Parvovirus ALERT and Awareness

This week’s article is as much an alert as it is an educational piece! We have seen a serious increase in the number of parvovirus cases in dogs lately (I have two in our isolation room as I type) and neighboring practices have noted the same alarming pattern!

Some Key Parvovirus Need-To-Knows:

  • Parvovirus is HIGHLY contagious and perfectly healthy animals can be carriers, meaning any dog that is not properly vaccinated can contract parvovirus. Even you can bring parvovirus to your pets on your shoes, clothing and belongings.
  • Not every case of Parvovirus looks and starts the same. Key features include your pet being lethargic (weak, lacking energy), vomiting, diarrhea, refusing to eat or any combination of the above.
  • Pets need more than one round of proper vaccination to build immunity. We follow the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) recommendation of three rounds, two to three weeks apart from ages 6 weeks to 18 weeks of age and regular boosters after that.
  • Parvovirus is often deadly and takes significant treatment for survival. Prevention is far less expensive and much easier on your pet than treatment.

Some key features of the patients I have seen recently:

  • These dogs are either unvaccinated, poorly vaccinated or vaccinated with non-veterinary products. Vaccine MUST be handled properly and often non-veterinary vaccine sources, such as feed stores, do not take care of their vaccine. One mishandling of vaccine at the wrong temperature can render a vaccine useless and therefore your pet is not protected.
  • These dogs have been older than the usual parvo patients ranging from 5-8 months of age. Any dog not properly vaccinated can contract parvovirus, especially if they are under two years old.

Proper prevention is key to your pet’s safety from Parvovirus.

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