Canine Parvo Virus Misconceptions

Updated on December 10, 2016


Electronic Microscope image of Canine Parvo Virus
Electronic Microscope image of Canine Parvo Virus | Source

Have you had a Dog with parvo?

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What is Parvo?

Canine Parvovirus is a viral infection that dogs can get that is similar to HIV in humans, and an actual mutation of Feline Distemper. The CPV virus has a three to seven day gestation period where the dog will seem perfectly fine while it spreads to the most reproductive cells until it reaches its goal in the intestinal track. Once CPV has settled into the intestinal track it begins to reproduce rapidly and the dog starts showing symptoms as the virus destroys the intestinal lining.

How is Parvo Spread?

Contrary to popular belief Parvo can only be spread to other dogs by the feces of an infected dog, or the environment in which an infected dog had emptied it's bowls for an estimated up to 10 months if it's in the shade, and 7 months in the sun without proper sterilization techniques. Parvo is NOT spread through saliva, blood, urine or any other substance. Only the feces, secretions from intestinal track, or the intestine of an infected animal, and the virus has to be ingested in order for the animal to be infected.

Who Can Get Parvo?

All species are at risk for Parvo, however each Parvo strain is typically specific to it's species, aside from one known strain of CPV that can affect cats, called CPV-2c (discovered in 2000), but this strain is very rare. The most common form is CPV-2b. Any animal of the canine family (wolves, foxes etc.) is at risk any were from an hour old puppy to a 16-17 year old dog, the only reason it's said to be a "puppy disease" is because puppies are the main ones that can die from it and contract it due to the lower concentration of immunity and anti-bodies.

if your animal had parvo and survived was your pet still its self?

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T or F

CPV True or False?

The younger the puppy the more at risk of getting sick T or F:

False. A one day old puppy is less likely to get sick from the virus than a one week old due to what's called colostrums in the mother dog’s first milk. This substance transmits the mother’s anti-bodies to the newborn puppy. So the risk of Parvo goes up as the colostrums transmits less and less anti bodies, and then down as the puppies get older. So the most at risk of getting sick from Parvo is about a one week old puppy.

Once a puppy has Parvo it's more at risk of getting sick again T or F:

False. Once a dog has had the disease and gotten over it, some studies has shown that the puppy never gets Parvo again, but it hasn't been 100 percent proven.

Once a puppy has Parvo it's never the same puppy again T or F:

False. Although in some cases the animal does change forever, this is very rare. My puppy for example is about 7 months old and she contracted the Parvo virus from eating the grass at my apartment complex. She wasn't herself when the Parvo took hold, but as she got better and the nausea faded away she became more and more like she was. After the treatment was finished and she was able to come home from the doggy hospital, she was completely back to the way she was before she got sick...aka trying to eat everything she could, I stopped her of course, but she didn't change a bit.

Parvo Treatment is Expensive T or F:

This is true, but depending on the age of the dog and how early the treatment is given Parvo could be treated by as little as outpatient at home care and maybe 100 dollars for medication, however that is mainly for older dogs. The younger the puppy/dog the more it may cost. But even for some puppies it may only be about 900 dollars

 Basic FAQ

Why is Parvo so expensive?

The reason for this is because once Parvo settles in the intestines the dog becomes nauseous and can't keep any food or water down thus causing Malnourishment and dehydration to become the main cause of death. Runner up to malnourishment and dehydration is a serious bacterial infection that basically eats the intestines from the inside out, and sometimes the only way to rehydrate and nourish a "Parvo pup" is threw intensive overnight care, IV bags that include antibiotics, a special canned food diet, and follow up at home medication.

Is it possible for my dog to survive Parvo?

Yes, but early detection, containment, and treatment are imperative. If your dog starts showing any signs of Parvo such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stool, lethargy, or not eating or drinking anything get them to a vet as soon as humanly possible. As well as it's always a good practice to keep them up to date on vaccines, though this isn't 100 percent effective at saving dogs from Parvo it definitely gives them a hand up.

What if I don't have the money for treatment?

There are a few other things you can try such as the Pedia Light/Water, and Pepto-Bismol mentioned in River_DragonWolf's article "If Your Puppy Has Parvo", or the Gatorade and water trick mentioned in alexadry's article "Parvo Puppy Home Remedies", to help with the dehydration and the food recommendations in the comments of those to articles to help with the malnourishment, but a veterinary hospital is the best way to go, so try to get care credit or something else along those lines that might help with the bill of getting your dog back to health.

How do I protect my other dogs if one of them gets Parvo?

Bleach, the only disinfectant that kills parvo is bleach, use one cup of bleach to a gallon of water put it in a spray bottle and spray down everywhere the puppy could have tracked the virus after they ingested it, or anywhere they could have tracked infected feces. Use the same bleach solution to wipe down anywhere else the virus could have spread.

Why my dog?

This is one of the hardest questions to answer, weather a dog catches Parvo or not is a matter of where they've been, what other dogs they've been around, and which dogs are infected and not showing symptoms, dogs that get over Parvo remain contagious for up to three weeks after the treatment. Unfortunately there's no rhyme or reason to whose dog gets Parvo and doesn't get Parvo, one just has to be cautious and make sure that they sterilize every thing if a dog had gotten sick. All dog owners can do is the best they can, there’s no way to control weather a dog gets sick or not, just do the best you can to keep them healthy.

To prevent sickness should I keep my dogs away from high dog traffic areas such as dog parks?

Yes and no. If you have a little puppy who just got weaned I would definitely say to keep them away from other dogs until they can get vaccinated, but after a dog is vaccinated I would say to let them go to dog parks and hang out with other dogs because they're pack animals by nature and if a dog isn't properly socialized it can cause other problems such as anxiety, depression etc. Not to mention that if a dog is kept in sterile seclusion all its life and never really aloud to go to new places and meet new people they're more likely to get sick because they won't have the immunity to little things they need to stay healthy.

That's all for now

As the title suggests that's all for now, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to ask and I will answer the questions and help with the concerns to the best of my ability. Thanks

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers


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        2 months ago

        I saved my baby from parvo. Pedia lite by syringe with pepto and rubbing kayro syrup on her gums every hour to keep blood sugar up. They die because of no food and water. Keep forcing it. Kayro syrup done wonders for me.

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        Rishiranjan Dutta 

        4 months ago

        Wish I could read this article some months before....we tried all medical conditions but could save our dog from Parvo....we miss him a lot...RIP

      • profile image


        5 months ago

        Good day, just want to ask does my dog still have a chance to survive though she doesn't received any parvo vaccine yet?

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        5 months ago

        Can a 7th yr old dog that was vaccinated for parvo get parvo?

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        Gloria Juarez 

        8 months ago

        does parvo make my dog want to not poop because he hasn’t wanted to

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        8 months ago

        I’ve had two puppies die of Parvo. The first one had not had his vaccinations. He was 12 weeks, I had no idea what Parvo was, until I started googling his symptoms. (On the 2nd day) we live in a rural area so there was no vet in to take him to. I stayed up with him all night giving Pedialyte/pepto/egg/ etc. The next day(3rd day) I rushed him to the vet and was given iv fluids, anti nausea shots, and antibiotics. When we got home an hour later he went into shock and passed. He was my baby and I was devastated. My husband trying to cheer me bought me a beautiful gsd puppy almost a month later. He was 6weeks with his first shot. We kept him at a family’s house, and had a booster shot and his 8 week shot before we brought him home. I had already bleached the whole house before but soaked the house everyday in bleach just in case. He was not allowed to go outside until his shots were done. The day before his 10 week shot he started showing signs. I took him to the vet the next day. He was positive. I had him hospitalized to give him a better chance of survival. 3rd day he stared showing signs of improvement. Started drinking water was sitting up and wagging his tail. We all( including vet) thought he would 100% make it. The 4th day the vet called and told us he went into shock and had passed an hour before. I wish the vet would have called sooner so I could have at least been there for him. Another vet had told us there’s a new strain out and it’s killing dogs way faster and harder then ever before. Treatment barely working if at all. And i don’t believe there’s any true way to prevent it. I cleaned nonstop trying to keep my 2nd baby safe. Done everything the vet said. And he still got it, and passed away from it.

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        9 months ago

        While living in New Mexico, one of my two dogs (a 10-month-old) came down with parvo, subsequently learned parvo is considered endemic on the Llano Estacado high plains because moderate winter temps and very dry air apparently allow the virus to remain viable for many years in the soil. Anyway, I contacted a veterinarian for care and was told treatment would be very expensive (I.e. $1000’s), and he could only offer about a 35-40% chance of recovery. I couldn’t afford the Vet care, so took my dog home to try and treat it symptomstically. Anyone who has tried knows how hard that is. Well, long story short, she couldn’t hold down any water, ice chips, broth, anything, and she couldn’t stand. Had a brainstorm, and a friend who had some, so I asked for a small amount of cannabis (used for severe nausea in medical care, cancer for example). He gave me, I think, 1/8 oz. and I ground it up and started putting it in capsules and began giving her one (forced) capsule every about 6-8 hours. By the end of the second dose, she began to take a little water and hold it down. By second day, she could hold broth down. Third day I stopped the capsules and she had a slight setback, so one more dose. The next day she could hold down small amounts of wet (canned) dog food. Not sure this would work for every dog, but I was expecting death within a day (she had every symptom), and she came back from the brink. She seems a little bit suppressed intellectually (compared to before getting parvo), but otherwise is doing fine 3 years later.

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        10 months ago

        Can the parvovirus affect one dog on the property but not others?

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        12 months ago

        My 6m chiweenie has Parvo... We can't afford the hospital but our vet gave us meds, a long lasting antibiotic shot and a sub q iv kit w/b12 in it... She just started to drink the chicken broth on her own but is this enough? The vet says that the sub q and the liquids are good enough until they eat on their own but everything I read says, raw eggs in a syringe, or liquid food,... Should I be giving her anything to eat (liquid form) she's not vomiting? Any help would be greatly appreciated

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        12 months ago

        as far as I know if you bleach the areas

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        13 months ago

        It's been 1 year since I lost a puppy to parvo. I'd like to get another puppy but I'm afraid it's still in the house and yard.

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        14 months ago

        My dog is 5 and she had a Parvo vaccine over a week ago. The vet was unclear for how long she cannot be in contact with other dogs. A dog today ran up to my dog and licked her and her mouth. I’m worried for the dog now because I don’t know if that dog can catch the disease . Can you tell me how long she is supposed to be keeping away from dogs for ?

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        17 months ago

        intestinal "tract"


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        17 months ago

        If my puppy isn't having any bloody poop at all and only has vomiting is there a chance of survival she has had parvo since Sunday and she's fighting it she's only 7weeks old

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        2 years ago

        Hi, am sorry but the virus does spread trought saliva, urine, feces, vomit... that is according to the page of a veterinary clinic. Please correct that detail.

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        4 years ago

        If I had an infected dog with Parvo in my car, how do I disinfect it so that my dog can ride in it again?


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