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Canine Parvovirus

Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal disease. Puppies less than 6 months old and unvaccinated dogs are most at risk to contract a serious case of the disease, which can be fatal. Vaccination is the best way to prevent this disease.


  • Parvovirus is spread primarily through exposure to infected feces. It's best to not let your dog or puppy sniff other dogs' waste. Parvo can also be spread by humans on items such as shoes.
  • Parvo cannot be killed with regular household cleaners, and can persist in the environment for months to years if not killed with bleach.
  • You can clean items you suspect to be infected with a solution of one part household bleach to 30 parts water. Accelerated hydrogen peroxide or potassium peroxymonosulfate disinfectants can also be used.
  • Dogs infected with parvovirus should be isolated from other dogs and given medical attention by a veterinarian.


  • Symptoms include: vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy, severe and/or bloody diarrhea, and dehydration.
  • If your puppy or dog exhibits these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.


  • Immunize your puppy or dog according to your veterinarian's advice.
  • Vaccination should begin at 8 to 9 weeks and be repeated every 3 to 4 weeks until 14 to 16 weeks of age. Dogs in a high-risk environment may benefit from an additional vaccination at 18 to 20 weeks of age. 
  • A single vaccine does not provide adequate protection.
  • Adult dogs should receive the initial series and/or a booster shot regularly at your veterinarian's direction.
  • Until your puppy receives its complete series of shots, or if your adult dog is not current on its booster, you should 
    not socialize your pet with other dogs at kennels, dog parks, training classes, day care, trails, or the groomer.


Veterinarians are asked to report cases of parvovirus to the State Public Health Veterinarian. Contact. Dr. Emilio DeBess at or (971) 673-1111.

Updated: July 13, 2023