How Is Parvo Spread?

by Naomi Millburn
    German shepherds are especially prone to parvovirus.

    German shepherds are especially prone to parvovirus.

    Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    Canine parvovirus is a viral ailment that is prevalent in the doggie world. The specific derivation of it is uncertain. The condition is particularly common in wee puppies -- think those between 6 weeks and 6 months in age. Canine parvovirus is extremely infectious and can occasionally lead to a fatal result.

    Canine Parvovirus Basics

    Canine parvovirus operates by aggressively going after cells that multiply swiftly, particularly those that are part of the digestive system. It also sometimes focuses on the heart muscle, and therefore brings upon severe heart issues. The second scenario takes place in puppies who are not even 8 weeks old, and frequently causes abrupt fatalities. Although canine parvovirus appears both in gastrointestinal and cardiac versions, it's a lot more prevalent as the former.

    Spreading of Canine Parvovirus

    This virus is transmitted through exposure to the stool matter of infected canines. This exposure sometimes is direct and sometimes isn't. It spreads by making its way into new dogs' mouths. Any person, pet or random item that establishes contact with stool matter that carries the virus is capable of passing it over to other canines. The virus can potentially exist anywhere, whether on a pooch's coat or in his bedding materials. If the soles of your sneakers touched this type of stool matter, your pet could contract the virus by chewing or licking on them, for example. Canine parvovirus spreads extremely easily amongst dogs, which is why vaccinations against it is so routine. Talk to your veterinarian about any and all vaccinations that might be necessary for your pet, including ones that focus on handling this virus.

    One Tough Virus

    Canine parvovirus is extremely tough and can easily stay alive in a specific setting for months at a time -- sometimes for more than 9 months. Whether the virus lingers on a rug, a couch, a doggie water bowl, chew toy or anything else your dog might touch, it doesn't easily go away. It can even manage in inordinately hot or cold temperatures. Lots of cleaning products don't even have the ability to get rid of the persistent virus. Household bleach, however, is thought to be able to effectively eliminate it.

    Stool Matter

    The virus emerges in the stool matter of carrier canines relatively quickly after they contract it -- typically in a four- to five-day span. It usually appears in the stools prior to dogs even beginning to exhibit symptoms. The virus turns up in the stool matter, in a big way, for around two weeks after transmission. Dogs have penchants for smelling the stools of other canines, which is how many of them contract it.

    Solely Infectious to Dogs

    Canine parvovirus is infectious exclusively to dogs. Cats can't catch it from them, and neither can human beings. As far as intensity of the virus in carrier dogs, a lot of things come into play, such as overall health condition and age. Some canines experience rather subtle manifestations of the virus, while it can be strong and even deadly in others.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!