Parvovirus — What is it?

You have been bringing your pet to the vet annually for a vaccination, which is either a C3 for your dog or F3 for your cat, but what diseases are you actually preventing with these vaccinations?

One disease that is covered by the vaccinations is Parvovirus, which is a small non-enveloped DNA virus. In other words — It is a highly infectious virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular systems of dogs.

This virus can cause symptoms that include:
- Vomiting
- Bloody diarrhoea
- Abdominal pain
- Dehydration
- Dullness and lethargy
- Elevated heart rate

If you are concerned about your pets health or think they may have parvovirus, please seek veterinary attention.

What is the source of parvovirus?
Animals become infected with the virus from ingestion of faecal matter of infected animals, either directly or from exposure to objects or environments contaminated with faeces. The virus then enters the oral cavity and makes its way into the blood stream, spreading to the gastrointestinal system where it replicates in the actively dividing cells of the intestines, causing inflammation.

This impacts the normal functions of the intestine, causing the symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea and abdominal pain as well as predispose the intestine to secondary bacterial infections which will cause further complications.

This virus can survive for very long in the environment , for years in the soil, up to 2 months at room temperature and is quite resistant to cleaning disinfectants. These characteristics of the virus makes it easily transmissible between animals, therefor special measures have to be taken to prevent further spread.

How do the vaccinations work?
Vaccinations are essentially made up of a live, less virulent form of the parvovirus, so when they are injected into an animal, it allows the body to produce the necessary antibodies to fight against an infection without the animal having to experience the symptoms associated with the disease. These
antibodies will then be produced quicker in the event of a future infection with the same virus, providing the animals with protection.

What can i do?

Ensuring your pets vaccinations are up to date are key. If you recently expanded your family with a new addition be sure to check with your vet when they are immune and can start exploring their new local surrounds. Typically it tends to be 2–3 after their finally puppy/kitten vaccine. Taking your new addition out and about before they are completely immune poses a risk. Although your pet may have had 1 vaccine, it does not mean they are protected against nasty diseases, especially parvovirus.

If your pet hasn’t been vaccinated or if you are unsure of your pets vaccination statue, call your local vet and check in.

www.snowyvets.com.au — (02)64557800 — cooma@snowyvets.com.au