Parvovirus is an extremely contagious virus to dogs and attacks the intestine causing vomiting, diarrhea and even death. The cardiac form of parvovirus effects young dogs 8 months old and younger, and can often cause sudden death. Fortunately, parvovirus can be prevented with proper precautions.
o Vaccinate your dog regularly to prevent parvovirus. Vets recommend beginning when the puppy is 6 weeks old, applying vaccinations every 3 to 4 weeks until the dog is 16 to 20 weeks old. After initial vaccination of puppies, parvovirus can be prevented with one yearly vaccination.
o Protect your puppy or unvaccinated dog from parvovirus by keeping him away from areas where there are strange dogs or even dog poop such as the park, pet stores and even your own front yard. Because parvo is extremely contagious and the virus is very resilient, a simple sniff of an infected dogs waste can spread the disease.
o Allow your puppy or unvaccinated dog to interact with other dogs only if you are absolutely sure that their vaccines are current. Because it takes time for the virus to cause symptoms, an infected dog may show no signs of infection.
o Prevent parvovirus by keeping your puppy or unvaccinated dog away from puppies, even if they have received part of their vaccination series, as the disease can continue to incubate with no signs or symptoms until the series is complete.
When you take your puppy to the vet, DO NOT set your puppy on the ground or other surfaces that a sick puppy may have been on. Request that vet staff wash their hands. DO NOT let other pet owners touch your puppy (their pet may be sick)
Tips & Warnings It is extremely important to realize that dogs will remain susceptible to parvo for as long as 4 weeks after the final injection of the vaccination series, so take preventative measure with young puppies until they are 20 to 24 weeks old and have received all of the injections