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New strain of parvovirus has veterinarians on alert

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - There is a new strain of a parvovirus going around that pet owners need to know about.

Dr. Brian Heuring, a veterinarian from Cape Small Animal Clinic, said 80 percent of the dogs they treat survive. Like any virus, they always worry about it mutating a new strains.

“It’s a virus that lives outside the dog for months up to a year, it’s hard to kill. So anytime we have puppies, immediately, they need to be vaccinating them, starting as early as six weeks of age,” said Heuring.

This new strain of parvo b is deadlier and spreads more quickly.

Animal scientists said it can be deadly in 91 percent of dogs that are untreated.

“Like most viruses, we don’t really have a good anti-viral drug to use. When we treat them here we usually do a lot of supportive care. We get an IV catheter in these guys, were doing supportive fluids keeping them from getting dehydrated,” Heuring said.

Heuring said symptoms of parvovirus are vomiting and diarrhea in a young dog. Routinely it’s puppies 8 to 10 weeks of age.

“It’s very preventable by the use of vaccines, and we start them as early as six weeks of age, and always say, rule of thumb, is that we have at least two of them past 12 weeks of age and so it’s a lot easier and a lot cheaper to prevent this than it is to treat it that is for sure,” said Heuring.

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