What is it?
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells including the body's white blood cells. This most severely affects the intestinal tract and can damage the heart muscles, causeing lifelong cardiac problems.
Loss of appetite
Bloody, foul-smelling diarrhea
How it's transmitted
Parvovirus is extremely contagious.
It can be transmitted by anything that comes in
contact with an infected dog's feces. The virus is also highly resistant, able to survive in the environment for months in objects such as food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet, and floors. Many unvaccinated dogs contract parvovirus from the streets. In Guam, we see a rise in parvovirus cases during the dry season.
Many unvaccinated dogs become infected with Parvo simply by living in Guam. Since it is blown all over the island, once it is airborne it passes through aircons, is carried on shirts, shoes, pants, other clothing and settles back down to earth. Indoor and outdoor pets contract Parvo very easily if not vacinated.
Parvovirus is a core vaccine for all puppies and adult dogs, beginning at 37 days of age, and repeated every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks old. Making sure your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations is the only way to prevent canine parvovirus.
Dogs who are infected with parvovirus need intensive treatment, including antibiotics, intravenous fluids and other supportive therapies to control the vomit and diahrrea. Such treatment can be lengthy and should be saught in a veterinary hospital.