Parvovirus a Very Realistic Threat to Your Dogs Health

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Parvovirus a Very Realistic Threat to Your Dogs Health

by Randy Jones

Parvovirus was first identified in 1977 and can infect dogs of all ages, but usually strikes young unvaccinated puppies under the age of 6 weeks. Most puppies acquire temporary parvo-destroying antibodies by ingesting them through their mother?s first milk, (colostrums). Puppies should be vaccinated starting at 6 to 9 weeks of age, and then every three weeks until they reach 16 weeks. Afterwards, yearly boosters are recommended.

Veterinarians can now test for the presence of parvovirus in their own clinics. Symptoms include loss of appetite, persistent vomiting, and profuse, odiferous diarrhea, often streaked with blood. In dogs, the lining of the intestines, lymph nodes, and bone marrow are the main target areas for Parvo. In puppies less than 6 weeks of age, the virus can infect heart cells, causing irreparable damage to the heart.

Certain breeds seem more prone to Parvo, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Pit Bulls, and German Shepherds, but scientists do not know why. Parvo is highly contagious, and is spread by oral contact with infected feces. Keep your dog away from other dogs with unknown vaccination status, and from areas where such dogs congregate.

If you board your dog, make sure that the owner/instructor requires proof of vaccination for all their customers. Do not take you unvaccinated or unprotected puppy to pet stores or parks until it is fully protected. Prevent your dog from coming in contact with feces, and always observe good hygiene at home. You can disinfect daily with a 1 to 30 ratio of chlorine bleach to water mixture. Parvo is much less common than it was 20 years ago but we still cannot completely eliminate the risk completely.

Randy Jones and his partner Brent Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed On the site, customers can read articles about anything pets as well as shop for the latest dog collars, dog clothes, pet supplies and more for their best friend. Feel free to check out the site at

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