How to Handle a Parvo Outbreak
When Parvo Happens
- Isolate the Affected Puppy – If you have an area to isolate a sick puppy, do so. If not, treat him in place and manage your biosecurity. Do not move healthy animals around the kennel or to another kennel; that will just spread the disease.
- Use Caution with Healthy Puppies- Take care of the healthy puppies first, then move to the sick ones. Do not go back to the healthy puppies without strict disinfection or a change of clothes. Remove your coveralls or smock after care and wash your hands to stop the spread. Hand disinfectants take too long to kill parvo, don't rely on just them alone.
- Use a penetrating disinfectant and a shoe bath to kill parvovirus.
- Bleach won't cut it in an outbreak since it won't penetrate feces.
- Hydrate with Electrolytes – Give all puppies electrolytes in water. You want to hydrate any puppy thinking of getting sick. Re-Sorb® in one gallon of water is economical to use. Electrolytes should be in your emergency kit.
- Give Injectable Fluids- Sick parvo puppies do not drink, so without injectable fluids they die. I start with saline 0.9% NaCl or LRS. Give SQ fluids at least, but IP or IV fluids is best.
- Start with 5 ml/lb twice a day and don't forget to account for diarrhea loss. Two tablespoons of diarrhea/vomit needs 30 cc of fluid to replace.
- Add 50 percent dextrose to keep glucose up in a puppy. Dilute it to create a 5 to 10 percent dextrose solution max. To create a 5 percent dextrose solution, mix 50cc of 50 percent dextrose in 500cc of saline.
- Ask your veterinarian about Reglan® or Cerenia® to stop the vomiting.
- Booster – Give a parvo-only vaccine to every puppy over four weeks and over one pound and booster every two weeks.
- Replacements under one year, booster parvo vaccine once.
- Adults vaccinated within the last year are not a worry.
Future Litters For the Next 90 Days
Move vaccine to four, six, and eight weeks, starting with parvo-only vaccine at four to six weeks.
- If you have tiny breeds that are less than two-pound puppies, ask us how to do that safely.
- Keep 12 to 14 days between vaccines or you won't booster immunity.
Contaminated Pen After a Parvo Break
Once you have parvo in a pen, follow this guideline to get it out. Clean twice and disinfect three times.
- Clean and disinfect in the morning
- Clean and disinfect in the evening.
- The next morning, disinfect again. Once it is dry you can go back into the pen safely with puppies or the next mom to give birth.
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival's Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.