Pet Pro: Preventing parvo - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Pet Pro: Preventing parvo

Parvo is the name of a highly contagious and incurable illness that affects dogs. Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that is spread from dog to dog. And without treatment, it has a 91 percent fatality rate.

But there are some steps you can take to prevent parvo.

Our pet pro, Luciano Aguilar, spoke with Dr. Annette LePere, who has been a licensed veterinarian for ten years.

"There are different parvo virus strains. The most common one is the one that affects the GI tract," says Dr. LePere. "Telltale signs of parvo virus, typically, is vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss, the puppy is not growing anymore. Those would be the major signs to look for."

There is no cure for the Parvovirus, but as with any disease, prevention is always the best medicine.

"To appropriately vaccinate a dog for parvo, it depends on what age they come into the hospital," says Dr. LePere. "If it's a brand new puppy, that's about six weeks of age. If it's an older animal that comes in that we are either unsure of the vaccination history or assuming they have never been vaccinated we will do a booster shot and then repeat it in around three to four weeks after that to make sure they are appropriately immunized against the disease."

And though humans can't catch it, you are able to walk it right into your house, because parvo can live on your shoes and clothes.

"When we have a parvo dog in the hospital, we take pretty severe caution," says Dr. LePere. "We put them in an isolation ward, we gown up with boots and gloves and masks to make sure that we're not carrying it. Those animals are on aggressive antibiotic therapy, aggressive gastro intestinal protectant therapy. Occasionally those animals can get plasma transfusions and go up in that direction, so it can be very, very expensive. Treating parvo is not cheap."

Unfortunately there is no cure for Parvovirus and the treatment could cost you more than $2,000 dollars. So take Luciano's advice and get your dog properly vaccinated. You'll both be happy that you did!

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