Dog Parvo Symptoms | How Do Dogs Get Parvo?

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How Do Dogs Get Parvo?

Filed Under Dog Parvo Information | 11 Comments

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that is found among dogs. The disease is considered to be the fastest spreading disease among dogs. It is often fatal. A vaccine to prevent Parvo is available through a veterinarian but doesn’t guarantee a dog won’t still contract the virus. Just the same as human vaccines, it just gives the patient a lower chance of the virus penetrating the body. Puppies are often more susceptible to the disease since they are more likely to not yet have received the vaccine.

Given the rapid speed at which the virus multiples in the blood stream there is no know cure for parvo. However, knowing how dogs contract the disease can help your pet avoid the virus altogether.

Contracting Parvo from Fecal Matter

The most common way a dog catches the serious virus is by interaction with an infected dog’s fecal matter (poop). This can be a disturbing thought given the amount of humans that don’t pick up after their dog has had a bowel movement. Think of how many time you have seen dog feces at the park and just walked around it. Well dogs are naturally curious creatures and may not avoid the mess but rather unknowingly approach an infected pile. If your pet ingests even a tiny particle of the virus they can be infected.

To help your dog not contract Parvo from another dog’s feces try to keep a watchful eye when going for a walk, going to the park, or even playing in your own backyard. Keep away from all fecal matter found. When dealing with such a serious disease it’s best to play it safe. The Parvo virus can live outside the body for up to five months so don’t underestimate fecal matter that appears to have sat for a long while.

Human Contraction

Even though humans themselves can’t get the disease it doesn’t mean that they can’t unknowingly spread it to a dog. The virus can be carried on their person and transmitted to a pet. If a human has any interaction with fecal matter or a place fecal matter once was they can pick up the virus. An example of this is if a dog had a bowel movement in the park and the owner properly cleaned it up, the spot may still be infected. Currently no known disinfectants can rid a surface of the virus. Meaning that even if you use a bag to pick up feces and immediately use disinfectant the virus still can’t be killed. This is a scary thought since no matter how much we clean and try to be sanitary it can still be unknowingly spread to a pet. The same also applies when a dog goes the bathroom on grass, dirt, a tree, etc. We have no way of knowing what pet previously used that spot.

Vaccinating your pet provides the best protection currently possible. On top of vaccinations, being knowledgeable about the disease and doing your best to avoid it are all that you can do to help your dog live a long Parvo free life. Please note it is especially important to try to thoroughly clean up after a dog that has Parvo. You can also try unconventional treatments for parvo.


11 Responses to “How Do Dogs Get Parvo?”

  1. P Harmon on April 16th, 2012 3:35 pm

    My 6 yr old female terrier mix suddenly developed loose stools, and then blackish diarrhea. This occured while her companion, a 6 yr old male Boston Terrier was in hospital for orthpaedic surgery. We normally walk them on lead through a park that is frequented by other dogs. Unfortunately, not everyone picks up after their pets! We believe that our female might have picked up the parvo virus during a walk (our Veterinarian stated that there had been several cases reported in our area, and is running a fecal test for the virus right now). The Bostie is home, recuperating and on Clavamox. The infected dog was given a shot of Naxcel and prescribed Metronidazole and Endosorb. Question is – what else should/could I be doing to minimize the Bostie’s chances of clinical symptoms (aside from separate kennels, food dishes and bleaching bedding/toys)?

  2. Opal on October 8th, 2012 1:17 am

    Fortunately enough, a dog cannot get Parvo if it has had all of it’s Puppy shots, Our dog died of Parvo 11 months ago because we didn’t fully vaccinate him and we let him outside. Well 2 dogs later, we haven’t let them outside until 2 weeks after their last puppy shot and they were (are) fine. I think your dog will be fine.
    Now, I guess a dog could get parvo after their shots but a vet that has worked 60 years with dogs and cats told me that.

  3. Corey on June 7th, 2013 8:35 am

    We lost two puppies back to back even though they were fully vacinated saddest thing. Their Father went unaffected even though He played with them even while they were sick. Puppies are very weak against parvo if you ever suspect you dog has it take them to the vet immediatly

  4. Lois Lutz on June 22nd, 2013 4:42 pm

    How can one sister get Parvo and the other not? My pups of eleven months were perfectly healthy until I switched dogfood brands and Holly came down with Parvo. I took her to the vet the second day she was lethargic. He put her on IV’s and three days later she died. Why didn’t the other dog get sick? They had not been for walks and my backyard is cleaned up every day as soon as they poop. How do I protect my pup Ivy?

  5. karla on April 4th, 2014 5:13 pm

    aal 3 of my 3month old puppies died of what i think was parvo one day they stopped eaten , the other dead?
    however their parent are dioing good..
    my dogs are in the backyard no other dog comes could they gotten ifected?

  6. Julian on April 12th, 2014 2:09 pm

    I have an appointment tonight at a rescue foster home to adopt a puppy—I am worried about her getting sick once I bring her home. That would devastate me. She’s 2 months old and they said she’s on her 2nd series of shots…how many series does it take? And they said to wait until she’s 4 months to go outside.

  7. Tami on April 20th, 2015 11:59 pm

    I have a Chiwawa she is a year old. When she was like 16 weeks old she had 1 parvo shot, and then came down with a small case of parvo. I emediately got pedialite ( for babies ) and had to give it to her using a straw, because she didn’t want to eat or drink anything. I gave it to her every 30 min. And she is still alive and well today.

  8. Lisa on April 27th, 2015 6:39 pm

    Julian, puppies need a series of 3 shots spaced 3-6 weeks apart to be protected from Parvo. She should be able to go outside about a week after her 3rd shot.

  9. Lori on August 27th, 2015 2:00 am

    Our dogs our in a fenced in yard in the country. We have no other dogs around. Yet, the vet says some of our puppies have parvo. I just don’t understand this . They have never been any were or around any other dogs. I will probably loose them, although we are trying everything we can to help them . They are full blooded Shih Tzus. This is truly breaking our hearts.

  10. Shannon on July 19th, 2016 2:43 am

    I have a question I am hoping someone can answer. I have two dogs fully vaccinated. Yesterday they came into contact with an unvaccinated dog who has parvo (owner just called this evening to let me know) can my dogs still get the disease even though they are vaccinated. I plan to call the vet in the morning, just hoping someone can give me some peace of mind tonight

  11. Nomusa on July 21st, 2016 2:06 pm

    My 12 week old puppy died 4 days ago, I wish I knew about this disease and preventative measures before. I only learned about it when we took him to a vet as he was vomiting.Im scared now for the other puppyIm left with and their mother.