Parvo & Distemper

Parvo & Distemper Information

  • Canine parvovirus and Distemper are highly contagious viral diseases
  • Both are often fatal if undiagnosed or untreated
  • Parvo virus attacks the intestinal tract and the white blood vessels
    • Without early treatment, it can damage the heart muscle
  • Distemper attacks the intestinal tract, the white blood vessels, the respiratory system, a nervous system
  • Parvovirus and Distemper are extremely contagious!!
    • They can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog’s feces.
  • The viruses can live in the environment for a very long time.
  • Often unvaccinated dogs will contract Parvo or Distemper when they are in a public area

Symptoms of Parvo

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration

Symptoms of Distemper

  • Diarrhea
  • Continued fever
  • Pneumonia (Characterized by labored breathing and coughing)
  • Depletion of white blood cells
  • Vomiting
  • Hardening of the pads of the feet
  • Unusual tooth enamel
  • Seizures
  • Uncoordinated movements or muscle spasms
  • Paralysis

How to Prevent a Parvo or Distemper Outbreak

  • Clean! Clean! Clean!
    • Making sure that poop is cleaned up in a timely manner is very important
    • Bleach is the only effective way to kill Parvo and Distemper, using a bleach solution to frequently clean toys, bowls, and floors helps to prevent viral illnesses
  • Keep puppies out of public areas and away from foreign dogs until they have been vaccinated
    • We will not allow unvaccinated puppies to attend adoption events
    • We recommend that you make all adopters remove their shoes and wash their hands prior to meeting the puppies
    • We recommend that you do not allow adopters to bring their dogs to your home for meet and greets
    • Do not take unvaccinated puppies to a park or other public place for a meet and greet
    • Do not take unvaccinated puppies out of your home

What to do if you suspect a puppy has Parvo or Distemper?

  • DO NOT WAIT!!
    • Most puppies who are diagnosed early will survive the Parvo virus
    • If a puppy is not seen in time, this can result in lasting internal damage or death
  • If a puppy is vomiting, has diarrhea, seizures, depression, or is unusually lethargic, you need to first call your foster coordinator
    • If one of them cannot be reached, call Red Rocks Animal Hospital
  • Dehydration kills puppies, and it is important for experienced eyes to assess the situation
    • It may be necessary to hospitalize the puppy
    • Prevention is key!
      • Make sure to clean the areas where puppies, play, sleep, and poop thoroughly
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