Parvo Poop Smell: Easy Treatments & 3 Signs of Recovery

One of the things most dog owners wonder is what parvo poop look like and smell like. The first concern or worry when their dog has diarrhea is parvo. Parvo poop can produce a very typical bad smell. If you notice your dog is having diarrhea and vomiting, these may be a sign that it has parvo.

Parvo is a virus that is very dangerous to your dog. This virus can leave traces that will help you diagnose the illness. This clue can be found in the waste matter of your dog. Read on to find out most things about parvo, the poop smell and color of an infected dog.


Parvo is a virus that affects the gastrointestinal system, it attacks the lining of your dog’s intestines causing the intestines to die, shred and cast off. Parvo was discovered in 1978, it is a high communicable disease that can affect both cats and dogs leasing to their deaths. It does not just cause death but miserable one for the infected animal.

Young dogs (puppies) are very vulnerable to this virus although it can affect older dogs as well. The reason why it affects puppies most is because their immune systems are not yet very strong to fight against diseases like parvo and the rest. Parvo is very dangerous to unvaccinated and partly vaccinated dogs or puppies, it causes the puppy or dog to need immediate medical attention and hospitalization. 


According to the 2020 Merck Veterinary Manual, there are symptoms that will show your puppy or dog have parvo virus,

Some of them are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea that may be hemorrhagic
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy and enthusiasm due to falling I’ll
  • Fever
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Dehydration
  • Gas
  • Collapse
  • Low body temperature
  • Seizures due to low blood sugar

Recommended Reading:

  1. Why Does My Poop Smell Burnt?
  2. Why Does My Poop Smell Like Metal
  3. Why Does My Poop Smell Sweet: 6 Possible Causes & Treatments


Parvo poop has a distinct smell that is so awful and difficult to forget. The smell has been described to be sickeningly sweet, a metallic-blood smell, an intense rotting smell, and stomach-turning. Others thing the poop can be likened to smell like raw rotten meat, the smell is so pungent that it can knock you off your feet. The smell from parvo poop is very bad because the virus damages the intestines of your puppy or dog. Parvo does the most damage in the stomach and intestines.

The poop is made up of sloughed off dead tissue from the intestines and blood. When a puppy has parvo, it is unable to properly absorb nutrients from food (that is if there is appetite to eat). The food is digested halfway, this makes the poop to have foul smell. 

You know that diarrhea has a strong awful smell, then imagine this smell with traces of blood in it. The blood makes the poop to have a trace of metallic smell. The sad part is that by the time you notice this pungent and horrible smell, it may be too late for your puppy or dog.

Parvo Poop Smell
Parvo Poop Smell


Parvo poop is very disgusting and horrifying to look at. The first look may appear as the usual diarrhea you used to see or even just soft and sticky look. In many cases, the poop may be very thin and bloody. The appearance of the poop depends on the type of dog and how severe the virus in the pet’s body is.

The color varies till it gets very bloody due to the damage to the lining of your pet’s stomach, some may be reddish like the color of blood or others are dark red. The dark red is digested blood which means the blood is coming from higher areas of the intestines. If the blood is bright red, it means it is not digested and is coming from the lower part of the intestinal tract like the colon.

The next look is how consistent the liquid of the poop your dog or puppy is passing out is. The first and early rounds of diarrhea may be soft stool which can change to liquid with time. As the disease becomes severe, some puppies or dogs will pass out liquid poop with lumps that looks like blood clots due to the damage to their gastrointestinal tract.


The smell of parvo will go away when your dog or puppy has recovered from the disease. In fact, one way to know your dog is getting better is to look at its fasces. After 5 days of getting treatment, your dog’s poop will start to firm up without having the traces of blood. The poop will also start to go back to the normal color and consistency. If you notice the there is no blood and the fasces is getting firmer than before, it means the gastrointestinal tract is healing well.


It is very important to get the parvo poop smell out as another dog can get the virus from smelling the poop. Parvo is very contagious, your dog or another dog can even get parvo from smelling a place where the poop was present and was not disinfected properly. You should disinfect the area with bleach and water. Also, jeep all pets away from the area till the place is completely disinfected. Also, keep healthy pets away from sick pets.

The first step is to clean every objects or item close to the poop. You should wash all beddings, toys, eating bowls and clothes with bleach and soap, make sure to dry very well. Items that are heavily soiled should be thrown away. 

Use water to clean out dried poop, do this if there is direct sunlight and drainage to get rid of the water. Next is to get a disinfectant that has been proven to kill parvovirus. You can check for those with claims on the labels from FDA or any approval. Thoroughly clean, disinfect and dry the floor and items at least twice.


Apart from your dog’s poop having normal color and consistency, there are other signs that will show your pet friend is recovering.

Some of these signs are:

1. The Vomiting Will Stop

Parvo makes the small intestine to bleed, this affects the gastrointestinal tract and causes your dog to vomit and become dehydrated. To manage the dehydration, your dog will try to drink water but any solid or liquid substance taken into the body is vomited as soon as they enter. 

So, one of the signs that shows your dog is getting better is that the foamy, yellow bile or bloody vomit stops. Your dog will also stop to drool and foam at the mouth.

2. Normal Eating Habits Returns

Parvo causes your dog to loose appetite and lose weight as well due to lack of food in the body although the stomach becomes bloated. When your dog starts to regain their appetite and eat well, it is a good sign that it is getting better. However, you should allow the dog to eat desperately as this may lead to side effects like vomiting and diarrhea. Give it small portions of food every hour.

3. The Activity Level Increases

Parvo makes your dog so weak to respond to your commands, it may not even have the energy to play or eat. There will be other symptoms like fever, sepsis, and anemia, all these affects the dog’s energy level. When your dog starts to play, getting interested in toys and does not have any trouble with standing, then it is getting better.


The vet is conduct routine checkup on your dog, your pet may be isolated to avoid spreading the virus to other pets. Some vets may allow you to take your dog home and isolate it, however you should protect other pets if there are any.

The first treatment will take three to four days, your dog will still be weak to move and eat. To help your dog, the vet will administer IV fluids to keep your dog hydrated and make your dog’s internal organs to still function.

Bland foods will also be given based on prescription. The bland foods will be easily digested by your dog’s gastrointestinal system, this way your dog will still have energy in it. Medications will be given to treat the diarrhea, nausea and other side effects. Antibiotics will also be given to block the infection from damaging the intestines more.

After the initial treatment, the virus will shed from dog’s body. You will have to help your dog to fight the virus and clear out of its system.

Some of these ways are:

  • Bathe your dog regularly to remove the virus on the fur and skin.
  • Change the bowl, beddings and bed
  • Stick to the food recommendations
  • Increase the food portion gradually to allow their body system to handle the much food
  • Disinfect your house from time to time
  • Avoid taking your dog to places where there are other pets
  • Follow the recommended vaccines and medications.


Parvo can cause your dog’s poop to have an awful, pungent and horrible smell. You will also notice the poop having traces of blood and change color and appearance as well. Some people described the smell to be like raw, rotten meat. There will be other symptoms that will show your dog has this virus, but the poop smell is one way to know. You should treat your dog immediately you notice a change in its poop smell.

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