"Parvo is still a dreaded word to hear in the exam room"
The virus itself attacks fast growing cell populations typically in the gastric and small bowel lining and the immune system. Many of these cells die off in the gastric lining, which is what leads to much of the nausea and vomiting. When immune system cells die or are suppressed, the patient becomes more susceptible to viral replication and secondary bacterial sepsis. All this together produces sometimes catastrophic results.
"Vaccines are extremely effective in prevention of this deadly disease"
The obvious best practice is proper immunization of puppies. We begin immunizations as early as 6 weeks of age and do three boosters on this initial vaccination. For the vast majority of patients, vaccines are extremely effective in prevention of this deadly disease. The most common vaccine failures we see are mail order or home vaccination programs. Breeds which are particularly susceptible to parvo virus include Rottweilers and Dobermans. We hope this information is helpful to you as an owner!
As usual, anytime your pet begins having noticeably strange behavior or symptoms, please do not hesitate to call us - even if just to confirm you have nothing to worry about. That's what we are here for!
Dr. Murray, Dr. Burns, and Dr. Morgan will share some of their knowledge on subjects that most pet owners have questions about!
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