Parvovirus is a common disease in our region. It attacks non-vaccinated puppies less than one year of age. Puppies contract the disease through fecal oral contamination. This means that the virus is shed in the feces and contaminates the ground. Parvovirus can live in the soil for 5 months or more. Puppies can contract parvovirus in any environment where dogs commingle, such as parks, shelters, kennels and pet stores.
Parvovirus exhibits a broad range of symptoms: lack of appetite, lethargy or listlessness (lack of energy), vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and fever. These symptoms can range from mild to very severe. Parvovirus attacks rapidly and aggressively.
Healing Springs diagnoses parvovirus by using a canine parvovirus antigen test kit. This test kit requires a small amount of feces and takes about 10 minutes to run. After a positive test, Healing Springs can implement treatment that will often save the life of an infected puppy.
Treatment for the parvovirus includes aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, intravenous glucose, broad spectrum antibiotics, anti-nausea medication, stomach protectants and attentive nursing care. Typical hospital stays to treat parvovirus range from 3-7 days. Puppies that are being treated have to be in an isolation treatment area because of the highly contagious nature of the disease.
Parvovirus is a preventable disease. Vaccinations serve as the best method of prevention. All momma dogs need to be up to date on their vaccines prior to getting pregnant. If a bitch is pregnant and her vaccines are due, veterinarians can give her a killed parvovirus vaccine to help her transfer some immunity to her pups. All puppies should receive vaccinations at 6 weeks of age. Any puppy less than 8 weeks of age should receive a killed parvo-corona vaccine. This vaccine should be followed by a distemper-parvo 7 way shot every 3-4 weeks until a minimum of 16 weeks of age. Up until 16 weeks of age, a puppy’s immune system is fragile and still developing. Because of the prevalence of parvo infected dogs in our region, Healing Springs recommends that all young puppies do not hike on the trail or go to parks where other dogs play. Young puppies still vulnerable to parvo infection should be with other well-vaccinated dogs and isolated from dogs with questionable vaccine status.
Parvovirus is a prevalent disease in Southwest Virginia. Healing Springs sees many cases a year of this preventable disease. Practically speaking, timely vaccinations prove much more economical than treatment for this potentially fatal disease. Puppy vaccines will PAY for themselves. At Healing Springs Animal Hospital the 6 week puppy vaccine is $11.00. The following three multi-purpose puppy vaccines are $22.00 and the last puppy vaccine is $25.00. The last puppy vaccine is given at 16 weeks of age. This totals at $102.00 to adequately protect your dog from parvo as well as other canine diseases. Each vaccine comes with a complimentary physical exam to ensure the puppy is healthy, a free bag of Science Diet puppy food, free first dose of Interceptor, and information packets to help you maintain a happy and healthy puppy. The average cost of treatment for parvo at Healing Springs is very low compared to state and national averages, but the cost still reaches $300-$600. Healing Springs’ success rates average about 75% to save a dog infected with parvo.
At Healing Springs Animal Hospital, we enjoy playing with and vaccinating new puppies. It is our hope that all puppies we see as patients live long and healthy lifes. By beginning their first year with a good, solid vaccination protocol, we can give them the best start.