Bloody severe diarrhea, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, malaise, and vomiting are some of the obvious symptoms that your dog will manifest to show that it is suffering from canine parvovirus commonly known as canine parvo.
Now before you get all frantic about if your dog will survive the illness or not, it’s important to understand that canine parvo can be cured if treated on time and well treated. However, to prevent a future reoccurrence, they would have to be vaccinated.
The canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs, and it often manifests itself in two forms: the intestinal and the less common one-- the cardiac form. While the intestinal form is characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia (loss of appetite), and weight loss, the cardiac form attacks heart muscles of young puppies and fetuses— always causing death.
If canine parvovirus is preventable, isn’t it better to get acquainted with how to avoid the disease altogether? So this article will be stating tips on how to prevent the canine parvovirus altogether.
Properly vaccinate your dog
This is like the first and surest method to keep the canine parvovirus far from your dog. Usually, puppies are vaccinated within 6-8 weeks of birth, and then boosters should be administered to them at three weeks intervals till they are 16 weeks of age, and when they are a year old. However adult dogs that have been previously vaccinated would need boosters yearly.
For low cost vaccines and no prior appointment, you can visit the Animal Foundation’s low cost clinic.
Limit contact with other dogs
If your dog hasn’t completed its vaccination, then they are prone to contracting canine parvovirus from dogs that aren’t vaccinated. So until they have completed their vaccinations or you are sure that the dogs they are hanging around with have been properly vaccinated, it’s better to keep your dogs in check.
Avoid Highly Prone Areas of the Disease
Places like pet stores, play groups, parks, are high risks for your dogs if they haven’t been vaccinated. The likelihood of coming in contact with other puppies or dogs that may not have been vaccinated further goes to increase the risks of your dog contracting the disease from these places. To be safe, it’s better your dog is off these places until they have completed their vaccination.
Prevention is cheaper than treatment
The parvo virus can live virtually anywhere – on the ground, grass, etc. But it isn’t airborne, though. So to be on a safer side, instead of being negligent about your dog’s vaccination and claiming you don’t let them off the hook, know that they can contract the virus from hanging out on your own lawn—vaccination for the canine parvovirus costs under $30, while treatment for the disease is about a whopping $1000. Hence, it’s wisdom to be guided.
If you have frequent contact with dogs or puppies either by reason of your job or travels, then it’s super important that you change your clothing before coming in contact with your puppies or dogs at home. This is one way to immensely reduce the chances of infecting them with the disease.
When Going To the Vet
In visiting the vet to either vaccinate your dog or as a routine visit for your puppy, don’t allow your dog hang out on the ground. When you alight from your car, make sure you hold your dogs in your hands. Dogs that could have contracted the disease may have visited the clinic and as you know, the canine virus can hang on to virtually anything.
The Canine Parvovirus is one very stubborn virus that doesn’t die easily, so using regular detergents or disinfectants may not get rid of them easily. To effectively eradicate them, you should use 1:32 dilution of bleach— that is like half cup of bleach in water. If you sense that your environment have been contaminated you could fumigate with this or better still, make it a routine once you know you breed dogs.
Again, prevention is better than cure, and if you love your dogs, this is one vaccination you don’t want to deny them from, as contracting the disease is going to be a lot on your dog even if they recover, and you definitely don’t want that.