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Mission Vet Urgent Care’s Guide on Canine Parvovirus


At Mission Vet Urgent Care, we understand the importance of keeping your furry family members happy and healthy. That’s why we’ve created this resource guide to provide you with essential information about canine parvovirus, a potentially life-threatening illness that every dog owner should be aware of.

At Mission Vet Urgent Care, we utilize a monoclonal antibody treatment from Elanco Pharmaceuticals. Monoclonal antibody treatment in veterinary medicine involves using specially engineered antibodies to target and neutralize specific harmful substances or cells in an animal’s body. These antibodies are designed to recognize and attach to a particular target, such as viruses or cancer cells, helping the animal’s immune system fight off the disease more effectively. Essentially, it’s like providing the animal’s immune system with a targeted weapon to combat specific health threats.

For more information from Elanco on this treatment, please visit:

What is Canine Parvovirus?

Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral infection that primarily affects young, unvaccinated dogs, causing severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Vaccination is essential to safeguard our canine companions from this dangerous virus.


Parvovirus can affect dogs of any age but is most common in puppies between 6 weeks and 6 months old. Dogs become infected by ingesting the virus shed in the feces of infected dogs. The virus is resilient and capable of surviving for up to a year in the environment, making it highly contagious even without direct contact with an infected dog.

Clinical Signs

Early signs of parvovirus include lethargy, decreased appetite, and vomiting, progressing rapidly to bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Other symptoms may include weakness, belly pain, and fever.


If your puppy or unvaccinated dog exhibits symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, prompt testing for parvovirus is essential. Testing typically involves a simple and relatively inexpensive fecal or rectal swab, alongside potential blood work and additional diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis.


Treatment for parvovirus focuses on supportive care, including intravenous fluids, electrolyte management, antibiotics to prevent secondary infections, and medications to alleviate symptoms such as vomiting and pain. Newer treatment options, such as monoclonal antibody therapy, show promise in reducing the severity of clinical signs.Nutrition plays a crucial role in recovery, with some patients requiring temporary feeding tubes to ensure adequate nutrient intake. Severe cases may necessitate plasma transfusions to replenish essential blood components.


While survival is possible with prompt and comprehensive treatment, the prognosis depends on factors such as age, size, and the severity of illness at the time of treatment initiation. Prevention through vaccination, proper disinfection, and avoidance of high-risk areas is key to protecting dogs from parvovirus.


Vaccination is the cornerstone of parvovirus prevention, starting at 8 weeks of age and continuing with boosters until 16-20 weeks, followed by regular boosters thereafter. Proper disinfection with bleach and avoidance of high-risk areas are also crucial measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Further Reading

Here is some more information from Cornell University on Parvovirus: