Parvovirus Infection

Canine parvovirus (CPV) infection is a relatively new disease that first appeared in 1978. Because of the severity of the disease and its rapid spread through the canine population, CPV has aroused a great deal of public interest and rightly so!

CVP is a virus, the main source of which is the faeces of infected dogs. The faeces of an infected dog can have a high concentration of viral particles. Susceptible animals become infected by ingesting the virus, simply sniffing at the stool of an infected dog. Subsequently, the virus is carried to the intestine where it invades the intestinal wall and causes inflammation.

Unlike most other viruses, CPV is stable in the environment and is resistant to the effects of heat, detergents, and alcohol. CPV has been recovered from dog faeces even after three months at room temperature. Due to its stability the virus is easily transmitted via the hair or feet of infected dogs, contaminated shoes, clothes, and other objects. Direct contact between dogs is not required to spread the virus. Dogs that become infected with the virus and show clinical signs will usually become ill within 7-10 days of the initial infection.

Once infected the clinical manifestations of CPV disease are somewhat variable, but generally take the form of severe vomiting and diarrhoea. The diarrhoea may or may not contain blood. Additionally, affected dogs often exhibit a lack of appetite, depression, and fever. It is important to note that many dogs may not show every clinical sign, but vomiting and diarrhoea are the most common signs; vomiting usually begins first. Parvo may affect dogs of all ages, but is most common in dogs less than one year of age. Young puppies less than five months of age are often the most severely affected and the most difficult to treat.

The clinical signs of CVP infection can mimic other diseases that cause vomiting and diarrhoea; consequently, the diagnosis of CPV is often a challenge for the veterinary surgeon. The positive confirmation of CPV infection requires the demonstration of the virus in the faces or the detection of anti-CPV antibodies in the blood serum. Occasionally, a dog will have a parvovirus but test negative for virus in the faeces. Fortunately, this is not a common occurrence. A tentative diagnosis is often based on the presence of a reduced white blood cell count (leukopaenia). If further confirmation is needed, faeces or blood can be submitted to a veterinary laboratory for the other tests. The absence of a leukopaenia does not always mean that the dog doesn’t have CPV infection.

As with any virus disease there is no treatment to kill the virus once it infects the dog. However, the virus does not directly cause death; rather, it causes loss of the lining of the intestinal tract. This results in severe dehydration, electrolyte (sodium and potassium) imbalances, and infection in the bloodstream (septicaemia). It is when the bacteria that normally live in the intestinal tract are able to get into the blood stream, that it becomes more likely that the animal will die.

The first step in treatment is to correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. This requires the administration of intravenous fluids containing electrolytes. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are given to prevent or control septicemia. Antispasmodic drugs are used to inhibit diarrhoea and vomiting that perpetuate the problems. Most dogs with CPV infection recover if aggressive treatment is used and if therapy is begun before severe septicaemia and dehydration occur. For reasons not fully understood, some breeds, notably the Rottweiler, have a much higher fatality rate than other breeds.

Of course, prevention is always better than cure. If you love your dog you will want to protect them !

The most popular method of protecting dogs against CPV infection has been vaccination. My puppies still receive a parvo vaccination as part of the vaccines given at 6 weeks and 10 to 12 weeks of age. After the initial series of vaccinations when the dog is a puppy, all dogs are recommended to receive a booster at least once a year. I do not agree with this procedure. There have been tests conducted that have found dogs continue to carry the antibodies necessary for immunity for 15 years after initial vaccination. So weather you choose to re vaccinate annually is entirely up to you! I strongly suggest that puppy vaccinations are all that is required for a lifetime of cover! Unnecessary vaccinations challenge our Scotty's natural immune systems and often result in various allergic reactions, skin conditions, ear infections and other inflammatory responses.

A QUICK GUIDE TO COMPARING YOUR DOG’S VACCINE SCHEDULE TO CURRENT RESEARCH.

ARE YOU VACCINATING YOUR DOG TOO MUCH?

 

Unnecessary vaccines place your dog at unnecessary risk for vaccine related health issues. This quick guide will help you decide if your dog is being vaccinated more often than research shows is necessary.

 

It turns out that all vaccines with the exception of Rabies Vaccines were labelled with the statement ‘‘Annual Revaccination Recom- mended’’ without really knowing whether the true duration of immunity (DOI) was a year or a lifetime. So vets vaccinated yearly, even though observation suggested that immunity after both natural infection and vaccination was long lived.

In the mid 1970’s, veterinary immunologist Dr Ronald Schultz and his cohorts questioned this and began researching how long vaccines really lasted.

Research was initiated at this time to prove that the duration of immunity is in fact much more than 1 year. Turns out that dogs challenged with exposure to distemper, adenovirus and par- vovirus, anywhere from 1 to 11 years after vaccination, showed that every single dog was protected when exposed to the virus.

 

The results from this testing clearly demonstrated the Norden modi ed live vaccines provided immunity for at least 11 years against CDV (distemper) and CPV-2 (parvovirus)”

 

In 2003 it was recommend a 3 year revaccination schedule for core vaccines was a compromise and three yearly revaccination was then considered protective.

THERE IS NO SCIENCE BEHIND THE THREE-YEAR RECOMMENDATION...

Studies were continued and by 2006, several additional studies on over 1,000 dogs had been repeated with the same results over and over again, effectively show- ing that dogs were protected for much longer than three years and most likely for the life of the dog.

In fact the doctors conducting this work, have modified their own vaccination protocol for their dogs to one single shot of distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus and none thereafter.

LIFELONG IMMUNITY WAS PROVEN!

COMMON REACTIONS TO VACCINATIONS INCLUDE:

  • LETHARGY

  • HAIR LOSS

  • HAIR COLOR CHANGE AT INJECTION SITE

  • FEVER

  • SORENESS

  • STIFFNESS

  • REFUSAL TO EAT

  • CONJUNCTIVITIS SNEEZING

  • ORAL ULCERS

  • MODERATE REACTIONS

  • IMMUNOSUPRESSION

  • BEHAVIORAL CHANGES

  • VITILIGO

  • WEIGHT LOSS

  • REDUCED MILK PRODUCTION

  • LAMENESS

  • GRANULOMAS/ABSCESSES

  • HIVES

  • FACIAL EEDEMA 

  • RESPIRATORY DISEASE

  • ALLERGIC UVEITIS (BLUE EYE)

  • SEVERE REACTIONS

  • ANAPHYLAXIS

  • ARTHRITIS, POLYARTHRITIS

  • IMMUNE MEDIATED THROMBO- CYTOPENIA

  • HEMOLYTIC DISEASE OF THE NEWBORN

  • THYROIDITIS

  • GLOMERULONEPHRITIS DISEASE OR ENHANCED DIS- EASE WHICH WITH THE VACCINE WAS DESIGNED TO PREVENT MYOCARDITIS

  • POST VACCINAL ENCEPHALITIS OR POLYNEURITIS SEIZURES

  • ABORTION 

  • CONGENITAL ANOMALIES 

  • EMBRYOIC/FETAL DEATH 

  • FAILURE TO CONCEIVE

In 2011, Canine Vaccination Guidelines recommendation “every 3 years or more” with the following comment:

“Among healthy dogs, all commercially available [core] vaccines are expected to induce a sustained protective immune response lasting at least 5 yr. thereafter”

 

But despite their recommendation of no more than every three years, the AAHA Task Force admitted to vets that vaccines protect for a much longer period of time ...“This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information and well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long”. Compromises are clearly being made, judging by the slow-to-evolve revaccination recommendations.

What could be holding them back from making stronger statements and why don’t they enforce these guidelines?

in most cases, lifelong.


 

“Vaccines for diseases like distemper and canine parvovirus, once administered to adult animals, provide lifetime immunity.”

As dog owners – the people who are financially and emotionally responsible for the effects of over-vaccination – we deserve better than this. Until they stop compromising and catch up to current vaccine research, the most important compromise could be our dogs’ health and welfare.

In the meantime, research shows that over 95% of puppies vaccinated before they are 4mths old will be protected FOR LIFE.

In a nutshell, the powers that be! are sponsored by four vaccine manufacturers: Merck, Merial, P zer and Boehringer Ingelheim. Furthermore, the veterinary members of the task force certainly have a vested financial interest in how often vaccines can be delivered.

60% of vets today are still vaccinating three times more often than the guideline recommendations which already encourage over-vaccination and ignore current research.

MINIMUM DURATION OF IMMUNITY FOR CANINE VACCINES