What You and Your Dog Need To Know About The Parvo Vaccine

What You and Your Dog Need To Know About The Parvo Vaccine

Canine parvovirus is a disease that attacks the cells in a dog’s intestines which inhibits them from absorbing vital nutrients causing them to be dehydrated and weak. This disease is highly infectious and can be fatal which is why it is so important to get your dog protected against it.

Unfortunately, parvovirus has no cure as of late and puppies are most at risk of contracting the virus and they count for most parvo deaths. Symptoms for parvovirus usually appear within six to ten days after exposure, they include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Persistent vomiting and (in some cases) bloody diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

Older dogs have a fighting chance against parvovirus, and if infected they would need to be hospitalized, put on a drip to address their dehydration, and receive antibiotics. Though the availability of these treatments is fortunate, they do add up and it would mean long periods of separation from your dog. This is why the parvo vaccine is the best route to take in tackling this unfortunate disease.

Many hospitals offer the parvo vaccine as part of a combination called the DA2P which includes a rabies vaccine, distemper vaccine, and adenovirus 2 vaccine which are vital shots. Other vaccine combinations like the DHPP vaccine feature the parainfluenza vaccine which isn’t a core shot but prevents parainfluenza which can present itself as pneumonia.

The parvo vaccine will train your dog’s immune system to identify the virus and attack it before it makes them sick. With regards to a vaccine schedule, most puppies get their first shot when they’re a few weeks old, thereafter they get their jab every four weeks until they are 16 weeks old. After this, your dog is fully vaccinated and it’s recommended to get a booster shot every year or so. Older dogs can get their shots every three years to maintain their immunity.

On side effects: in some rare cases, dogs can show mild symptoms such as lethargy and loss of appetite as the vaccine works through their immune system. Extreme side effects (also rare) can come about as an allergic reaction to the vaccine with symptoms including face swelling and/or difficulty breathing.

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