Symptoms of Parvovirus
The symptoms of Parvovirus are depression, followed by vomiting and severe diarrhea, which
often turns bloody. Puppies are also anorexic. Not all puppies exhibit all of the symptoms of
parvovirus. Puppies die from dehydration and secondary infection. Because the virus destroys
white blood cells and the lining of the bowel, pups are left without defenses. Most can be saved
with heroic efforts and at great expense. Some die even with the best treatment. The virus can
occasionally attack the heart as well and a pup that appears to be recovering from the virus can die
If your puppy is showing symptoms of parvo, please call us immediately to make an appointment. Our doctors can perform a parvo test and examination to determine the best course of action. There are several different ways of giving supportive care to puppies with parvovirus. The sooner puppies get treatment, the better their chance of survival. To learn more about parvovirus, read below.
Canine Parvovirus spread all over the world about 1 year after it first appeared as a mutation from the feline distemper virus. There are several reasons for this:
1. The virus is extremely hardy, surviving for a year in the environment.
2. The virus is very tiny, with up to 4 billion viruses per teaspoonful of infected dog feces.
3. The stool of infected dogs has a foul odor, which attracts dogs to the smell.
4. Common disinfectants are not effective against parvovirus, but bleach diluted with water
in a ratio of 1 part bleach to 30 parts water and will effectively destroy parvo virus in the
5. Puppies are hard to immunize properly before they become exposed. The challenge is to
immunize them when the passive (maternal) antibodies they receive from the mother’s
colostrum is low enough to enable the puppy to mount their own immune response thus
providing them with protection
We urge you to give serious consideration to the following guidelines for puppy care.
1. Vaccinate puppies every 4 weeks starting at 6-8 weeks of age until 4 months.
2. Keep them strictly in the back yard, house or garage where stray dogs cannot contaminate
their environment. NO PARKS!
3. Limit visitors. Use a diluted bleach footbath or spray bottle of bleach to the bottom of
shoes and hands prior to letting non family members handle your puppy.
4. Feed inside to keep flies from spreading the virus to the food bowl.
5. Carry your puppy to the car and inside the clinic when coming in for vaccinations.
6. Never take them to the park, (this includes Dog Parks) , or let them sniff around the
shrubbery at the clinic prior to or after their appointments.
7. Don’t take your puppy to puppy matches, the groomer, or for boarding until 1 week after
their last vaccination at 4 months of age.
If you follow our advice it will optimize
your puppy’s chances of not getting parvovirus.