In the Spring of 2012, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter put out a call via the Wyoming Tribune Eagle to encourage everyone to protect their pups from the canine parvovirus, which had infected five puppies in their facility. According to the ASPCA:
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.
Want to know how Parvo is transmitted? When any person, animal or object comes in contact with an infected dog's FECES. (Remember that lengthy blog Fur Kids Foundation posted the other day about picking up dog poo? Well, here’s another reason that dog poo is gross.)
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.
All dogs are at risk for contracting parvo, but puppies less than four months old and dogs that have not been vaccinated are at increased risk. Until a puppy has received its complete series of vaccinations, pet owners should be cautious when bringing their pet to places other dogs visit such as pet shops, parks, obedience classes, kennels, and grooming establishments among others.
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.
Created in November 2011, the Fur Kids Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of animals in Campbell County.
Your donation saves lives. It goes to work helping animals in Campbell County receive adequate veterinary care during a time when their family may not be able to afford it. Please contact the Foundation to learn more or donate now using PayPal.
The Fur Kids Foundation blog is written by board member and Founder Felicia. If you have ideas that you would like to see published in the blog such as concerns about pet-focused topics in the community or a funny story, please contact the Foundation. Enjoy!