In the Southeast Valley, nearly every October and November, we see an increase in the number of cases of Canine Parvovirus (“parvo”). Canine Parvovirus is an extremely contagious and potentially deadly infection of dogs. While parvo can affect dogs of any age, the disease tends to be most prevalent and most severe in pets below the age of 18 months. In puppies, this disease is especially severe and pets can progress from completely free of clinical signs to death in as little as 72 hours. Parvo is contracted through contact with a contaminated environment and the virus is very tolerant of Arizona’s extreme conditions.
Symptoms of parvo can range from mild lethargy and loss of appetite to severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. There is a confirmatory lab test that we frequently do in our office to verify the diagnosis of parvo . If caught early, medical treatment can greatly improve the survivability of this disease. Without treatment, parvo has been reported to have as high as 91% rate of death. If you are ever concerned that your pet has parvo or if you are noting any of these symptoms, seek immediate evaluation of your pet.
There is no way to prevent your pet from being exposed to Parvo. Prevention of the full-blown disease is the key. Parvo virus can be prevented by proper vaccinations. Once fully vaccinated, a booster of the vaccination is administered once per year. If your pet is not current on his parvo vaccination, call to schedule your appointment today. If you have any questions about parvo, or any of the other diseases we frequently vaccinate for, please let us know.
Thank you, Dr. CJ Boyce