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Therapy Dog Groups.
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Canine Parvovirus (CPV)
CVP is a virus that infects several types of animals. Seemingly, the Parvovirus subtype that infects
dogs was defined and recognized as early as the early 1970s in the northwestern Mediterranean
region, as well as one strain noted in the later 1970s in South America. Suffice it to say, canine
Parvovirus is a world-wide phenomenon and is a significant problem in the United States.
Top 10 facts of the Parvovirus:
1 –The Canine Parvovirus is world wide.
2 - Parvo is a highly contagious and a deadly disease.
3 –Even fully-vaccinated puppies are susceptible to the infection.
4 –Parvo mostly affects dogs under 1 year of age but an average of 6 weeks old.
5 –Bleach is the only product to kill the Parvovirus in the environment (with the exception of clinically
tested products used to clean kennels).
6 –The virus incubates in the glands of the puppy for 3 to 15 days before showing symptoms.
7 –Once the incubation period is over the Parvovirus will work its way into the intestinal tract.
8 –After the Canine Parvovirus is in the intestinal tract the Parvo will start eating away at the velli and
lining of the intestinal walls. Therefore bloody stools will be apparent.
9 - The puppy will either pass away from a lack of hydration or low glucose levels (blood sugars).
10 –If treating with Sub-Q fluid, do not over hydrate after the puppy has pulled through the worst of
the virus as it will put a strain on the heart, cause edema, and may develop an abscess.
Signs and symptoms vary from dog to dog and may include any combination of these symptoms,
appearing in no particular order:
Loss of body mass
Diarrhea (Yellowish or Bloody)
How contagious is CPV?
Parvovirus is highly contagious and is spread via fecal-oral route (contact with an infected dog’s
gastrointestinal material, usually formed stool or diarrhea, but contact with vomit may also cause
Parvo). A single ounce of stool (about the size of one or two walnuts), there are typically one million
viral particles—only a mere one thousand of those particles are needed to reach the threshold for
So many dog owners take the necessary precautions (i.e. change gowns, gloves, foot covers, nets
etc. dip their feet in bleach each time they walk from kennel to kennel) and puppies still contract
Parvo. No saying how many yards and homes were destroyed using bleach trying to get rid of the
virus to have a new puppy years later contract it again. It has been Amber Technology’s experience
the Parvovirus can live in some areas for at least 3 years.
Puppies receive protection from parvovirus in the colostrum, or first milk produced by their mothers. This protection is variable depending on whether the mother had antibodies against parvovirus and how much colostrum a puppy received in its first 24 hours of life. In some cases this protection is not conferred. This variability in maternal protection is the major reason a series of vaccinations is given to puppies. A starting date for vaccination is picked based on the puppy’s ability to respond to infection and the likely timing of exposure to the disease. In general the first vaccination in the puppy series is given between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Only a portion of puppies are capable of responding to this initial vaccine series but since it isn’t practical to determine in advance which puppies can respond, all are vaccinated. The puppies that need the protection get it and the rest do not benefit from the first vaccine. At least 2 weeks later and preferably 3 to 4 weeks later, a second vaccination is given. A larger percentage of puppies respond to this vaccine, but not all of them. The vaccination series is continued at 3 to 4 week intervals until it is likely that all puppies who can respond to vaccination have done so. The number of vaccinations in the series and the age at which the final puppy series vaccination is given will depend on the type of vaccine used, the breed of the puppy, the puppy’s lifestyle, the owner’s experiences and the veterinarian’s experiences with the disease. Vaccines are produced by several vaccine manufacturers for prevention of parvovirus. Most of the currently available vaccines are high antigen vaccines which break through maternal antibody protection earlier than the original parvovirus vaccines. These vaccines also provide protection in most puppies when given between 12 and 14 weeks of age. The older parvovirus vaccines had to be given until 16 or even 20 weeks of age to ensure maximum protection. Of the currently available vaccines still in use only the Vanguard ™ series of vaccines from Pfizer Animal Health ™ are the older type of vaccine (as of 2006, per “Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat” by Greene). There is a period of time, between 2 and 3 weeks, when the parvovirus strains found in most infections can cause disease before there is a chance for vaccinations to work. At the present time there is no way to avoid this period. More frequent vaccination is not helpful and vaccinations given closer than two weeks apart may even impair immunity. For this reason, it is best to avoid exposure to potential sites of infection, such as dog parks, dog shows and kennels until after the last vaccine in the series. It is also important to remember that the veterinarian’s office is a potential site of contamination, especially the area outside the veterinary hospital. Puppies should be walked directly to the door and should be kept away from other puppies in the waiting room that appear to be ill. Veterinary hospitals and kennels try very hard to properly clean up after incidences of diarrhea and in areas in which exposure can occur but it is hard to do this perfectly. Parvovirus is very hardy in the environment. If your house becomes contaminated by the virus, clean any surfaces that can be cleaned with chlorine bleach diluted 1 oz of bleach to 32 oz of water. The disinfectant potassium peroxymonosulfate (Trifectant ™ or Virkon ™) is also effective. It is extremely hard to disinfect a yard. Realistically, if your yard has been potentially contaminated with parvovirus it would probably be best not to get a new puppy and expose it to the yard for at least 2 years, 3 years would be better. Areas of the yard that are exposed to sunlight will require less time for the virus to die than areas of the yard that are shaded, moist and sandy. At the present time there is not a disinfectant product marketed for use in yards that has been proven to be effective against parvovirus.
How is CPV Transmitted?
Remember this virus is literally everywhere: every carpet, floor, yard and park. And, it only takes a tiny portion of infected stool, which doesn't even have to be fresh, but can be months old, to infect a non-immune dog. The puppy can ingest the virus by sniffing or eating infected stool, or by cleaning himself, or by eating food off the ground or floor. It only takes a microscopic amount of stool to infect a puppy. Parvo can be brought home to your dog on shoes, hands and even car tires. So, your puppy can contract Parvo even if he never leaves your yard. It is speculated that even a bird invading your dog's food dish can deposit the Parvovirus there. Insects and rodents may also spread the disease. Are you concerned yet? If not, you should be. Please help us keep our kennel safe :)
We love to have people come for a visit and we encourage people to come and pick their puppy out in person if at all possible.
When you come for a visit we strongly ask that you take these precautionary steps to prevent Parvo reaching our kennel.
1. If you have had Parvo on your property in the last 3 years, I won’t sell a puppy to you, the risk of your new puppy becoming infected is VERY high.
2. Please don’t “kennel–hop”, in other words, don’t come to our kennel
right after leaving another.
3. Before coming, please have all visitors shower, put on clean clothes and
wipe the shoes you are going to wear with bleach water, or if you can,
run them through a bleach load of laundry( that’s what I do).
4. Please avoid parks or other places that you may encounter dogs before
you get here, and we will wash hands when you arrive.
“Please read below about Parvo”