Is Parvovirus for Dogs Spread to Humans?

by Kristina de la Cal
    Washing your hands after touching each animal at a shelter can help prevent the spread of canine parvovirus in the dog population.

    Washing your hands after touching each animal at a shelter can help prevent the spread of canine parvovirus in the dog population.

    Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    The canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease that wreaks havoc on a dog’s intestinal tract. While some diseases are capable of crossing over from one species to another and causing infection, the parvovirus is not one of them. A human variant of the parvovirus does exist but its transmission is only possible from one human to another just like the canine parvovirus is only transmittable between animals in the canine family.

    Human Role in Spreading the Canine Parvovirus

    Although humans cannot catch the parvovirus from dogs, they can and often do play a major role in spreading the disease in the dog population. The canine parvovirus is an extremely hardy disease that can live in a dormant but infectious state in the environment for one year or longer. When people handle dogs that may be infected with the parvovirus at shelters, kennels, animal clinics or dog parks and then pet another dog before thoroughly washing their hands, they unwittingly infect otherwise healthy dogs with the virus particles that they carried over from the infected dog.

    Resources

    Photo Credits

    • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Kristina de la Cal is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, “Breaking up without Breaking Down," in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

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