ahhh, spring will soon be here. That also means that “parvo season” is right around the corner.
What is parvo?
Canine Parvovirus is a HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS virus that attacks the intestines and causes sloughing of the inner layers of the small intestine. It’s commonly spread through the feces of infected dogs. Typical “signs” are diarrhea and vomiting (both sometimes bloody); more subtle signs can include depression and loss of appetite.
If treated by a veterinarian, chances of survival are ~70%. Treatment includes quarantine (so as to not spread the virus to other dogs in the hospital), IV fluids, and around the clock monitoring. Sometimes medications to combat nausea will be given, and antibiotics administered (to ward off any bacterial infections).
If the dog is not treated by a veterinarian, the chances of survival drop to less than 10%.
Please, please, PLEASE – if you get a puppy, make sure he/she receives the complete vaccine series!
Beginning at approximately 6 weeks of age and giving the “boosters” every 3 -4 weeks until the pup is between 18 – 20 weeks old. Keep your puppy away from other puppies (well, those with unknown vaccine status – like at the park and such) until he/she has received her full vaccine series.
It doesn’t stop there. After the initial “puppy shot series,” your adult dogs’ immune system will need to be boostered against parvovirus regularly. Talk to your vet about the best vaccination schedule for your furry friend.