Everything You Need To Know About Canine Parvovirus



Like humans, dogs can contract dangerous diseases and illnesses if not properly vaccinated. One of the most common and extremely contagious illnesses among dogs is the canine parvovirus. Properly vaccinating your dog against this virus increases their immunity against the disease.

What is Parvovirus

Parvovirus is a viral disease that attacks white blood cells and is highly contagious. The virus begins in fecal matter of infected dogs. It is contracted through inhaling or ingesting the virus. The virus usually begins by attacking the cells in throat and from where spreads to the bloodstream. Once in the blood stream it infects the intestinal track where the real damage and danger begins. If not treated by a vet, quickly, your dog can die of dehydration and/or release of septic toxins.

Parvovirus is easily spread to objects like food/water bowls, blankets, carpeting and shoes. It can live on infected surfaces for months. Dogs can easily come in contact with this virus while out for a walk or visiting a dog park since the virus is so easily spread.

Treatment of Parvovirus

While there is no immediate cure for dogs infected with parvovirus, immediate treatment is key. Once a dog has contracted the virus their survival rate increases significantly with proper care. The incubation period for the virus is approximately 3-7 days. If you notice your pet becoming increasingly lethargic with a severe loss of appetite, be cautious. If those symptoms are followed by vomiting and severe, foul smelling diarrhea that contact your vet immediately. Your vet will be able to administer antibiotics, replenish fluids and control the vomiting. Your pet may be hospitalized for up to 7 days. This virus is extremely aggressive, even with proper treatment the outcome isn’t always positive.

Prevention of Parvovirus

The best thing you can do for your beloved pet is to get them vaccinated. It is never too late to start the vaccinations. Ideally the shots should begin when your dog is a puppy and between 6-8 weeks old. After the initial vaccination a booster is given every month until the puppy is approximate 5 months old. Another booster will be given at one year of age. Follow-up boosters can be given throughout the life of your pet. Your vet at Irrawang Veterinary Clinic will help you determine how often a booster should be administered.

The vaccination is often given along with 4-6 other vaccines as an all-inclusive vaccine. These are commonly referred to as the “five in one” or “seven in one”. The vaccines contained within these combination shots are:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Parvovirus
  • Corona Virus
  • Adenovirus

Having your pet vaccinated regularly is the best way to keep them from contracting this highly contagious virus. It is spread so quickly and easily that most pets will come in contact with the disease at some point in their lifetime. If your pet has contracted the virus scour your home with disinfectant. The virus is strong and can survive for months. Your dog is immune if they have contracted the disease once but you can spread the disease to other pets easily