Parvoviral enteritis is a highly contagious virus that all puppies and dogs can be exposed to. Half of all dogs who come down with parvo will die. Unfortunately parvo is a common virus in our area. The virus attaches itself to the lining of the GI tract and causes bloody vomit and diarrhea. Dogs quickly get dehydrated and loose protein. Treatment of parvo includes IV fluids and antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections in the GI tract. Not all dogs exposed to parvo will come down with the same degree of severity of the virus.
The virus is spread by the feces of infected dogs and is very hardy living in the environment for over a year. Humans can spread the virus as well if we come into contact with any fecal particles from an infected dog. Bleach is the only cleaner that will kill the virus. If your dog comes down with parvo it is important to make sure you don’t bring a puppy or unvaccinated dog into your yard and home for at least one year.
Vaccination from a veterinarian will protect puppies from the virus, but it is very important to make sure your pup goes through the entire series of puppy shots to ensure full protection. Puppies are done with their vaccine series and are fully protected at 4 months of age.