This is a highly contagious disease that affects the digestive system, respiratory and nervous systems. It is transmitted via the oral/fecal route. Since the virus is extremely hardy, it can survive and remain infectious for months in the environment and is extremely difficult to kill with disinfectants. The disease appears within 5 days of exposure.
Symptoms Signs include loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, vomiting and profuse and bloody diarrhea.
Treatment There is no cure. Treatment is to address the symptoms. If not treated, dehydration, overwhelming infection, shock and even death can occur.
Prevention Vaccination is the only truly effective way of preventing and controlling the disease
Parvovirus is a serious, deadly threat to the unvaccinated dog population. It is so infectious that virtually anyone or any moving object can become a parvovirus carrier simply by coming in contact with an infected dog’s feces (bowel movement). The virus can survive searing heat and subzero temperatures for long periods of time, and so the virus might remain long afte the feces have been removed. Shoes, paws—you name it—can pick up and carry the virus.
Most veterinarians recommend multiple parvovirus vaccinations for the growing puppy. Vaccinations establish protective immunity, which can reduce the risk of the disease. Once vaccinated, your dog’s immunity is maintained through annual booster shots. If your dog is experiencing vomiting, severe diarrhea, depression, or loss of appetite, you should see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Specific drugs have not yet been perfected that will kill canine parvovirus, but proven treatments are available to control the complications of the disease.