Canine parvovirus, commonly known as parvo, is a highly contagious intestinal virus that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea in puppies. While spring is considered to be the virus’ most active season, warmer areas like Texas experience outbreaks throughout the summer as well.
The virus attacks in two forms with their own round of symptoms, the latter being the most severe. The first and most common form is Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (CPV-1) which causes puppies to experience anorexia, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea. The second form is Myocarditis, also known as canine minute virus (CPV-2), which attacks the animal’s heart muscles and can cause suffocation. There is no cure for the virus, and if left untreated both of these forms can lead to death or euthanasia.
Thankfully, avoiding parvo is relatively easy. According to the City of San Antonio’s Animal Care Services, new adopters should make a vaccination appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Puppies who receive the parvo vaccine will undergo three series of injections at six, eight and 12 weeks of age, with another dose to be given between the ages 14 and 16 weeks. COSA’s Animal Care Services considers these vaccinations to be the “key” to prevent the virus.
Even the most proactive dog owners can find themselves amid a parvo emergency, but Central Texans can rest easy knowing that San Antonio Pets Alive provides a parvo ward for affected puppies to receive in-vet care. During the summer the ward will continue to house parvo-stricken pups while providing them with the best treatment Pets Alive has to offer.
For more information about parvo or how to volunteer with Pets Alive, please visit sanantoniopetsalive.org.
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