Control of Parvo in Dogs

Wellness, last updated 20th, Apr 2015, U K Atheya

The virus may spread to other mammals such as cats, however, it does not infect humans.The Canine Parvovirus type 2 infection, also called Parvo is an acute and highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs. Parvovirus is acute as it has the tendency to attack the gastrointestinal tract. In young puppies, the virus may attack the white blood cells and the heart muscle and may cause lifelong cardiac issues.  

Parvo Virus Types:

The Canine Parvovirus may be classified in two different forms:

  • Intestinal form: The intestinal form of infection is the most common one seen amongst dogs. It severely affects the metabolism and the ability of the body to absorb nutrients and fluids. 
  • Cardiac form: The cardiac form is a less common form of viral infection that affects the dogs, especially very young puppies.  The virus affects the heart muscle and may or may not lead to a full recovery.

Parvo Causes:

There are various factors that can increase a dog’s susceptibility to the disease. The three main ways that the virus can be transmitted are either by direct contact with the infected pup or through oral contact with infected faeces or lack of vaccination against the virus.

The stool of the infected dog is a carrier of the virus. The virus is found in large amounts in the stool of dogs with acute infection, so when a healthy pup sniffs or comes in contact with the infected stool, he / she can contract the disease.

Improper vaccination or lack of vaccination can also result in CPV infection. Many a times puppies in kennels or at breeders are not vaccinated on time and thus become susceptible to the infection.

Parvo Symptoms:

Following an incubation period which lasts four - five days, the major symptoms that are associated with Canine Parvovirus include severe bloody diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, fever, nausea and vomiting and severe weight loss. As a result, your dog will become dehydrated and weak. The lining of the mouth i.e. the wet tissue of your dogs mouth and eyes will become red and the heart rate will be rapid than usual. On touching the abdominal area, your dog may experience pain or discomfort.

Controlling Parvo in Dogs:

  • The chances of survival of infected dogs are there if affected dogs are given treatment for shock, pain, and dehydration, by the veterinarian. The antibiotics are also given to check secondary infections. The survived dogs develop life long immunity. However, new strains of parvo virus are emerging.
  • Vaccination does not always provide protection. It depends what strain of virus is used by the manufacturer.
  • With earlier vaccines the full protection was possible only when the maternal antibodies have cleared from milk i.e., at 16 weeks time.
  • Recently a new vaccine is manufactured by Intervet company of UK  It gives full protection at 10 week vaccination .
  • Parvo virus is resistance to most cleaning agents but not to bleach
  • Use one part bleach and sixteen parts hot water solution for 15 minutes then rinse with clean water to kill the virus.


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