All About the Canine Parvovirus Vaccine

It’s Immunization Awareness Month—is your dog protected with one of the most important canine vaccines out there? Learn more about the canine parvovirus from your Walnut veterinarian below.

What is Canine Parvovirus?

The canine parvovirus is a virus that attacks a dog’s immune and gastrointestinal systems. Usually contacted through contact with other infected dogs or infected fecal matter, the virus will cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other severe symptoms in canines. If a dog isn’t treated, there is a very high likelihood—above 90 percent—that he won’t survive. Thankfully, the standard canine parvovirus vaccine is very effective in preventing this disease.

Is the Parvo Vaccine Considered “Core?”

Yes, the parvo vaccine is a “core” vaccine. This means that it’s considered essential for all dogs and is usually administered as part of a young puppy’s first vaccination batch. Ask your veterinarian if your dog was vaccinated, and what other core vaccinations he has or might need.

What’s the Vaccination Schedule?

Many vets recommend giving a dog the first parvo vaccine between six and eight weeks of age, with the final doses culminating around 16 weeks of age. A year after that, most puppies receive another parvo vaccination, and then receive updates in three-year intervals. Ask your vet what the best vaccination schedule is for you and your dog.

How is the Vaccine Given to Dogs?

The parvo vaccine is given through subcutaneous injection—essentially, it’s a simple shot. The procedure is quick and painless, and your dog will only feel a slight pinch. It’s well worth the cost and time to have your dog protected against this deadly virus.

Are There Risks Associated with the Vaccine?

Since vaccines slightly compromise a dog’s immune system, there is a small chance of adverse symptoms. Dogs with already-compromised systems or those that are recovering from surgery or illness should not be given the vaccine.

Ask your Walnut veterinarian for more information on potential side effects. If your dog needs to be given the parvo vaccine or needs his immunization regimen updated, set up an appointment at the clinic today!

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