What Every Dog And Cat Owner Needs To Know About Parvovirus

This is a developing article, and will be updated in the future to add more information on this disease.

What is Parvovirus?

Parvovirus is an infectious disease that can affect cats and dogs (there also exists a strain that affects humans). However, the strains for each specie are separate and differ from each other. While the older strain for dogs cannot infect cats, reports recently surfaced that newer variants can. We call the strain in dogs Canine Parvovirus (CPV) and the strain in cats Feline Parvovirus (FPV). The table below illustrates the disesase in more detail.

Canine Parvovirus (CPV)Feline Parvovirus (FPV)
SymptomsLethargy, Inappetence, Fever or Hypothermia
Vomitting, Severe (and often bloody) Diarrhea
Lethargy and Depression, Frotting at the Mouth or Vomitting,
Fever, Watery Discharge from Nose, Diarrhea (bloody and/or watery),
Incubation PeriodTime from exposure to onset of symptoms: 3-7 days,
up to 14 days reported
Time from exposure to onset of symptoms: 5-7 days,
up to 14 days reported
DiagnosisLaboratory tests and CPV test kitLaboratory tests and FPV test kit
TreatmentNo medicine is available to treat this virus.
Only supportive care and management of symptoms can be provided.
No medicine is available to treat this virus.
Only supportive care and management of symptoms can be provided.
A comparison of CPV and FPV

How Deadly Is Parvovirus?

Short answer: Very.

Untreated cases of CPV have a mortality rate of 91%. While in FPV, untreated cases is also a whopping 90%. This information is not to scare every pet owner out there, but these are hard facts that should be taken seriously.

How Can I Prevent CPV Or FPV?

The most common and effective way to prevent your cat or dog from contracting the virus is through vaccination. This doesn’t mean that your pet will be 100% protected from the disease, as there is still a chance that they might get infected. However, this greatly increases their protection and some studies show that it helps your pet’s immune system when fighting the disease. Other supplementary precautions include:

  • Keeping a clean environment for your pets
  • Not walking/bringing your puppy or kitten outside while their vaccine is incomplete
  • Limiting your own exposure to other pets

My Cat Or Dog Is Already An Adult, Can They Be Infected?

Absolutely. While the likelihood of your pet contracting the disease in adult stage is smaller, it is still possible, especially if they were not vaccinated against the disease in the first place.

What Should I Do If My Cat Or Dog Is Infected?

As soon as symptoms are apparent, bring your pet to as soon as possible to the nearest clinic or hospital. Do not self-medicate. Leave the treatment and management of the disease to our veterinarians. If you’re living with other pets, disinfect your home right away and continue to observe them.

I Have Recently Vaccinated My Cat or Dog, But Has Tested Positive On An Antigen Test, Should This Be Interpreted as False Positive?

No. While a false positive is possible, test results should be interpreted in conjunction with an animal’s history and clinical signs. It could also mean that the virus was already incubating during the time your pet was vaccinated.

Final Thoughts

Parvovirus is a nasty infection that can affect any animal at any place, at any given time. It is important to arm yourself with knowledge and to make decisions based on science. It is advisable to follow the vaccination schedule of your pet, and conduct regular check-ups. When it comes to diseases, whether animal or human, prevention is always better than treatment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: