Canine parvovirus is a nonenveloped, single-stranded DNA virus, which cause a highly contagious gastrointestinal disease. Puppies from 6 weeks – 6 months old and unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated dogs are most at risk to be infected with the disease, which can lead to death.
Virus is shed in the feces from 4–5 days after dogs being infected (often before clinical signs develop) until 10-14 days after recovery. Parvovirus is spread through oral or nasal contact with infected feces and environment (on the road, shoes, trees,…). Canine parvovirus can persist in the environment from months to years. Studies show that 1 part household bleach to 30 parts water is the most effective liquid to kill parvovirus. Not every dog contacted with parvovirus become infected. It depends on the dog’s immune system and the number of viruses the dog exposed to. If your dogs are infected with parvovirus, he must be isolated from other dogs and given medical attention by a veterinarian.
Dogs may show signs from 3-7 days but sometimes can range from 2-14 days after being infected. The disease can be prensented in cardiac form (very rare) or intestinal form. Common symptoms of canine parvovirus disease include:
• Lack of appetite.
• Weight loss
• Severe and/or bloody diarrhea.
• Low body temperature (hypothermia)
If your puppy or dog exhibits these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Vacccination is the best way to prevent canine parvovirus disease. Dog should be vaccinated at 6 to 8 weeks of age with follow-up booster shots. Puppies should receive a series of booster vaccines between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks. Until your puppy receives its complete series of shots, or if your adult dog is not current on its boosters, you should be cautious when socializing your pet at kennels, pet shops, parks, obedience classes, daycare, and the groomer.