Canine Parvo-virus is highly infections and is rapidly spread through infected dogs, contaminated shoes, clothing and other objects and is ingested by the dog during grooming.
Care should be exercised when moving or accepting dogs onto your property by wearing clean clothing, disinfecting footwear and the use of plastic gloves when possible.
It has been shown to be present in a dog’s faeces even after two years at room temperature. It is resistant to heat, detergents and alcohol and can remain in the soil or kennels for the same period, able to infect other susceptible dogs.
Dogs that become infected with the virus and show clinical signs will usually become ill within 7-10 days of contracting the infection.
Symptoms may include lack of appetite, depression, fever, severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Vomiting usually begins first.
The virus is often fatal especially in pups or those with a lower immune system. In those that survive it can result in loss of lining of the intestinal tract, leading to severe dehydration, electrolyte intolerance and blood infection, which has ongoing implications for months and years. Infected dogs should be taken to your veterinarian urgently.
Of course the best method of protection is vaccination at 6, 12 and 16 weeks of age, with boosters at least once a year.
The stability of the virus in the environment makes it important to properly disinfect contaminated areas. This can be done by cleaning food bowls, water bowls, the environment and other items with a solution of F10 (speak to your vet regarding obtaining this).
Care should be taken at all times to properly dispose of faeces by not leaving them on the ground or in gardens. Any dogs that have succumbed to the virus should be disposed of through consultation with your veterinary surgeon.