Parvovirus in Puppies
By Dr. Melinda Striyle
Spring is here! While we enjoy the nice weather and the beautiful blooms of the desert, we also see a spike in Parvovirus cases in puppies. Parvovirus or Parvo is a hearty virus that can survive in the environment for many, many months. It is passed in the feces (poop) of dogs shedding the virus. The problem: the poop can be picked up, but the virus particles can remain on the ground. The virus can attach to just about anything that comes it comes into contact with, a puppyís feet, a personís shoes, a personís hands, a toy, etc. Then it can be passed to the puppy during innocent licking or chewing. Unprotected puppies and dogs will then develop this horrible disease about 7-10 days after exposure. Clinical signs include decrease or absent appetite, vomiting, diarrhea (often profuse, bloody and with an exceptionally bad odor). The disease progresses rapidly and without early, aggressive intervention, most dogs will die.