Canine parvovirus is an acute, highly contagious disease of dogs that was first described in the early 1970s. The virus attacks rapidly reproducing cells, such as those lining the gastrointestinal tract. The virus is shed in large amounts in the stools of acutely infected dogs for up to several weeks following infection. The disease is transmitted by oral contact with infected feces. Parvo can be carried on the dog’s hair and feet, as well as on contaminated crates, shoes, and other objects. When the dog licks the fecal material off hair, feet, or anything that came in contact with infected feces, he acquires the disease.

Parvo affects dogs of all ages, Following an incubation period that averages four to five days, the acute illness begins with depression, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some dogs have no fever, while others have high fever (up to 106°F, 41.1°C). Puppies with severe abdominal pain exhibit a tucked-up abdomen. Diarrhea is profuse and contains mucus and/or blood. Dehydration develops rapidly.

The most efficient way to diagnose parvo is to identify either the virus or virus antigens in stools.

The true danger of parvo is dehydration and malnutrition and veterinary treatment is essential.

If your dog, especially your new puppy, begins exhibiting any of these symptoms, see a veterinarian right away. When parvo is involved, every hour counts. The secret of survival is quick treatment, so don’t ignore these symptoms! One or all of these will usually being showing after 3 – 10 days of infection.

  • Lethargic. If your dog normally likes to play and has high energy, this is the clearest sign that something is wrong. You could say they act depressed.
  • Lack of Appetite. The more common strains attack the digestive system.
  • Vomiting with no change in diet. It usually looks clear and foamy.
  • Bloody Diarrhea.
  • Stronger Faeces Odor. It’s unmistakable and you will never forget it.




Warning to anyone in the Lincoln area

Please be extra vigilant with your dogs if you walk on West Common, or the Golf-course at Carholme Rd. Three dogs have died with severe gastric symptoms and convulsions in the last 2 weeks. We know that the second dog picked up a raw bone the morning that she died, and that it looked as if it was probably a rabbit bone. The third, a greyhound, had also eaten a rabbit carcass. The Lincoln Veterinary Hospital dealt with one death and is the usual vet for one of the others (which was dealt with by the emergency out of hours vet in South Hykeham). Their advice is that the local press should be informed and all dog walkers warned to keep their dogs on leads and away from any dead animals on the common or surrounding areas such as the golf course. Please keep your dogs close to you if you walk on the common. The second dog to die was on an extension-lead when she picked up the bone. Can we ask you to take two carrier-bags/dustbin liners with you if you walk in these areas, especially Carholme Golf Course and West Common. If you come across a rabbit corpse, please pick it up and contact 07920 018038. One of the Happy Paws team will come and pick it up from you as they need a toxicology report on any carcasses. If you can't bear to take it home, please at least throw it in one of the bins around the common so that no other dog is at risk. There is a gastric bug in Lincoln, as many of you know. Seasonal Canine Illness is also about, but the vomit with this is bile. Poisoning results in vomiting of the entire stomach contents and the dog will deteriorate within a couple of hours, with its organs shutting down. If your dog goes down hill after vomiting, seek immediately veterinary treatment.