Parvo Virus, is Your Puppy at Risk?

Parvovirus is a common killer of puppies, it is active around the world and highly fatal if not diagnosed early and treated. This is a basic information guide all new puppy owners should read.


Most dog owners have, by now, heard of Parvo and realize it is a deadly disease in dogs. There are some facts about the deadly Parvo Virus that every dog owner, and especially, every new puppy owner, should know.

The Facts

Puppies are most at risk, especially if they are not vaccinated, but even vaccinated pups and dogs can catch Parvo.


Vaccination usually greatly improves the dogs chances of survival.


While any breed of dog can get Parvo it is more common in Pit Bull Terriers and the dogs with brown legs and black ’saddles’ such as Rottweilers, Dobermans, and so forth.


The Parvo virus itself can live in the environment (in the soil, on cement, on trails, etc., for a year or more. Bleach is the only effective disinfectant.


It is important to note here that puppies are at risk even if they do not leave the home. The Parvo virus can be carried home on their owners shoes or clothing.


Puppies who are not FULLY vaccinated (in most areas they require 2 or three sets of shots) should never be taken out of their yard. They should never be put in an unfenced area where other dogs can roam. Even after the last vaccination they are not fully protected for a few days, allowing the vaccination to become effective.


Because of the risk of Parvo it is suggested that people looking to buy (or adopt) a puppy insist that the pup has had at least one vaccination, at least three days prior to it leaving the home. As well it is suggested the buyer (or adopter) get at least a 10 day, or 2 week, health guarantee on the puppy.


Puppy with Parvo at the Veterinarian.


It must be noted that a certain number of adult dogs are infected with Parvo, and shed the virus, but never show any signs of being ill.

Symptoms of Pavro may take 10 days to show up and usually the first symptom is Lethargy.

Typically the animal looses interest in food, and has diarrhea, which in advanced stages is often black with dead tissue in it, and will then have an extremely foul smell.

Vomiting is not uncommon, and the puppy will usually run a fever.

Dehydration and death often follow if not treated – Parvo is 91% fatal if untreated.


Home Remedies

Just so people do not spend hours looking for home remedies while their puppy is dying, I want to point out there are NO home remedies. The puppy needs veterinary attention.


Veterinarian Help

A diagnosis can be made from a stool sample, although if the puppy is in the advanced stages it should be brought into the veterinarian immediately along with the sample. The vet will work to rehydrate the puppy or dog and treat it accordingly. Treatment for Parvovirus typically involves long stays in the veterinary clinic (often hooked up to an IV) and can be costly. Some owners opt for euthanasia. Survival rates are roughly 80 – 90 % depending on how soon the puppy was taken to the vet, and if it has had a vaccination previously.


If your Puppy has Had Parvo…

Immediately bleach your home thoroughly, including cement areas in your yard. Mow the lawn and bag up the clippings, rather than allowing them to sit on your lawn. This will need to be done for at least the next 3 mowings. Wash all hard dog toys and bowls with bleach – throw out any plastic items (especially bowls) as they can never be really cleaned.

Alert your neighbors, especially those with dogs, that your puppy has had Parvo. If they have unvaccinated dogs they will want to be watchful and perhaps take their own dogs in for vaccination (adult dogs can get Parvo too).

If you have had your puppy for less than 10 days contact whomever you got it from. Chances are your pup had Parvo before you got it from them, and if you have a health guarantee they should honor it, as well if they had other pups or dogs they will want to be made aware of the health concern.


General Information

Because a few dogs can get Parvo and shed the virus while never getting ill themselves it is of utmost importance that all dog owners pick up after their pet. Keep in mind that the Parvovirus can live in the environment for a year, as such if left the feces could deteriorate after a week, but the virus is still present in the area, and could be tracked home by any unsuspecting puppy owner on their shoes.

Canine Parvovirus is not contagious to humans or most other pets, however Mink and Raccoons may be at risk.

There are other forms of Parvo, including one that infects puppies while in utero or shortly after birth, and kills them before 8 weeks of age (the symptom of which is labored breathing then death).  This is called Cardiac Parvo and pups get it from their mothers.  As such pregnant dogs, and nursing dogs, should never leave their owners fenced yard or be near other dogs or people who have been around other dogs.

Never pay a cent for a dog or puppy that is not vaccinated or come with some sort of health guarantee!


Related Links

Basic Information on Dog Health

Is your Dog as Healthy as you Think it is?

Causes and Treatments of Diarrhea in Dogs

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User Comments
  1. Ethics0006

    On September 20, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Nice Post

  2. webseowriters

    On September 20, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Thanks for sharing

  3. jennifer eiffel01

    On September 20, 2010 at 11:05 am

    This is Jennifer helping her mom out.
    Fantastic article and VERY informative! Thankfully my dog, Nikki does not have Parvo. You are a talented writer and I was impressed with the writing on this post.

  4. papaleng

    On September 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Highly recommended post for dog lovers.

  5. My World

    On September 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Great post……

    thanks for share.

  6. PSingh1990

    On September 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Nice Share.


  7. Harley Johnson

    On September 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I just had a puppy (mixed little vagabond that we adopted) that was very ill with a serious viral infection. After 24 hours in the vet. hospital, she came home and seems recovered. I feel that the vet. would certainly told me if it were Parvo. Good article.

  8. Jimmy Shilaho

    On September 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Now, that is scaring, isn’t it?

  9. PR Mace

    On September 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Well done and useful article. So many dogs owners don’t know how serious parvo really is.

  10. Brittney Basye

    On September 20, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Both of my dogs got it, the meds the vet gave us were to big for them to take once they got worse. And since they weren’t helping one of my mom’s friends told us to give them this silver spray which would boast their immune system. Between that and force feeding them chicken broth they stopped vomiting and stuff after just one day. We kept it up for a few weeks though. Just to be sure. It sucked but they made it through. So it’s not a death wish if you treat it right, but it is something every dog owner needs to worry about that. Because no dog, or owner, should have to go through that.

  11. mkd1788

    On September 21, 2010 at 8:05 am

    you are awesome in animal’s health..serious issue, great solution..good one..


    On September 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    very professional article on Parlo Virus, the poor dog in the photograph really looks ill and i hope it was treated succesfully. you are doing such a wonderful and noble job in spreading the awareness. you won my respect from the start but i felt like saying it again, i think you are the best in animal welfare and i respect you 100%. thanks from myself and all the animals too. lovely work.

  13. BriannaMorgan

    On September 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    great information

  14. SharifaMcFarlane

    On September 28, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Parvo is a dangerous illness. If you don’t want to lose your puppy, it must be vaccinated fully. As you said Parvo lives in the soil for a long time and it kills. Even if you get your dog to the vet, the recovery rate is very low.

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