Parvovirus In Dogs, Warning Signs And Prevention of Parvovirus

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Sick puppy with vet
Sick Puppy With Vet

Whether losing a puppy to parvo or looking to prevent disease with your beloved pet, you may be wondering how to better understand parvo and if it can be spread via vomit as well as feces. In this Parvo breakdown, learn about parvovirus incubation, transmission, and survivability.

Parvo in Dogs

Parvo is a very contagious viral illness in dogs, formally known as the canine parvovirus. You may notice behavioral changes in your dog like throwing up, losing weight, or having little to no appetite. Although this version of parvo is more common, it's also possible for it to form in the heart of puppies which typically causes death. The best way to prevent parvo is to vaccinate early, as the virus tends to take hold with puppies between six weeks and six months of age.

Please note that if your pet is showing any signs of illness, it is strongly recommended to consult with a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

How Parvo is Spread

The incubation period for parvo is three to seven days, meaning that an animal who is susceptible to becoming ill from this virus will show clinical signs three to seven days after being exposed to an animal sick with parvo. Parvovirus is most commonly spread via feces, infected soil, saliva, vomit, and fomites (e.g., shoes, hands, or other items contaminated with the virus). The virus is shed in the feces in very large amounts for two to three weeks post infection.

brown and white short coated dog lying on green grass during daytime
brown and white short coated dog lying on green grass during daytime
fawn pug
fawn pug

This virus replicates in the intestine, so shedding of the infective virus particles is primarily through the feces, but parvovirus can also be spread via saliva and vomit. Treat all fecal matter and vomit as potentially infective and make sure to wear gloves and use proper sanitation when dealing with parvo.

Parvo in the Environment

Parvovirus is a fairly hardy virus, surviving for long periods of time in the environment. Compared to some viruses that are easily killed, disinfected or that survive only a few hours, parvovirus may survive for several months under certain conditions, with shady, cool and moist conditions being most favorable.

Exactly how long parvo stays in the environment depends on many factors, including but not limited to the temperature, humidity levels, sunlight, and so forth. It should be noted that freezing temperatures are protective for this virus and cold temperatures will not kill parvo.

Disinfecting and Cleaning The Areas

As previously mentioned, parvo can be shed in various ways, however, it is typically transmitted through direct contact with infected dogs or through fecal and oral avenues. To disinfect the environment of parvo, it is important to get rid of vomit, feces and additional materials before cleaning the places that had the virus with bleach products. This method will help kill the virus entirely, but if you have another dog that will be sharing the same space, you may want to reach out to a professional to ensure the area is properly cleaned to avoid infection in other dogs.