Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a life-threatening disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract of dogs. It is highly contagious and canines that are the most at-risk of parvovirus are unvaccinated dogs and puppies that are younger than four months old.
Parvo virus is shed in the stool of older unvaccinated dogs and lives in the environment for a very long time. Parvo can get spread through direct dog-to-dog contact as well as through contact with contaminated feces, people or environments. It is also capable of contaminating things like kennel surfaces, bowls, leashes, collars and the clothing and hands of those who treat infected dogs.
Major symptoms of a parvovirus infection include:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Severe weight loss
Other things to look out for include rapid heartbeat and redness around the wet tissue of the mouth and eyes.
Parvovirus prevention includes practicing good hygiene and following the proper protocol for vaccination. For young pups, they should be vaccinated at eight weeks, twelve weeks and sixteen weeks and should be kept away from outside dogs until at least two weeks after their last round of vaccinations.
It’s also extremely important to keep your puppy or young dog away from contact with the fecal waste of other dogs until they are fully vaccinated. They should not be walked, taken to dog parks or other areas outdoors where other dogs may be until they are fully vaccinated. Prompt disposal of waste material is highly advised to limit the spread of parvo, along with other diseases that can infect humans and animals. Your older dogs need to be fully vaccinated before you introduce a puppy to your household.
If you have any questions about parvo, have a dog displaying the above symptoms or you need to get your puppy vaccinated, please contact us at 503-538-8303.