- Jenny Perkins
For dog-parents, canine parvovirus is one of the most dreaded diseases owing to its severity. The virus is stuff, and the risks for our new-born or young puppies getting infected are far too high. Hence it is imperative to take preventive measures for protecting our pups. But before I move on to that, let’s develop a basic understanding of what Parvovirus is.
The deadly parvovirus is a potentially life-threatening virus. The virus exhibits in two different forms:
- The intestinal type
- The cardiac type
The first is the form most commonly seen in dogs. Your dog may catch the virus if he comes in direct contact with an infected pooch. But that isn’t all; the virus is highly contagious and can also spread indirectly via an infected dog’s feces, a person or an object that has been in contact with the dog. About 1000 particles of the virus are enough to infect your dog with Parvo whereas, an ounce of an infected dog’s feces sheds nearly 35 million particles.
Puppies between the ages of six weeks to six months are most susceptible to the disease as they have weak immune systems. Therefore it is essential to protect your pooch against the virus during this period. If you have had a Parvo affected dog, it is crucial to protect any other puppies that may contract the virus.
Since the bacteria can survive for about seven months outside in the cool temperatures, it is recommended to avoid bringing in any other puppy before this time. If you already have other dogs at home, make sure the areas where the feces were shed are all disinfected. All objects from your shoes, clothes to the dog’s food and water bowls and toys also need to be cleaned.
Let’s have a look at the prevention measures you should take to safeguard your dogs against Parvo:
Vaccines are Crucial!
To protect your pup against the virus get him vaccinated. Puppies from the ages of 6 weeks need to get the vaccines after every 3 to 4 weeks until they are 18 weeks old and another dosage when they turn one. Your grown-up dogs require boosters each year after they are vaccinated.
8 Tip to Keep Your Pup Safe From Parvovirus
- Until your puppy gets a few rounds of the vaccines and grows up a little, its best to keep him inside the home with minimum exposure to the outside surroundings.
- The virus is tough and can be present anywhere, so avoid public spaces such as dog parks and vet clinics that are a clear danger.
- If you doubt that the virus may have contaminated some areas of your house, then immediately disinfect those places. Prepare a solution by mixing 1 part of chlorine bleach in 30 portions of water. Spray the mixture and leave it on for at least 10 minutes on the surfaces.
- Toss out the infected bedding, bowls and other objects and disinfect your clothes and shoes using bleach.
- If you work in a place where you come in contact with dogs every day, change clothes and take a shower (even better) before you touch your pup.
- Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, weight-loss, and fever are some symptoms of Parvo, so keep an eye for all these. If you doubt your dog may be displaying such signs, immediately take him to the vet as the disease can be cured if caught early.
- When you take your young pup for vaccinations, try to keep him in your lap and don’t let him walk on the ground as he could quickly contract the virus.
- Focus on improving your pup’s immunity by feeding him an age appropriate & breed specific diet and fulfilling his exercise needs. If you are adopting a new puppy, avoid interactions of the new member with your unvaccinated dog.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.