The Canine Parvovirus Type 2

Posted on June 12, 2015

So, you’ve heard about Canine Parvovirus type 2, CPV2, and want to protect your dog.  The “parvo” virus is a contagious disease that spreads from dog to dog.  They are infected from direct or indirect contact with feces, infected soil, inanimate object or fomite.  The virus is hardy, as it is known to survive in feces and other organic material for over a year in hot or cold temperatures.

Parvo has been around since the 1970’s, and is especially detrimental to puppies, because they do not possess the necessary antibodies from their Mothers.

The disease presents in two forms; intestinal or cardiac. The cardiac form is less common, as they are infected in the uterus or shortly after birth until about two months of age.  The intestinal version causes vomiting and diarrhea. The cardiac form causes difficulty with respiratory and cardiovascular failure in young puppies.  Vaccinations are available to prevent the infection, but mortality is high in untreated cases.

Prevention is the only way to make sure your dog stays healthy.  Puppies can be vaccinates with a series of doses from early on and a booster.  Vaccines take up to two weeks to become effective.

Survival rates of infected dogs depend on how early the animal is diagnosed, the animal’s age and treatment given.  Untreated cases are usually fatal.