Please be aware that young puppies are very susceptible to Parvovirus – a highly contagious and deadly viral illness. All of our puppies are given vaccinations appropriate to their age and kept in isolation.
Puppies do not have full immunity from this disease until they receive their third vaccination. Many puppies are adopted before they are old enough to receive their third shot. For this reason, it is very important that you do not take your new puppy to places where he/she could be exposed to Parvovirus -i.e. public parks, pet stores, or anywhere they may be exposed to other dogs or puppies that may not be current on vaccinations. Also be sure your puppy gets vaccinated on schedule. Your vet will advise when your pet should get his/her rabies vaccine.
Canine parvovirus (CPV) is the most dangerous and contagious virus that affects unprotected dogs. But subsequently a parvo vaccine has helped control its spread, and CPV infection is now considered most threatening to puppies between the time of weaning and six months of age. Adult dogs can also contract the virus, although it's relatively uncommon. All breeds of dog can be infected, but Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers are more susceptible and have less chance of recovering. Other animals and humans can carry the disease to your dog. Dogs who become infected have a 50-50 chance of survival. If they survive the first four days, they will usually recover rapidly, and become immune to the virus for life. Most puppies will die without medical treatment.
The source of CPV infection is fecal waste from infected dogs. It has been diagnosed anywhere groups of dogs are found: dog shows, obedience trials, breeding and boarding kennels, pet shops, animal shelters, parks, and playgrounds. Dogs that spend their time confined to a house or yard and are not in contact with other dogs have much less chance of exposure to CPV. It's easily transmitted via the hair or feet of infected dogs, and also by contaminated objects such as cages or shoes. CPV is hardy and can remain in feces-contaminated ground for five months or more if conditions are favorable. Although most disinfectants cannot kill it, chlorine bleach is quite effective. Parvovirus has an incubation period of five to fourteen days. Dogs will act like they are in extreme pain. Early symptoms are depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, high fever, and severe diarrhea. Feces can be either grayish or fluid and bloody. Rapid dehydration is a danger, and dogs may continue to vomit and have diarrhea until they die, usually three days after onset of symptoms. Others may recover without complications.
In the early stages of Parvo, your puppy will become very listless and get a blank look on his face. His eyes will appear glassy. He will be tired, not play and may not eat or drink. This is when you need to catch parvo, before the puppy starts to throw up or get diarrhea. Once these symptoms appear the lining of the intestines may be starting to break down. Time is of the essence, so if you notice any of these signs, don’t wait, err on the side of being too cautious, it may save your puppy’s life.
At the Veterinarian:
Why is the snap test important?
PARVO IS VERY TIME SENSITIVE! Early Treatment is crucial! A fecal float takes 24-48 hours to come back with a result... that is enough time to kill your puppy. A SNAP TEST takes 10 minutes. With a snap test you can start treating your pup in 15 minutes. With a float, your pup is all but dead by the time the results come back.
There has been success in treating parvovirus with Tamiflu. It does NOT cure it. But it is effective none-the-less. Tamiflu renders the bacteria (which is what does the actual damage) that travels with this virus, useless. This then stops it from leaving the digestive track and harming internal organs.