What You Need To Know About Parvo/Distemper Exposure

Are Parvovirus And Distemper A Danger To Selma Dogs And Puppies?


Canine Parvovirus

The Parvovirus is released into the environment from infected puppies when they have a bowel movement. When unprotected dogs come into contact with the feces (stool), infection occurs when the virus is ingested. All dogs are at risk, but unvaccinated puppies are particularly susceptible to infection.

Most dogs with Parvo display the symptoms of lethargy (low energy); loss of appetite; fever; vomiting and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Dehydration develops rapidly and can be fatal. Early detection and treatment by your veterinarian are essential to improve the chances of survival. This usually involves several days of hospitalization in the intensive care unit at your veterinarian's facility. Many factors are in play but even with the proper care, the puppy may not survive. Vaccination and cleanliness are critical to preventing Parvovirus infection. We strongly advise you to vaccinate all of your puppies at six weeks of age with three addition vaccines given at three week intervals until the puppy reaches 16 weeks of age.

If you suspect your puppy has Parvo, please call the doctors at Selma Animal Hospital. Remember, treatment of this virus is crucial.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. The disease affects dogs, and certain species of wildlife, such as raccoons, coyotes, foxes, and skunks.

Distemper is caused by a virus that is shed in bodily fluids of infected animals, such as nasal discharge, eye discharge, urine and feces. The virus can also be spread through contaminated food and water. Distemper affects primarily the lungs, intestines, and nervous system.

Symptoms of Distemper can include coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, low appetite, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, and inflammation of the brain. Secondary infections can be presented as discharge from the eyes and/or nose, and pneumonia.. Puppies are at the highest risk of this deadly disease. 

Currently there are no antiviral medications to treat Canine Distemper. The only treatments are for secondary infections. Supportive care and antibiotics are given as needed. However, once the virus reaches the Nervous System, there are no further treatments available.  VACCINATION is the key to  the prevention of Distemper. Puppies should be isolated from other dogs with unknown medical history until they have completed their series of vaccinations at 16 weeks of age.

Every unvaccinated dog, especially the young and old, are susceptible to these deadly viruses. We strongly encourage you to start vaccinations at 6 weeks and booster your adult dogs yearly. Please call SAH if you have any questions or concerns regarding these highly contagious viruses.