CAN PARVOVIRUS BE PREVENTED ?
Vaccination is extremely important and VERY effective in preventing infection.
Young puppies are very susceptible to infection, particularly because the natural immunity provided in their mothers' milk may wear off before the puppies' own immune systems are mature enough to fight off an infection.
If a puppy is exposed to Parvo during this gap in protection, it may become gravely ill.
An additional concern is that immunity provided by a mother's milk may interfere with an effective response to vaccination because high levels of maternal antibodies present in the puppies' bloodstream will block the effectiveness of a vaccine.
This means even vaccinated puppies may occasionally be infected by Parvovirus and develop disease.
When the maternal antibodies drop to a low enough level in the puppy, immunisation by vaccination will work.
To reduce gaps in protection and provide the best protection against Parvovirus during the first few months of life,
a series of puppy vaccinations are administered. Puppies should be vaccinated at 6, 9 and 12 weeks of age.
All puppies should receive a dose of Canine Parvovirus Vaccine at or after 12 weeks of age, regardless of how
many doses they received earlier, to develop adequate protection.
To protect adult dogs, ensure your dog's Parvovirus Vaccination is up-to-date by asking your vet about their
recommended vaccination program for your best friend.
In spite of proper vaccination, a small percentage of dogs do not develop protective immunity and remain susceptible to infection.
Commercially prepared vaccines are very safe to use and do not cause disease.
Until a dog has received its complete series of vaccinations, pet owners should use caution when taking their pet to places where dogs congregate (e.g. pet shops, parks, puppy classes, obedience classes, doggy day care, kennels, and grooming establishments).
Contact with known infected dogs and their premises should always be avoided.
If a puppy contracts and recovers from Parvovirus infection, he/she is immune to re-infection for many months and
possibly for life.
After recovery the virus may be shed in the faeces for up to 2 weeks.
EVEN IF YOUR DOG NEVER LEAVES THE RELATIVE SAFETY OF THEIR OWN BACKYARD, THEY ARE STILL AT RISK OF CONTRACTING PARVOVIRUS AS IT CAN BE CARRIED INTO YOUR HOME ON THE CLOTHING, SHOES OR SKIN OF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
VACCINATIONS ARE THE ONLY EFFECTIVE WAY TO KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE
Parvovirus is a terrible and often fatal disease yet, it is easily preventable with vaccination
and proper hygiene being the main precautions for dog owners to take.