Important information about Canine Parvovirus!

Hello everyone,

Dr. Judi Vogt has written an informative post for all of us regarding the Canine Parvo Virus which most commonly affects puppies. Many of you have asked about this virus and we felt it was important get you more answers from a very well respected veterinarian. If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to ask. If you follow these suggested recommendations, the transports you are doing will hopefully continue to be healthy ones. Another reminder also to please check out the USDA state requirements for transporting. Some requirements vary. The link can be found under the guidelines section of the forum board and is in the information given to you during the registration process.

Thank you Dr. Vogt, for writing this article to share with us in order for us to do our best to keep every animal safe!

"Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a severe gastrointestinal virus that primarily affects young, unvaccinated puppies. The virus attacks the intestinal tract, damaging the lining as well as causing immunosuppression. Untreated, the virus will cause severe hemorrhagic diarrhea, with resulting dehydration, and protein/electrolyte loss. The damage of the intestines also allows sepsis and toxemia to occur. Without treatment, CPV is usually fatal. Treatment consists of aggressive fluid and electrolyte support, antibiotics to protect from sepsis, and medicines to control nausea and alleviate pain. Puppies under the age of 1 year are most susceptible, with the disease being most dangerous to very young or very small pups, as well as to certain breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls.

CPV is a very hardy virus, and is able to survive outside of the body for up to 6 months. It is spread through infected feces, and can stay contagious on surfaces such as cages, runs, and especially natural areas such as grass yards, gravel or mulch. CPV can also be spread by fomites such as cleaning brushes, and undisinfected shoes or hands. CPV is also extremely resistant to common disinfectants. At this time, the only documented disinfectants proven to kill the virus are bleach (diluted 1:32 with water and a contact time of 10 minutes) or Trifectant (contact time 10 mins). Both of these disinfectants will only kill the virus if all of the organic material has been removed first by a detergent. It is not possible to sterilize porous surfaces such as wood, fabric, carpet, grass, dirt or gravel. Concrete, metal and plastic surfaces can be disinfected, but care must be made to remove all organic material, especially in cracks, crevices or joints, and to allow at least 10 minutes of contact time of the bleach or Trifectant.

The incubation for CPV is between 2-14 days after exposure, with 10 days being about average. An infected puppy may start shedding the virus in feces prior to the onset of clinical signs. The usual progression of signs starts with lethargy, and lack of appetite with or without vomiting. Some pups will run a low grade fever. Severe diarrhea, often with blood, occurs last. While the vaccination for CPV is highly protective, even vaccinated puppies under the age of 16 weeks may not have a mature immune system and may still be at risk to becoming infected. Puppies over the age of 16 weeks, with at least 2 vaccines 2-4 weeks apart are generally well protected against CPV. Recovery from CPV is generally 7-14 days, but the virus may last in the feces for up to 30 days.

Recommended Protocol for Shipment of Puppies to other facilities:

1. Puppies should receive a DA2P-CPV vaccine on intake to foster.

2. Puppies should be strictly quarantined for at least 2 weeks. Avoid mixing litters or mixing pups from different sources. Puppies should be kept in an area that can be easily disinfected. All other dogs coming in contact with the pups should have a current DA2P-CPV vaccine.

3. Puppies should receive a DA2P-CPV vaccine 2-3 weeks after intake, prior to travel.

4. Puppies should have a veterinarian perform a Health Exam and issue a Health Certificate within 10 days of travel.

5. Puppies surviving CPV should not be shipped until at least 14 days after their infection, when they are no longer showing clinical signs, and have a negative CPV fecal test and a thorough bath.

Recommended Cleaning/Sterilization Techniques of Carriers:

1. Ship puppies only in metal or plastic carriers.

2. Combine only littermates or pups from same source.

3. Provide unused cloth/towels or paper, and throw away after use.

4. If bowls or toys are provided, these must be sterilized or thrown away after use.

5. After use, thoroughly clean carriers with detergent, taking care to remove all possible organic material by thoroughly scrubbing with a clean/sterilized brush. Pay close attention to wire joints.

6. Rinse crate thoroughly with water.

7. Apply freshly diluted bleach water (at 1:32 dilution) to all surfaces. Bleach only maintains its full sterilization properties for 30 minutes after dilution. Properly diluted Trifectant (Potassium peroxymonosulfate) can also be used.

8. Allow bleach water or Trifectant contact with surfaces for at least 10 minutes. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry.

Judi C. Vogt, DVM"

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