Canine Parvovirus

Puppies for sale in San Diego as well as those that come from other sources are all susceptible to canine parvovirus. This viral infection affects young ones more than adult dogs and attacks and kills cells in their intestinal lining. This causes bloody diarrhea, and depression and suppression of white cells. This can also affect the heart muscle of very young puppies which can be fatal.

Parvo is the most common viral illness among dogs and so many vets recommend vaccinating puppies every three to four weeks for this virus starting at 6 weeks of age and continuing until they are at least 16 weeks and preferably 20 weeks old.

Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea (usually bloody). Diarrhea and vomiting result in dehydration and secondary infections can set in. Due to dehydration, the dog’s electrolyte balance can become critically affected. Because the normal intestinal lining is also compromised, blood and protein leak into the intestines leading to anemia and loss of protein, and endotoxins escaping into the bloodstream, causing endotoxemia.

Treatment for the sickness is typically sub-cutaneous fluids and antibiotics. There is no cure for this and vets can only prevent dehydration and loss of proteins in puppies. Vets facilitate giving fluids, regulating electrolyte levels, controlling body temperature and giving blood transfusions when necessary during the course of the disease.

Aside from shots, thoroughly cleaning the den of infected dogs with disinfectants like household bleach diluted in water (1:32 ratio) can prevent the further spreading of the disease.