Oh goodness, this has been a crazy busy month! Every Spring and fall when the weather is nice and puppies abound, we see an increase in Parvovirus in dogs --if you are not already familiar with this virus, please ask your veterinarian ASAP. The severity of the cases waxes and wanes with occasional new strains emerging and making for horrific cases. THIS is one of those years! PLEASE, PLEASE make sure your adult and juvenile dogs are well vaccinated and practice precautions such as not going to high-density places or hanging around dogs that are poorly vaccinated. Many of the young or under-vaccinated, or sadly, those who have been given shots available OTC (feed stores, human pharmacies, breeders, online) have been dying!!! Ordinarily, at Desert Veterinary Clinic we see Parvo as emergencies or during the day a few a week.... this month is has been several DAILY. Ordinarily if hospitalized and treated aggressively, the dog/puppy will go home within 3-4 days, lately, it is a week or so. Ordinarily, if an owner can't afford hospitalization, properly treated and nursed at home, about 50-75% will survive....lately it is only a few. It reminds me (Dr. Haugo) of when Parvo first appeared in the 70's-early '80s and no vaccine even existed. We saw many dogs young and old suffer and die....and saved many less than lost.
So PLEASE be sure to see your veterinarian for updated vaccinations and make sure your puppies are protected by veterinarian given vaccinations on schedule. A puppy should begin between 6-9 weeks of age and continue every 3 weeks receiving vaccinations until they are 16 weeks of age. Vaccine reactions or problems are RARE and the risk of non-vaccination are HUGE. Parvo cannot be "treated" by vaccination, this is for prevention only. Once infected, the virus ravages the immune system (so any vaccination is useless anyway) and the gastrointestinal tract, and sometimes the heart. Do not take a chance with your friend/family member's life. Check your records now, call your veterinarian and get a booster if your pet is late or needs vaccination now!!!