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What is Parvo?

Canine parvovirus (often referred to as “parvo”) is a virus that can be contracted by dogs and puppies. It is most common in unvaccinated puppies, but can infect adult dogs as well. It is treatable in early stages, but is potentially fatal the longer it goes untreated.

Parvovirus can live in soil for up to a year, so your dog can potentially become infected even if they have no contact with other dogs. It can also be brought home by humans who come into contact with the virus, either on their hands or clothes.

Symptoms of parvo include fever, loss of appetite, general GI upset, vomiting and diarrhea, and serious dehydration. Death can occur within 48-72 hours of symptom onset, so if your dog starts showing symptoms of parvo contact your vet or local animal hospital immediately.

How to Prevent Parvo

While parvo can be treated, treatment is expensive and not always effective against fatality. The most effective way to prevent your dog from getting parvo is to get them the DHPP vaccine, which protects against parvo and distemper. It is a fairly inexpensive three dose vaccine with the doses being given about 3-4 weeks apart.

This vaccine can reduce your dog’s risk of contracting parvo and can decrease the severity of their symptoms if they do become infected.


For more information on parvo and how to keep your dogs safe, visit these resources: