Canine Parvo Virus

posted: by: AAC Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Canine Parvovirus
In the late spring and summer, we see an increased number of cases of Canine Parvovirus.  We hope this information will make it possible for your canine friend to avoid contracting this disease.

What is Parvo?
Since 1978, dogs of all ages and breeds have been victims of a highly contagious viral disease that attacks the intestinal tract causing varied severe symptoms and possible death.The second form affects the heart muscle, usually in very young puppies, causing difficult breathing, weakness, an unwillingness to nurse, and sudden death.This relatively new disease has spread throughout the world.

Where does it come from?
Large amounts of the infective virus are shed in the stool of infected dogs.The virus can then make its way into your dog's environment on your shoes or even by way of flies and birds.This is a very hardy virus in that it can survive in the environment up to 10 years.

Are there any breeds more commonly affected?
Rottweillers, Dobermans, and Pitt Bulls.

What are the symptoms?
Rectal temperature may be raised
Loss of appetite
Severe diarrhea with/without blood.
The above signs can lead to dehydration, chemical imbalances, and death.

Can Parvo be treated?
Treatment can be costly ($200 to $600 or more).
Treatment involves hospitalization up to 1 week or longer.
Treatment involves intravenous fluids, antibiotics to fight off secondary infections, Potassium supplementation, and drugs to combat nausea.
There are no specific drugs that kill the virus in affected dogs and the mortality rate can be as high as 50%.

How can Parvo be prevented?
VACCINATION is the most effective control measure against this dreadful disease. A series of inoculations is essential for puppies 8-16 weeks of age.  Yearly boosters are needed for adult dogs. Be sure to check that your dog's vaccinations are current.
Keep puppies close to home until they have completed their vaccination series.  Avoid public parks, beaches, dog shows, parades, pet shops, public gatherings.

For more information on Parvovirus or if you would like to make an appointment for your dog or puppy to be vaccinated, please call us at 985-385-2760.