What You Need to Know About the Parvo Virus

Canine parvovirus (often referred to as parvo) is a highly contagious virus that can be lethal in puppies and dogs. It is spread by every animal or object that comes into contact with an infected dog’s feces. Puppies, adolescent dogs, and adult dogs that have not been vaccinated are at risk of contracting the virus. Preventing parvovirus infection in your puppy or dog could differ between life and death.

Parvovirus Symptoms

Lethargy, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and bloating, fever or low body temperature, vomiting, and severe, often bloody diarrhea are parvovirus symptoms. Consistent vomiting and diarrhea can quickly dehydrate you, and damage to your digestive and immune systems can result in septic shock.


If your canine exhibits any of these signs, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Most parvovirus-related deaths occur within 48 to 72 hours of clinical symptoms beginning.

Diagnosis and Therapy

Frequently, parvovirus infection is suspected based on the dog’s history, physical examination, and laboratory tests. Testing of the feces may be required to confirm the diagnosis.


There is no specific prescription that will cure an infected dog of the virus, thus treatment is meant to help the dog’s body systems until the immune system can fight the virus. Treatment should begin immediately and focus on rehydrating the patient by replenishing electrolytes, protein, and fluid losses, resolving vomiting and diarrhea, and preventing subsequent infections. Sick dogs must be adequately kept warm and get nursing care.


 When a dog becomes infected with parvovirus, treatment from a reliable veterinary clinic can be prohibitively expensive, and the dog may die despite aggressive treatment. A positive outcome requires early discovery and aggressive treatment. With proper care, survival rates can surpass 90%.


Due to parvovirus’s high contagiousness, it is critical to isolate infected dogs to avoid infection spread. Cleaning and sanitizing polluted kennels and other locations where infected dogs are (or were) appropriately housed. Due to the virus’s difficulty in eradicating, consult your veterinarian for particular cleaning and disinfection product suggestions and while on the vet, don’t forget to ask about the best Dental Surgery in Natick in case they have dental problems. 

Parvovirus Prevention

Vaccination and good hygiene are critical preventative strategies.

Puppies under six months of age are particularly susceptible to infection. The natural immunity provided by their mothers’ milk may wear off before the puppies’ immune systems mature sufficiently to fight infection. Canine parvovirus can infect a puppy at this period of decreased immunity.


Additionally, a mother’s milk immunity may hinder a successful vaccination response. Even completely vaccinated puppies may occasionally get parvovirus and become ill. Throughout the first few months of life, puppies receive a series of immunizations to close protection gaps and protect against parvovirus. Regardless of previous immunizations, Puppies should be immunized against canine parvovirus between 14 and 16 weeks of age.


To protect their adult dogs against parvovirus infection, pet owners should ensure that their dog’s parvovirus immunization is current. While titers are available to determine a dog’s level of antibodies against canine parvovirus, the antibody level does not always convert into protection when the dog is exposed to the virus. Consult your veterinarian for a preventative program that is advised for your dog or if they may also need other treatments like Cat & Dog Veterinary Surgery



The phrase “parvo,” which stands for parvovirus, is enough to send shivers down your spine. This highly contagious illness is infamous for rapidly transforming a previously healthy puppy who was showering you with stinky puppy breath kisses and playing one day into an almost or fatally ill puppy in a matter of days. Fortunately, this sickness in dogs is avoidable and treatable if found early.