Canine Parvovirus Infection-“PARVO”
September 2023

This viral infection of dogs, especially puppies, is very serious disease that if not treated will probably result in their death. The puppy will become lethargic, not want to eat, start vomiting and often develop a very bloody smelly diarrhoea. Young, small puppies that are not fully vaccinated are most susceptible to this viral infection.

The virus is a very hardy bug that can last in the environment for years. That is why some puppies have contracted parvo on a property where there may have been unwell dogs in the past, with no recent history of contact with a sick puppy or dog.

Summer appears to be the time of the year when we see these sick “parvo” pups. This is also the time of the year when a lot of people get their puppy and when this virus is probably more prevalent in the environment.

The best way to protect your puppy is by vaccination. The vaccine is very effective and safe. Fully vaccinated puppies and dogs very rarely get parvo. Vaccination can start as early as 6 weeks and the last vaccination should be at 16 weeks. Your pup is not fully protected until a week after their last vaccination. Before this time you should be keeping your puppy on your property. They should not be taken for walks around the neighbourhood or in parks. They should not be socializing with any dog that is not vaccinated, been unwell or been at a dog control facility as these groups of animals and facilities pose an increased risk for your puppy getting parvo.

Treatment of parvo is very expensive. The reason is that your puppy will have to be hospitalized in isolation for several days on fluids and being given an assortment of drugs. Unfortunately, despite all this time, effort and money these sick puppies can die. A dead puppy and a large vet bill is not what anyone wants!

The take home message is that parvo virus is always going to be a problem and it is a killer. Vaccination is an absolute must for all puppies. Vaccination is a cheap insurance policy for your dog. Vaccination saves Lives.