10 Things You Need To Know About Canine Parvovirus
Canine Parvovirus, also known as CPV, is an infection that is not only highly contagious but has severe symptoms too and can result in death, particularly in young puppies.
A vaccination against Parvovirus is essential for all dogs, however for puppies who have not been fully vaccinated, here are ten things you need to know.
#1 It has two forms
Parvovirus can manifest itself in two ways; intestinal and cardiac.
Intestinal form is more common, and symptoms include vomiting, weight loss, lack of appetite, tiredness, fever or hypothermia and bloody diarrhoea.
Cardiac symptoms include the heart beating too quickly, CPV attacks the heart muscles and will often lead to death.
#2 Act quickly
Most deaths from Parvovirus occur within 48-72 hours after symptoms begin, seek help quickly to give your pup the best chance of survival.
#3 Infection lasts after the illness
Puppies with Parvovirus will continue to be infectious up to two weeks after clinical recovery, so it is important to look after other dogs in your community by keeping your puppy away from other unvaccinated dogs and risky environments such as kennels.
#4 Up to 80% of puppies will die from Parvovirus
It is important to visit the vet as soon as you notice sudden onset diarrhoea, lethargy and sickness, these symptoms may be a sign of another illness but early diagnosis is crucial for canine Parvovirus. Puppies brought from puppy mills will be at great risk of Parvovirus because of the dirty conditions they are subjected to and none of the adult dogs are likely to be vaccinated.
#5 Vaccination is Essential
Parvovirus vaccination is a long process with shots at 6, 8 and 12 weeks old, some vets may recommend a fourth dose at 16 weeks and then again at 12 months for adequate protection. During this time, you need to be extremely careful of coming into contact with the virus and protecting your puppy.
#6 There is no cure
While it is a common and deadly disease, there is currently no antidote. Instead, your vet will give supportive care to your pup through nutrients, hydration and antibiotics to treat secondary infections.
#7 Even with the best care, the disease can kill.
Even though your puppy is treated by a vet, there is no cure, and the disease can be fatal. Vets can only control the symptoms and support your pup.
#8 Average hospital stay is one week
Parvovirus can also be expensive, with intensive veterinary treatment for five to seven days in the hospital. During this time, the vet will try to boost your pup’s immune system to help them battle this horrendous disease.
#9 Human Parvovirus will not be passed to your dog
Humans cannot get Parvovirus from their dogs and dogs cannot get the human form of Parvovirus. They are both a different strain of the virus.
#10 The virus has a high resistance
The virus can live in ground soil for over twenty years and can survive extreme temperatures. Your chihuahua only needs to come into contact with a tiny amount of the virus for it to infect your dog.
If your puppy isn’t fully vaccinated, keep them away from dog-frequented areas, also make sure you don’t wear outside shoes in the house and wash your hands if you’ve been near other dogs.
If there are any dog faeces on your shoes, then clean them with bleach, not many other household cleaners will kill the virus.
Please get your dogs fully vaccinated. If you are worried in any way about your chihuahua please take him to the vets straight away.