In the past few days I have had a quite a few converstions about the "PARVO" virus, and several hard conversations with some families!!
PLEASE read this info and make an Informed decision for your pet and the safety of other pets that your pet will encounter.
Puppies are very very suscepetible to this virus and some tough decision are made with this virus, one I hope no one ever has to make, when they have the proper info.
What is Parvo and why should you Vaccinate!!!
What is Parvo in dogs
CPV= Canine Parvovirus infection is an extremely contagious viral bug that affects dogs. They can be come infected within 4-5 days of exposure to this virus in public areas; pet stores, dog parks, rest stops on highways, any highly frequented areas with dogs. Some pets may not show signs for 2-14 days from first exposure.
The most common form is the intestinal form, which come with: vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and lack of appetite.
Most cases are seen in puppies that are between 6 weeks and 6 months old. Canine parvovirus infections CANbe reduced with proper vaccination of your puppy.
What to watch for:
Some common signs to watch for that come together and should be monitored and taken to your vet for proper management for the health of your puppy:
Severe – bloody diarrhea,
Lethargy or visual depression
quick weight loss,
not drinking or eating
This can be a very quickly progressing virus, starting with not eating, diarrhea, not drinking then progress quite rapidly; this virus affects the puppy ability to absorb nutrients and fluids, they become quickly dehydrated, very weak and lethargic looking.
When presented to the vet if you indicate the symptoms, they will be very tender in the stomach area and have a really low body temperature, the vet will proceed very quickly if Parvo is suspected. Time if of the upmost importance with this virus.
How do dogs contract the virus:
It is spread either by direct contact with an infected dog, or indirectly, by the fecal-oral route.
An extremely large concentrations of the virus can be found in an infected dog’s stool, so when your puppy sniffs an infected dog’s stool, your dog can contract Parvo. This can also be brought into a dog's environment by your shoes that have come into contact with infected stool.
Parvo is evidenced to living on an environment for up to a year and most household cleaners are resistant to this virus and weather changes will also not affect this virus in some cases.
How to protect your environment:
Remove all vomit, feces and other organic material and then thoroughly wash the area with a concentrated household BLEACH solution, which is one of the few disinfectants known to kill this virus, if you have had a puppy in your home that has had Parvo virus it is suggested not to bring another puppy into the home for several years.
Some dog breeds, such as Rottweillers, Pit Bulls, Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, English Springer Spaniels and Alaskan sled dogs, are extremely vulnerable to the disease.
Diagnosis of Parvovirus in Dogs:
Parvo is diagnosed by a SNAP test done by your vet, if you suspect Parvo please notify your vet prior to entering into the vet facility, they will have protocol in place to do the testing on your puppy and arrange for proper care once it has been determined to be a live virus. Please remember you do not want to expose everyone else to this virus!! Let your vet know exactly what you have noticed with your puppy and they can then make the proper physical examination.
Please have a detailed history of your pet’s vaccines and health info when you go and recent activities and places your pet may have been, this is very important to document as the exposure to certain areas and contamination will have to be documented by your vet.
Is Parvovirus Treatable?
Time is of the most important factor in this virus and as symptoms present differently and at different ways this can be hard for a person to diagnosis, so if you are at all concerned with the symptoms it is better to be safe than to have to have intensive medical attention quickly, this is also important to the recovery of your puppy, TIMING IS VERY IMPORTANT with this virus.
This medical focus will be on treating the symptoms and preventing anything further from happening than curing it, unfortunately this virus does not have a very good outcome if the symptoms have gone to far. Puppies have a very low immune system and can suffer shock and sudden death
Living and Management
If your dog has just recovered from CPV you will still have to be very careful, they will have a very weakened immune system for some time after this episode and will be susceptible to other illnesses. Your dog will also be contagious for at least 2 months after its recovery and will need to be isolated from other dogs and areas. Recovery is long term and there is no guarantee that your pet will not be affected again with this virus
Wash all of the objects your dog uses or dispose of these items and get new ones. Using a sanitize wash cycle on you washing machine is best and anything that can go in the dishwasher should. Everything else should be deep-cleaned using a concentrated bleach solution, your vet will give you some protocol for this.
Prevention of Parvo in Dogs
Vaccination – Vaccination – Vaccination - Vaccination
The best thing I can tell you is to vaccinate!!!
This is so important for your puppy starting out in the big big world of pets!!! Young puppies do not have the immunity for these things and you need to respect the health and wellness of your puppy.
I truly understand the overwhelming need to NOT over vaccinate and medicate your pets!!! But truly the first vaccinations are very important to the health and wellness of your puppy, to start the journey out right and strong. It will give their immune system and solid start and create a beginning with out heart ache!!
Puppies should NOT be socialized with other dogs prior to a complete set of vaccines which are three-part protocol for puppies. I understand the worlds need to not vaccinate and this can be very important as our pet world is also compromised with lack of proper care of puppies in breeding facilities and kennels, this virus spreads very very quickly and most time unknown to owners.
Please pick up feces RIGHT AWAY!!! It is a good habit to get into right from the start, as it reduces contamination and reduces the spread of intestinal parasites. Remember your pet can be a carrier of this virus!!
Parvo has some serious serious complications and is very fast acting in your very very volatile puppies growing body, and your quick action and vets care will give your pet the best results for a full recovery.