Local Medical IssuesHealth alert: Canine Parvovirus
Canine Parvovirus was originally discovered in military working dogs in Germany in 1967 and became a worldwide problem by 1970. All unvaccinated puppies are susceptible to parvovirus now.
Parvovirus is spread in the feces and is very contagious. It can be tracked in on shoes, and even by birds’ feet. The puppy becomes infected by licking surfaces where the virus is hiding.
• Puppies less than 6 months are the most susceptible but the virus can infect any dog that is undervaccinated.
• A puppy is not considered fully vaccinated unless it has received a series of vaccinations, the last one ending around 4 months of age.
• Once exposed, it is usually 4–7 days before symptoms are seen.
• Signs include anorexia, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.
• Puppies generally die from dehydration or secondary infections.
• Treatment entails fluid therapy, and hospitalization is highly recommended for the best outcome. Other drugs for nausea, vomiting, secondary bacterial infections and the diarrhea may be used depending on the case. Sometimes plasma is needed for the more severe cases.
• Survival rates can be 50–80% with treatment.
***Parvovirus is preventable with simply vaccination. Please appropriately vaccinate all dogs.***