What is Parvo and What Can I do to Protect My Dog?

 

     Canine Parvovirus is an often fatal illness that is transmitted from dog to dog by contaminated feces. Because it has no fatty outer envelope to make it vulnerable like other viruses, parvo is particularly tough and can live in the soil for up to 2 years. That means the ground that looks perfectly safe and poo-free at the dog park or on your regular walk could be harboring parvovirus. When a dog with little to no immunity to parvo gets infected, it begins to work on the lining of the intestines and stomach, causing severe damage, vomiting, diarrhea, and eventually causing death from internal destruction and severe dehydration. This process is fast, and most untreated dogs die within a week or two from first symptoms. If parvo is caught soon enough, some patients may pull through with hospitalization and intensive supportive care.

This process can cost $1500 to $3000, and even then the prognosis (outcome) is poor to guarded. Thankfully, there is something you can do that is easier and very cost effective when compared to treatment: vaccinate! Puppies should be given DA2PP (distempter, adenovirus, parvovirus, and parainfluenza) vaccines at 3-4 week intervals from 6 weeks until 20 weeks, and then kept up to date with annual vaccinations. This simple preventative treatment can save your dog’s life! If your dog may not be up to date, you can call fairgrounds Animal Hospital today to schedule a quick and easy vaccine appointment! As always, we are happy to advise you on the best preventative care for your pet to help give them the healthiest, happiest life possible and keep veterinary care expenses low by preventing costly and upsetting emergencies before they can happen.