Parvovirus is a deadly disease that can be spread from one dog to another through direct or indirect contact with a dog that has been infected.
Anything that has come into contact with a dog that has had parvovirus including a leash, bowl, bedding, an owner’s shoes or clothes and grass that the dog has walked on can cause an unvaccinated dog to be infected.
If you have an unfenced yard that could have had other dogs walk through and you are bringing home a puppy you should ensure that your house and yard have been disinfected until the puppy is old enough to receive all of their shots. A disinfectant solution of one part bleach to 32 parts water, in order to disinfect the area, is the best way to ensure your backyard is safe. An alternative is using puppy pads inside until your puppy is old enough to go outside.
While it can be treated it can be fatal. Puppies don’t have a strong enough immune system and are not tough enough to defend the infection themselves. It is important to know the signs of parvovirus, as time is vital to the puppy and going to a vet quickly could give the puppy the best chance. The symptoms include lethargy, decreased appetite, fever, bloody diarrhoea and vomiting.
The best prevention is getting the parvo shot at 12 after adopting a puppy while the breeder should have had them vaccinated at 6, 10 and 12 weeks so it’s best to ask for a vaccination history. After 12 weeks the puppy should have their parvo shot annually to keep them up to date.