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.
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.