Canine Parvovirus


Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract of puppies, dogs, and wild canids. It was first identified in 1978 and is seen worldwide. It also can damage the heart muscle in very young and unborn puppies.

Puppies and dogs usually become infected when they ingest virus that is passed in the feces (stool) of an infected dog. Canine parvovirus is resistant to changes in environmental conditions and can survive for long periods of time. Trace amounts of feces containing parvovirus may serve as reservoirs of infection and the virus is readily transmitted from place to place on the hair or feet of dogs or via contaminated cages, shoes, or other objects.


This information has been prepared as a service by the American Veterinary Medical Association.


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