Canine parvovirus is a serious and highly contagious disease caused by a virus. It is transmitted by direct dog-to-dog contact or contact with contaminated feces, environments, or people. The disease effects dogs, foxes, wolves, and coyotes. However, the virus does not infect humans.
Signs of the disease include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration and can quickly lead to death (usually within 48-72 hours after the first clinical signs appear). If your puppy or dog is showing any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Vaccination and good hygiene are crucial in the prevention of canine parvovirus. Since puppies are particularly susceptible to parvo infection, it is important that they receive their vaccinations at the appropriate times. Puppies need a series of vaccinations to be adequately protected, so puppy owners should use caution in exposing their young dogs to other dogs until the series is complete. Your veterinarian can advise you on the proper timing of vaccinations.