Parvo is a very serious infection that can occur in puppies, with a mortality rate of about 90% if not treated. Parvo is a viral illness that is extremely contagious, so if your dog is afflicted with it, you should take them to the vet where they can be treated properly and separated from other dogs.
Parvo is particularly common in puppies. The chances of dogs getting parvo decreases significantly as they get older. Most cases of parvo were found to be in dogs from six weeks to six months old.
Puppies are to be vaccinated for parvo at regular intervals between 6 and 12 weeks. After those vaccinations, they shouldn’t get the disease, though it is still possible. It shouldn’t be too hard to notice something’s wrong with your puppy when it has parvo.
The puppy will experience terrible, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and unhealthy weight loss. Parvo weakens your dog’s immune system greatly, and this can lead to further complications.
The puppy will need plenty of water, because in addition to the vomiting, the disease interferes with the dog’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. When you notice your dog begin to exhibit these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately to get proper treatment.
Dogs contract parvo fairly easily. When dogs infected with parvo defecate, their feces contains an extremely high concentration of the disease. If your healthy puppy so much as sniffs it, they can contract the infection.
Parvo has also been found to be able to live within soil for up to a year. So if your parvo afflicted dog defecates, be sure to pick it up and then bleach the spot. Bleach is one of the few chemicals known to be able to actually kill off parvo.
Parvo is so infectious, that if you step in some parvo-riddled feces and walk inside, your dog can contract it from sniffing your shoe. Some breeds are more susceptible than others to parvo.
These breeds include German Shepherds, Dobermans, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Labs. There are precautions you can take to prevent your dog from contracting parvo. Most importantly, make sure that they get their shots, and that they don’t interact with other dogs until a few weeks after their final shots.
For the breeds mentioned above, you may want to consider additional shots, to ensure that they’re fully protected. You should then continue to get booster shots around every three years to make sure they’re still protected.