Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a highly infectious disease and a common cause of diarrhoea in dogs, especially young puppies. While viral diarrhoea in adult dogs can be mild, the resulting fluid loss in puppies causes severe disease and can often be fatal. CPV is highly resistant to destruction and can remain active in the environment for up to one year. Large numbers of virus particles are shed in the faeces of the infected dog. This provides the main source of infection for other dogs. Transmission of the disease may occur either by direct or indirect contact between a susceptible dog and an infected dog or a contaminated environment. Upon contact with CVP, symptoms should become noticeable after 3 to 5 days. These include:

  • Vomitting – initially containing food but eventually only bile-stained (yellow/green) or bloody fluid.
  • Diarrhoea – liquid form, red/ brown in colour and foul smelling.
  • Lethargy/depression.
  • Dehydration.
  • Anorexia.
  • Shock/cold to touch.

Vaccination against CPV is available in a simple yearly injection. Puppies or animals with unknown or expired vaccination history will require booster injections at 4 weekly intervals for a total of two to three injections, depending on their age and situation. Most Parvovirus vaccinations also provide protection against the following diseases,

  • Distemper.
  • Infectious Canine Hepatitis.
  • Canine Contagious Respiratory Disease (Parainfluenza/Adenovirus Type2).

Due to the nature of the virus no treatment guarantees a full recovery