Parvo is still an issue!

Lately there has been more concern from breeders and shelters in the southeast US about issues with parvovirus. Parvovirus has more impact on our dog’s health than any other virus. Dogs can take several weeks to recover and some will even die. If we expose vaccinated dogs to enough wild Parvo viruses, they will break with the disease even if they are vaccinated. Most vaccinated dogs are easy to treat, but the goal is to prevent the infection from getting a foothold.

The latest strain of Parvo is 2c, and it's much more aggressive and harder to manage than Parvo 2b. That is one of the reasons it is competing so well against vaccination. One study in Europe found puppies would break as early as 3 days after exposure, which is much faster than the 7 days seen with Parvo 2b. Dogs also dehydrate much quicker, so aggressive IV fluids are a must. Using drugs to stop vomiting and feeding them early with high protein/high fat recovery diets are helpful. With early feeding, stay away from high carbohydrate food orally or you will see Clostridium infection and a dead puppy.Protein discourages Clostridium, so it's safe.

Our dogs will get exposed to wild Parvovirus, which means protection is vital to their health. Vaccines are effective against the new Parvo 2c, so booster vaccination will increase the immunity to a level that keeps the dog safe when exposure happens. The vaccine needs to be started around 5 weeks in the puppy and boosted every two weeks until they are 9 weeks of age (5, 7, 9 weeks). Follow-up boosters at 12 and 16 weeks will complete the series. Use a simplified vaccine such as Parvo or Distemper/Parvo. Encourage the owner to keep the puppy away from dog parks and other dog gathering areas until the series is complete and the immunity is solid.

Vaccination is important to prevention, but management is the other half of the battle. Cleaning the area thoroughly to remove organic matter before disinfecting is important in killing viruses. In the breeding or rescue kennel, this combination will help keep the wild virus numbers low. Clorox is a decent disinfectant, but does not penetrate organic matter, plus it is hard on equipment. Disinfectants labeled for Parvovirus are preferred or can be used in conjunction with Clorox.“Active solid immunity before your dog is exposed to the wild Parvo virus”. In this business of raising the perfect pet, this is our Parvo goal. Your puppies will be exposed to Parvo, so keeping the immunity high and the wild virus low prevents the disease.

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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