Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that lives in the ground; it causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea and is often fatal if untreated.
How is it spread and who is at risk?
Parvo is spread through direct contact of an infected dogs vomit, faeces or living area so puppies should never be taken into an area that has had a parvo dog in it. Unvaccinated puppies are most at risk but older dogs or vaccinated puppies are still at risk and should not be socialized until they have had all three of their puppy vaccinations.
What symptoms will my puppy show and how long after exposure will these symptoms occur?
Parvo has an incubation period of about 5-7 days, this means that they may not get sick until five days after they have been exposed to the virus.
Symptoms to look for are vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, dehydration and bloody, very smelly diarrhoea.
Can I catch Parvo from my dog?
No. Although there is a human strain of Parvovirus, Canine Parvovirus cannot be transferred to any other species, including humans.
How do I prevent my dog from getting Parvovirus?
Vaccinations are the safest prevention of parvovirus. Puppies should be given a course of three vaccinations, each one month apart, until they are 14 weeks of age. New puppies should also be confined to their own yard and kept away from all other dogs until two weeks after they have had their third puppy vaccination.
Once my dog has had Parvovirus, can it get it again?
It is extremely unlikely for a dog to get Parvo a second time because they have the antibodies in their system. They can, however, infect other dogs for two weeks after they have been discharged from hospital so isolating them for this time is crucial in stopping the spread of the virus.
Can I get another puppy if I have had a dog with Parvovirus?
No. If your yard has been infected with parvovirus, it will continue to infect puppies for 5-7 years. If you would like another dog, it needs to be fully vaccinated for at least two weeks before entering the property.
How much does it cost to have a dog treated for Parvovirus?
On average, it will cost at least $1,000 to have your puppy treated for Parvovirus. This is often a long process and despite our best efforts, not all parvo patients survive.