Ailmemts & Remedies

Canine Parvovirus

Virus classification:
Species: Carnivore protoparvovirus 1
Family: Parvoviridae
Genus: Protoparvovirus
Realm: Monodnaviria
Class: Quintoviricetes
Kingdom: Shotokuvirae

Canine parvovirus (also referred to as CPV, CPV2, or parvo) is a contagious virus mainly affecting dogs. CPV is highly contagious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces. Vaccines can prevent this infection, but mortality can reach 91% in untreated cases. Treatment often involves veterinary hospitalization. Canine parvovirus may infect other mammals including foxes, wolves, cats, and skunks. Felines are susceptible to panleukopenia, a different strain of parvovirus.


Dogs that develop the disease tend to show symptoms of the illness within 3 to 7 days. The major symptoms of Parvo include:

*Severe, bloody diarrhea




*Severe weight loss


*Red, inflamed tissue around the eyes and mouth

*Rapid heart beat

*Pain or discomfort

*Low body temperature

There are a variety of risk factors for Parvo, but the virus is most commonly transmitted either by direct contact with an infected dog, or indirectly, by the fecal-oral route. There is evidence that the virus can live in ground soil for up to a year. The virus particles can also be spread by hands, shoes and clothing.

The vet will diagnose parvo based on clinical signs and through blood work. She or he may also run a test called an ELISA to search for virus antigens in your dog’s feces and will perform additional diagnostic testing as needed.

There’s no specific drug to treat parvovirus in dogs but those affected by the disease have a far greater chance of survival if they receive early, aggressive treatment and intensive nursing care.

Treatment may include the following:

*Intravenous fluids (a drip) to treat shock and correct dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities

*Anti-sickness medication


*Plasma transfusions and/or blood transfusions to replace proteins and cells

*Antibiotics to treat or prevent secondary infections as a result of the effects of parvovirus infection

*Tube feeding

The survival rate in dogs and puppies who receive early, aggressive treatment is around 80-95%. But for those who are not treated, their chances of survival are less than 10%. These statistics highlight the importance of contacting your vet or, out of hours, your nearest Vets Now as soon as you suspect your dog or puppy may be showing symptoms of parvovirus.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the best way to prevent parvovirus is through good hygiene and vaccination. Make sure to get your puppies vaccinated, and be sure your adult dogs are kept up-to-date on their parvovirus vaccination.
Puppies have immunity from their mothers early in life, but should receive their first vaccine between 6 and 8 weeks of age (after weaning), and then two boosters at three-week intervals.

Until a puppy has received its complete series of vaccinations, pet owners should use caution when bringing their pet to places where young puppies or dogs with unknown vaccination histories congregate. This includes pet-friendly restaurants, popular hiking trails, boarding facilities, and especially dog parks.

Puppies should be sequestered until three to four weeks after their third vaccine—this is when full immunity is achieved. It is also important to note that fully-vaccinated dogs have become sick with Parvo, so always be aware of possible symptoms.

If your dog is showing signs of Parvo, seek veterinary treatment immediately. VETMED’s emergency services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (602) 697-4694 to make an appointment or to let us know you’re on the way.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


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