puppies

Preventing parvovirus

Preventing parvovirus

Our team wants to ensure that all pets are up-to-date with vaccinations appropriate for their age, lifestyle and environment. However, we are particularly concerned about keeping all our canine patients protected against parvovirus.

It’s particularly important to protect dogs against parvovirus for several reasons:

1. Parvovirus causes nasty symptoms

Parvovirus causes damage to the intestines, and also attacks protective immune cells within the bone marrow. In very young puppies, the virus can cause heart inflammation and damage.

This means that dogs infected with parvovirus commonly experience symptoms of severe gut upset, including weakness, dehydration, tummy pain, fever, vomiting and profuse bloody diarrhoea. They can then develop shock (low blood pressure), which can affect other organs too. Unfortunately, this severe illness can prove fatal, even with treatment.

In young pups who suffer heart damage, the virus can also sadly progress to heart failure weeks-to-months after apparent recovery from parvovirus.

2. Parvovirus is still common

In many areas of Australia and New Zealand, parvovirus is still present and can cause outbreaks of disease, which largely affect young or unvaccinated dogs. Earlier in 2022 there was a severe parvo outbreak in Perth, although luckily we did not see any cases in Albany.

3. Parvovirus is very contagious

Dogs can become infected with parvovirus from contact with infected faeces or faeces-contaminated materials. The virus can remain active in soil for months to years after an infected dog has pooed in that area.

To protect dogs against parvovirus, we recommend keeping their core C3 vaccinations up-to-date. For most dogs, this involves a course of three puppy vaccinations, done at six-to-eight weeks of age, 10-to-12 weeks of age and 14-16 weeks of age, and then around 6-to-12 months of age. Depending on the type of vaccination being used, adult dogs are then recommended to receive boosters every one-to-three years thereafter.

Rest assured that vaccination is highly effective for the prevention of parvovirus in dogs.

If you’re unsure about your dog’s parvovirus vaccination status, ask our friendly team for further advice.

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