Parvo Facts

by admin on July 17, 2010

Canine parvo virus (CPV), or parvo for short, is a very serious disease in dogs which is highly contagious. It is most common among puppies, but is also prominent among older dogs who may be unprotected against it. However, a parvo vaccine has helped to control it recently. Puppies are considered most vulnerable to the disease in the period between weaning and six-months old.

Parvo seems to be more common in Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers who also happen to be less likely to recover from it. Generally, infected dogs have about a fifty per cent chance of survival, although if they survive their first four days, that percentage does rise a lot, and the dog is likely to recover rapidly. After suffering from it, dogs will become immune to parvo, so there is no danger of reinfection.

Parvo can be found in the faeces of infected dogs. Just like human flu, there is more chance of it spreading if lots of dogs are around each other. Since it is so highly contagious, it is very important to prevent outbreaks, especially at places like dog shows. It follows, then, that dogs who spend their time away from other dogs (that is, they spend the majority of their time in the house), are much less likely to contract the disease.

The thing that makes parvo so contagious is that it can be transmitted via simple things like hair or feet of infected dogs. Also, it has great longevity outside the body of a dog, lasting as long as five months in the faeces of infected dogs.

There are two types of parvo: diarrhoea syndrome and cardiac syndrome. If you read the article on dog parvo symptoms, there is information on distinguishing between the symptoms of the two.

Regarding treatment, it is necessary that the dog parvo symptoms are recognised immediately. The infected dog should be hospitalized and kept warm. Unfortunately there is no drug that kills the virus, but to give the infected dog the best chance of survival, it is essential that professional attention is sought. The dog must be isolated for another month after recovery.

However, the easiest way to prevent parvo is vaccinations, which must be administered annually or biannually. Just like most human diseases, the disease is becoming less prominent due to vaccination, and many puppy training classes now require dogs to be vaccinated.

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