Please be aware that young puppies are
very susceptible to Parvovirus – a highly contagious and deadly viral illness.
All of our puppies are given vaccinations appropriate to their age and kept in
Puppies do not have full immunity from
this disease until they receive their third vaccination. Many puppies are
adopted before they are old enough to receive their third shot. For this
reason, it is very important that you do not take your new puppy to places
where he/she could be exposed to Parvovirus -i.e. public parks, pet stores, or
anywhere they may be exposed to other dogs or puppies that may not be current
on vaccinations. Also be sure your puppy gets vaccinated on schedule. Your vet
will advise when your pet should get his/her rabies vaccine.
Canine parvovirus (CPV) is the most
dangerous and contagious virus that affects unprotected dogs. But subsequently
a parvo vaccine has helped control its spread, and CPV infection is now
considered most threatening to puppies between the time of weaning and six
months of age. Adult dogs can also contract the virus, although it's relatively
uncommon. All breeds of dog can be infected, but Rottweilers and Doberman
Pinschers are more susceptible and have less chance of recovering. Other
animals and humans can carry the disease to your dog. Dogs who become infected
have a 50-50 chance of survival. If they survive the first four days, they will
usually recover rapidly, and become immune to the virus for life. Most puppies
will die without medical treatment.
The source of CPV infection is fecal waste
from infected dogs. It has been diagnosed anywhere groups of dogs are found:
dog shows, obedience trials, breeding and boarding kennels, pet shops, animal
shelters, parks, and playgrounds. Dogs that spend their time confined to a
house or yard and are not in contact with other dogs have much less chance of
exposure to CPV. It's easily transmitted via the hair or feet of infected dogs,
and also by contaminated objects such as cages or shoes. CPV is hardy and can
remain in feces-contaminated ground for five months or more if conditions are
favorable. Although most disinfectants cannot kill it, chlorine bleach is quite
effective. Parvovirus has an incubation period of five to fourteen days. Dogs
will act like they are in extreme pain. Early symptoms are depression, loss of
appetite, vomiting, high fever, and severe diarrhea. Feces can be either
grayish or fluid and bloody. Rapid dehydration is a danger, and dogs may continue
to vomit and have diarrhea until they die, usually three days after onset of
symptoms. Others may recover without complications.
In the early stages of Parvo, your puppy
will become very listless and get a blank look on his face. His eyes will
appear glassy. He will be tired, not play and may not eat or drink. This is
when you need to catch parvo, before the puppy starts to throw up or get
diarrhea. Once these symptoms appear the lining of the intestines may be
starting to break down. Time is of the essence, so if you notice any of these
signs, don’t wait, err on the side of being too cautious, it may save your
At the Veterinarian:
Why is the snap test important?
PARVO IS VERY TIME SENSITIVE! Early
Treatment is crucial! A fecal float takes 24-48 hours to come back with a
result... that is enough time to kill your puppy. A SNAP TEST takes 10 minutes.
With a snap test you can start treating your pup in 15 minutes. With a float,
your pup is all but dead by the time the results come back.
There has been success in treating
parvovirus with Tamiflu. It does NOT cure it. But it is effective
none-the-less. Tamiflu renders the bacteria (which is what does the actual
damage) that travels with this virus, useless. This then stops it from leaving
the digestive track and harming internal organs.