A) Parvo is a life-threatening illness that is caused by a virus that affects the gastro-intestinal system. The virus is highly contagious and stable in the environment, and can live for months or years given the right conditions. The signs of parvo are sudden onset of lethargy, anorexia, vomiting, and usually bloody diarrhea. Treatment of the disease involves supportive care – fluids, anti-nausea medications, and antibiotics. Hospitalization of 3 to 5 days is usually required. With proper treatment, most dogs recover and become immune; without treatments, many dogs won’t survive. Prevention is the best method of dealing with this disease. Puppies should be vaccinated at 6, 9, 12, and 16 weeks of age. We also recommend not taking puppies to public places until they are fully vaccinated.
Learn more about parvovirus at the Parvovirus Information Center on VeterinaryPartner.com.