What Is Parvo?

The canine parvovirus can be transmitted by direct contact or indirectly by contact with vomit, diarrhea or any contaminated discharges from an infected dog. It strikes with a quick vengeance, and pet owners often make the comment that their dog was up and playing a few hours prior to the animal becoming extremely ill. Unfortunately, parvo is often fatal.

Do not take your puppy out of your home where it can infect or be infected until it has had the complete series of shots. By keeping it isolated you may save its life. Talk with a reputable Veterinarian about the recommended shots or vaccination for your puppy.

If you've recently lost a dog to Parvo, veterinarians recommend that you wait six months to a year before putting a new puppy or non-vaccinated dog in to an infected environment (even if you have disinfected it). To immediately bring an animal into a situation where one has recently died of Parvo is a virtual death sentence for the new puppy. Common sense and regular visits to the veterinarian can save your dog's life.

The symptoms of Parvo include a sudden onset of vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, high temperature and sometimes sudden death. Symptoms are similar in adults, although they can be less acute.

Because Parvo attacks swiftly, time is of the essence. If you feel your dog has been exposed to Parvo, or it is showing symptoms, contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital immediately.

F-Strain Virus

There is a recent mutation of the parvo virus which is more virulent. It attacks the lower intestinal tract or large intestine. Dogs contracting this new strain will have accelerated symptoms, us re should be given immediately! Symptoms to watch for: Gelatin-like stool with some blood. Vomiting with bile and foam. Rapid weight loss (within a few hours after becoming ill.)


Parvovirus can persist in the environment for long periods. It is important to clean up after an infection. Washing the animal's area with bleach and water in a 1:30 dilution will kill the virus. The bowls should be thrown away and the bedding either bleached or thrown away to prevent further spread of the infection. Discard all feces from the infected dog. Humans can also spread the disease on their hands if they touch feces from an infected dog and then touch a puppy without washing properly. Very small amounts of fecal material on the dog's coat can contain large numbers of viral organisms and can easily be transmitted to a susceptible dog.

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