A Brief Introduction to Canine Parvovirus

A Brief Introduction to Canine Parvovirus

Also referred to as CPV or “parvo”, Canine parvovirus is a serious virus that is also preventable with pet vaccinations in Cork. This virus can be a serious threat to the health of your dog. Viruses can live in any environment. Discovered in 1967, this virus can infect a number of dogs. As it is a highly contagious virus, vaccination for this virus is an important vaccination in dogs. Despite having a vaccine for the disease, it is still very prevalent.


Let’s learn everything about parvo in dogs. It is an infectious DNA virus that can affect young and unvaccinated pets. It has the worst effects on the bone marrow and intestinal tract. It can affect dogs of all ages.


It is not an airborne disease. This virus can be present and survive on any surface. It can also be present on your hands. Contaminated faeces often spread this disease. When your pet comes in contact with contaminated faecal or a surface, it can carry this virus on its paws or fur. It can live for months outdoors. 


Parvo in Human 

Parvovirus affecting pets does not affect humans. There is a species-specific version of most viruses. However, if you know that your pet is infected, take preventive measures. Keep in mind that this disease can spread from one dog to another.


Parvo in Cats 


Can your cat get this disease from an infected dog? There is another type of this virus that affects cats and causes feline panleukopenia. Cats infected with canine parvovirus have mild symptoms of the disease. However, one strain of this virus can also cause severe illness in your cat. Therefore, if you notice signs and symptoms of this disease, visit a vet for puppy vaccinations in Ireland.    

  • Signs and Symptoms of Parvo in Dogs


Your dog will show the symptoms of this disease within 3 to 7 days after it gets infected. The very first sign of this disease is lethargy. Your pet may also refuse to eat and have a fever. This may lead to symptoms including severe diarrhoea and vomiting.

Your puppy may also have hypothermia and a high heart rate due to infection and dehydration. A severely sick pet may also collapse.


Parvovirus Diagnosis

Vets use Fecal ELISA tests to diagnose this disease in dogs. It is a highly accurate test. However, the vet may run this test more than once. 


Stages of Parvo

The canine parvovirus and other viral infections have the following stages: 



In this stage, your puppy or dog is exposed to the virus via an infected dog or faecal material. Your pet may get the infection from: 

  • Mother dog 
  • Environment 
  • Contaminated clothing, people or any other object   

  • Incubation 

The incubation for this disease is between three and seven days. The dog is infected but it does not show symptoms of the infection. In this stage, the virus attacks tonsils or lymph nodes. It targets rapidly dividing cells. This helps the virus multiply. It invades other parts of the body. Once it enters your bloodstream, it starts attacking other rapidly dividing cells. This virus attacks small intestines’ wall cells. It can also attack the heart of small puppies and cause inflammation. This leads to arrhythmia and poor heart function.  

  • Illness 

Young immune cells become the victim of the virus after it attacks the bone marrow. This reduces the number of protective WBCs. As a result, your pet’s body becomes weak. This further makes it easy for the virus to invade the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This affects the gastrointestinal ability to: 

  • Absorb essential nutrients
  • Prevent the movement of bacteria into the gut
  • Prevent fluid loss 

The dog suffers from serious health issues including:  

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Severe dehydration
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Possibly sepsis

  • Recovery 

This infection can be fatal. The best way to prevent this is pet vaccinations in Cork. The time it takes to recover depends on the severity and the damage done by the disease. Adult dogs can recover in 5 to 10 days. Make sure that your puppy gets adequate nutrition that helps the intestines heal. Give food that is easily digestible. 

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