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FYI: PARVO
Gräf (Gräfin) von Wolfin
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Wanted to share some info I have been reading about regarding a very serious disease. There are so many websites with so much valuable information. Thank goodness for the internet!

http://www.workingdogs.com/parvofaq.htm

Parvovirus is a viral disease of dogs. It affects puppies much more frequently than it affects adult dogs. The virus likes to grow in rapidly dividing cells. The intestinal lining has the biggest concentration of rapidly dividing cells in a puppy's body. The virus attacks and kills these cells, causing diarrhea (often bloody), depression and suppression of white blood cells -- which come from another group of rapidly dividing cells. In very young puppies it can infect the heart muscle and lead to "sudden" death.

Parvo" is a virus that attacks the lining of the digestive system. It causes dogs and puppies to not be able to absorb nutrients or liquids. Puppies are especially prone to it because they have an immature immune system. When dogs and puppies contract parvo, they often have diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy. Usually they stop eating and develop a bloody, foul-smelling, liquid stool.

Symptoms usually begin with a high fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite. Secondary symptoms appear as severe gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In many cases, dehydration, shock, and death follow.

Parvovirus is characterized by severe, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, high fever and lethargy. The diarrhea is particularly foul smelling and is sometimes yellow in color. Parvo can also attack a dog's heart causing congestive heart failure. This complication can occur months or years after an apparent recovery from the intestinal form of the disease. Puppies who survive parvo infection usually remain somewhat un-healthy and weak for life.

You can read more info at the given link above.

Forgot to add: my vet informed me that the parvo tests are only about 50% accurate, so even if your test comes back negative the pup could still have the virus. I will try and confirm this via online link. When I do find it I will post the site.

Note: this is a virus, antibiotics cannot help parvo itself, but only can ward off bacterial infections while your dog strives for life.

Posted on: 2007/8/19 18:32

Edited by libby on 2007/8/19 19:14:15
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Re: FYI: PARVO
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Libby have you ever found information about how parvo might be spread from wild animals? I am going to do some reseach myself because we have no end of skunks, raccoons, and who knows what else running around our grounds. While I have never seen them EAT the poo they sure LOVE to roll in it!

Laura

Posted on: 2007/8/19 19:20
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Re: FYI: PARVO
Gräf (Gräfin) von Wolfin
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Yes I did find some info on that actually. Just read it on one of the sites. It talked about how birds can carry it, but parvo is only spread through DIRECT CONTACT. So a bird would have to poop in a food or water bowl and the dog would have to ingest it. It is not airborn like some may think. That was helpful to know! I will try to find that link Laura.

Posted on: 2007/8/19 19:25
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Re: FYI: PARVO
Gräf (Gräfin) von Wolfin
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Found the link!

http://www.workingdogs.com/parvofaq.htm

How is Parvo transmitted?

Canine parvovirus is carried by dogs. Adult dogs may be infected carriers without showing any clinical signs. Dogs with the typical diarrhea that parvovirus causes shed the virus as well. It can last a long time in the environment, perhaps as long as 9 months or longer.

Generally, it takes 7-10 days from the time of exposure for dogs and puppies to start showing symptoms and to test positive for parvo.

Parvo is highly contagious to unprotected dogs, and the virus can remain infectious in ground contaminated with fecal material for five months or more if conditions are favorable. Extremely hardy, most disinfectants cannot kill the virus, however chlorine bleach is the most effective and inexpensive agent that works, and is commonly used by veterinarians.

The ease with which infection with Parvo can occur in any unvaccinated dog must be stressed. The virus is extremely hardy in the environment. Withstanding wide temperature fluctuations and most cleaning agents. Parvo can be brought home to your dog on shoes, hands and even car tires. It can live for many months outside the animal. Any areas that are thought to be contaminated with parvo should be thoroughly washed with chlorine bleach diluted 1 ounce per quart of water.

Dogs and puppies can contract parvo even if they never leave their yards. Parvo virus, despite what you might hear, is NOT an airborne virus. It is excreted in the feces of infected dogs, and if someone -- human, dog, bird, etc. -- steps in (or otherwise comes in contact with) the excrement, the possibility for contamination is great. Some people speculate that birds invading a dog's food dish can deposit the parvovirus there. If you think you may have come in contact with parvovirus, a strong solution of bleach and water does kill the virus, so you can wash your shoes and clothes, even your hands with it, to reduce the risk of infecting your dog.

Rest assured that parvovirus is specific to dogs alone and cannot be transmitted to humans or other pets of a different species, such as cats.

Posted on: 2007/8/19 19:27
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weenie
Re: FYI: PARVO
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Libby this very good information. Now let me ask something. If a kennel is to get this horrible diseaase, how in the world do they get rid of it.

Posted on: 2007/8/19 19:40
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Re: FYI: PARVO
Gräf (Gräfin) von Wolfin
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Kim, here is some more information regarding Parvo.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/how_parvo_infection_happens.html
This talks about how stress can affect the host (puppy) vitality. I interpret stress as anything out of the norm... (i.e. change of residence) In essence this talks about how the environment is a contributing factor.

*Whether or not infection happens depends on the interaction of three things: Host Vitality (including immune experience/vaccination status), Virulence of the Virus (including how many viral particles the host is exposed to), and Environmental factors. Obviously these three aspects interplay somewhat (a stressful environment will reduce host vitality, a dry environment will reduce the number of viral particles etc.)

From this same link, lower on the page, you can see how hard it is to kill the virus. It is spread through feces of infected dogs and is very highly contagious. It can live for months outside and when one dog gets it, virtually everything is unsafe, indoors and out. This is very interesting in that it states that a dog can actually appear to be healthy!

*WHERE DOES VIRUS COME FROM?

Remember that this virus has been around for nearly 20 years, is very hard to disinfect away, and is shed in large numbers by infected dogs. This means that there is virus everywhere: on every carpet, on every floor, in every yard and park. Virus is shed for the first two weeks or less after infection in the stool of an infected dog but only a tiny portion of infected stool (which could be months old depending on the environmental temperature and humidity) is needed to infect a non-immune dog. Some dogs become what is called "subclinically infected" which means they do not appear particularly sick. These animals tend not to be confined since no one knows they are infected thus they can spread virus around a large area depending on where they leave their droppings.


This last paragraph seems to imply that adult dogs have someone of an immunity to parvo, in most instances. How I interpret this is: even if adult dogs are healthy in appearance, there can be puppies dying from parvo on the same property.

*WHY ONLY PUPPIES?

The most important factors in parvovirus infection seem to be the immune experience the host (dog) has had with the virus plus the number of viral particles the host is exposed to. Twenty years ago when the virus was new, all dogs young and old were susceptible but now, because the virus is present everywhere, all dogs, even the unvaccinated ones, have at least some immunological experience with this virus. Any exposure no matter how small is likely to generate some antibodies. Also, vaccination is a widespread process nowadays and it is likely that a dog has had at least one vaccine at some point. Will these antibodies be enough for protection? In general, the answer seems to be yes as infection in dogs over age one is somewhat unusual. It is important to realize, however, that this observation should not be taken to mean that adult dogs should not continue their vaccinations. Even though infection is somewhat unusual in adult dogs, adult dogs should still continue their vaccinations as this is a life threatening disease for which treatment is expensive and no chances should be taken.


Honestly, I don't know how in the world a kennel would rid themselves of parvo if there are puppies on the ground. If you are dealing with adult dogs that have the supposed immunity (as mentioned above) then you could stop breeding for several months (the required time to ensure the virus in the environment is dead) and then start your breeding program back up. Everything would have to be bleached/disinfected. Seems to me like the only logical answer.

Can anyone else shed some light on this dreadful illness?

Posted on: 2007/8/19 20:06
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Re: FYI: PARVO
Gräf (Gräfin) von Wolfin
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Hey moderators.... any of you know how to get this stickied???

Posted on: 2007/8/20 20:04
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