|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
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
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.