There have been some recent outbreaks of Parvovirus in the local area, making this a good opportunity to remind people to check if their dog’s vaccinations are up to date.
Parvovirus is a virus that is spread by direct contact. This can be from nose to nose or through faeces/bodily fluids. It can remain in the environment for up to one year, be carried on objects such as bowls or bedding and can be spread on the bottom of shoes, clothing or hands that haven’t been adequately washed.
We recommend that puppies are vaccinated from eight weeks of age – this is when the mother’s maternal antibodies will be wearing off and the puppy will need their own immune system to protect him.
Protection should be topped up each year with a booster vaccination. Puppies and older dogs are most prone to Parvovirus because their immune systems are weaker.
Even a healthy vaccinated dog carries a small risk of transmitting the disease, but this is greatly reduced by making sure they’re kept up to date with their annual vaccinations.
Should your cog contract the Parvovirus, symptoms will include:
- diarrhoea, usually containing blood
- The danger of collapse
Mortality rates are high for this disease.
Treatment includes supporting the patient through the disease via hospitalisation and trying to prevent severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and shock.
Medications can be used to treat secondary infections and make the patient more comfortable.
Vaccination is the primary method of preventing this disease and picking up your dog’s faeces whilst out on walks will also help to prevent any spread of infections.
If you would like to know your dog’s level of vaccination cover, it’s possible to run a blood test to determine this. Please get in touch with one for more information.