Canine Parvovirus enteritis is a fatal and highly contagious disease of puppies, dogs and wild canids. It’s caused by Canine Parvovirus type-2. The virus attacks the Gastro-intestinal system, the Bone marrow and the Immune system (a multisystemic infection). In very young puppies the virus also damages the heart muscles (myocarditis). This cardiac form of the disease is rare due to Vaccinations.
In my little experience in vet practice the virus has a very high mortality in puppies less than 4 months of age, i have encountered a 100% mortality in a litter even with aggressive medical treatment and care.
The disease causes high losses especially in dog breeders and contributes to the fading puppy syndrome. The development of the disease in vaccinated puppies can be attributed to interference of the vaccine by the maternal antibodies, poor handling and also timing of the of the vaccination age.
The virus is highly contagious and spread through direct contact with infected dogs or faeces. The virus contaminates the environment, equipments or people that have come into contact with infected dogs. It is is very stable and can persist in the environment for upto or over a year.
The initial clinical signs of the infection in puppies are lethergy, anorexia (puppy refuses food) vomiting and diarrhoea which may be bloody and is foul smelling, the puppy also develops a high fever.
The acute vomiting and diarrhea causes a rapid dehydration and dead usually occur 48-72 hours following the onset of clinical signs – in untreated cases.
To control the occurrence of the disease; vaccinate your puppies against the virus, puppies are vaccinated at the age of between 6-8 weeks old. You need a vet to vaccinate and routinely check on the puppies; isolate sick puppies from other puppies until recovery and of course call the vet asap; impose strict biosecurity and sanitary measures in the kennels, disinfect the kennels with sodium hypochlorite, construct separate maternity kennel for whelping and raising the puppies till weaning then disinfect it and transfer the puppies and the mother to a separate kennel.
Dr. Ngetich (BVM UoN)
This fur-baby boy reminds me of the harsh and hard times in the vet sch. He was referred to University Small Animal teaching hospital by his vet who had been attending to it with no response nor improvement. He was prostrate, just lying down with his dull eyes looking in a way to ask for assistance, he also got pedal tremors. His vet has tentatively diagnosed poisoning and or head trauma, but the many tests and assessment by the University Clinicians revealed suppurative cystitis, ooops forgot you all not vets, that refers to inflammation of the urinary bladder with pus formation; and also meningitis- that sounds familiar right? You’ve probably heard of it in human, oooh! animals too got that-its the inflammation of the membranes covering the brain, any doctor will tell you how difficult it is to manage it, this means the boy has to be put in a very intensive care and medication, i (vet student then) was given it as my hospital case, meaning i was in charge of giving him the prescribed medication, examining him daily and reporting my findings to the Clinician on duty. It was a hectic case, i’d to give medication and intravenous fluids thrice a day, i had to even boycott some lecture and practical sessions just to make sure the boy gets its medication. I even received calls by clinician on duty even while in church inquiring of the report of my clinical examination findings and if i’ve given him medcation(this too tells how vets care for their patients esp in the UoN vey teaching hospital). I was real happy when after two weeks my boy had began taking liquid food like milk and began crawling, moving some distant away where i’d laid him, this response was encouraging to me and to the attending clinicians, this means he was responding well to medication. After a month he was on his-four, eating well he was discharged and got reunited to his family, i really didn’t want him to leave cause we’d developed a strong bond together but i was happy he made it, and left me with alot of experience he made me a vet, i learned from him!!!. Hope you’re happy wherever you are Friend.
Dr. Ngetich (Dvm UoN)
Kimutaierick.wordpress.com is my blogging site majorly dealing with veterinary medicine, animal welfare and agricultural posts especially livestock farming and production, in a bid to unleash the veterinary knowledge i have to the public, as way of giving back to the society and a nation as whole, before i go deeply to feeding you with veterinary and agricultural articles, lemme first begin by establishing my credentials, my real and official name is Dr. Kimutai Ngetich am a vet surgeon and an alumni of The University of Nairobi, i have a vast knowledge, know-how and experience in veterinary medicine and agriculture, my writings will therefore be on Pet Health, Food animal medicine, livestock production, animal welfare and my veterinary experience, it’ll therefore suite and benefit dog breeders, pet owners, livestock farmers, animal health service providers and the general public.
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Erick. (DVM UoN)
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