Canine Parvovirus (CPV)
Canine parvovirus belongs to genus Parvovirus and family Parvoviridae. There are two types of CPV: CPV-1 and CPV-2. CPV-2 causes more severe health issues in dogs. It affects dogs at any age, but most dangerous is for puppies.
Sample: Rectal swab, 0,5 ml EDTA-blood
Modes of transmission
Canine parvovirus spreads through oral contact with infected feces or contaminated surfaces (e.g., soil, shoes, dog toys etc.). CPV is hardy and can remain in feces-contaminated ground for 5 months or more if conditions are favorable.
There is a 3–7 day incubation period before the puppy seems obviously ill. Upon entering into the body, it replicates to large numbers in the lymph nodes. After a couple of days, significant amounts of virus have been released free into the bloodstream. The viruses go to new organs containing the rapidly dividing cells like the bone marrow and the delicate intestinal cells, causing rapid decrease in leukocyte number, and enteritis.
Early symptoms are depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, high fever and severe diarrhea. There is slight rise of temperature in the initial stage of the disease but gradually turn to subnormal level with advancement of vomiting and diarrhea. Rapid dehydration is a danger, and dogs may continue to vomit and have diarrhea until they die, usually 3 days after onset of symptoms. Clinical signs typically persist for 5–7 days. Puppies can die suddenly of shock as early as 2 days into the illness.
The second form of the canine parvovirus infection is a highly contagious viral illness that affects dogs. is myocarditis which can affect puppies under 3 months old. The collapsed dying pup may have cold extremities, pale mucosae and show gasping respiration or terminal convulsions. Older puppies are tachypnoeic and dyspnoeic, with swollen abdomen and tachycardia.
The restoration of the electrolyte and fluid balance is the most important goal of therapy. The affected dog should be put under broad spectrum antibiotic umbrella and steroids. During the early phase of the disease, the application of hyper immune serum may help to reduce the virus load and render the infection less dramatic. However, it is difficult to obtain.
Vaccination is required after 7 or 8 weeks of age, with annual boosters. It is especially hardy in the environment and many household disinfectants are not capable of killing it. Indoors, virus loses its infectivity within 1 month. Outdoors, shaded areas should be considered contaminated for 7 months. Areas with good sunlight exposure should be considered contaminated for 5 months. Therefore, it should be safe to introduce a new puppy indoors 1 month after the active infection has ended, and 5-7 months outdoors.
If a dog survives the first 4 days, they will usually recover rapidly and become immune to the virus for life. Within an infected litter, 70% pups will die in heart failure by 8 weeks of age and the remaining 30% will have pathological changes which may result in death many months or even years later.
Canine parvovirus has a worldwide distribution.
Meli, M., Kipar, A., Müller, C., Jenal, K., Gönczi, E., Borel, N., Gunn-Moore, D., Chalmers, S., Lin, F., Reinacher, M., et al. (2004). High viral loads despite absence of clinical and pathological findings in cats experimentally infected with feline coronavirus (FCoV) type I and in naturally FCoV-infected cats. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 6, 69–81.