Canine Parvovirus (Cat Flu)
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that
attacks the gastrointestinal tract of puppies, dogs, and wild canids. It was first
identified in 1978 and is seen worldwide. It also can damage the heart muscle in very
young and unborn puppies.
Thanks to inoculations, and boosters that puppies get from 6 weeks, this doesn’t occur
so much as in the early 70’s and 80’s.Unfortunately puppies don’t have a strong
immunity, or the mother wasn’t inoculated before she was bred from, making
puppies less immune.Puppies are very susceptible between the time they are weaned,
and the time they get the inoculations. (This is referred to as the ‘window of oppor-
Puppies and dogs usually become infected when they ingest virus that is passed in the
stool of an infected dog. Canine parvovirus is resistant to changes in environmental
conditions and can survive for long periods of time. Trace amounts of feces con-
taining parvovirus may serve as reservoirs of infection and the virus is readily trans-
mitted from place to place on the hair or feet of dogs or via contaminated cages, shoes,
or other objects. Thus adult dogs (or humans) visiting the park, or vets offices might
spread the virus to puppies at home. The adult dogs themselves are already immune.
Canine parvovirus causes lethargy; loss of appetite; fever; vomiting; and severe, often
bloody, diarrhea. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration, and most
deaths from parvovirus occur within 48 to 72 hours following onset of clinical signs.
If your puppy or dog shows any of these signs, you should contact your veterinarian
promptly. Veterinarians diagnose canine parvovirus on the basis of clinical appearance
only, as it’s untraceable in the blood, because of being a viral disease and not parasitic.
No specific drug is available that will kill the virus in infected dogs.
Treatment should be started immediately and consists primarily of efforts to combat
dehydration by replacing electrolyte and fluid losses, controlling vomiting and
diarrhea, and preventing secondary infections. Sick dogs should be kept warm, receive
good nursing care, and be separated from other dogs. Proper cleaning and disinfection
of contaminated kennels and other areas where infected dogs are housed is essential to
control the spread of parvovirus.
The only substance known to kill this virus is Chlorine. So either a product like HTH or
normal household JIK will work. Mix it 3 parts Chlorine (Jik) to 7 parts water, and
spray the whole area. Also make sure you spray car tires, (incoming and outgoing)
and shoes to prevent further spread!