Parvovirus, or parvo as we sometimes refer to it, is a highly infectious virus that attacks the gastrointestinal, immune and cardiovascular systems of dogs.
Although not all infected dogs show clinical signs when they are ill, the most common signs of parvo-affected dogs include sudden onset of bloody diarrhoea, lethargy, unwillingness to eat and repeated episodes of vomiting.
Recently, the AVA has announced a new strain of canine parvovirus CPV-2c, which has been detected in Australia by researchers at the University of Adelaide.
Globally, this strain is not new. CVP-2c, as a new variant of CVP-2, was first pronounced in 2000.
The best method of protecting your dog against parvovirus infection is by vaccinating with premium vaccines. Puppies receive a parvovirus vaccination as part of their vaccine regime. After the initial series of puppy vaccinations, all adult dogs require boosters every year.
Any puppies less than one year that have received their final vaccination before 16 weeks of age should receive a booster vaccination to ensure protection against this deadly disease.
Parvovirus is highly contagious and easily spread. The main source of the virus is the faeces of infected dogs. Parvovirus can remain in the environment for up to a year after an infected dog has been there. This is why the virus can reoccur especially in unvaccinated dogs or in dogs where vaccinations have lapsed. Due to its stability, the virus is easily transmitted via the hair or feet of infected dogs, contaminated shoes, clothes, and other objects.
Without early veterinary attention, many of these cases are fatal. It’s vital that you seek veterinary advice early.