Canine Parvo Virus (CPV) facts and helpfull information
Parvo virus has been around for a long time and there has been several strains and mutations since first diagnoses and treatment had been reported in 1978.
I personally have gone through parvo with 3 puppies. Only one survived regardless of the best vet care provided.
How is parvo transmitted?
Through feces is the best known way of transporting the virus from place to place. It takes microscopical particles for infection to spread. It grows at an alarming rate and survives the most severe of weather. It can live a long time in contaminated soil. It takes 7-10 days for signs of infection and exposure of parvo to show.
Example lets say you went to your local vets office and a effected puppy was allowed to be on the floors in the waiting room or exam room. If the places that puppy or you were in contact with is not cleaned properly it can be transmitted onto anything that touches it. It can be tracked in by your shoes or unsuspecting guests shoes. You can come into contact with it almost anywhere public. Many dogs carry the virus but yet show know clinical signs of the disease. This is why having a fenced in yard is very helpful. Not allowing other dogs to defecate in your yard is very important not only for the spread of parvo but other infectious diseases as well.
How is parvo treated?
Parvo is treated by replacement or maintenance fluids.
Deworm if necessary.
Death usually occurs from dehydration and loss of protiens. There is no cure for parvo and treatment only consists of supporting the different systems in the body during the course of the disease.
Sometimes euthanization will be discussed in extreme cases that are not responding to treatment which occurs often. Your pup has a 50/50 chance if treated early. As the virus progresses so does your pups chances of survival. I hate to put a number on it but in my studies it seems that only 2 out of 10 will survive. It kills quickly and effeciently.
What dogs are most effected?
Small puppies and elderly dogs. It is not effecting all elderly dogs but can effect them if thier immune system is compromised by either age or illness.
Puppies who have been wiened for 2 weeks are most suseptable as they loose thier mothers immunity after 2 weeks of being weined. Thats when the series of vaccinations start. I have done many studies on vaccination protocols and I recomend not to vaccinate before 2 weeks of being wiened as mothers immunity and the vaccine could cancel eachother out and leave your pup with a compromised immunity. Titer tests can be performed by your vet to see what immunzations are needed. Parvo does not transmit to humans or pets of another species. There is a new strain that is being studied and a new vaccine and cure is in the works. They are experimenting with dogs blood that have survived parvo. Of course this could take years to complete. Dont take for granted that your dog is immune this new strain is killing all ages of dogs. Have your vet to a titer test.
What are some symptoms of parvo?
Lazyness and lethargy, high fever, vomiting, and diarreah. Parvo virus attacks the intestinal lining and multiplies there causing the effected dog or pup to be unable to absorb fluids and nutrients. It can attack the heart causing sudden death by congestive heart failure.
Often the vomit and diarreah is foul smelling and can be yellow, mucousy and bloody. The smell is often compared with the smell of a rotten fish.
What should you do if you believe your dog or pup has parvo?
Please put your dog or pup in a crate or some type of enclosure and bring it to your vet to be diagnosed. You can then along with your vet determine what course to take. Sometimes euthanization is discussed as a treatment so dont be alarmed. Parvo is a tramatic disease and will take a life within hours to just a few days. After seeing 2 pups die from the disease euthanization is the most kind option for a very effected pup. I have seen a pup litterally have tears of blood. Its a very hard situation to find yourself in.
How can you prevent the spread?
If your yard where your pup was allowed to roam is not fenced off, please post a sign in your front yard warning unsuspecting nieghbors. This is a good way to help in the spread of the virus. I know it seems extreme but I would not want to feel responsible for a nieghbors dog getting sick because I was too proud to post a sign.
When taking a pup to the vet office take it in a crate or hold it. Do not let it touch any surface you have not personally seen cleaned. Even the exam table. Ask the tech or vet to clean the surface again if necessary. I know seems extreme...not to me though. Its my puppies lives that are at risk.
Remove your shoes before entering the house. Keep a bottle of bleach/water solution and spray the bottom after a vet visit or a visit to any public place where there are pets. Have company remove shoes and if they had been petting other puppies have them wash thier hands as well.
Again it may seem rude but it is a life/lives you are trying to protect.
Make sure your puppy is worm free. Worms compromise the pups immune system and make them more suseptable to infectious diseases.
Do not allow your puppy to interact with other puppies or dogs in public places untill the last series of shots or a titer test is done to prove immunity. Between 4-6 months the pups immunity should be developed enough to risk exposure. There are other ways of socializing that are safer such as.
Having over company. Allow thier older dog who has its full immunizations done. Be creative but safe. Especially if your area is known for a large number of infected dogs/pups.
Do not allow your dogs or pups to wonder into other peoples yards when on walks. Do not allow other dogs and pups to wonder into yours if you can.
Ok so you have had parvo how can you rid your home and yard of it?
Bleach is the only agent that will kill the virus. There are many cleaning solutions but many do not kill parvo. Parvo is very hearty.
There are several suggestions as to the dilusion of the bleach. I will tell you what I did to kill it here as I have only had one occurance.
I used a 50/50 solution of water and bleach. I spray the ground completely untill it is soaking wet. Not missing one inch of yard. I did this once a week for a month and once a month after that for a total of 6 mo. I continue using it once a month to this day. Its most effective if done on a dry day that follows at least 2 dry days before hand and followed by at least 24 hours of dry weather after applied. Rain will dilute and cause the bleach to be not as effective as you want it to be.
I also tore out my carpet and pad and used the bleach on the subflooring. I threw away all my furnature and bleached all surfaces including walls, doors and any surface that could have been touched. I was in close contact with my pups and anything I touched I wanted to either be clean or thrown away if possible. If you cannot do this then ask your vet for a antiviral solution to use in your home on fabrics. Most are no guarantee they wont stain or damage but most wont. If you can bleach your carpets and furnature. Not the 50/50 but a more mild solution like 20/80. 20 being the bleach of course.
I did this along with the treatment of my yard as to not cross contaminate.
Prevention is key. I hope that this information will help someone understand Parvo and help them prevent any occurance in thier pups/dogs.
If you have any questions feel free to pm me
TBPC~Fine I have been befriended
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