|Parvovirus is a viral disease of dogs. It affects puppies much more frequently than it
affects adults dogs. The virus likes to grow in rapidly dividing cells. The intestinal lining
has the biggest concentration of rapidly dividing cells in a puppy's body. The virus
attacks and kills these cells, causing diarrhea ( often bloody ) depression and suppression
of white blood cells, which come from another group of rapidly dividing cells. In very
young puppies it can infect the heart muscle and lead to ( Sudden death )
Parvovirus is probably the most common viral illness of dogs at the present time. It is
much more common in puppies than it is in adult dogs. It can be very hard to
successfully vaccinate a puppy for this disease because the antibody protection the
puppy acquires from its mother can interfere with the vaccination. Many vets
recommend vaccinating puppies every three to four weeks for this virus starting at 6
weeks of age and continuing until they are at least 16 weeks of age and preferably 20
weeks of age. It is possible that this vaccine confers lifelong immunity once it does work
but most veterinarians continue to recommend yearly vaccination for it.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PARVO ?
Parvo is a virus that attacks the lining of the digestive system. It causes dogs & puppies
to not be able to absorb nutrients or liquids. Puppies are especially prone to it because
they have an ( immature ) immune system. When dogs & puppies contract parvo, they
often have diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy, they stop eating and develop a bloodly, foul
smelling, liquid stool. Symptoms usually begin with a high fever, depression and loss of
appetite, secondary symptoms appears as severe gastrointestinal distress, such as
vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In many cases dehydration, shock and death follow.
HOW IS PARVO TRANSMITTED ?
Canine parvovirus is carried by people's hands & shoes and other pets..
Generally it takes 7-10 days from the time of exposure for dogs & puppies to start
showing symptoms of the disease. Parvo is highly contagious to unprotected dogs, and
the virus can remain infectious in ground contaminated with fecal material for five
months or more if conditions are favorable. Most disinfectants cannot kill the virus,
however ( Chlorine bleach is the most effective and inexpensive agent that works, just
make sure you keep the chlorine bleach away from you dog or puppie, it can make your
dog sick or kill them plus it will burn there eyes, Any area that is thought to be
contaminted with parvo should be thoroughly washed with chlorine bleach, diluted 1
ounce per quart of water, if you think you may have come in contact with parvovirus, a
strong solution of bleach & water does kill the virus, so you can wash your shoes &
clothes even your hands with it. to reduce the risk of infection of your dog.
Parvo is not transmitted to humans or other pets of a different species, such as cats.
HOW IS PARVO TREATED ?
Without intense treatment the victims of parvo die of dehydration. treatment generally
consists of IV or Sub-Cutaneous fluids & antibiotics. Veterinarians can only treat the
symptoms palliatively, and try to keep the dog alive by preventing dehydration and loss
of proteins. There is no cure for any virus, treatment for parvo is mostly that of
supporting the different systems in the body during the course of the disease. This
includes giving fluids, regulating electrolyte levels, controlling body temperature & giving
blood transfusions when necessary.
WILL MY DOG DIE IF HE GETS PARVO ?
If your dog becomes infected with parvovirus he has about a 50-50 chance of survival, if
he make it through the first three to four days, he will usually make a rapid recovery. It
must be ( Stressed ) that this is not a bad case of dog flu, without medical treatment
most puppies die.
HOW DO I PREVENT MY PUP FROM GETTING PARVO.
The surest way to avoid parvo infection in your dog or pup is to adhere to the
recommended vaccination schedule which begins when puppies are 6-8 weeks of age,
Puppies should not be allowed to socialize with other dogs or frequent area where other
dogs have been, ask other family member to wash there hands before they play with
pup, remove all shoes and leave at the door, keep your children away from other peoples
pets, keep your pup away from pets, even your own, until 2 weeks after your pup has
had its ( LAST VACCINATION )
Your puppie will need Three Vacciantion every 3 to 4 weeks apart. Immunization for
parvo is usually included in your dog's distemper vaccine, this shot gives protection
against several potentially fatal canine diseases all at the same time.
Clean up all the dog's stools in your yard.