What is Caninie Parvovirus?
Caninie Parvovirus is more commonly known as Parvo and is one of the most feared diseases out there for dog and puppy owners. Most new owners learn very quickly about this viral disease even if it is ways to prevent it, which there aren’t many. Parvo lives in the environment, from parks to your home. It can live in the furniture, in toys, on your clothes, and even on living things for several months. It can take only a few days to kill a canine and is around 80% fatal. Puppies less than six months of age, older dogs, and any dog that never got vaccinated against Parvo are most vulnerable to this horrible disease.
Parvo is a strain of viruses and many mammals have their own version of it, even humans. The good thing is, each strain is species specific. A human can not get can Caninie Parvovirus and a canine can not get Feline panleukopenia virus (the feline parvo virus), etc. What information I can find on Caninie Parvrovirus says that it was isolated back in the 1960’s and then a mutant form called CPV-2 appeared virtually overnight in 1978. The following year another mutation showed up that killed thousands of pets and caused a shortage of vaccinations.
Today’s virus is CPV-2b and you should start vaccinating at 6-8 weeks old against this. Your puppy will be vaccinated against Parvo every 3 weeks until (s)he is 16 weeks old and then a booster once a year on your pets birthday. Even though Parvo is considered a puppy disease, there have been dogs that catch Parvo and die from it every year. Getting these vaccines can save your dogs life.
Parvo is spread from dog to dog through direct contact (parks, dog shows, kennels, pet shops, etc.) or through direct contact with infected feces. Humans can help spread this by tracking infected feces in on their shoes.
How do I know if my dog has Parvo?
There is such a wide range of symptoms, but you will need to watch for:
- loss of appetite
- massive dehydration
- diarrhea (especially bloody diarrhea)
- severe vomiting
If you notice any of these signs, see a vet immediately.
I suspect Parvo, how do I clean to prevent spreading it?
You best option is to clean with a solution mix of 1:32 dilution of bleach (1/2 cup bleach in a gallon of water).