What is Canine Parvovirus?
What is Parvovirus?
- The highly contagious virus that can infect puppies (most commonly under the age of 5 months), dogs and wild canines (coyotes, foxes, wolves, etc.)
- Several variants of CPV-2 (CPV-2a, 2b, 2c); although symptoms are relatively similar
- Intestinal parvovirus (most common) and Cardiac parvovirus
How is Parvovirus spread?
- HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS
- Spread through dog to dog contact, environment, infected stool, and people
- The virus can lay dormant in kennels, water bowls, on leashes, clothing/hands of people who come in contact with infected dogs and several other surfaces.
- Can survive in the environment for extended periods of time and is resistant to heat, cold, and dry environments
- Dogs can transfer the disease through their hair, or feet
- Virus travels in the bloodstream
- First attacks tonsils and lymph nodes in the mouth
- Then travels via lymphocytes to the bloodstream
- Once in the bloodstream, virus attacks rapidly dividing cells (cells that line the intestinal tract, bone marrow, and heart)
- Breaks down the lining of gut-unable to absorb nutrients and eventually leads to severe diarrhea and vomiting
- Breaks down the immune system; Can lead to sepsis
What dogs are most at risk?
- All dogs are at risk (Da2pp vx helps prevent, but does not make them immune)
- Puppies under 5 months old are the most at risk; dogs that have not received an adequate amount of Da2pp vx are also highly at risk
- Some breeds thought to be more at risk
- Pitbull terriers
- German shepherds
- Rottweilers (sorry Sharon)
- Doberman pinschers (sorry CMA)
- Breeds at less risk (compared to breeds listed above)
- Toy poodles and cocker spaniels
Symptoms of Parvovirus
- Diarrhea-often bloody
- Bloated/painful abdomen
- Red gums
- Rapid heartbeat
- Symptoms typically appear within 4-14 days after incubation period; virus is shed in feces 4-5 days post-exposure and can continue to be shed 2-3 weeks after recovery
- Most deaths occur within 2-3 days if not treated properly (many can die even after receiving proper treatment)
How is Parvovirus diagnosed and treated?
- Suspected based on dogs history
- Vaccine status
- SNAP Parvo test/fecal tests
- Detects shedding virus particles in the feces
- Peak shedding occurs 4-7 days post-infection; the chance that test could come back negative and retesting several days later can result in a positive test
- CBC tests
- Virus attacks WBC, results in a low WBC count on CBC
- Treated with IV fluids, IV injections, antibiotics, etc.
- IV fluids, maropitant, antibiotic injections
- Used to reduce stomach acid
- None of these treatments cure or kill the disease; supportive measures to help stabilize the animal until the immune system can recover
- Antibiotics are commonly used throughout treatment; will not kill the virus but can help prevent the victim from being infected by other bacterial infections while the immune system is compromised
- The high success rate of recovery for patients that are treated at the hospital, however not guaranteed (roughly 80-90%)
- Vaccinate dogs every 3-4 weeks starting at 6/8 weeks of age. Continue until 20 weeks old, then yearly boosters for rest of life