The season is upon us for Parvovirus to start showing its ugly head.

What is Parvo? It is a virus!

Where does it come from? Poop!

Who is affected? Mostly puppies, but older unvaccinated dogs may also contract the virus because they were never previously vaccinated.

What does the virus do to the body? It infects the rapidly dividing cells of organs such as the bone marrow and intestines.

What does Parvo do to the bone marrow? It kills the cells of the bone marrow resulting in a severely weakened immune system and reduced ability to fight infections.

What does it do in the intestines? It kills the cells lining the stomach and intestines.  The gastro intestinal system is where the most damaging effects occur.  Diarrhea and vomiting occurs in large quantities and the body becomes unable to absorb nutrients. As the damage to the intestines continues the diarrhea and vomit becomes bloody and the bacteria can then enter the body, causing widespread infection. The marked loss of fluid and spreading infection often leads to shock and death soon follows. Parvo kills! 

Can puppies survive? Yes.  There is an 80% survival rate with the right treatment; but treatment can be costly. So with that being said, vaccines are the best way to prevent this viral infection and are a lot cheaper!   Please have your puppies vaccinated!

By :Charla Tait

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