Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Happy Tail: Parvovirus prevention

The ideal situation would be to have your pet spayed or neutered. Your dog should be given all vaccinations recommended by your veterinarian before pregnancy. This way when the puppies are born they will have immunity from the mother for six weeks. When the puppies are born they and their mother should be wormed every two weeks.
The next earlier Happy Tail: Happy Tail: Punxsatawney KelseyPosted February 9, 2014.

By Peg Schaeffer

Even though the Ground Hog said it will be six more weeks of winter, spring will be here before we know it. With spring comes rebirth and puppies start springing up everywhere.

With puppies comes the virus known as "Canine parvovirus".

Canine parvovirus is one of the most common and severe gastrointestinal diseases of dogs.

It most frequently attacks puppies under one year of age and senior dogs. Parvo is highly contagious and strikes rapidly and without warning. You can have a healthy puppy, the next morning it's lethargic, and the next day it's dead. Most infected adults can recover but 25% to 50% of infected puppies die from the disease if it isn't diagnosed and treated immediately. Treatment is very costly and doesn't have a high success rate.

There is a test called the SNAP test which can detect parvovirus. Early diagnosis is critical and can improve your puppy's chance of survival. Treatment is aimed at stopping dehydration and preventing a fatal infection. Affected pets, mostly puppies, require hospitalization. Successful recovery usually takes about three to seven days of intensive veterinary care. I have seen cases of Parvo when a puppy that seems only mildly affected dies and other cases where a puppy you would never think will make it survives.

As the saying goes "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". The ideal situation would be to have your pet spayed or neutered. Your dog should be given all vaccinations recommended by your veterinarian before pregnancy. This way when the puppies are born they will have immunity from the mother for six weeks. When the puppies are born they and their mother should be wormed every two weeks. At six weeks of age your puppies should have their first parvovaccine. They then should be given a booster at 9, 12, and 16 weeks. Black and tan breeds should be vaccinated a fifth time. All dogs should be vaccinated annually. Your veterinarian will work out the schedule for you.

If puppies have been wormed and are free from fleas and other parasites, should they become infected with Parvo, their chances of survival are better. A puppy loaded with worms and fleas will already have a compromised immunity. Parvo is HIGHLY contagious. The virus can remain infectious on contaminated ground for five months or more. If you have contact with a canine that has Parvo be sure to change your clothes and wash your hands with bleach before handling your puppy. If you have a puppy with Parvo be sure not to let other dogs near it or use anything the contaminated puppy has contact with. Their food bowls should be washed with bleach.

Ideally anything an infected puppy has touched should be discarded.

The signs of Parvovirus are - lack of appetite, lethargy or listlessness, vomiting, fever, abdominal distention or discomfort, bloody and/or profuse diarrhea. Parvo has its own smell. After you smell it once you'll recognize it immediately. At the first sign of any of the above symptoms contact your veterinarian. They can provide you with the appropriate therapy. The sooner Parvo is detected the more improved are its chances of recovery.

Just remember - Vaccination is a very effective step to prevent this threatening disease.

As I mentioned another way to prevent Parvo in puppies is to have your dog spayed or neutered. February is Spay/Neuter Awareness month. Sugarfoot Farm Rescue is having a raffle for two spay/neuter certificates - one for a dog and one for a cat. The cost of tickets is $1 each or 10 for $5. You can contact us about purchasing tickets. In addition we will be at Day & Day Feed, 1011 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY, on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 (which is World Spay Day) from 10amCT to 2pmCT selling spay/neuter certificates for half price. The cost to spay or neuter a dog will be $25 and a cat will be $20. Please tell anyone you might know that has a pet that has not been altered to be sure to purchase a certificate at this low rate.

Over 800 homeless pets are killed Every Hour due to overpopulation. Please spay/neuter all of your pets. Don't Litter, it costs lives.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728 Telephone: home 270-378-4521 or cell 270-634-4675 email:

This story was posted on 2014-02-16 02:31:18
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

Happy Tail: Kendall, in new home, is now Mia Bella

2014-02-16 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer. Kendall, now known as Mia Bella, an Australian Cattle Dog, was adopted by the Olson family from Columbus, IN. In the picture with Mia is Peyton who enjoys dressing up her new pet. As you can see Mia Bella is Pretty in Pink. We have her brother, D.O.G. and her sister, Page available for adoption at Sugarfoot Farm Rescue. They are 3-4 months old, already spayed and neutered, and have had their rabies vaccine. - Peg Schaeffer
Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.