The Spread of Canine Parvovirus ‘Parvo’
Parvovirus is a very contagious virus that causes extreme gastrointestinal symptoms in puppies and unvaccinated dogs of all ages. The virus is spread through traces of feces from infected dogs. Asymptomatic dogs that are infected but arent showing symptoms can spread Parvo, as well as dogs with symptoms, and those that have recently recovered from the condition.
The disease is so infectious that even a human that has unknowingly been in contact with an infected dog can spread the virus to puppies and other dogs just by touching them. Which means that an innocent pat on the head can become the beginning of a life-threatening condition.
Other common causes of contamination include sharing toys, bowls, bedding, and leashes.
Your puppy should get their Parvovirus vaccines at 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age. If you are a pet owner, having your puppy vaccinated against Parvovirus is one of the best ways you can protect the health of your new friend and the health of the other dogs in your home and neighborhood.
Its critical to know that once your dog starts displaying symptoms they are already very sick. If you find your puppy or adult dog is displaying any of the symptoms below contact your vet immediately.
There is no cure for Parvo in puppies, however, your vet will offer supportive treatments to address symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Its critical that your pup gets enough hydration and nutrition to recover from Parvovirus.
Because secondary infections are common in puppies with Parvo (due to their weakened immune systems) your vet will monitor your pups ongoing condition and might prescribe antibiotics to help fight any bacterial infections that could start developing.
If your dog is being treated by a veterinarian and lives through the first four days after they start showing symptoms, there is a good chance that they will recover from the disease. It can take approximately a week for dogs to recover from Parvo.
Why Puppies Are Susceptible to Parvo
If a mother is fully vaccinated against Parvo her puppies will inherit antibodies from the mother which will protect them against the virus during the first 6 weeks of their lives.
But, as the puppies begin to reach 6 weeks of age their immune systems weaken and the young pups become susceptible to the disease.
Vets motivate pet parents to start vaccinating their puppies against Parvo at 6 weeks of age when the puppy begins to wean and the antibodies from the mother arent there anymore to protect the puppy.
Although, the young pooch isnt fully protected until they have gotten all 3 Parvo vaccinations. Its during this time gap, between weaning and full vaccination that the puppies are at their highest risk of catching Parvo.