Canine Parvovirus - Vets Choice

Canine parvovirus

What is canine parvovirus?

Parvovirus infection (known as parvo) is a viral illness that causes vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and weight loss in dogs. In puppies aged between six weeks and six months, it can be fatal with the death rate in young non-vaccinated puppies known to be greater than 80 percent.

Parvo is also highly infectious and is a relatively new disease that first appeared in 1978. The virus is passed on through the faeces of dog’s sick with parvovirus and can live in the ground for up to 12 months, meaning it can be picked up from most areas that are visited by dogs.

Fortunately, a highly effective vaccination is available to protect your dog against parvovirus. Puppies should receive this vaccine first at 6-8 weeks of age, then at 10-12 weeks and finally at 14-16 weeks. It’s important to note that puppies will not have full immunity against the virus until two weeks after the last vaccine. You should also discuss with your vet vaccination options for your dogs as they age.

Symptoms of parvovirus

Common signs of parvo-affected puppies include initial tiredness and not wanting to play. The next signs will include vomiting, followed by very foul-smelling dysentery or diarrhoea.

Without early veterinary attention, many of these puppies will die. It is vital that you seek veterinary advice early for best outcomes.