Most puppies infected with the parvovirus don't survive, which is why it's incredibly important to have your puppy vaccinated against the deadly disease. Your puppy receives the parvovirus vaccination as part of his core vaccines. Below is all the info you need regarding parvo and the full vaccination schedule.
Puppies pick up highly contagious parvovirus from infected dogs or their feces. Exposure is possible from people who have picked up the virus on their shoes -- think stepping in dog poop -- and brought it into the puppies' environment. Puppies suffering from parvo experience diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration, along with possible blood poisoning. Affected puppies can die within two days without intensive treatment.
When your puppy receives his vaccination against parvo, he'll be protected against other diseases in the DHPPC shot. Those letters stand for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and coronavirus. The latter is similar to the parvovirus but not quite as virulent.
Your puppy receives his first vaccination series at the age of 6 weeks. Typically, every three weeks, or when he turns 9 weeks, 12 weeks, 15 weeks and 18 weeks old, you'll bring him in for booster shots. That means he's fully vaccinated by the age of 4.5 months. Your dog requires an annual DHPPC booster shot, given at his wellness exam.
Keep your puppy away from strange dogs until he's gone through at least two of his DHPCC vaccinations. Never allow him near a dog known to have parvo, whether he's fully vaccinated or not.
By Jane Meggitt
About the Author
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.