Hey, it’s Dr. Greenidge from Hudspeth Animal Hospital. Today, I just want to have a quick talk or say something about the parvovirus.
The parvovirus is very common and Southeast USA. Because it’s warm here, the virus, we tend to see most of it in the summertime when the new puppies, people are up on about. The virus is very devastating. The best thing to do is start vaccination at the appropriate age and do appropriate vaccination. For young puppies, we would typically start vaccines at eight weeks of age and continue this distemper parvo vaccine through about 15 to 16 weeks of age. If the puppy is older, then typically we’ll do a shot followed by a booster, but prevention is going to be the best thing. Keep the puppies away from areas that are frequented by other pets of unknown vaccination history. Keep your puppies away from owners with dirty hands that may have a contamination with the parvovirus.
In fact, even sometimes they keep the puppies indoors as much as possible in a fly proof area because these flies sometimes would pick up these parvovirus by going on feces or just picking it up in the environment from where infected dog went, and they could come and they could go on the food of your dog and the dog could get infected. And contrary to popular belief, puppies are not the only ones that would come down with a parvovirus. There are actually older dogs that we’ve seen and we’ve seen more cases of older dogs coming down with the virus because they were not vaccinated appropriately, or they were not vaccinated at all.
So remember, vaccination is important. The vaccines will help to protect your dogs from this parvovirus, which can be devastating because despite the best treatment, sometimes they’ll still die. One of the things with parvovirus is sudden death, so the despite the best treatment in the world, sometimes there’s just die.
The best approach is hospitalization with fluids, something for vomiting, keeping them fed with an IV feeding tube directly into the blood supply or stomach feeding tube feeding, that kind of stuff. But it’s expensive to treat, it’s deadly and most cases it can be prevented.
Usually if your puppy is exposed, you’ll start to see signs within five to seven days after exposure, sometimes we will see to a little bit earlier. But most of these puppies will become lethargic. They may have vomiting, diarrhea. The diarrhea will eventually turn bloody diarrhea, pup will get dehydrated quickly. The big killer is dehydration. Also bacteria from the intestine will actually go into the blood supply and it will kill and it will kill quickly. Most of these animals will have low blood glucose, and of course that happens because of a couple of reasons. Either the bacteria has gotten into the blood supply and is using the glucose, or sometimes what will happen is you will end up with low glucose because the pet’s not eaten. Thanks for watching.