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What you need to know

Parvovirus is an extremely contagious and potentially fatal gastrointestinal illness.


Young dogs are most at risk because they have not yet been vaccinated against the virus. Puppies aged six weeks to six months are most susceptible, as are any dogs who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated.


If your dog has parvovirus, you will generally start seeing signs three to ten days after exposure. Common symptoms include extreme lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea (usually bloody) and fever. 


The virus is highly contagious and is passed orally, generally from feces or infected soil. It can survive two months or more indoors or in soil, and is resistant to heat, cold, humidity and drought. Even trace amounts of feces from an infected dog may harbor the virus and infect other dogs. It is readily transmitted via the hair or feet of dogs or via contaminated cages, shoes, or other objects.

Parvo also lives in the feces of dogs who have had the illness for several weeks. Due to the strength and severity of the disease, it is important to make sure a dog that has had parvo is isolated from puppies or unvaccinated dogs.


It is incredibly important to get medical treatment as soon as possible if you suspect your dog has parvo. With appropriate and timely care, 70% to 90% of dogs with parvo will survive. Dogs are typically hospitalised for treatment, which includes IV fluids, anti-nausea medications and antibiotics. 

Contact us if you think your dog has been exposed to the virus.

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