Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a virus that can cause severe illness in dogs of all ages, though it is most often seen in puppies. This virus is dangerous and needs to be taken seriously. In fact, CPV is the most common type of infectious disorder in dogs in the United States. Parvovirus affects the intestine and lymphoid tissue of dogs, resulting in vomiting and severe diarrhea, often with blood in it. As a result, the infected animal is in a weakened condition and susceptible to other infections.
How CPV is spread
A dog can be infected with CPV if he has ingested something that has come into contact with an infected dog's feces. Direct contact between the dogs isn't necessary for the infection to spread; the disease can be spread through an action as simple as one dog licking the ground where there are infected feces.
CPV is a hearty virus and can survive on some surfaces, such as bedding and dirt, for 5 months if the conditions are right. To help prevent the spread of the disease, quickly remove any feces and disinfect the area with a detergent and a bleach solution. Do not allow your dog to lick or ingest grass, dirt, or other items when on walks.
CPV prevention is made possible with a vaccination. If your unvaccinated dog contracts parvovirus, aggressive treatment by a veterinarian is required. This can be a fatal disease.
Symptoms to watch for
Common symptoms of parvovirus are:
- Loss of appetite
If you suspect your puppy has contracted parvovirus, contact your veterinarian immediately. The sooner he receives treatment, the better his chances of recovery.