What you need to know about parvovirus

Parvovirus is one of the most serious and potentially deadly viruses that affects dogs. Sadly, this dangerous disease is highly transmissible, and most susceptible are puppies and younger dogs. However, parvovirus is preventable through a series of vaccinations for puppies, and annual boosters for dogs.

What is parvovirus?

Scientifically known as Canine Parvovirus (CPV), this highly contagious virus can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, dehydration, and sadly in some cases, death. Puppies and young dogs are particularly susceptible due to their underdeveloped immune systems.

How can my dog get parvovirus?

Parvovirus is very resilient and can survive in the environment for some time. Your dog can contract parvovirus through direct contact with infected dogs, contaminated surfaces, or even by coming into contact with the virus in the environment, including infected faeces. This is why high-risk areas such as dog parks, communal dog spaces, and places frequented by other dogs can pose a significant threat, especially for puppies who have yet to be fully vaccinated, or unvaccinated dogs.

Symptoms of parvovirus

Recognising the symptoms of parvovirus is essential for early intervention and the best outcome for your dog.

Watch for signs such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Severe vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Weight loss

It’s important to contact us immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

Preventing parvovirus infection

Vaccination is key to preventing parvovirus. Puppies need a series of three vaccinations which will protect them against parvovirus and other serious illnesses, while dogs over 12 months old require annual boosters to maintain their immunity.

Puppies typically receive their first vaccination at around six to eight weeks of age, with their third vaccination at 16 weeks of age or older.  The timing of their second vaccination can vary depending on your pet’s individual needs. Our small animal clinics offer discounted puppy vaccination packs to help make the vaccination process easier.

With puppies who are yet to be fully vaccinated, it is also important to keep them off the ground in all public places and practice good hand hygiene.

Book an appointment with one of our vets

To schedule your dog or puppy in for their vaccinations, you can book online or call us on 08 8318 1801. Our small animal vet clinic is conveniently located in the Springwood Place shopping complex in Gawler East.