Canine Parvovirus

Canine Parvovirus is a contagious disease that can cause diarrhea and even death in dogs. Canine Parvovirus or “parvo” appeared in the 1970s. It is one of the most common deadly diseases to the canine family. Puppies are the most susceptible and some breeds such Rottweilers, German shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are more susceptible to the virus then others.

Parvovirus is, unfortunately, very stable and resistant to most disinfectants and can live on organic materials for up to a year. Applying bleach over the contaminated area for 10 to 15 minutes is the best way to remove the Parvovirus. Parvo disease is spread from dog to dog mainly through exposure to contaminated feces and objects such as hands, toys and bedding.

Parvovirus can infect the digestive system and the heart. Signs vary but the most common signs are diarrhea, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite and dehydration. The heart symptoms can result in death especially in puppies.

Treatment for dogs or puppies affected by Parvovirus varies on the seriousness the virus. The most effective treatments are fluid therapy to fight dehydration, antibiotics, and medications to help stop vomiting. Puppies, despite early treatment, have a high mortality rate when affected by Parvovirus.

Vaccinations are the safest way to prevent the Parvovirus. Puppies should be vaccinated at eight weeks old. The process is repeated every four weeks until they are about six to eight months old. Pet owners should be careful not to expose puppies to other dogs and environments that could be infected with Parvovirus.

A puppy or dog infected with the Parvovirus should be removed from other animals immediately. People should wash their hands after touching the infected animal to avoid spreading the disease.

Learn more about protecting puppies from Parvovirus