Parvovirus – Things You Didn’t Know

Most dog owners have some awareness about Parvovirus so in this post I will briefly go over then basics and then concentrate on things you don’t know.

The basics:

  1. Parvovirus in a highly infectious gastrointestinal disease of dogs.
  2. It can be spread through objects etc. and doesn’t require contact between two dogs.
  3. Vaccination is highly protective.

And now things you didn’t know:

  1. Cats can carry Parvovirus.  (In cats it’s called Feline Panleucopaenia) They can be asymptomatic carriers without showing disease but can give the virus to dogs.
  2. There are no Parvovirus outbreaks! Ever read an article about a Parvovirus outbreak? Well guess what, speak to any Virologist and they will tell you that it’s nonsense. Parvovirus doesn’t have outbreaks – it’s always there! Parvovirus is endemic and widespread in a stray dog population and stray cat population. The only thing that fluctuates is people’s willingness to Vaccinate. When vaccination rates drop the disease emerges.
  3. On the subject of triannual vaccine controversy, I will not get into the debate but just say that the least you must do for your puppy is vaccinate at 12 weeks, boostered at 16 weeks and then again at one year old. Beyond that, listen to your Veterinarian as the protocol may depend on the vaccine she is using.
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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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