|Just hearing that word makes a breeders blood run cold...
What is Parvovirus
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening
illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the
intestinal tract. Parvovirus also attacks the white blood cells, and when young animals are
infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problem.
Parvo has adapted through time and new strains are appearing. It is resistant to many
Parvovirus is extremely contagious and can be transmitted by any person, animal or object
that comes in contact with an infected dog's feces. Highly resistant, the virus can live in the
environment for months, and may survive on inanimate objects such as food bowls, shoes,
clothes, carpet and floors.
Signs and symptoms
*Loss of appetite
*Diarrhea (often bloody, foul smelling, liquid yellow stool).
Parvovirus causes severe life-threatening illness, through dehydration, infection and
shock. If you suspect your puppy may be infected and is showing any signs or symptoms,
this is an EMERGENCY and you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
This is critical!!
It takes any where from 3-10 days from exposure for symptoms to appear and for your
puppy to test positive on a snap test done by a Veterinarian.
Ways it is transmitted
Parvo is carried by dogs and one of the scary facts is that an adult dog, who might be
infected, may not show any signs.
Parvo can survive in the environment for up to 1 year making it almost impossible to
Since Parvo is passed through a dogs feces it can be transmitted by contact with an
infected dog or indirectly through surfaces and objects.
*The tires on a vehicle may bring it on your property, as can a stray dogs that wonders
into your yard.
Dogs at any age can get Parvo, but some are more susceptible.
*Puppies 6-20 weeks old are most susceptible.
(it takes some time for the vaccination series to become fully protective).
*Dogs/puppies under stress or which have other intestinal infections (including worms) or
other health problems may be at higher risk. The stress of going to their new homes, new
environment, new water can weaken their immune system and put them at risk.
Sick pups die from dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, shock, or secondary infections.
Puppies often collapse and die in as little as twelve hours following the onset of symptoms.
There is no cure or specific treatment for parvovirus, but early detection and treatment
increase chance for survival.
Treatment depends on the severity of disease and is aimed at managing symptoms until
the virus runs its course. Fluid therapy to combat dehydration is extremely important.
Medications are sometimes used to reduce vomiting. Antibiotics may be used to fight
secondary bacterial infections, and in very severe cases blood or plasma transfusions may
be given. Hospitalization is usually required.