April 2, 2010, Newsletter Issue #91: Parvo Vaccine

Tip of the Week

Parvo is a virus common to puppies, but it can attack dogs of all ages. Since a dog with parvo can quickly die of dehydration or heart failure without treatment, this virus is definitely nothing to fool around with. The good news is that puppies that get parvo and are treated quickly will usually live. The bad news is that they will not be immune to the virus once they have it and could catch it again.

The parvo vaccine is usually given as part of a combination shot DHLPP series that puppies get between six weeks and three months of age. Some vets also recommend getting a parvo vaccine booster at six months of age and would like owners to continue bringing their pets in for this booster shot every six months throughout the dogs' lives. This is because parvo just doesn't give a long immunity like other vaccines.

To protect your new puppy from parvo, you should:

Make sure you get all the parvo shots in the puppy series and consider having the vet do a blood titer test to see if your puppy has built up an immunity to the virus.Avoid taking it out to areas where other dogs are until the parvo series is complete. Never allow it to go near feces, as the virus is most commonly spread through feces of an infected dog.

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