Pet Care: How to Protect Your Dog from Parvovirus; symptoms to watch out for | Health

Pet Care: How to Protect Your Dog from Parvovirus; symptoms to watch out for | Health 41 logo

Canine parvovirus is one of the leading causes of death from infectious diseases among domestic dogs worldwide. The virus first discovered in 1978 is a highly infectious and life-threatening gastrointestinal (GI) disease that primarily affects puppies and adolescent dogs, mostly vaccinated, but can sometimes be transmitted to adult dogs as well. Canine parvovirus is considered most threatening to puppies between the time they are weaned and 6 months of age. (Also read: Dear pet owners, here are the 5 most important vaccines for your dogs)

What makes it even more contagious is that the virus remains in the environment for a long time and begins to spread within 4-5 days of infection, even before the affected dog has any visible symptoms. The detachment continues throughout the period of illness and up to 10 days after recovery.

Experts say it’s important to quarantine your dog or puppy if it’s affected by parvovirus to protect other dogs from contracting it.

“This resistant virus can be spread from an infected dog, as well as from feces, and survive on most surfaces and in most conditions for up to an entire year, with puppies under 4 months of age and older dogs being unvaccinated. the most susceptible,” says Dr. Vinod Sharma, director. of Veterinary Services at DCC Animal Hospital.


Dr. Sharma says symptoms begin with loss of appetite, fever or low temperature, and progress to vomiting and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. (Also read: Pet Care: From Strawberries to Cucumbers; 5 Healthy Treats for Your Dog)


Parvovirus has a high mortality rate, with most deaths occurring within 2 to 3 days of symptoms. It is imperative that your dog be admitted to the hospital if you notice any signs or symptoms.

“Infected dogs or puppies require immediate veterinary attention, as most deaths occur within just 48-72 hours after the first symptoms of the disease. In addition, treatment is not only quite expensive but has a high rate up to 30% mortality, and without proper treatment in a hospital, it’s even higher,” says Dr. Sharma.

How to protect your dog from parvovirus

* Proper vaccinations are a must for puppies within 6-16 weeks of age, before which they should be kept in a hygienic and safe environment.

* Avoid taking newly brought puppies to meet other humans or dogs, as tempting as that may be. For older dogs, avoid contact with any dog ​​whose vaccination status you do not know.

* The complete series of puppy vaccines includes one for canine parvovirus, which is usually given in a series of three injections, at 6 to 8 weeks of age, 10 to 12 weeks and 14 to 16 weeks of age. After this, a booster injection is needed a year later, and then once a year. It is crucial to keep your vaccination status up to date so that the body’s immune system is likely enough to prevent this infection.

“Canine parvovirus is deadly and fast-acting, but fully vaccinated animals receive excellent protection against the virus, as long as the vaccination is done correctly by qualified veterinarians with effective vaccines,” says Dr. Sharma.