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Caissie Canine Instruction: What is Parvovirus?

We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring a beautiful 13-month-old Golden Retriever named Tipsy.

When I first arrived in Whitby, I was only 4.5 months old. Everyone says I am calm, but I love ALL people and dogs. I can get very excited. I am better now at not jumping up onto people.

I love playing with my toys and I like to bark in my back yard. My neighbours don’t like my barking, so I am learning to be less chatty. LOL. Look at me now, I am almost all grown up.

Welcome to Doggie Dialogue

Parvo in puppies unfortunately is a common disease, sometimes with deadly consequences. Parvo is a virus that is highly contagious and spreads through direct contact, possibly with an infected dog, or a contaminated object, such as a leash, water or food bowl.

This virus will affect the small intestines and stomach by destroying cells, which disrupts the gut barrier, and impairs absorption.

Most puppies are vaccinated at 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age to help prevent this virus.

Unfortunately, certain breeds of dogs have a higher risk of Parvo. These breeds are Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinchers, Staffordshire Terriers, and English Springer Spaniels.

This virus can survive indoors for at least one month and outdoors for many months.

Symptoms of Parvo in puppies are vomiting, weight loss, lethargy, dehydration and bloody diarrhea. Get to your vet A.S.A.P.

There is no cure for Parvo. Your vet will offer supportive care, by treating the symptoms of dehydration, diarrhea, and ensuring your pup is getting adequate nutrition.

Parvo is a serious disease and a potentially fatal disease. It weakens the puppy’s immune system and lowers the white blood cell count.

The survival rate, if seen immediately by a vet, can be 70-80%, and most puppies that survive the first three or four days can make a complete recovery.

We recommend do not take your puppy to a dog park, as you do not know which pups have been vaccinated or whether there is a chance of a potential source of Parvo. We recommend socializing your pup in a less public environment.

Most puppy boarding facilities and doggie daycares usually require proof of vaccinations of all their participants.

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