parvo even before the test results come in.

Treatment of Parvo in Puppies

Parvo TreatmentIn more severe cases, a vet might decide to hospitalize the dog for a few nights and treat it with IV fluids and injectable medications.

The dog will stay in the hospital for however much it will be needed for proper healing, getting supportive care until it stops vomiting and is able to eat on its own. This can take several days depending on the stage of the disease.

Even after you take the dog home, you might still be required to give him some type of supportive care and medication until it is back on its feet completely. There are some mild forms of the infection that might be treatable at home with supportive care alone.

At-Home Treatment for Parvo

There are some things you could try at home in the hope that your dog will recover from parvo. YOu will help to keep them hydrated by giving them enough fresh water and food.

It would also be a great idea to keep your dog under observation and if you notice he is refusing to eat, try to force some food and water in his mouth with a syringe. If the dog keeps having diarrhea and vomiting, then you could call your vet and have them prescribe you medication to help with these two symptoms.

Your vet might also consider that antibiotics are needed, as a way of preventing secondary infections from developing while the dog’s immune system is affected.

Expected Prognosis for Parvo In dogs

Most dogs will survive this disease as long as they get aggressive treatment from as early as possible. There are other dogs that aren’t this lucky and will pass away due to this disease.

Parvovirus is very likely to affect unvaccinated puppies. Vaccinating the pup in time and then taking the necessary precautions will almost guarantee that your dog won’t have to deal with this ugly infection throughout his life.


The poop of a dog suffering from parvo is distinct not only in smell but also in how it looks. Parvo poop will have a very strong stench of rotten meat, will be bloody, and will likely be easily distinguishable.

If you have a dog that you know is unvaccinated, with symptoms like bloody diarrhea that smells very bad and intense vomiting, then the culprit is most likely Parvovirus. The test for Parvo is not only simple but also very quick and causes almost no discomfort.

The outcome will be better if you spot the illness in its early stages and go for aggressive treatment.

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