This is a very contagious, incurable, and often fatal disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, and most devastatingly, the central nervous system. Occurrences of canine distemper are less common today due to the advent of effective vaccines. Unfortunately, puppies and unvaccinated adult dogs are most susceptible to infection.
Adenovirus (CAV-2) and Parainfluenza
Along with Bordetella and parainfluenza, canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) is one of the reasons dogs get kennel cough. Adenoviruses are spread directly from dog to dog through infected respiratory secretions or by contact with contaminated feces or urine. Coughing and gagging accompanied by a fever, runny nose, or red, watery eyes are the most common symptoms. And though the disease typically runs its course without long term effects, it can lead to a more serious infection
Parvovirus Vaccine Information
Parvovirus is a viral disease that is extremely contagious, can produce a life-threatening illness, and can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog's feces. Parvovirus primarily affects the intestines, but it also attacks the white blood cells. When young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problems. Highly resistant, the virus can live in the environment for months, and may survive on inanimate objects such as food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet and floors. It is common for an unvaccinated dog to contract parvovirus from the streets, especially in urban areas where there are many dogs.
Parvovirus can be diagnosed by your veterinarian here at Pet’s Friend Animal Clinic if your dog is presenting symptoms. The most common Parvo test can be performed in about 15 minutes using a small stool sample. Because the test is not always 100% sensitive or specific, your veterinarian may recommend additional blood work or testing. Puppies, adolescent, and unvaccinated dogs are most susceptible to the virus.
The most common symptoms of Parvovirus include lethargy, loss of appetite, severe vomiting, and bloody foul-smelling diarrhea that can lead to life threatening dehydration. You can protect your dog from this horrible virus by making sure all vaccinations are up-to-date. Parvovirus is considered a core vaccine for all puppies and adult dogs here at P.F.A.C. It is usually recommended that puppies be vaccinated with combination vaccines that take into account the risk factors for exposure to various diseases. One common vaccine, called a “4-in-1/DHPP,” protects the puppy from distemper, hepatitis (adenovirus), parvovirus and parainfluenza. Puppies need boosters at 3-4 week intervals for adequate protection up to 16-18 weeks of age.
Because parvovirus can live dormant in an environment for months or even up to 2 years, you will want to take extra care if there has been an infected dog in your house or yard. Some things are easier to clean and disinfect than others—and even with excellent cleaning, parvovirus can be difficult to eradicate. Parvo is resistant to many typical disinfectants. A solution of one part bleach to 32 parts water can be used where organic material is not present. The infected dog’s toys, food dish and water bowl should be properly cleaned and then disinfected with this solution for 10 minutes. If not disinfected, these articles should be discarded. You can also use the solution on the soles of your shoes if you think you've walked through an infected area. Areas that are harder to clean (grassy areas, carpeting and wood, for example) may need to be sprayed with disinfectant, or even resurfaced.
For more information, please feel free to call Pet's Friend Animal Clinic about any questions or concerns you may have at 408-739-2688.