Parvovirus is a serious, deadly threat to the unvaccinated dog population. It is so infectious that virtually anyone or any moving object can become a parvovirus carrier simply by coming in contact with an infected dog’s feces (bowel movement). The virus can survive searing heat and subzero temperatures for long periods of time, and so the virus might remain long after the feces has been removed. Shoes, paws—you name it—can pick up and carry the virus.
Most veterinarians recommend multiple parvovirus vaccinations for the growing puppy. Vaccinations establish protective immunity, which can reduce the risk of the disease. Once vaccinated, your dog’s immunity is maintained through annual booster shots. If your dog is experiencing vomiting, severe diarrhea, depression, or loss of appetite, you should see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Specific drugs have not yet been perfected that will kill canine parvovirus, but proven treatments are available to control the complications of the disease.
To prevent the spreading of parvovirus:
- Immunize your dog or puppy according to your veterinarian’s direction.
- If you suspect that you have walked through an infected area, wipe off your shoes with one-part household bleach to 30 parts of water solution. Use the bleach/water solution as part of a general cleaning process of areas frequented by other dogs.
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