Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly, dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. Parvovirus also attacks the white blood cells, and when young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problems.
Parvo can be carried on the dog’s hair and feet, as well as on contaminated crates, shoes, and other objects. When the dog licks the fecal material off hair, feet, or anything that came in contact with infected feces, he or she acquires the disease.
An American Veterinary Medical Association brochure outlines that:
… the illness causes lethargy; loss of appetite; fever; vomiting; and severe, and frequent bloody diarrhea. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration, and most deaths from parvovirus occur within 48 to 72 hours following the onset of clinical signs. If your puppy or dog shows any of these signs, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
I’m sure you want to prevent this worst case scenario from happening, and you can—with proper vaccinations available from your vet. Vaccinations prevent parvo. End of story.
To learn more about Parvovirus, watch this video.