Puppies aged 6weeks-6months in some breeds of dog have been reported to have a higher risk of developing canine parvovirus (CPV-2) disease than others, including :
Some dogs can be infected with canine parvovirus and show no signs at all or just a mild gastroenteritis. Clinical signs are first seen after an incubation period of about 4-5 days. There are two main organ systems involved in canine parvovirus disease (CVP-2):
Canine parvovirus disease due to CVP-1 affects the same organs in young puppies up to 3 weeks of age and causes :
In adult bitches CPV-1 infection may cause :
Diagnosis of both CPV-2 and CPV-1 can be made from histopathological examination of infected tissue samples or faeces for virus particles.
For clinical cases fluid therapy is essential to reverse dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities. Other drugs may also help such as antibiotics and antiemetic drugs (eg metoclopramide) to prevent vomiting. Puppies should be kept warm and in isolation when being treated. Dietary management is important in the recovery of parvovirus patients because the gastrointestinal tract may take some time to recover from the damage caused by the virus. A highly digestible, low fibre ration is usually recommended and supplementation with oral glutamine may help enterocyte regrowth.
CPV-2 is responsible for the most serious disease outbreaks and it can survive in the environment on inanimate objects for up to 5 months. Unfortunately the virus is resistant to many disinfectants - but it is sensitive to bleach (sodium hypochlorite) at a dilution rate of 1:30 bleach:water and this should be used to clean areas in which an infected dog has been kept.
Puppies with CPV-1 infection usually die despite treatment, but they should be kept warm and given nutritional support as well as pups with CVP-2 infection.
Long term problems
Updated October 2013