Parvovirus, or Parvo, is a virus that attacks the intestinal lining and is deadly. The Doberman is highly susceptible to Parvovirus, particularly as puppies.

Symptoms:

Usually starts with loss of appetite and continues with vomiting, diarrhea (often black or with white mucous, then watery with blood and tissue), lethargy, and depression. Adults can be carriers of the disease without showing symptoms.

Communicability:

Canine Parvovirus is highly contagious and can live in the environment for in excess of six months on objects such as floors, food bowls, kennels, hands, clothing, and shoes. Virus is shed from infected dogs in the feces and other bodily fluids. Canine Parvovirus can also be spread by rodents and insects.

Effect:

Currently, the most common strain of Canine Parvovirus, CPV-2B, attacks the intestinal lining causing the system to fight back by flushing the intestine of the inner cell layer. This causes severe dehydration.

Deadly:

Yes, especially in puppies. Death is usually a result of dehydration.

Remedy:

There is no cure for Canine Parvovirus. Treatment consists of administering fluids, often intravenously, and antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infection.

Prevention:

There is vaccine for preventing the current widespread form of Canine Parvovirus. This vaccine is of little help to puppies too young for the vaccination to take effect and who are most susceptible. Precautions should be taken in areas where carriers are commonly present such a veterinary clinics. During veterinary appointments, puppies should not be allowed on the floor or to come in contact with unsterilized equipment. Also, visitors to a home with puppies not yet fully vaccinated should remove shoes, wash hands, and generally avoid handling the puppies.

Danger to Humans:

Canine Parvovirus does not currently affect humans.

Danger to Other Animals:

Canine Parvovirus currently affects only canines.

Canine Parvovirus is currently the most dangerous disease to young puppies. Proper vaccination should be used but will not protect puppies too young for the vaccination to build immunity. Breeders and new puppy owners must take strict measures to protect their puppies from this very common and highly contagious disease, particularly when the puppy is outside the home and from visitors.