Parvovirus can be scary when you have one dog, not to mention the stress it causes in multi-dog homes. The virus attacks your dog’s digestive system, eventually causing dehydration that may lead to death. It is highly contagious, especially among puppies. A quick response can help prevent the spread of parvo where more than one dog or puppy live.
Young puppies are highly susceptible to parvo. The best way to help prevent the spread of parvo is by vaccinating your puppy. Your veterinarian has the best recommendation for the vaccines your puppy needs. The vet often recommends the first vaccine against parvo for your puppy very early in age, around 6 to 8 weeks old. Every four weeks, give your puppy a booster for parvo until he reaches 5 months old. Keeping your dog’s vaccinations up to date as an adult helps prevent parvo as well.
Cleaning the inside of your home is also important. Remove any bedding, toys and water or food containers from your house and dispose of them in a plastic bag. Clean up any hair or feces and vomit often caused by the parvovirus. Disinfect the area by scrubbing it with 1 cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water. Allow it to set for 20 minutes before rinsing. If the area is not bleach safe, use water to clean it. Also, disinfect any shoes you wear near the infected area. Do not vacuum or steam clean the area, which may cause the virus to become airborne.
Parvovirus is hardy and lives in the ground for several months. Therefore, cleaning the area where your infected puppy lives is important. Where non-living material is present, like bowls, dirt and concrete flooring in a kennel, mix 1 part bleach with 32 parts water or use an approved quaternary ammonia compound and saturate the entire area. After it dries completely, saturate the area again and let it dry. Thoroughly wet the organic or living area of your lawn with water, which helps dilute the virus. Keeping your healthy dogs away from the area is also important to prevent the spread of the virus.
If you suspect your puppy or dog has parvo, quick treatment is his best chance for survival. While there is currently no drug treatment for parvo, your veterinarian provides aggressive treatment to boost your dog’s immune system to help fight the virus. Antibiotics and drugs to control the vomiting and diarrhea help control the symptoms associated with parvo. Fluid administered intravenously helps prevent dehydration, which is deadly to dogs. Treatment often lasts between five and seven days.